Wintery Knight

…integrating Christian faith and knowledge in the public square

How to communicate requirements to a Christian woman during courtship

Most of you know that what I do for a living is software engineering. I have dual degrees in computer science, and my Masters was focused on software design. So I always approach these relationship problems from an engineering perspective.

I think that at the beginning of any software development project, the most important thing to do is to talk to the customer and to decide what the software is supposed to do. The customer for the relationship is God. He is the one who will be deciding if the relationship is any good or not. My impression of God is that he has lots of requirements for marriage. First, each person in the marriage should have a relationship with Jesus. Second, each person in the relationship should treat one another in a special way. Third, the marriage itself should accomplish certain things in the world.

The requirement that each person have a relationship with Jesus prior to and during the marriage is important, because it is out of this relationship that the people first relate to each other, then to the children, then to their extended families, and then to the world.

I think that it’s the man’s job to take these goals from the customer (God) and to derive a set of requirements for the woman, so that he can communicate his understanding of these goals to her and the relationship can move along more efficiently and effectively. (Obviously these things apply in the reverse as well, but I am writing from the man’s point of view for this entire post, to emphasize the man’s role in leading the relationship)

Here are a few of my requirements just for illustration. Other men will have different requirements, depending on their plan.

  • understands how capitalism relates to marriage/parenting, e.g. – school choice
  • understands how men function as husbands and fathers
  • understands how marriages work and why they succeed or fail
  • can defend belief in Christian theism with arguments and evidence
  • can defend socially conservative positions on abortion and marriage, etc.
  • can answer objections to Christian theism like evil and religious pluralism
  • can stand her ground in the face of incoming criticism and disagreement
  • can shepherd the children through schools and on to graduate degrees

I think that in general, relationships are about the man measuring a woman for marriage/parenting requirements based on current performance and future potential. I think the worst thing for women is to not know where the relationship is going. It would help her if the man can communicate his requirements to her. If she is interested in the man, then she can show him what she can do now, and what she is interested in learning about so that she can build up her capabilities for later. The requirements are tailored to the man’s specific plan for the marriage.

For example, take the requirement to understand how fiscal conservatism enables liberty. Suppose you meet a woman who is a Christian, but has socialist views. You are concerned that she will vote to tax away the family’s money for wasteful government programs. Instead of just glossing over these problems and leading her on because she is pretty, you need to tell her right away where you think she is wrong. I like to give women something to read so that they can learn on their own, then come back and discuss it. That’s how you make progress.

And I think this helps to develop a way to resolve conflicts, too. If I disagree with her, then I give her something to read, and then I try to be extra nice and help her with other things to give her time to read. If she is feeling hurt from a previous bad experience, then I will have to address that, too. The goal is to build her up to be a solid wife and mother. If she is not willing to read anything to grow, then that is important for me to know right away. I think that a man needs to prefer a woman who is open-minded and interested in learning on her own and forming true beliefs about the world.

Now what does this buy the woman? Well, if you gloss over requirements, and only talk about surface things, (e.g. – her appearance), during the courtship, then she knows that there will come a time when you won’t like her any more, because beauty fades! What you are really saying to her when you talk about her appearance is that this is what is most important to you. But how can any woman be as pretty as she was in her youth as time passes? She can never feel safe if the standard is beauty. She knows that this relationship is unstable and has no future.

Instead, I try to give women control of the relationship by giving them a choice. I give her a few small things to do that are related to marriage and parenting. This would include apologetics, theology, economics, etc. What does that say to her? It says to her that she is in control of the relationship, and that I need her. All she has to do to keep me from leaving is to keep trying to learn about marriage and parenting, and to keep trying to work at marriage and parenting as well as she can. And stating those things up front attracts the right kind of woman anyway – the kind that wants to help.

What you are really doing in the courtship is communicating to her what really matters to you about her. If you hand her books to read about why divorce harms children, then she understands that you want children, but you don’t want a divorce. And she understands that you are going to exclude other women who don’t want children, and who do not understand what divorce does to children. That’s the kind of thing that indicates to her that you have a long-term relationship plan, so that she knows that you will still like her more than other women, even after her beauty fades.

I also found that it helps women to have a sense of security when she knows what the man considers to be a deal-breaker. I like to clearly set out for her what I do not want in a relationship. What I’m trying to do is avoid the situation where she cannot feel secure because she doesn’t know what makes her different and special. I like to tell her what it is that makes her different and special, with specific details. And I also want to build her confidence by building up her capabilities for marriage and parenting. So she knows that she is valuable and irreplaceable.

Related posts

Filed under: Mentoring, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

44 Responses

  1. wgbutler777 says:

    Interesting analysis, but why not just stay single for the rest of your life? Then you can focus all your energies on your career and Christian apologetics, maybe even become a missionary. Plus you don’t have to worry about the woman going off the deep end and filing for a divorce in 10 years.

    Paul says its the better way in I Corinthian 7:8

    “To the unmarried and the widows I say that it is good for them to remain single as I am. ”

    wgbutler

    • I agree with you completely. I mean I agree with you 100% – you could not have said it better.

      The one exception to this rule is if I meet someone such that I believe that we can do more for God as a team than as two singles. And I believe in my ability to calculate that, so long as I remain chaste during the courtship.

      • wgbutler777 says:

        WK,

        I don’t know. From reading your blog it seems to me that you’d probably be a good husband and a good father. You seem to have your priorities straight.

        There are plenty of good Christian women out there, and if you were careful about who you picked, prayed about it, and went to extensive pre-marital counseling you’d probably be all right. Having been on both sides of the fence, I’d say I prefer a good marriage to being single.

        On the other hand, if you greatly value your independence and are single minded in a certain aspect of your devotion to God, being single has its perks too.

        wgbutler777

        • I totally agree with you.

          I would like to see someone write me a guest post on pre-marital counseling. Both my friends who did it have excellent wives who support them in their learning and evangelism. No problems at all. But they won’t write anything up for me to share with my readers!

  2. Wes Widner says:

    As a fellow programmer I had to laugh when I read your title because I can tell it comes from dealing with software “requirements”. I’m thinking that just printing them out in a nice flow-chart in Visio would be a great start :-P

    On a more serious note I agree with your approach above and thank God every day that my wife is able to hold her own in any philosophical or political conversation. One of my proudest moments was watching her talk with a couple of young Mormon women about the deity of Christ and how their views squared with orthodox Christianity.

    Thanks for your articles on this subject, I’m trying to save them to teach them to my sons and daughter when they get older ;-)

    • Thanks for your comment. I am starting to mellow out a bit as I try these things out with more women. Sometimes when I write these things out they come across as pretty authoritarian, so I am happy to get some positive feedback.

      I think this is a big deal now that I am starting to realize from reading Dr. Morse how important it is for children to develop the precursors to morality by attaching to their mothers, and then from Dr. Spiegel how important it is for children to develop the precursors for belief in God by having a relationship with their fathers. So we need to encourage more than just philosophical arguments here. Family is important to preserving the Christian worldview.

      • Wes Widner says:

        After having the misfortune of watching many marriages fall apart I would have to argue the reverse in that a Christian worldview is important to the preservation of a (healthy) family.

        Now I’m sure there are some atheist friends of mine (and I’m sure some of yours as well) who would take exception to that claim, however I cannot see why, outside of mutual satisfaction, a couple would remain in a marital relationship if/when one or both parties cease to derive any “benefit” from the other.

        On the contrary, my wife and I came into our marriage almost backwards in that only after we had exhausted the hedonistic foundations of our initial relationship were we able to move (by the grace and help of God) into a vastly more substantive relationship based on nothing else than the love, grace, forgiveness, and healing (brother, there were scars, let me tell you) offered by Christ.

        I’m glad I have been able to encourage you. Your posts are rather harsh, but not in a bad way! As a father (and one who has strayed much in the past) I want to paint a clear picture of marriage for my children and encourage them to set very high standards for anyone they would think about dating (or courting rather).

        • Yes, I guess you are right. I think that what comes first is a worldview founded on fact that allows the mother and father to engage in behaviors for the benefit of their partner and the children when it seems that such self-sacrificial love goes against their own self-interest.

          The problem is that there are going to be times in the marriage where things are not “mutually satisfactory” and it’s then that a worldview that grounds forgiveness, self-sacrifice, and moral obligations becomes really important. It helps to have a role model in Jesus who makes forgiveness and self-sacrificial love the model.

          Yeah, my public posting is intentionally harsh and authoritarian to protect people from making bad decisions. BUT, if a person talks to me privately and is sorry for making a bad decision, then I am lamb. It’s that old standards-compassion thing. I want clear moral standards to protect people from doing wrong, and compassion after they’ve done wrong, as long as they are repentant and take responsibility.

  3. McSpinster says:

    Dear Wintery:

    This is one of your nicer, kinder articles about women and I wish you the best in finding that woman who will be your best earthly companion, your second self. If you ever want to see a great romantic movie about this theme, check out Masterpiece Theater’s Jane Eyre, about a governess from humble beginnings and impeccable character. The interesting part is the choice she makes between two men, both in love with her, one a preacher interested in being a missionary, the other a man of wealth with a mysterious past.

    And by the way, from a woman’s perspective, you have a lovely, earnest side that I imagine will be what the future Mrs. Wintery falls in love with, and not so much your penchant for logic and debate, as charming as it is.

    • I love Jane Eyre! What a great book! I’m a huge fan of the Bronte sisters as well as Jane Austen. Jane Austen is my favorite – you can get a TON of wisdom out of her books. Like drinking out of a fire hydrant.

      My favorite romantic movies are Cyrano de Bergerac and The Taming of the Shrew.

      Thanks for your kind words, MCS.

  4. What you are really saying to her when you talk about her appearance is that this is what is most important to you. But how can any woman be as pretty as she was in her youth as time passes?

    This is true, but ignores the fact that women can often think things that make men’s heads explode.

    What women want, generally, is for men to find them to be lovely. That’s different from attractive, sexy, or gorgeous – all of which fade. We want the men in our lives to feel some tenderness when looking at us.

    On the aging subject: I’ve heard some men say that, when they were 14, they thought that 14-year-old girls were the most beautiful creatures ever. When they were 18, 14-year-old girls looked too young. Likewise, when they are 50, they might admire a young woman for her looks, but are most attracted to women their own age.

    None of that involves ignoring the way that someone looks, but about appreciating the woman for who she is.

    I know that you tend to write from a man’s perspective, but I would just like to add something: if you find a lovely, Christian, socialist woman, please read what she wants you to read. Be open to it.

    Yes, the hard-core capitalist wrote that. :p What I’ve found is that a lot of people on the conservative side are more than capable of fending off the best arguments that the Leftists and the progressives can throw at them, but the latter cannot handle the arguments of the former. By reading her books and listening to her TV shows, you are not only showing reciprocity and respect, but you are helping to move her (and other people) away from liberalism.

    • Hey there, how are you? Long time no comment.

      You’re right as usual. My remarks are limited to the courting process, where I am encouraging men to make their goals for the relationship clear. I am sick and tired of reading books like “Unprotected” and “A Return to Modesty” and “The Politically Incorrect Guide to Women, Sex and Feminism” about all of these women getting hurt because they don’t hold men accountable to court them.

      Men:
      1) Make the goals of the relationship clear early on
      2) Pursue her by building up her skills, and letting her give you things to do for her to test your suitability
      3) Don’t get too physical without committing first, because you don’t want to hurt her and ruin her vertical relationship with God

      It’s very hard for me to be open-minded to ideas on the other side… it’s one of my flaws. I’m open to debates, but I have an aversion to reading anything where there is no adversary. I believe in the adversarial system to determine truth.

  5. Mara says:

    Wes Widner :”On the contrary, my wife and I came into our marriage almost backwards in that only after we had exhausted the hedonistic foundations of our initial relationship were we able to move (by the grace and help of God) into a vastly more substantive relationship based on nothing else than the love, grace, forgiveness, and healing (brother, there were scars, let me tell you) offered by Christ.

    I’m glad I have been able to encourage you. Your posts are rather harsh, but not in a bad way!”

    This is one of the best things I’ve seen on here from a man.

    Yes, Wintery, sometimes you come across as authoritarian and harsh. I think I’ve seen past that and into the good heart (I believe) you have. But still your approach may baffle and may even terrify the very woman you would want to attract.

    My work is in child advocacy. I’m well aware of the child’s need for mother and father. I like what was expressed above about the bonding between child and mother and the child and father.
    But I’m also aware of a sense of entitlement (many, not all) men tend to have in both the secular and Christian world. This sense of entitlement comes from a history of it being “a man’s world”, so to speak. And this sense of entitlement is damaging to the marriage.

    I hate to say it, but the reason some women find it easier to live alone than to live with the father of their child is because once the man comes home from work (in some, not all cases), he becomes like another child for her to take care of, only more demanding because he’s the ‘head’ of the household and can’t be ‘corrected’ by the wife when he oversteps what is reasonable. (whereas she can correct a toddler or an older child)

    So I do love what you said, Wes.
    Marriage needs to be founded on what you said.

    But so often it is founded on roles and expectations that when they are not met, the mate deems the marriage no longer suitable or useful to him/herself and either makes life miserable for the one no longer suitable or moves on looking for a more suitable mate that will better meet his/her needs.

    Jesus said that the reason Moses gave the Children of Israel the right to divorce was because of the hardness of their hearts.
    So it would stand to reason that a successful marriage would involve a tender heart which would include the things Wes mentioned.

    • Wes Widner says:

      “he becomes like another child for her to take care of”

      This is another area that I am very passionate about. I agree that, on the most part, men in the Church do act like giant babies. I see this all the time when I go to challenge a man and he breaks down in tears or bristles up about having his feelings hurt. In my opinion this is a direct result of the feminization of the Christiain church and while there are outside influences I am adamant about telling Christian men in particular to “suck it up, grow a set, and start doing what God made them to do”.

      My wife called off our marriage the first time because (and thankfully) I was completely unprepared and not even close to being the man she needed me to be (her words). She handed back the ring to me and it took another year or so before I even began to resemble that man (and to this that question drives me on to become a better man both for her as well as our kids).

      The fact that she had the courage to actually walk away rather than commit to something that was not being built on a solid foundation ensures me that she has the strength of character to oppose me in the future should I become less than perfect (sorry, I’ll have her read this later and that will provide endless fun).

      I’ve since then found that mutual love, respect, mercy and forgiveness are absolutely essential ingredients to a healthy marriage. Learning how to “fight fairly” is also an essential part (loved the quote from Dr. William Lane Craig’s wife on the subject).

      And finally, a dogged no-compromise position on not even remotely joking about the possibility of divorce helps ensure that we are both in it for the long haul.

  6. McSpinster says:

    Wow, I kind of liked everything Wes was saying until he got to the “feminization of the church” bit. So that’s the problem? Men acting like babies and crying is what women bring to the church? Don’t know what church you go to, Wes, but tenderness is a strength that women understand and men misread. Crying can be weakness and it can also be a sign of a transformation about to happen. I know many men who shed tears as the last step before they “grow a pair.” And that it isn’t until the tears flow that the men, I guess in your view, are tender enough to refashion themselves into the men they were meant to be.

    I’m not going to write an epistle here on the strengths of women, because spiritual strength is genderless. God’s attributes aren’t XX or XY. Consider “God is Love.” Read Corinthians. Jesus was compassionate. His love enabled him to forgive and to heal those other people considered beyond redemption.

    BTW, you have many churches now where you can bring a gun. Perhaps this is the “masculinization” of the church you are pining for?

    Sorry for the tone, but I am so sick of seeing men blame their faults in this blog on women. You know what it really manly, at least as far as women are concerned? For men to take responsibility for their own stuff. How about it?

    • Wes Widner says:

      I don’t believe I have blamed the failings of men on women here and if that is the impression I gave then I apologize.

      No, God is not engendered as we understand it, however something needs to be said for God’s choice to identify himself in the masculine sense and then to send his son in the form of a man. Even the Holy Spirit is portrayed in distinctly masculine terms.

      Yes, there is some strength in being able to come to grips with your emotional state. However there is nothing admirable about being captured by your emotions. This is something I’ve been teaching my daughter as of late because her natural response is to fall to pieces over every single minor thing. My response to her? “Suck it up honey.”

      That may sound cruel but I absolutely loathe the way most women today decide to try and manipulate men through an over-the-top display of emotion and tears, etc. Some are legitimate, however many/most are not. Rather, what I tell my daughter is to first calm down, stop crying and THEN we can work our way trough ha problem rationally. The last thing I want to give to any potential future husband of hers is a neurotic nut-job who lacks the strength required to truly support her husband (which is a Biblical mandate).

      The “feminization of the church” I referred to is a real problem among men (its ok to be feminized if you are a female, not if you are a male) because it prevents them from being what God created them to be. Namely warriors (afterall, God is a warrior Ex 15:3), and not docile sheep (http://bit.ly/azNxAr).

      • I agree with Wes, and I’ve written a whole post on the feminization of the church. It is the main driver behind men leaving the church, as well as the fall away from a focus on truth instead of emotions. No offense intended.

        Even the wives of my friends complain about the feminization of church. But then, they like apologetics, theology and propositional truth.

        • Mara says:

          I really don’t have time to be a part of this conversation. I could write an epistle but you all, esp. the men, will be relieved that I can’t at this time.

          So instead of trying to cut through this, I propose you all do an exercise involving a King James Bible and a Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance. (Other concordances may work. But I know Strong’s does.)

          Look up the word ‘virtuous’ as found in Proverbs 31 concerning a certain women most of us are familiar with and see what the original Hebrew word was and what it meant.
          Also look up the word valor or valiant (you know, as in David’s mighty men of valor) and see what Hebrew word you come up with.

          Wes. What you said in you 9:10 post about marriage in the second paragraph from the bottom was sooo awesome. And I almost missed it because what you said about the feminization of the church in the first paragraph.
          2 things. 1. I know this phrase didn’t originate with you. You adopted it from somewhere else and it seems right to you. 2. I know from reading the rest of your stuff that you don’t INTEND to insult or put women down. So I take what you say with that understanding and am trying to respond in respect rather than have a reaction.

          But basically what you say is something along the lines of this.

          Immature male=mature female
          which implies (or followed to it’s logical conclusion it means)
          Mature male > mature female.

          Instead of saying these men are feminized, just leave it at immature.
          Calling an immature male feminized is akin to football coaches calling their players “p*****s” during football practice to get them to “man up”.

          Just because it is a huge and acceptable part of our culture doesn’t mean it belongs in the church.

          I’m all for strong men.
          But I want them to really be strong from the inside out rather than to be shamed into a false front and forced to hide their insecurities.
          Because one sign of an insecure person is the need to put others down.
          And men who put women down to bolster their own position are no exception.

          I think instead of saying the church is feminized (thereby blaming women or at the very least pitting men against the feminine) it would be better to admit that the entire church, male and female, are immature.
          We ALL need to grow up.

          And from what I gather, you talking about what you admire in your wife and what you want to inspire in your daughter… women can grow a pair as well. And should!

          (Sorry for any bad images from that last paragraph. But it was my way of saying “grow a pair” doesn’t bother me if it means “grow up” or “suck it up”. But it kinda does when womanhood is used as a tool for shaming men into manhood.)

          (sorry. guess I wrote a bit of an epistle anyway.)

          • Wes Widner says:

            Maria, thanks for your response and encouragement. Let me see if I can clarify my formula a bit as my main intention is not at all to put down women but rather to call men to behave as men.

            When I (and I believe Wintry Knight would agree) say that “men in the church are feminized” it is not a derogatory statement concerning the women, but one which implicates the men of pretending to be “the weaker vessel” (1 Peter 3:7) rather than being the strong (physically, mentally, emotionally, etc.) that both the wife, their kids (if any), and the community needs.

            I think one thing for women to keep in mind when overhearing men interact with other men is that there is a whole different dynamic involved than the interaction between women and the interaction between women and men. When it comes to women interacting with women I differ to my wife, who also tells me that based on her own experience women are on the whole emotional beings. I have other personal sources and by no means do I think this state of affairs is a normative among all women.

            Additionally, we also find in Scripture itself several places where it is written “in that day the Egyptians will be like women” (Isaiah 19:16), “Behold, your troops are women in your midst” (Nahum 3:13), “A sword against her horses and against her chariots,
            and against all the foreign troops in her midst, that they may become women!” (Jeremiah 50:37), “The warriors of Babylon have ceased fighting; they remain in their strongholds; their strength has failed; they have become women; her dwellings are on fire; her bars are broken.” (Jeremiah 51:30)

            You see, the reason it is a bad thing that men act like women (that’s the charge of feminization btw, not that women are the cause of all of our ills) is because men have a responsibility to fight. This is why the fall of man was attributed to Adam and not Eve in the garden because Eve was not called to be the warrior, Adam was.

            Men are called to be warriors. When the enemy breaches the gates of a city or our own households we should be the ones standing our ground no matter what the odds are.

            Also, a curious thing I’ve noticed here is that the more I stand my ground and fight the more encouraged my wife is to do likewise. Yes, women can certainly grow a pair, I’ve seen it in my wife and I’ve seen it in the few but awesome women apologists like Mary Jo Sharp (http://confidentchristianity.blogspot.com/)

            On the contrary, though, if I become like an additional child to her then I am not only not doing my job, I have become a liability.

          • I think the character of the church needs to be oriented towards objective moral standards, propositional truth, logic and evidence. My concerns are that ideas like moral relativism, postmodern anti-realism and universalism are creeping into the church. I think if men in the church acted like men, and took the lead, then we would not have these problems. Compassion is good – it has its place – but not at the expense of truth, moral standards and sound, doctrine. (which necessarily excludes false doctrine)

          • McSpinster says:

            Yeah, but a lot of men are really lousy leaders.

          • I know. I know. The women have to encourage them and give them opportunities. I knew a woman once who would set me loose on her non-Christian friends with the order to attack.

            What we need are more women who look at men and say “Come back with your shield – or on it”. Women need to make space for men to protect them and defend the faith, and then recognize and approve of that behavior. It’s like government subsidies, you’ll get more of it when you subsidize it, (and less of it if you tax it).

          • McSpinster says:

            You lost me on this one. Are you saying that it was right for your friend to ask you to attack her non Christian friends?

          • 1 Pet 3:15, 2 Cor 10:3-5, Col 4:6, etc.

          • Wes Widner says:

            Unfortunately you are right. I would also add that many churches foster an enviroment wherein men (and women) are encouraged to be perpetually spiritually immature.

            Like Wintery Knight mentions, though, the only way that will change is to both expect men to step up and then to give them opportunities to do so.

            From personal expierience I can say that the times I grew the most were when the safty net was pulled out from under me and I was faced with the choice to either sink or swim.

            Going back to my wife and I’s engagement, when my wife handed back the ring to me my one question was whether her descision was final or whether it was possible for me to change and thus be worthy of the honor of her hand in marriage.

            After she let me know it was a conditional decision (though not a timeless conditional!) my next, and frankly harder decision, was whether or not I wanted to go through the transformations needed to make our relationship work.

            What it boiled down to was whether I loved her enough to fight down my own demons (with God’s gracious help of course) and become the man she needed me to be (and deserved).

            One of the real problems with the modern church is that we make it far too easy for men in particular to take the easy way out and not take the hard road.

            We seem to paint an unrealistic picture of marriage and love and neglect to mention that even in the midsts of the delirious joy we must still remain vigilant for the enemy at the gates.

            Love is a battlefield, but its a battlefield worth fighting on.

          • Wow. Thanks for sharing your story. I wish that there were a lot more women who demanded greatness from men, like your wife did. Women need to demand that men serve and defend God effectively in public, for example. And what about protecting and providing? Not abandoning relationships when it gets hard? And if the men step up, then the women should reward them with approval and recognition.

          • McSpinster says:

            I love those passages, Wintery, but they lead me to the conclusion NOT to be preoccupied with others’ views of God to the point of condemning, counseling, judging, or attacking views and/or character. To me, doing that is using “carnal weapons” instead of trusting God to settle any dispute through his omnipotent power. I love Psalm 37 for this reason. It says not to fret because of evildoers, to trust in the Lord, delight in him, commit our way to him, rest in him and cease from anger. I am always reminded when I engage in discussions with others about differences in interpretation, how quickly a conversationcan go from discussion to fretting and anger. I see that ebbing and flowing in a lot of these blogs, and I don’t think that attacking someone else for their views, even if hateful, ever turns them around. But them feeling the love of God does. And while Wes’ wife was instrumental in him reaching out, it was God’s love. spiritual love that lifted him up, and hers as a reflection of it. It sounds like she was firm, but loving. The loving aspect combined with her firmness overcame him on the human plane, but it was God who gave him the means to step up and be worthy of her. But of course, first he had to be worthy of Him.

          • Judy says:

            It took me a few minutes to unbristle after reading your post. After returning to my calm, I realized that your manner of speech is very engineer-like, which shouldn’t be a surprise, since you warned us. ;-) If I separate the message from the method, I agree with your thoughts. They ring of truth.
            The delivery, however, longs for the gentle cushion of emotion that logic needs in order to avoid being viewed as harsh with sharp edges. The relationship between a man and a woman is a beautiful thing, like a dance, full of fluidity and intuitive motion. When veiwed without the velvet of emotion, it just looks weird, cold, and bent at odd angles…but that that doesn’t make your ideas incorrect.
            If you’re married, ask your wife to describe what a good marriage feels like. If you’re not, ask almost any mature woman. Watch her face. Her eyes mist over and she gets this dreamy look on her face. You’re giving her books to read so that she can develop her debate skills and she’s searching for that place that makes her feel dreamy. Can you see how big of a problem might arise when these two world views collide?
            I’m not saying that you can’t feel the way that you’ve described. I am encouraging you to keep that part to yourself so as not to completely obliterate any hope of romance, grace, beauty, loveliness, majesty, and all of the other “fuzzy” things that make the world a better place.
            There’s a place for the dry, solid, strength-giving Bread of Life. There’s also a place for the fun, inhibition-busting, freeing, laughing Wine of the Spirit. One is unbalanced without the other. Your post was bread…it needs some wine. :-)

          • Thanks for your comment Judy. My standard amount of time talking with a woman with eye contact is 4 hours per night, during which time we play games and just talk about her fears and feelings and our plans. My record is 9.25 hours of continuous talking. Sometimes they feel so loved that they cry right there in front of me, or they cry if we pray together. But that is pretty personal stuff, so can’t write about that!

            I am a little concerned about talk of fun though. I think that fun should occur naturally, not be the focus of the relationship, like it is in non-Christian relationships. The focus of a Christian relationship is on glorifying God through loving and serving your spouse and offering God capable, effective Christian children. That’s not about fun. Fun is like unexpected happiness.

  7. McSpinster says:

    Hmmm. I think I’m chasing around in a circle. My objection here isn’t to men being manly and women being feminine, but too often, “feminization” is used used as a pejorative, particularly on this site.

    Let me say that there is plenty wrong with some women, as surely as there is with some men. But to say “most women” is a generalization and reveals a worldview that is too personally contrived. By that I mean that men generalize to all or most women from the few that they know, or read about. And where do they get their source material? Popular news media, TV, Cosmo, etc. I have been a media person my entire life and I can tell you that the media doesn’t portray average because news isn’t average. It’s new and different. Translation: you haven’t seen this, folks, so pay attention (and subscribe!)

    I think it’s too easy to adopt the “news” view of the world as normative, and it’s not. I’m not saying you should view femininity as an ideal when dealing with the relative (that is, women you actually personally know, not those you read about), although it’s important to have an ideal view of femininity because when you don’t, the ideal you ultimately end up finding and criticizing is the one of your own imagining. If you’re preoccupied with sin than you are likely to be very familiar with it. I consider that to be equivalent to being an expert at spotting counterfeits. Before you know it, you’re enmeshed in that shadowy world with all your other Christianly ideals, feeling a pull between what is right and what isn’t. You cease holding in mind the true ideal. And when you do that, you are easily pulled off the path to the “straight and narrow way.”

    I guess my point is that it’s tempting to constantly look at the counterfeit sinful image of man. If you confuse that with the man of God’s creating, however, you will never see that woman in your experience, or be that man. “Man walks in the direction in which he looks, and where your heart is, there will you treasure be also.” That is why people like Jesus could hang out with prostitutes and sinners as well as the righteous and heal them both. He didn’t divide them as so many Christian bloggers do into “us” and “them.” He could see the perfect man because he looked with the eyes of God, not of man. But man CAN see through purer eyes. That is what Christ did, and he served as a model for what we should (and can) be.

    I will go further to say that there is too much preoccupation here with pointing fingers (men at women, mostly). I will say it again and then I will probably just go to another site in which the posters actually get this: Saul became Paul. How did he do it? His human sin didn’t prevent him from rising into that perfect spiritual view, in which he aligned himself with Christ and took up the Christly mission of healing. He left behind Saul (his old sinful view) and became Paul, elevated beyond even his own personal history. What was most significant about him? Where he came from, or where he ended up?

    As for the masculinity of God argument you offer, big deal. You can argue that for as long as you want. You can also chalk it up to who wrote the Bible. For example, I have always marveled that when the angel of the Lord visited a woman to bless her with a child, it was always male. So female children never conceived as a blessing? Then why did Jesus talk about there being neither male nor female, Greek nor Jew, bond nor free”

    Anyway, you can say what you want. I am a Christian woman, committed to following Christ and to supporting those who view it in sacred, not gender-based terms. That is a tradition in my faith and not yours. That’s how it is. But perhaps we could learn a thing or two from each other.

    Brother, if you want to speak to me respectfully, don’t continue to wave this banner around. It means we will be speaking endlessly about who’s wrong and who’s right and that will mean we’re not doing what Christ commanded us to: “Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, cast our demons. Freely ye have received, freely give.”

  8. wgbutler777 says:

    This is turned into quite an interesting discussion. I’d just like to add a few further thoughts, if I may.

    Regarding the woman who has “socialist views”. I would strongly advise AGAINST marrying such a person. Most socialists, especially women, tend to view the world through an emotional lens and make decisions based upon their emotions.

    Sometimes this is a good thing, as when you are on their good side they will go to the ends of the earth and move mountains for you. But inevitably when you get on their bad side you will be subject to their negative emotional whims, including the decision to file for a divorce, the loss of any children you had with them, and the loss of your future income (as the woman will still insist that you provide financial security for her, even though she no longer has the desire to be your wife).

    I have seen this countless times. I have personally experienced this as well. Be VERY CAREFUL about who you choose to marry. In this feminized culture we live in it is extremely easy for a woman to leave a marriage at any time and for any reason, and still legally extract a huge percentage of your assets and income, while depriving you of access to your kids, and more importantly depriving your kids of access to a father.

    In many ways the pendulum has swing completely in the opposite direction from where it was in Jesus’s day, when the Pharisees were divorcing their wives for any frivolous reason and leaving them destitute.

    Fortunately in my case God took care of me and got me through the tough times, and I have a large amount of time with the child I had with my ex-wife. Since then I have remarried to a woman whose foundation is CHRIST and makes decisions based on what God’s will is for her life and not her emotional state. We are expecting our first child later this year. God has truly restored the years that the locusts have eaten, but it was a difficult journey.

    I only say this to spare you from what I went through. There ARE Godly women out there with the right values and the right perspectives. Be relentless, and don’t compromise, or you could become like me and many other people I know who unexpectedly faced a divorce, the loss of their family, children, and wealth.

    wgbutler777

  9. Mara says:

    Did, anyone even attempt my little KJV, Strong’s concordance exercise?

    Actually had more to say but ran out of time.

  10. Mara says:

    Here’s a blog post to think about.
    It seems rather objective and supports some of what Wintery and Wes are saying and said it in such a way as I can hear it a little better.
    That is point one and point two do this.

    But point three explains the problems that I have with M.D. and this issue.

    So I hope, as we meet in the middle somewhere near God’s heart, as I learn to understand the guy’s side, that the guys will understand my legitamate fears over this.

    http://experimentaltheology.blogspot.com/2009/02/thoughts-on-mark-driscoll-while-im.html

  11. Marie says:

    Jesus died for us when we were still sinners, would you be willing to die for your wife?

  12. Desmognathus says:

    Mara, that’s a really good article! Thanks!

  13. brave lady says:

    I like many aspects of this article I think that it is important that a man has some sort of plan. It annoys me when you meet a man that has no plan for the future.

    However I am a politics student so I really wouldn’t need to be given heaps to read as I already have good knowledge on the topic. Personally I love people that have an open mind and want to learn things ( works both ways). Really a point of conflict is healthy and wouldn’t expect to be given material every time a disagreed with a man. This is hardly progressive and likely to patronise an already intelligent woman, women contrary to popular belief do not get all emotional about politics we can separate national issues from emotion.

    Back to the original point, men should really be talking directly to their special lady. Don’t try and confuse her or overwhelm her with you future and where u think you can throw her in, that’s selfish ! Find out about her , see God working in her life. Ladies I know we have a tendency to speak in code but if you are unsure about a man’s plan/ future its best to ask him : )

    • Mara says:

      brave lady, your last paragraph is awesome.

      I agree, men with a plan are more attractive.
      But men who only want a woman as an appendage to their own plan rather than letting her have some of her own plans that can even agree and complement his (and never deters from his) is rather unattractive.

      I also agree, for the sake of the children, women can and should put some of their own plans on hold while she and her husband cooperate to the most important task of the children’s care and teaching. But then there comes a time of taking the plan back up again.

  14. christian_girl says:

    “So I always approach these relationship problems from an engineering perspective.”

    Hey…just like most women. Since you sound articulate, I think you would be a great husband for a woman. There is nothing worse than not being able to have an intelligent conversation with a man.

  15. Tsungai says:

    Wow. Again! I took notes. Hey Wintery Knight, how about a blog post on this whole courtship plan for divorced people who wanna remarry? Our lenses are focused on other things than first timers and especially when we wanna do a second and FINAL marriage. Just a thought! I was taking notes from the splendid posts too!

  16. Dear Wintery Knight,

    I want to start by saying that I am deeply impressed by your blog as a whole, and how much of yourself you put on it. So much so that I am hoping for some advice from you.

    Quickly, I will give you some background about myself. I am currently attending a secular liberal arts college on a scholarship with a 4.0 GPA. I am majoring in Political Science with a focus in Middle Eastern languages and am on a pre-medical track. (Being quite literally the only Christian conservative is interesting and ends in my debating constantly, which is a story for another time!) I’m in the robotics society, sing in my church choir, and am behind beginning a collegiate rodeo team as I was national qualifier in high school. I run my own small business making custom wedding dresses, which I am extremely passionate about. I love to shoot, work on my truck, and volunteer at NMDR.

    This qualifier is put in place to establish that I am a chronic over achiever. Partly in the case that marriage is not God’s plan for me, I will be able to contribute to society in a positive and godly way and partly because if I do marry, as I hope to, I will have plenty to bring to the table that my husband and I would share.

    Now that I am well into my academic career, I’m beginning to be interested in a courtship with someone. I feel like I am ready after feeling God’s call to it, and doing the appropriate research.

    I figured I was being selective in accepting an invitation for a date with my church’s assistant youth pastor. We had been friends for about a year previously. Our first encounter was excellent, filled with political discussions, debating the Shroud of Torin, etc. The time for our second date came around, and I was so excited and nervous I literally sat down and made an entire dress to wear.

    Long story short(er), he ended up complimenting my chest and trying to put his hand on my thigh. You can’t imagine my disappointment and shock… I felt objectified. He added insult to injury by telling me that I am too opinionated and too much woman to handle intellectually. Not to mention he was well aware of the chastity covenant I made with God when I was 13. This wasn’t the first experience I’ve had of this nature, and it is very disheartening.

    So my question to you, dear Knight, is…

    How do I find a man who will respect me, and all of the work that I have put into myself, to glorify my future husband and God? Someone who has been preparing to lead a family in the same way? Someone who doesn’t view courtship as a thing of the past, enjoys the romance of the entirety of the process, and expects his future wife to contribute in more ways than silence and cleaning?

    Thank you very much for your time and consideration should you reply! Either way, thank you for the excellent Christian resource.

    Alexandrea

  17. Calvin says:

    What you say sounds great, in purpose and principle, but giving women books to read… It sounds like you given a lot of books to a lot of women. And it sounds like your main way of relating to them is through books. I doubt that is true, but however much it is or isn’t is not the reason I’m responding. What I want to know is, how well is what you are saying actually working for you? I’m a guy, and I’m looking for a wife. Lots of what you have said is helpful. But I’m wondering…are you married yet? If so, how well did all the book reading assignments go over? All the women I’ve made requests to have responded that it’s one thing to be reading, like its theory, but it’s another thing to be real. So to be a real person in a woman’s point of view at least, is to relate to her man in person, by going on dates and going things and talking. I was told “I don’t want to communicate with you through books.” Please respond to me directly by email. Thanks

    • Well, I need to be persuasive in order to lead. If you try to lead by experience, it seems to me that there is more emphasis on feelings and charisma. But if you choose a woman who informs herself, it’s much easier to appeal to facts when you try to persuade her. I think the main thing is that you probably have relationship stuff in mind, whereas I am thinking about factual claims – like which method of schooling is better, and premarital sex decreases relationship stability, and why God allows evil and suffering.

      • Calvin says:

        Yes, okay, I hear what your approach is, but how is it working for you? Have you been on dates? From all I hear, you’re talking about what you expect – like theory. But have you been on actual dates doing these things, like talking about apologetics and politics? I’m questioning this because the cutting edge is not JUST the theory, principles and expectations, but action. How’s your dating life, really? How are your theories, principles and expectations working out for you? Your blog entries started how long ago? Are you married now? Not that length of time of searching matters as much as finding the right one, but man, I’m wondering if there’s any woman who could be converted enough into your way of thinking that she wouldn’t be a much a woman anymore. Do you have fun on your dates? And if you’re married, do you still take her out on dates?

  18. […] his info to choosing a mate based off of his 10 questions and some of his courting rules and his requirements on courtship. I have a serious question for you. If your child came up to you and told you that […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Click to see recent visitors

  Visitors Online Now

Page views since 1/30/09

  • 4,617,020 hits

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 2,232 other followers

Archives

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 2,232 other followers

%d bloggers like this: