The Peril of Zero Sum Counseling

Show Outline with Links

Introduction

Given the times we live in, and that fact that it is an evil day, I believe it is necessary to explain and defend a particular assumption that should under-gird all pastoral counseling, particularly marriage counseling. I first learned this assumption from my father decades ago, and it has been an integral part of my approach to counseling ever since. It has always been difficult for many people to grasp, but in recent years the growth of victim culture in the world of counseling, including much Christian counseling, has made this biblical approach seem perverse. Though it only seems that way, an apologia for this approach has still become necessary.Bad Marriage

The Principle:

First, the principle raw and unpolished:

“Jesus saith unto him, If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee? follow thou me.” (John 21:22).

“Child,’ said the Lion, ‘I am telling you your story, not hers. No one is told any story but their own” (The Horse and His Boy).

The Unfairness of Grace:

We must first come to grips with the fact that sheer grace always strikes us as radically unfair. This reaction makes us want to demand justice, but there is no more dangerous thing for a sinner to do. Sheer justice, raw justice, has a name, and the name is the outer darkness. As a friend of mine has said, “If life were fair, we’d all be in Hell.”

Consider the import of these passages and meditate on them.

“And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise” (Luke 23:43).

“But as soon as this thy son was come, which hath devoured thy living with harlots, thou hast killed for him the fatted calf” (Luke 15:30).

“Saying, These last have wrought but one hour, and thou hast made them equal unto us, which have borne the burden and heat of the day” (Matt. 20:12).

“And he answered and said unto him, Master, all these have I observed from my youth” (Mark 10:20).

“And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom” (Luke 23:42).

This is a real stumbling block to the self-righteous heart, but it gets even more complicated if it is a wounded self-righteous heart.

It is one thing when someone shows up in the story, already a sinner. All his victims are in his past, off stage. It is quite another when his principal victim is sitting across the table from him, and the point of the meeting is to attempt reconciliation.

Divvying It Up

So here is where the misconceptions start. The natural temptation is for the antagonists to regard themselves as in a 100% situation, and that the job of the counselor is to help them divvy up the responsibility. Does he get 75 and she get 25? Or is it more of a 50/50 sort of thing? Or perhaps one party only is the scoundrel, and it is 100/0. But in all cases, the thinking goes, the total must add up to 100%.

But individual responsibility in such situations doesn’t work this way. Whenever you have two or more people in a sinful tangle, you don’t have a total of 100%. You have at least two one hundred percents. A separate topic for another time is the question of the responsibilities of covenant headship, which brings in a third 100%.

What we don’t have — since we are dealing with the interactions of two moral agents — is a zero sum game. In a zero sum game, it always has to add up to 100%, taking all the sin-contributions from both parties. But this is not how moral responsibility works.

This is a misleading assumption that makes some counselees believe that if the counselor ever tries to help them see what they need to do as they deal with the issues in their life, that he is necessarily trying to diminish the responsibility of the other party. And since the other party is obviously as guilty as SIN, this causes trust in the counselor to erode.

And it doesn’t matter if the issue you are trying to address is trivial or not. How dare the counselor suggest that she might want to consider “this” as an issue? Any increase of any responsibility on her part must necessarily mean a decrease of his responsibility, and since that is obviously absurd, we need to reject the whole enterprise out of hand. And then look sideways at the counselor, who obviously needs to learn how to cultivate more sympathy for victims.

Until the Arm Falls Off

Suppose one person, unprovoked, stabs another person in the arm. That person is 100% responsible for the assault, and should be held responsible. He should be charged with the stabbing, and face the consequences of being a stabber.

But the person who was stabbed is not a block of wood, and has certain moral responsibilities in the situation. Let us say the doctor gives him strict instructions on how to clean and change the bandages. And let us say further that for various reasons he refuses to do so, and as a result his wound get seriously infected. If the doctor remonstrates with him about this, it will not be to the point to accuse the doctor of trying to justify the stabber, or minimize his guilt in anyway. “No,” the doctor might say. “I just don’t want your arm to fall off one of these days.”

If the arm falls off, the responsibility for this would lie 100% with the patient who wouldn’t follow instructions. That 100% is not in any way a reality that diminishes the responsibility of his assailant.

Prior Responsibilities

The same principle applies to actions of the victim prior to the stabbing. Lets say he got stabbed because he disobeyed his parents, stayed out after curfew, borrowed a friend’s car without asking, and was on the wrong side of town at 2 in the morning. The stabber should still go to jail. Can we all agree that he is vile? He remains 100% responsible for his dangerous criminality. But the dunder-headed victim remains 100% responsible for doing the things he should not have done.

But in saying this, I do NOT mean that the 100% responsibility for each is the same size. These are percentages of something, not fixed weights and measures. The criminal is 100% responsible for his 100 lbs. of crime while the victim is 100% responsible for his 2 lbs of stupidity. To change the metaphor, the bad guy is 100% responsible for 10 yards of vile, and the dummy is responsible for 2 inches of conceit. But they are both responsible, 100%, for their own sin and/or folly.

In other words, we are not flattening anything out. We are not creating a moral equivalence between the two. This is simply the precondition for understanding the biblical notion of personal responsibility.

Let me take an illustration I got from my father. Say you break up a fight between a couple of boys on a playground. You separate them and say something like this. “Boys, let’s do it this way. I want each of you to tell me what you did wrong, and when you each tell me what you did wrong, then I will know the whole story, right? Right. Now, what happened? Instantly, the fingers are pointed at the other person.

If we are sinfully tangled up in a situation where more than one person has sinned, we regularly have the worst time confessing our own sin, and simply stopping there. “The woman you gave me . . .” (Gen. 2:12). What Adam was saying was true. God did give him the woman, and the woman did give him the fruit. What Adam was saying was true, and completely and entirely beside the point. God was asking Adam about Adam.

You can can confess the sins of someone else all day long, and your joy is not going to return.

The Set Up

Now before reading any further, you the reader have to agree to remember all the qualifications I have made above. I made all those qualifications for a reason. Do we have an agreement? Shake on it?

Taking one thing with another, over the years I have seen many instances of men doing awful things to their wives and daughters. And when I say “awful,” I mean awful. Their abusive treatment has ranged from wicked to blindingly stupid. Not only do I not excuse it or explain it away, I rejoice in the liberty that I still have in such instances to call sin sin. When a man mistreats a woman, the current climate still allows a pastor to confront him, and to deal with it thoroughly. Even though the world gets conviction of sin all wrong, this climate does mean that the simple message of repent and believe is one that can still be delivered to men. The men usually expect it, which is good, because they deserve it.

But that is not the case anymore with women. Any counselor who actually tries to address feminine shortcomings in a dysfunctional relationship is a brave counselor. One of the things that happens is that any such an attempted address is immediately construed as “taking the side” of the abuser. And to anticipate an objection here, this is not a function of the counselor being male — my wife has seen the same reaction that I have, and sometimes more quickly.

Now I know that some women have done awful things to men also, and I take it as a given that this can and does happen. I do not assume that the man must be the worst offender. But in the counseling I have done over the years, the thing that usually wrecks the woman’s joy is not the fact that her sin is equivalent to the man’s, or greater than the man’s, or less than the man’s, but rather the fact that her sin is untouchable. We are dealing with a culture-wide insistence that women not be held responsible for what they do. This assumption has crept into the church, even into the conservative wing of the church, and has now been weaponized.

About the only time you can address the “different temptations” of men and women in relationship is when it is a seminar where all the relationships represented are basically healthy, and nothing has been weaponized yet. But if the sins have been grievous, and the marriage is on the rocks, this is very hard to communicate.

This really is a tragedy, and it is one that keeps many women miserable. They are miserable because the current climate doesn’t want gospel to be brought to them, and gospel means repent and believe. The spirit of the age doesn’t want gospel brought to women because the spirit of the age hates women — it hates their glory, it hates their fruitfulness, it hates their beauty, and it hates their joy in motherhood. It hates the fact that it was the seed of the woman that crushed the serpent’s head.

In the name of liberating women, the world has sought to make sure that none of them can be treated as Christian women, that is, as heirs of a freely offered and constant joy.

Basic Christian Moral Thinking

In Sense and Sensibility, after Marianne has come into her wisdom, Elinor, speaking of Willoughby, asks her this:

“Do you compare your conduct with his?”

“No. I compare it with what it ought to have been; I compare it with yours.”

If we arbitrarily turned such a thing into a sin contest, Willoughby would have won it, walking away. That really does go without saying. But the basic moral reasoning of moral agents should not compare Willoughby to Marianne, but rather the foolish Marianne to the Marianne who was called to be wise. Literary critics may compare one character to another if they wish, but the characters really shouldn’t. Such comparisons do nothing but retard growth in sanctification. If these new methods of ours were in place back then, Marianne would have been in counseling for the next 35 years.

If all of this seems too harsh, and not eager enough to indulge the temptations that victims do in fact encounter, then I suggest that the person who feels this way should abandon Christian counseling entirely. Find someone who will take a fee, like an attorney, call her a client, like an attorney, and who will therefore feel the pressure to never tell her anything she doesn’t want to hear.

210
Leave a Reply

avatar
 
29 Comment threads
181 Thread replies
0 Followers
 
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
35 Comment authors
Doug WrightOKRicketyDual SportJohnMME Recent comment authors

  Subscribe  
newest oldest most voted
Notify of
PerfectHold
Guest
PerfectHold

“What Adam was saying was true, and completely and entirely beside the point.”

Unless …

What if you read it as a pure confession, and noticed that God acknowledges and accepts it as such.
“The woman You in your Wisdom gave to me, brought me a situation I failed in, in sinful mind, I ate.

— Just the reverse of the future Adam Who, with holy mind, would eat the sin given Him from His bride.”

Imagine counseling this Adam, who confesses — “I am 100% guilty” — “I was given this woman and this fruit, and failed”

insanitybytes22
Member

“I am 100% guilty” — “I was given this woman and this fruit, and failed”

Would that not be the most awesome thing ever? Isn’t that what Christ did for us all? I suspect the men who are willing to provide such cover for their wives rarely fail.

PerfectHold
Guest
PerfectHold

Or, suspect that men like Adam who confess the way Adam did get offerred what Adam was then offerred.

OKRickety
Member

Christ did not fail to lead correctly, and so He did not cause the sins of mankind! Instead, He was willing to be the sacrifice for those sins to make salvation possible for those who accept Him as their Savior. Every person is responsible for every one of their own sins.

Susan Gail
Guest
Susan Gail

No, it isn’t

Jane
Member

To the extent that it is, it is in the sense of remitting the eternal punishment, not in order to remove all consequences and enable us not to deal with the sin. Jesus takes our sin and then calls us to own the fact that it’s our sin that He took, and we need to repent of it and fight it.

Consistorian
Guest

Certainly possible, but still entirely beside the point. All Adam had to say was, ‘Yes’. Or, ‘Yes I ate the fruit you commanded me not to eat.’

For my part, I still think that the fact that he brings up the woman’s actions and ultimately even God’s actions, when a simple ‘yes’ would have sufficiently answered the question shows there may be something going on besides getting to the answer. It seems to many of us that it was a kind of blame shifting. It’s not surprising to us to see this patterned repeated in our own lives as well.

PerfectHold
Guest
PerfectHold

And you hold that like obfuscations in Scripture are similarly elsewhere ignored without response by God?

And do read Eve’s confession as similarly flawed?

Consistorian
Guest

A1) Not sure. Would have to look at the scenario.
A2) Yes.

Couple observations:

It is one thing to be caught red handed, like Adam and Eve. It’s another thing to not know you’ve been caught, like Cain and David.

When confronted when the evidence is still in question, Cain obfuscates and David repents.

I’m having a hard time coming up with other scenarios where the guilty respond to God. What were you thinking of specifically?

PerfectHold
Guest
PerfectHold

If Adam were blame-shifting (“she told me to” so she’s kinda more guilty than me) — why does God acknowledge that his acquiescence is a focal point of His remedy: “Because you listened to her …”

Rather, he confessed taking her guilt on himself, willingly — but in sad echo of Christ’s doing it in purity.

God finds in Adam no blame-shifting.
Else He would have blasted Adam for it.

Neither did God find any blame-shifting from Eve.
Her beguilement is acknowledged and agreed to elsewhere in the book.
And the truth of her statement becomes the wave that He uses to crash over Satan.

Doug Wright
Guest
Doug Wright

Adam was the ‘ultimate’ husband; he sacrificed literally everything for his wife.

insanitybytes22
Member

I don’t believe that. To this day Adam’s decendents continue to speak of the alleged curse of Eve, completely missing the fact that God cursed the serpent and the ground, not Eve. Or else casting themselves in the role of the great sacrificer, who gave up his rightful place in the garden to be with the sinful Eve. The fact that we still see this behavior in many men today leads me to conclude that it was likely a trait of Adam too.

Doug Wright
Guest
Doug Wright

great ‘sacrificer’ who sacrificed his soul and of all his progeny. Then he said to the woman, “I will sharpen the pain of your pregnancy,
and in pain you will give birth. And you will desire to control your
husband, but he will rule over you.” …that aint a blessing.

JP Stewart
Member

“And you will desire to control your husband”

As much of that as we now see, including within the church, I’m sure the Mohlers or Moores can deconstruct that text as well, denying the plain meaning and somehow blaming men.

Doug Wright
Guest
Doug Wright

love to laugh? get a feather…..

PerfectHold
Guest
PerfectHold

Also see again that Adam had been given more than one question to answer.

Rob Steele
Guest
Rob Steele

A & E both shifted blame as best they could, being noobs and all. But only because their initial strategy of hiding failed.

PerfectHold
Guest
PerfectHold

God did not blame them for hiding.
Their hiding in shame was entirely appropriate — even a sign that grace was already given.
Oh that we would do the same, being not noobs and all.

Rob Steele
Guest
Rob Steele

He didn’t let them stay hidden but forced the confrontation. That was gracious. The shame that led to the hiding was a gracious gift too I guess. I agree it beats shamelessness. It falls far short of faith and repentance though maybe it’s necessary for them.

bethyada
Member

But the Lord God called to the man, “Where are you?” He answered, “I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid.” And he said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?” The man said, “The woman you put here with me—she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it.” Then the Lord God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?” The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.” So… Read more »

PerfectHold
Guest
PerfectHold

Isn’t the concept of brute facts, and of presentation of brute facts whether in Scripture or even in nature, of Enlightenment / Descartian flavor? (implicitly denying the Holy Spirit’s on-going activity in keeping everything as we know them) Hasn’t Scripture itself been a point of teaching that shows varying depths of meaning present in deceptively simple “brute” like presentations? (Let there be Light = photons and maybe we can learn a bit later you can also see in that Jesus / God Himself) (that woman Eve eating a simple fruit turns out to also = the bride of Christ). Wouldn’t… Read more »

Bro. Steve
Guest
Bro. Steve

How many movies have you seen in the past few years where the denouement features a man having to confess (usually tearfully) all his vile misdeeds to a woman or little girl?

PerfectHold
Guest
PerfectHold

How many sermons have you heard from some pastoral types bragging about the numbers of times they get folks crawling to the office for counseling?

But does he spend any time amongst the sheep, visiting them, forestalling such needs?

Ben
Guest
Ben

I’ve never heard this. How about you?

PerfectHold
Guest
PerfectHold

The more common species “Preacherous Congregaries” comes out of his office lair every seventh day or so, mostly to display plumage.
Perching at pulpit, he often takes the opportunity to squawk to the flock around him about how “in touch” he is with their condition — and so tells them of the esteem in which he’s held — as demonstrated by those streaming to his office to be touched by his healing wisdom.

Jane
Member

Like I keep telling you, you need a better sample. You keep saying that all these things are “common” or “majority” that I’ve never experienced. I don’t doubt they happen and with more frequency than they ought.

PerfectHold
Guest
PerfectHold

“I’ve never experienced” — praise the Lord!
You don’t know of the multitudes that someone talked of that were like sheep without a shepherd — though gobs of self-identified leaders surrounded them.

Ben
Guest
Ben

*Scratches head*

Jane
Member

As I said, I know it happens.

I think your perception of incidence is skewed.

PerfectHold
Guest
PerfectHold

The folks in your church get visited regularly by your pastor?

Jane
Member

Do you drive a red car? That question has about as much relevance to what I’m referring to as yours. Did I claim pastors are perfect? No. But you need to work on your respect for the elders of the church: claiming the *majority* of pastors are chiefly interested in displaying plumage and boasting in how people come crawling to them is slander, since it’s objectively false. If you’ve had really bad experiences with a really bad sample, you have some excuse, but it’s still a false statement. On the visitation thing: my pastor doesn’t do formal visits much. I… Read more »

PerfectHold
Guest
PerfectHold

Your loyalty is vibrant. All those “pastors” who (how do you put it?) don’t “do” regular visits (even where it’s a small church!!) should have you at their back.

So I’m hearing you agree that you also don’t know of many (any?!) church flocks where the shepherds spend any real time getting familiar with the nitty-gritty of their lambikins.

As far as disrespect for the elders, at least I didn’t go so far as to call them a brood of vipers or whitewashed tombs, though unfortunately scads of them are just that.

OKRickety
Member

My experience: In 20 years I never had the pastor visit us, and only 2 times an elder (once to encourage pledging to give to a building campaign, and once at my request). Don’t have any reason to think we were unusual. For that matter, most of the time it was difficult to get an appointment to see the minister in his office.

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

There are too many Catholics in a parish for the priest to be able to make routine visits. But once I had the choir party at my place, and the priest came too. I had missed the annual Blessing of the Animals, so I asked Father if he would bless my dear (now departed) Siamese cat. The second a drop of holy water landed on Felicity’s nose, she began hissing and growling like something out of The Exorcist. The people who watched aghast thought that her little feline head would start spinning at any moment. Perhaps that is why the… Read more »

PerfectHold
Guest
PerfectHold

Too many sheep for the shepherd to properly handle?
What to do!

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

I think my parish has maybe 5,000 families. There are parish council members who make visits, and there are trained lay people. I think it is actually a good thing that Catholics have learned to depend less on the priest and more on one another.

PerfectHold
Guest
PerfectHold

Not just a “good” thing — an awesome and godly & biblical thing!

And I bet you’ve done your own share of “unofficial” sheep doctoring, haven’t you jillybean?!

PerfectHold
Guest
PerfectHold

To be fair, many of these dudes are specifically trained to NOT engage to personally or closely with the sheep — too messy — muddies the power of their teaching — incites jealousies, etc.

Moreover, they go into it & are taught to be preachers, really (speech givers) — not care-facilitators.
This is a mindset holdover from the Enlightenment — where rationality is king.

Jane
Member

I agree, but the visitation thing is a red herring here. My objection isn’t to the criticism of lack of visitation; it’s to the false and wicked claim that “most” pastors are only interested in displaying their plumage. Whatever their failures in visitation are, and that’s significant, that’s still an unwarranted and biblically forbidden (unless he’s actually prepared to give evidence and charges against specific men) statement.

OKRickety
Member

Visitation is possibly related to the claim of strutting about, at least if they really are being egotistical rather than taking care of the flock. I don’t think many intentionally do it, but I wonder if there are too many who do it unknowingly. I also suspect that there is an 80/20 rule for pastors, where 80% of their time is taken up by 20% of the people (and mostly the same 20%). I hadn’t thought about it much recently, but the last time I really should have been contacted by a pastor (an extreme marital crisis that they were… Read more »

Ben
Guest
Ben

Never heard this in my life. Not even close. Examples?

PerfectHold
Guest
PerfectHold

Never heard Jesus complain about all those shepherds tending their own egos and pockets only?

PerfectHold
Guest
PerfectHold

Your pastor visits often though — which is the exception.

Ben
Guest
Ben

I’ve discussed previously my theory that a “Fight Club” moment will occur with the men in our society, and I think there will be a particular manifestation of it within our reformed conservative wing of Christianity. I don’t suggest any violence will take place, not even close, but I do expect a significant push back, mostly from the YRR’s, against the simp-ish insistence by the conservative Christian pundit class (eg. TGC) on treating women with kid gloves. I do expect a contingent of younger “red pill Christians” who are willing to openly discuss male and female nature in ways that… Read more »

Prefiero Figurados
Guest
Prefiero Figurados

Make no mistake, there most certainly is a Christian MGTOW movement, the reasons for which are substantially identical to the reasons for the same movement in the world. The young women of Generation Snowflake and Generation Entitlement are just that. Until a year and a half ago, I was a single Christian guy in the Christian singles scene for over 15 years (including a stint in singles ministry), and virtually everything that I saw in the MGTOW world applied in Christian circles, too. I’d lost track of how many 5’3″-ish 200+ lb. women (either on Christian sites or professing Christians… Read more »

PerfectHold
Guest
PerfectHold

Please — go on some more.
Most entertaining (sad to say) — but your writing is fun.

Ben
Guest
Ben

This is just my opinion, but I think what you’re describing comes from the nominal or cultural wing of Christianity, not the true conservative, reformed wing that I as well as Doug represent. I’m dealing with the true Christian community. There are several examples of writings from the conservative reformed Christian punditry that promote this male deprecation and female exaltation that I’m speaking of: 1) There were several articles by the Christian Intelligentsia advocating that women who have abortions should receive no legal punishment. (Joe Carter, Russell Moore, Al Mohler). 2) Jen Wilkin wrote an article in TGC about how… Read more »

JP Stewart
Member

And don’t forget Mohler saying married men must earn their sexual privileges, almost like teenagers earning the right to go out on Friday night after exceptional behavior all week.

Ben
Guest
Ben

Yeah, I’d forgotten about that.

Prefiero Figurados
Guest
Prefiero Figurados

Yup. Too many men are married to their mother. They grow up knowing “If I’m a good boy maybe I’ll get a cookie” then spend their marriage leaning “if I’m a good wifeyhubby maybe I’ll get some nookie.” The same wives are stunned and appalled at the seemingly inconceivable reality that her sweet boyhubby turned to easy Internet porn. You know, because 1 Cor. 7:2-5 is always about *other* people’s marriage, natch.

JP Stewart
Member

Yeah, I heard a sermon not long ago on men and porn. The parts about resisting/fleeing porn were pretty good, but the husband/wife stuff was really skewed. It was basically (1) men are dogs (his words) (2) women are angels (not his words, but implied) (3) Men need to work really hard to earn their conjugal rights (quoting Mohler heavily and totally ignoring I Cor. 7).

Outside a very mild admonition about modesty, he said nothing to women. Apparently there’s zero connection between “involuntary celibacy” marriages and porn. Those men just ain’t workin’ hard enough to earn their privileges!

Doug Wright
Guest
Doug Wright

A reipe for calamity.

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

Hi mkt, I don’t read Mohler. Does he actually say this, or is he saying that a woman who feels rested and relaxed is more likely to be receptive to her husband’s overtures? I see a real difference between the two. I believe that, barring unusual circumstances, husbands and wives are required to be available to each other. Nobody should have to earn sexual access. But I think there are genuine sexual differences, other than the obvious, between men and women. I think that many men want sex more often than their wives do, and I think that fatigue does… Read more »

JP Stewart
Member

Yes, he’s talked about husbands needing to earn access to the marriage bed.

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

I think that is inappropriate. Spouses “earn” it when they exchange vows. But I think it is bit creepy to think of sex in those terms. It is interesting that this is really nothing new. In the Victorian era, men were taught even by medical authorities that decent women do not enjoy sex. Part of the whole emphasis on the Angel in the House dealt with the woman’s purity, and how she consents to activity she finds unpleasant because Men Have Needs and because she yearns for motherhood. Men were told to be considerate of their wives’ natural reluctance and… Read more »

bethyada
Member

There is a difference between telling a man to treat his wife such that she wants to have sex with him and telling a woman that the man has to earn his conjugal rights.

Though I suspect that in the West women need to be told to be more willing with their husbands.

OKRickety
Member

Mohler, in The Seduction of Pornography and the Integrity of Christian Marriage, Part Two, says “Consider the fact that a woman has every right to expect that her husband will earn access to the marriage bed.”

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

If you put it the other way around, it becomes apparent what a ridiculous statement that is.

“Consider the fact that a man has every right to expect that his wife will earn hugs and kisses and not just ask for them.”

“If a wife wants her husband to remove a large and hairy-legged spider from the bathroom, she must expect to have to earn that service.”

What kind of marriage can survive such a ledger book mentality?

TabSpangler77
Guest
TabSpangler77

Choreplay! It doesn’t get women in the mood like you think it is supposed to. In an age of washing machines and dishwashers, most women wear themselves out daily with trivial things and don’t think they need to save anything for their husbands.

Doug Wright
Guest
Doug Wright

your right; all those ‘christian’ singles profiles are the sme(except for the green card scammers) they ‘love to laugh’ they want to travel and blah blah. Read; rich enough to travel and frivolity reigns.

Prefiero Figurados
Guest
Prefiero Figurados

“Love to laugh” OMG, don’t remind me! Every. Single. Profile.

In the midst of this the church does *nothing* to help singles navigate the mess, except when the church does try to help it does more harm than good; often by reenforcing the stereotypes and double standards already discussed here.

And travel. Ugh. Yes. Cash strapped, behind on rent and car maintenance, living with roommate and maxed-out credit cards but still does Vegas with her girlfriends twice a year along with other travel. Ask them about financial discipline and you’d think you’d just asked a Muslim how he’s enjoying pork sandwich.

Doug Wright
Guest
Doug Wright

right ’bout church; St. Valentine would weep.

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

Are these irresponsible, Vegas-loving women the ones you are meeting in church and in Christian circles? I’ve read through your posts today, and it makes me wonder. Could it be that if most of the young women you are meeting are deceitful, needy, and entitled, you are fishing in the wrong ponds?

adad0
Member

Could be Jilly. On the other hand, it could be that Church ain’t what it used to be! (for both genders!)

Ben
Guest
Ben

Yeah, you’d think that the church helping out singles, especially young emasculated single men, would be a high priority, what with marriage leading to procreation and all.

insanitybytes22
Member

What woman in her right mind would ever allow herself to go near a red pill or mgtow counselor?

A bit funny, but if you want to talk about female responsibility, what sad and pathetic brokenness within a woman would ever lead her to assign authority to men so wounded and full of hatred towards her?

Ben
Guest
Ben

I’m not making a value judgment about those movements, I’m simply stating that such things may come about. I’d rather they not.

Andrew Lohr
Member

What’s “MGTOW”?

Andrew Lohr
Member

Web: “Men going their own way”

adad0
Member

One perception problem here, is that crime, which is a type of sin, is presented as innocent or guilty. AKA, 100% or 0%.

When people feel that a sin has been committed against them, treating any sin as a crime is attractive, and when the sin is conflated with “crime” “guilty or innocent ” becomes an expectation.

Recent false charges of “plagiarism ” are a good example of this dynamic!

insanitybytes22
Member

That’s a really good point, A-dad. Forgotten in the discussion however is that “crime” denotes justice which in turn leads to taking responsibility. We’ve got a whole lot of people in the world that seem to believe sin is just, “oops, I backed over you with the car, I guess YOU have an issue with unforgivness now.” And rather unbelievably, that line of bovine poo seems to work well in the world.

sean carlson
Guest
sean carlson

How clear-sighted! Thank you.

Shea Schrepf
Guest
Shea Schrepf

Thanks for writing this. I have also been guilty of the blameless women thinking. Never thought of this non-zero sum idea. Great article.

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

I largely agree with this, although I think the problem can sometimes be lessened a little when the counselor is careful to avoid the appearance of splitting the guilt equally. That doesn’t mean that the injured party does not need self-examination and repentance, as well as guidance in how not to let the injury consume him or her. But it ought to mean not assigning a false equivalence. If the offense is years of deception and adultery, it is not helpful to ask the injured spouse “But did you keep a tidy house?” or “But did you tell her that… Read more »

katie
Guest
katie

Yes. The opportunity to confess is a balm and blessing, though painful. How did the church lose this concept? The pain of childbirth is not a sign that something is wrong, but that it is just right (sans complications). The pain of having knots worked out of muscle hurts so good, because you know it’s the only thing that will get you moving again. We avoid the pain of repentance to our own loss of joy.

And speaking of Austen, I want to know what all the usual suspects around here thought of Love and Friendship.

Rob Steele
Guest
Rob Steele

Liked L&F mainly for how it smuggles some Christianity past liberal defenses. The audience was so old though. Felt like a Garrison Keillor show.

katie
Guest
katie

There are worse crowds than old people who like Jane Austen.

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

We are quiet and inoffensive in our ways, although inclined to poke people accidentally with our parasols. Our speech relies heavily on subordinate clauses and iambic rhythm, leading some to suspect us–falsely–of insincerity. We are good with cats and small children, and can always be relied on to have mints and clean handkerchiefs in our handbags.

We are a tolerant bunch as long as people keep it indoors and don’t frighten the horses.

Ian Miller
Member

I fit most of those descriptions, except replace “parasol” with “any stick I happen to be holding” (because I like swords), and “tolerant,” (since I am not very :)

Ian Miller
Member

Well, I’m 29, though I have a few nice white hairs on my head. I don’t think of myself as that old (even though I am from Minnesota, and fit the description of audience for a Garrison Keillor show ;)

Rob Steele
Guest
Rob Steele

I am one myself but I expected hipsters.

valerieab
Member

Hasn’t shown yet in Moscow. I’ve put in a plea with the local indie theater! Have you seen it yet?

Jane
Member

I don’t think it’s been here, either.

katie
Guest
katie

I have! I thought it was delightful. Less romance and more caper as one reviewer put it. Silly, witty, visually gorgeous, thoroughly Christian.

Ian Miller
Member

It was awesome – I saw it twice. There was indeed some solid theology, but also some really excellent humor and satire that many Austen films miss. And the acting was really sterling!

katie
Guest
katie

I’d like to see it again – Austen’s language is just intense! And the added silliness of Sir James Martin was gold – the 12 Commandments scene was a riot. As a side note, check out the absurd review in the New Yorker. They have no idea what to do with both Austen’s and Stillman’s Christian worldview. Lady Susan is made out to be the heroine!: “Love & Friendship” is, for Stillman, a story of a woman’s secret self-liberation in a society in which the burden of restrictions on women’s behavior is onerous.” If only Miss Austen could provide a… Read more »

Ian Miller
Member

It was – and it was really delightful how much of the language was in the film. Too many adaptations don’t trust Austen’s brilliant dialogue. Oh, man, the 12 Commandments makes me crack up even more than the peas. I don’t know why the New Yorker didn’t get Anthony Lane to do the review – he loves and mostly understands Austen, though he doesn’t always get the moral center of her work, so he might have made the same mistake (also, he might be retired now?) I think Stillman is making a comment on expectations for women, especially in the… Read more »

katie
Guest
katie

But Martin is an idiot, and everyone knows it. Explain some more how he voices Stillman’s commentary on expectations for women. I didn’t see that at all.

Ian Miller
Member

SPOILERS: You are right – James Martin is not supposed to be taken as the moral voice of the film – that would clearly be the Johnsons – but he advocates the double standard for women and men and adultery when he announces that Lady Susan is pregnant, and he is talking to Alicia, and he says something to the effect that when a man strays (commits adultery, speaking of the Manwarings) it’s biology, but a women couldn’t because it’s unthinkable. I think Stillman is pointing out the wrongheadedness of that belief through having it voiced by the foolish Sir… Read more »

Jane
Member

You don’t really mean the Johnsons as the moral voice? Not the Vernons?

If he makes the Johnsons the moral voice, it’s toast already.

Ian Miller
Member

Whoops, you’re right, it’s the Vernon’s. And De Courseys

katie
Guest
katie

Ah I see. You could be right. Martin thinking its “impossible” for a woman to commit adultery seemed to show more his laughable ignorance than a double standard, but I suppose that could be in there. He’s a hilarious character!

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

Kind of like when the British Victorians refused to criminalize lesbian sex because they did not believe such a thing could occur.

katie
Guest
katie

I’ll be honest, I have a hard time calling anything other than heterosexual intercourse “sex,” but I get your point.

JohnM
Guest
JohnM

Kind of what I was thinking. Except of course the hetero part is superfluous. ;)

Ian Miller
Member

It would be laughable ignorance alone, except that he also justifies men committing adultery as natural and not evil.

But he is indeed hilarious – the Church Hill joke was excellent.

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

“What men call gallantry, and the gods, adultery
Is much more common where the climate’s sultry.”

So said Lord Byron, and he ought to know.

katie
Guest
katie

I think we’re meant to laugh at that bit too! Silly people, thinking adultery isn’t wicked! Mr. Reviewer may see the adultery as “self-liberation,” but that’s just because he missed the joke.

Ian Miller
Member

Well, I side with Chesterton (I think it was him) who thinks that a joke is actually incredibly moral, because it sees the norm being contraverted and the laugh is our response to the absurdity. Mr. Reviewer seems to be one of those people who thinks Austen had no point of view (which is ridiculous, and only works if you ignore what she actually wrote instead of projecting your own moral nihilism on her).

insanitybytes22
Member

“But that is not the case anymore with women. Any counselor who actually
tries to address feminine shortcomings in a dysfunctional relationship
is a brave counselor.”

Do you know why? Because women crave justice, protection, and safety and we are living in a world that provides none of that anymore. If she has been victimized, all three have been stolen. You will never get a woman’s heart to soften without first providing safety and second promising justice, protection. So many men don’t get this.

I don’t think your metaphorical counselor is brave at all, I think he’s blind and his eyes are closed.

Jane
Member

What is stolen from the man when her sins are not addressed so he can have safety, justice, and protection?

insanitybytes22
Member

Men are not women at all and all things are not equal. So if a man is allegedly leading in marriage and he feels as if he needs emotional protection and safety from his own wife, than why should she even trust his leadership?

Christopher
Member

It’s not his wife he needs protection from.

insanitybytes22
Member

Dunsworth seems to believe it is. If the woman’s sins are not addressed, allegedly the man will never have “safety, justice and protection.”

Christopher
Member

If the womens sins are not adressed then the man comes under attack from the third party, immagine if instead of saying to eve  “I will make your pains in childbearing very severe;with painful labor you will give birth to children.Your desire will be for your husband,and he will rule over you.” God ignored her eating the fruit and further cursed Adam.

Jane
Member

I’m trying to understand — are you saying that a man is never in a position where justice requires addressing the harm done to him by his wife? If not, what am I misunderstanding about your position?

JohnM
Guest
JohnM

It is generally true that men don’t need protection from women in the same ways, and perhaps not as much, as women need protection from men, but the fact that a man might be in some way threatened by his wife indicates she already has no regard for his leadership. By the way, why do we put it that way – “leadership” or “leading” anyway? That ‘s not precisely the way scripture puts it, all this leadership talk just sounds like more terminology borrowed from the world, which does really help understand Biblical direction.

insanitybytes22
Member

Because Wilson is a fan of headship and complimentary marriage and submission…..but when we get into counseling suddenly all these ideas are forgotten and he begins to assign percentages of sin as if the privates and the generals are suddenly all on equal footing.
Not that I am criticizing Wilson, I get his point and I believe his intentions are honorable, it’s just a huge problem within the church and than people wonder why women rebel and flee the whole mess.

adad0
Member

Quick point Memi, I think Wilson is in line with the Word in that: 1 Corinthians 12 21 The eye cannot say to the hand, “I don’t need you!” And the head cannot say to the feet, “I don’t need you!” 22 On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, 23 and the parts that we think are less honorable we treat with special honor. And the parts that are unpresentable are treated with special modesty, 24 while our presentable parts need no special treatment. But God has put the body together, giving… Read more »

insanitybytes22
Member

“We are dealing with a culture-wide insistence that women not be held responsible for what they do. This assumption has crept into the church,even into the conservative wing of the church, and has now been
weaponized.”

Wilson has betrayed himself in this one paragraph and revealed that his motivation and intent have absolutely nothing to do with how “its parts should have equal concern for each other.”

It is Wilson that has weaponized against women and he does it in a way I find a particularly unpleasant, because He claims it is for our benefit.

adad0
Member

Memi, I am confident that our cordial relationship will survive our discussion here. However, while I can see how the quote you mention would sound overstated from another point of view, I have had a direct experience of this weaponized accusation idea from the “conservative wing of the church” with regard to me, as the father of a family with a special needs child. (autism) My experience is somewhat similar to the story of Gigi Jordan. (google her) She was the mother of an autistic boy, where she let her efforts to “cure” her son of autism, become the sole… Read more »

insanitybytes22
Member

I’m so sorry A-dad, for your struggles. We’ve had a similar situation with our son, but reversed, it was dad that couldn’t come to terms with what was happening. He blamed me, decided I was crazy, as did the doctors. Ten long years of hearing how either I was crazy or I had caused it. My husband has since accepted it, but he’s still mad at God. Before our son got sick, I tangled with our school system and wound up being locked in a room and interrogated for hours, refusing to say there was abuse in our home. My… Read more »

adad0
Member

“Encourage one another and build each other up.” Memi, I’ll talk to you more after work today, as we bear each other’s burdens here. Thanks for speaking so well of your husband and father as you do, even in your struggles. The mouth speaks what the heart is full of. Love in your case! At the end of the day we should remember that there is a deceiver and accuser loose in the world, who tries to trip us up. We should not trip, and loose our unity. As my son said once, at just the right time, in a… Read more »

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

To have gone through all that and kept your wonderful disposition and outlook is surely a testament to the grace of God.

adad0
Member

Thanks jilly! I do have to say that when you find yourself “participating in the sufferings of Christ”, it does take some getting used to. Then again, Jesus told us, “In this world, you will have trouble, but take heart, for I have overcome the world!”
Plus, I am not alone. I know a “Jill of beans” who seems to have endured her hardships with attractive grace. Memi and others as well!

JohnM
Guest
JohnM

Sounds to me like you are being too charitable when you describe that so-called conservative wing of a so-called church abuse ministry as merely “misguided”.

adad0
Member

I am justifiably angry, and some involved blind guides are being obstinate. However, I am after a “win” over darkness here, more than a “win” over the deceived.
I do hate evil, and I do cling to what is good, as the Word instructs. My hope is that this “prodigal” church and ministry will come back to the Lord. ( not me)
I hope God hands darkness another huge defeat, if and when God makes these blind guides see!

valerieab
Member

Huh? What are the motivation and intent that you read between these lines? And what has Pastor Wilson weaponized against women? Either you’re making some unfounded accusations or you’re misreading this paragraph. Either way, I can’t follow your reasoning.

JohnM
Guest
JohnM

Well, what I was getting at is that scripture is “a fan of headship” too and head is part of the way the Bible describes a husband’s relationship to his wife. Now the head is part of the body, and a husband and wife are to be understood in some sense as a body – one flesh. The head is the governing part of the body, so yes saying the husband is the head of the wife does indicate authority, and authority is to be respected. The term “leader” seems to me to apply more to an organization than to… Read more »

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

The fact that a man has a leadership role doesn’t mean that his wife can’t constantly lacerate his feelings, sometimes all the more effectively because he is not necessarily aware that this is happening. He just feels like a failure and that all the joy has been sucked out of life. Without saying anything openly critical a woman can deprive her husband, not necessarily of love, but of admiration and respect. Women don’t always see what they are doing as sinful.

Jane
Member

All things are not equal, but men still need justice, and sometimes safety and protection.

adad0
Member

Memi Let me help you out a bit on this one, Matthew 10 34 “Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. 35 For I have come to turn “‘a man against his father a daughter against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law— 36a man’s enemies will be the members of his own household.’[c] 37 “Anyone who loves their father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves their son or daughter more than me is not worthy of… Read more »

insanitybytes22
Member

A-dad, something that has always fascinated me, Christ never points fingers at women, He always asks them questions. Where is your husband? Where are your accusers? Who touches the hem of my garmet? We do not have a “safe” God, but if you study the relationship Jesus has with various women in the bible, He is all about providing safety, refuge, trust, especially to those women who have sinned a great deal. It is that safety, acceptance, protection that compels so many to follow Him. Christ gets to truth immediately, but observe how He never speaks the truth to any… Read more »

adad0
Member

Matthew 11 28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Memi, I think the above is what you are talking about. As usual, Jesus comes up with the complete thought! “you are weary and burdened” “I will give you rest.” “my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” I get that men, women… Read more »

OKRickety
Member

ME said: “So, literally thousands of women have been driven away from a marriage, away from the church, away from Christ Himself, because in the counseling/pastorial world suddenly all things become equal, and women are now handed none of the authority but all of the responsibility and blame.” While you “know for a fact” that the usual counseling paradigm has destroyed “men, women, and families”, please note that ME, both here and on her blog, seems to only be able to point out that women are impacted. Her explanation seems to be that men are to blame because they are… Read more »

adad0
Member

O’Rick, Please take a harder look at Memi’s blog.
Her post, about her father, I think will allow you a more balanced view of Memi. She loves men, she loves her father, she loves her husband, she loves her son. She sounds to me like she loves God.
She is not a “man blamer” and she knows women can be wrong.
I appreicate her perspective, even if I don’t have the same view.

https://insanitybytes2.wordpress.com/2014/06/15/i-am-my-fathers-daughter-2/

JP Stewart
Member

As OKR has shown, she most certainly is man-blamer. And if some male commenters here can be called mysogynists, then she’s certainly guilty of misandry.

The problem with her view is that everything can be blamed on poor male leadership. When women sin, it’s always a lack of “good” leadership, protection, safety, etc. And who gets to define “good”? The wives of course. It’s like Mohler’s men having to “earn” conjugal rights. Who determines their wages? Yes, the special snowflakes.

It’s a rigged game and when it’s exposed, some get very upset.

adad0
Member

“It’s a rigged game and when it’s exposed, some get very upset.”

I know that as well as anyone, especially when I exposed a church and seninary about this very problem, and was fradulenty sued by “christians” as a result. God alway brings Justice, in His own time.
Memi does understand both sides of this issue, as her dad has something similar happen to him.

OKRickety
Member

ME only seems to understand both sides of the issue when it’s convenient to her.

OKRickety
Member

I do believe that ME thinks she loves men, but I would not hold her up as an example of how love should be expressed. In the post you link, her father says: “Everything that happened between your mother an I, it was my fault. I take full responsibility.” Reading that post, it makes perfect sense that ME would think that all men should be just like her beloved father. From what I know of ME’s background, it is little wonder that she has some very strange ideas. Not surprisingly, I think that experience has greatly impacted her views on… Read more »

adad0
Member

Rick, I think Memi knows that her father is only 1/2 the problem re: her parents marriage. Memi might even concede that her father assumed all of the blame, in order for Memi to maintain a relationship with her mother. I do think Memi is a bit off in this instance, but at least she and I can have a functional conversation , which I appreciate .
I appreciate your comments as well. I look forward to talking more.????

OKRickety
Member

I find it difficult to have a functional conversation with ME, partially because she will not listen to anyone that she considers to be “red pill”. Since she has deemed me to be so, the ears are closed or the brain is shut down or she is off in some non-rational world. However, I’ve seen her do the same to non-red pill, so I don’t feel personally maligned.

OKRickety
Member

Read what Wilson wrote. “When a man mistreats a woman, the current climate still allows a pastor to confront him, and to deal with it thoroughly. Even though the world gets conviction of sin all wrong, this climate does mean that the simple message of repent and believe is one that can still be delivered to men. The men usually expect it, which is good, because they deserve it. But that is not the case anymore with women. Any counselor who actually tries to address feminine shortcomings in a dysfunctional relationship is a brave counselor.” In other words, it is… Read more »

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

I think that any tendency to exonerate women of wrongdoing always comes back to bite us. To whom does society give a free pass regarding moral conduct? Young children, the intellectually disabled, and the hopelessly mentally ill. I can’t imagine why any woman would rather be regarded in that light than to take responsibility for her moral decisions.

valerieab
Member

So, so, very, very good.

empathologism
Guest
empathologism

Splitting guilt equally, refusing to mediate tangible issues that actually do have a right or wrong answer that is easily described, failing to address cause, which is not blame, like reasons are not excuses. Ive seen women cease attending sessions because the counselor told them it was not productive when they are asked what they did wrong and they dissemble and obfuscate leading a clever counselor to see that they passive aggressively have laid the thing back on the man while “confessing” their own role. Its fresh to see Mr Wilson take this on openly. If only more, lots more…..would.

Jessica Daggett Rysak
Guest
Jessica Daggett Rysak

Thank you. I see this tendency across many of the Christian sites that I read – very little serious consideration of the sins of women. It mirrors popular culture and is doing sisters no favors.

bethyada
Member

This is really good. I personally like the % model, though I use it differently to you. Wilson analogy: One is 100% responsible for one’s own actions but the degree of badness varies. However when one can own some of his behaviour in a problem predominantly caused by another it can be helpful. When one takes at least some responsibility for one’s actions where a lot of the fallout is from another’s hand it is progress. I have found it helpful to acknowledge my part in a conflict it seems is caused by another. And then try and progress what… Read more »

bethyada
Member

One of the difficulties (relating to the “unfairness” of grace) is that the greater offender may be more aware of his sin and amenable to changing his ways than the person committing the lesser sin. So a difficult husband, or a blockhead, comes to realise the harm he has called and seeks to change. The wife can’t get over the hurt of the past and although her sins have been smaller she is completely unable to see them. So he goes forward in God while she becomes increasingly resentful and bitter, blaming all her problems on externals and never facing… Read more »

insanitybytes22
Member

“So a difficult husband, or a blockhead, comes to realise the harm he has called and seeks to change. The wife can’t get over the hurt of the past and although her sins have been smaller she is completely unable to see them.” Again this speaks to her need for safety, protection, and justice. Shame, even when it appears shy and withdrawn is still like the scar tissue that walls up around pride. Women are not men, women are often in a defensive stance, so if you wish to reach them, you have to provide the safety they need. You… Read more »

bethyada
Member

I said it matters how things are addressed in my earlier comment. This depends on how long you have been counseling and the severity of past issues. Even so, I think this is somewhat cultural. The prostitutes of Jesus day know they were sinners, even if they had abusive backgrounds. The West has become “Marxist” over the last many decades. By this I mean they see problems as external. It is the oppressive environment that causes our sin rather than our hearts that cause our sin. So while women may be variously mistreated, they are told there reactions are understandable,… Read more »

Doug Wright
Guest
Doug Wright

When I worked with assaultive children we knew one rule for sure; kids fight where it’s safe. When staff/’parents’ are around kids fight cuz they know there safe. Paternalizing pastoral roles is the ultimate dereliction and counterproduction. Anyone who goes for counceling through a pastor should know first the folly. Pastors have little professional training and are not mental health aware. Secondly, the moralistic malpractise is like mixing medicinally useful venom with the eatable snake meat/worst case scenario. Next know that most pastors consider themselves mandated reporters; that is they have to report suspected abuse; abuse that is defined by… Read more »

Doug Wright
Guest
Doug Wright

when will Christians do away with the multiplied ‘reasons’ for divorce for the one; Adultry: a wife with another man that bible and Christ define it? It is possible to be 0% responsible for disharmony and 100% for hiring an attorney/filing with a fiction court. (i guess that’d be without a word by tro and DA…?!)

Prefiero Figurados
Guest
Prefiero Figurados

Depending on the era and geographic area, women file 2/3rds to 3/4ths of divorces. Virtually EVERY church will welcome her, kids in tow, without question. Period. The guy, however, “always got lots’a splainin’ to do.”

Doug Wright
Guest
Doug Wright

Amen bro

David J.
Guest
David J.

Excellent point. I’ve said publicly and privately many times that I was at least 50% responsible for the problems in my marriage but my wife was 100% responsible for unilaterally filing for divorce (without biblical grounds) and refusing any and all efforts at reconciliation. As someone once said, “The only irreconcilable difference we had was that she wanted a divorce and I didn’t.” Having read Doug Wilson’s post, I should re-word my statement to be something like “I was 100% responsible for sins during the marriage that were at least as weighty, and arguably weightier, than hers. She was 100%… Read more »

adad0
Member

DJ, that sounds tough. Have you recovered?
Hope that you have!????

David J.
Guest
David J.

Recovered, no. Recovering, yes. It’s been right at 6 years since she filed, almost 5 years since the divorce was final. We had two kids in college and two (a girl and a boy) still in high school at the time. I lobbied for splitting time 50/50 with both kids, week on/week off, but before we could agree on anything she blew up her relationship with our son. So, he ended up with me 100% of the time and my daughter ended up with me 25% of the time during the school year and 50% during the summer. That only… Read more »

adad0
Member

DJ, Hang in there! As Jesus said: John 16:33 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” One thought that my help you and your children process your ex wife’s behavior. While I am still married, my wife was deceived by the sort of “ministry” Wilson is talking about in this post. Below is the link to a good exposing post about a charlatan “abuse expert” Lundy Bancroft, who is also the founder of his own cult, nature’s temple.… Read more »

Lance Roberts
Guest

Part of the problem is that we let them use the excuse of adultery. The one mention of that was for betrothal.

Doug Wright
Guest
Doug Wright

Yes, if some uncleaness was found in her; that is her virginity was broken/Lev. When the bill was given/ not to state but to husbands only-as they had a hard problem obeying God in stoning.

Ian Miller
Member

Beautifully put.

insanitybytes22
Member

“Can we all agree that he is vile? He remains 100% responsible for his dangerous criminality. But the dunder-headed victim remains 100% responsible for doing the things he should not have done.” This is very true, but here’s the part you’re not seeing. From the day women are born we are blamed for the behavior of men, “this woman you gave me.” The alleged sins of Eve, the way we lead men astray, the way we’re in the wrong place at the wrong time, the way we’re dressed too provocatively, the way we fail to keep the house clean enough,… Read more »

insanitybytes22
Member

“Now I know that some women have done awful things to men also, and I take it as a given that this can and does happen. I do not assume that the man must be the worst offender.” One last thing and I’ll shut up. Men are handed authority as fathers, husbands, pastors, heck simply as being biologically larger people. To not assume “the man must be the worst offender,” is to not hold him accountable for his own authority and to pretend as if all things are equal. It is to completely ignore the power differentuals and to blame… Read more »

bethyada
Member

And Doug takes this path (to a degree) on telling men to man up and to ask themselves, “How did my actions make my wife like this,” in his book For a Glory and a Covering.

David J.
Guest
David J.

ME, you’re not living in the real world. And, which is essentially the same thing, your theology of human sin and depravity is entirely unbiblical. Biological largeness is irrelevant to degrees of sinfulness — men and women are equally sinful. “Power differentials” are bogus in the context of marriage. As a Christian counselor once told me (accurately), “She who has the [vagina] has the power.” Every non-psychopathic husband knows this to be true, and almost all of them have been victimized by it to one degree or another (usually to an extensive degree). Every woman knows this to be true,… Read more »

OKRickety
Member

In the Old Testament, the relationship between God and the people of Israel is likened to a marriage. In the New Testament, the relationship of the husband and wife in marriage is compared to the relationship between Christ and the church. There is never a statement that God or Christ has failed to lead correctly, even when it is clearly stated that the Israelites or the church have failed to follow.

What is the scriptural basis for your implication that forgiveness of the wife’s sin is the result of the husband’s failure to lead?

Prefiero Figurados
Guest
Prefiero Figurados

Found it! Here’s my favorite quote from YRR pastor and white knight (look it up if you don’t know what I mean) and his book “Date Your Wife”. Men, take your blood pressure meds before reading… “Men are the problem. If you want to change a marriage, change the man. If you want to change your marriage, you must first see that you are the main problem in your marriage . . . You are what is wrong with your marriage. It’s your fault. This is the second most important truth to learn from this book: it’s your fault. You… Read more »

OKRickety
Member

Tim Challies, in his review of the book, Tim Challies says “There is no doubt in my mind that the Bible clearly directs a husband to lead his wife in marriage. However, I fail to see a direct connection with Genesis 2:15 and I fail to see that all that is wrong in marriage is the husband’s fault. That makes it all far too simple and suggests that a husband’s leadership makes him responsible for his sin and for his wife’s. But leadership does not require assuming all blame. I can think of many marriages where it has been the… Read more »

Lance Roberts
Guest

I don’t think that that is ME’s perspective, she seems to be trying to find the balance. Having said that I heartily agree with Wilson on this one.

JP Stewart
Member

That perspective is about as balanced as a tandem bicycle with a sumo wrestler (evil men!) on one seat and a ballerina (innocent women!) on the other.

OKRickety
Member

ME doesn’t state it directly, of course. Let’s look at two of her comments in this thread: 1. Wilson: “We are dealing with a culture-wide insistence that women not be held responsible for what they do. This assumption has crept into the church,even into the conservative wing of the church, and has now been weaponized.” ME’s response: Wilson has betrayed himself in this one paragraph and revealed that his motivation and intent have absolutely nothing to do with how “its parts should have equal concern for each other.” ME considers Wilson to have “betrayed himself”. I posit that she considers… Read more »

Lance Roberts
Guest

Yeh, we probably have a bigger disagreement since I think the truth is somewhere in the middle there. I do think leadership matters, not just in the family, but on every level. You can see that Israel tended to go the way of their kings. If you say that men’s leadership doesn’t have an effect on the spiritual lives of their families, then you’re saying that men aren’t the spiritual leaders of the home. I think men are called to lead, and that their leadership has meaning and is blessed by God. I also think women sin and need to… Read more »

OKRickety
Member

I don’t think I ever said that men’s leadership did not have an impact, whether in marriage, family, church, and society. If men fail to lead correctly, then they have failed to follow God’s design, and I believe that they will be judged more strictly (like teachers in the church [James 3:1]). However, I do not believe that they will be held responsible for the failures of others who would have been impacted by their leadership. If that were true, the corollary is that no one would ever sin when leadership is perfect. This cannot be true, as the logical… Read more »

Susan Gail
Guest
Susan Gail

There is a serious bias and a concomitant lack of balance in ME on this issue

BooneCtyBeek
Guest
BooneCtyBeek

Good advice from your dad. Similar to the advice from another dad to his son; every man’s case seems right until another examines him.

Andrew Lohr
Member

Off topic, or relevant after a twist, but we have two 100%ers running for President. OK, vox populi, Publican party or Pharisee party?

Jerome Bushnell
Guest
Jerome Bushnell

Lots of really good information in this, and very well balanced in its brutal honesty.

Sarah
Guest
Sarah

Thank you for this good article. I do think the “extra 100% for the responsibilities of covenant headship,” as you mentioned, is completely relevant to this conversation, especially since, in my experience, that is largely the reason wives consider their part “untouchable” – or at least conditionally so. Thanks again!

Ken Griffith
Guest
Ken Griffith

You nailed that one, Mr. Wilson.

Kelle Swanson
Guest
Kelle Swanson

This is really helpful, Mr. Wilson. Thank you very much.

Dual Sport
Guest
Dual Sport

Hi Doug, Thanks for bringing up this issue. You got part of it right. It did take guts to say it because few if any pastors [I actually believe there are no Pastors] have uttered it from their mouths like you just did. I will say that you did have to muster up the courage to say it by giving us 20 paragraphs of sugar coating first to say ‘this is going to hurt, so get ready.’ The hurt: women will not be corrected. So true … they are ”The Untouchables.” John MacArthur did touch on the same topic when… Read more »

insanitybytes22
Member

“Why is it that husbands have no established physical remedy to enforce they responsibility?…. The healing of the church starts with women, taking their rightful place.”

This comment really highlights everything I’ve been trying to say, and why I disagree with Wilson in this post. He who is under authority has authority, and he who isn’t doesn’t. So when we start talking about confronting female sin in an abusive situation without first addressing the need for emotional safety, we’ve failed. Epic fail. This isn’t headship and it isn’t Christ, it’s outright stupidity.

OKRickety
Member

“He who is under authority has authority, and he who isn’t doesn’t.” On the face of it, this makes absolutely no sense! Are you trying to state the truth that no human has authority unless God has given that person the authority? “So when we start talking about confronting female sin in an abusive situation without first addressing the need for emotional safety, we’ve failed. Epic fail. This isn’t headship and it isn’t Christ, it’s outright stupidity.” IB, you are absolutely making this assumption: That Wilson is advocating that the counselor address the woman’s sin before her “need for emotional… Read more »

insanitybytes22
Member

“Are you trying to state the truth that no human has authority unless God has given that person the authority?” Yes. And if someone believes they must physically discipline their wife in order to establish their authority, than it is not Godly authority they are under, it is their own insecurity that rules them. Also, I did not “lambast” Wilson, I said he ticked me off and I stated why. You said, “it wasn’t Wilson’s primary goal in the post.” Well, it should have been. He is clearly speaking of abuse and he is clearly speaking of pointing out women’s… Read more »

OKRickety
Member

(Note: I have read Dalrock’s post on this post by Wilson, and I think his understanding is ridiculously poor.) ‘You said, “it wasn’t Wilson’s primary goal in the post.” Well, it should have been. He is clearly speaking of abuse and he is clearly speaking of pointing out women’s sin.’ IB, your concern about the safety of the woman is appropriate. But Wilson’s primary point is that the woman’s sin should be addressed. However, he does not give any information on timing, However, either you are assuming this is being done shortly after the abuse has been reported, or you… Read more »

insanitybytes22
Member

Wilson says, “What we don’t have — since we are dealing with the interactions of two moral agents — is a zero sum game.” He also speaks of divvying it up. There is no “divving it up” in abuse cases. To create emotional safety you must first place the responsibility where it belongs. It really is a zero sum game. Consider Islamic terrorism. Do you feel safe about our country’s inability to just name it for what it is? Would you be willing to now sit down and discuss your 30% responsibility in causing terrorism? Isn’t it really our “other… Read more »

OKRickety
Member

‘Wilson says, “What we don’t have — since we are dealing with the interactions of two moral agents — is a zero sum game.” He also speaks of divvying it up.’ YOU REALLY DON’T GET WHAT HE IS SAYING. For whatever reason (and I strongly suspect it is related to the fact he uses an example with abuse), you are not understanding his point. In fact, I think you are grossly misreading at least one part of his post. I will attempt to explain what Wilson is actually saying. Yes, Wilson speaks of divvying it up. This is one point… Read more »

insanitybytes22
Member

You seem quite emotionally invested in this issue and you are yelling at me in all caps again? “In other words, when there is a problem in a marriage, each individual has 100% responsibility for their own failures, and 0% responsibility for the other’s failures.” I disagree. Symbiosis, remember? For example, when people sexually abuse children, victims often unwittingly act on what was done to them, sometimes turning to drugs, alcohol, promiscuity, self harm. That is a frequent result of abuse. When men abuse their wives, they create a negative response within a victim. When we do wrong to someone… Read more »

OKRickety
Member

“I disagree. Symbiosis, remember?” Studies have shown that children who grow up in homes where the husband abuses the wife have a great likelihood of having a home where the husband abuses the wife. Starting from there, let’s use your argument that abuse results in unwitting action. The husband grew up seeing this behavior, and he 100% unwittingly does the same to his wife. In other words, he couldn’t help it and he has 0% responsibility for abusing his wife. Who has the responsibility? Based on your argument, I suppose it would be his father. You were concerned before that… Read more »

insanitybytes22
Member

“So you are saying that if a wife sins against her husband by nagging him and constantly disrespecting him (emotionally abusing him), then she is responsible for his failures.” Yes exactly. That is how the idea of one flesh works. That is the symbiosis of marriage. What one does, impacts the other. If you pour abuse all over someone they are probably going to sin, even if it is just the sin of no longer seeing themselves as God does. Sin is contagious. And yes, men who abuse their wives have often learned it from their fathers. That is not… Read more »

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

I can’t agree with that, at least in terms of moral responsibility. Of course, two married people impact one another. But that kind of reasoning would have me be responsible for my husband’s chronic adultery, and I don’t buy that. That leads to self-justification along the lines of: “I hated coming home to a messy house, and my mistress’s house was always clean and inviting.” Or, if the roles were reversed, “I had an affair because my husband commented on my weight and I needed someone to make me feel sexy.” Or, “I went out and got drunk every night… Read more »

insanitybytes22
Member

This isn’t about fault and blame, Jilly. It’s simply a fact of life that as one flesh the sins of one are going to be blended together onto the other. When it comes to something like adultery, it destroys regardless of who’s fault it is. It doesn’t matter if one is blameless, they will still pay the price for a spouse’s behavior. You cannot be in a marriage as separate entities.

Dual Sport
Guest
Dual Sport

The problem with 99.99999% of church arguments is they start with our personal experience, our POV. There in lies the wrong turn. Christ said to seek Him [the Word] first and he will add to us all we need [matt 6:33]. And Rom 12:2 says be not conformed to the worlds way of thinking [but rather learn to think like God – a Spiritual being, like his WORD]. If we start at the word then there are no excuses for anyone’s behavior. It is simply NIKE: Just [shut up and] do it. Remember, those words are much softer than the… Read more »

OKRickety
Member

One question in this post is who holds responsibility for our sins. Going to the Bible, we find that we will each be responsible to God for our own sins. This includes both men and women. Wilson’s post states that this is easy to do today with men, but very difficult with women. In other words, even though the Bible clearly states both men and women have responsibility for their sins, there are some who seem to think they know better, at least when it comes to the women.

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

Once I succeed in ridding the world of the concept of emotional safety, I will move on to emotional abuse. In the aftermath of the breakdown of my marriage, I was persuaded, urged, practically coerced by lawyers and therapists to say that my husband emotionally abused me. When I asked what they meant by that, they asked if he ever raised his voice to me. Did he ever slam a door because he was angry? Did he ever tell me I had done something stupid? In a marriage lasting over two decades, what did they expect? I don’t call that… Read more »

JohnM
Guest
JohnM

“they said the rules are different because he is a man and what is acceptable from a woman can become abusive from a man.”

So push come to shove they’ll just come right out and say it. I guess we shouldn’t be surprised by egregious double standards coming from certain directions. I’m not awarding them, “at least they are honest about it” prizes either. You get lots of honesty points though Jilly.

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

I find the concept to be a contradiction in terms. I don’t actually believe there is such a thing as emotional safety. But, if there were, how could it survive being confronted about one’s sins? When we are forced to face our sins, especially when the confrontation goes against our will, don’t we necessarily feel unhappy, judged, and depressed about ourselves? And shouldn’t we feel all those things?

insanitybytes22
Member

There is a vast difference here, Jilly. One view holds women in contempt and condemnation while the other follows Christ and extends grace and mercy.

As you stated before, if women are not really created in God’s image, but more on the level of a cat or dog, not really possessing souls, than we are also denied access to Christ’s forgiveness and Salvation. This is not hyperbole, there are men who genuinely believe this, either in words or in deeds.

OKRickety
Member

I used the term because ME had chosen to use it. I believe she is referring to the idea of one having the emotional (psychological?) security (protection?) that allows you to be comfortable enough to trust that the people you are dealing with have your best interests at heart.

When we recognize our sins, it is appropriate to feel shame. That should be a motivation to confess, repent, and do right.

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

If you choose as a marriage partner a woman who has “a heart to keep the commandments of the Lord,” why on earth would you need physical remedies to enforce her compliance? But if, as you say, a woman has not been created in the image of God, wouldn’t she be on the same level as a dog or a cat? In which case, perhaps God would not require of her anything more than He requires of a household pet. And if she is never to notice that her husband might on occasion be wrong, it would be just as… Read more »

Dual Sport
Guest
Dual Sport

Consider what I suggest is the primary source of problems in marriage and marriage counseling which does relate to Doug’s conclusion:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C23uxjUZLHA
Derek Prince on Witchcraft [which I define as practicing rebellion] Look at about 12:00 – 15:25 although it’s all good. He is very clear.

insanitybytes22
Member

If you like Derek Prince, his teaching on “women in the church” gives a far better explanation.

https://youtu.be/dr3Wcf_U2Bk

Susan Gail
Guest
Susan Gail

Newsflash: women sin too. Thanks for the post Doug.