Wintery Knight

…integrating Christian faith and knowledge in the public square

Men should prefer women who allow moral judging and spiritual leading

I wanted to write about a common mistake that I see men making today when they are selecting women for marriage.

Some women prefer men who don’t have strong views on moral, spiritual, economic and political issues, and who don’t try to lead them in moral and spiritual areas. This is because if men know a lot about things then they tend to have definite opinions which might constitute grounds for rejecting the woman if she does something wrong, and women fear rejection. For the spiritual leadership, again, if the man has studied this a lot, then the woman fears that he will make her do a bunch of reading and debating which may not be much fun for her. So, some women avoid men like that. The question I want to ask in this post is – should men marry a woman who doesn’t like that they know a lot about moral issues and spiritual issues? I don’t think that men should, and I’m going to explain why.

Good men will want to set moral boundaries and lead spiritually when they have children.

Children usually look to Dad for guidance about the real world, because he is viewed as more “practical”. And fathers tend to want to protect children by setting moral boundaries and debating moral issues. Additionally, fathers want to protect children from believing lies that may cause them to make bad decisions. So, fathers are going to talk about things like chastity and oxytocin, as well as things like the big bang and the cosmic background radiation. They do this to tell children right and wrong with evidence and to tell children the truth about the world with evidence. What they do is NOT just state opinions or preferences – these are not take-it-or-leave it. And this can be offensive to some women who reject that morality is one way or the other, or that the universe is one way or the other. Some women elevate happiness above morality and truth, and men need to be aware that those women will not let them state moral principles or tell the truth about spiritual things. They value “compassion” (the denial of moral absolutes and personal responsibility) and “pluralism” (the denial that anyone’s beliefs about the world can be false). If a good man has children, he needs to be sure that the woman is not undermining all of his boundary-setting and truth-arguing at home. He has to test for this during the courtship.

Sometimes men are stupid, and choose women without regard to what God wants from the marriage.

Let’s pretend that men are choosing medicine instead of a wife. Some men are choosing their medicine based on the pretty packaging, and yummy taste, and then complaining when it doesn’t fix the illness. They want to choose a medicine without knowing anything about their illness and anything about the candidate medicines. They want to be “free” to choose a medicine based on the feelings they have about the medicine – not whether it will do the job required. They say: “But it looked good and tasted good! Medicines that look good and taste good should work!” They think that they can judge everything about a woman in her physical appearance and her manner. (Women do this too, when they talk about wanting things like “a deep voice” and “confidence” – without looking for signs that the man can meet marriage/parenting requirements). The purpose of the woman and the marriage, for some men, seems to be to meet their needs. So their criteria are the only criteria that matter. God is nowhere in the picture. He supposedly doesn’t want a marriage and children that honor him – oh no. He supposedly wants the man to be happy. The customer of the marriage is the man, not God.

And men really need to be on the alert to detect women who will block them from doing what good men do with marriage and children, otherwise they will not be allowed to make moral judgments and to lead the family. Men – make sure when you are choosing a wife that you choose someone who loves moral judgments and the way that you like to build other people up to be effective and influential. If the candidate resents your setting of moral boundaries, or resents your knowledge of issues, or resents your efforts to “bully” them into correct views using reasons and evidence, then you need to pass on that woman. You are a man. Men are interested in morality, truth, fixing problems and making things better. You must make sure your wife is supporting you in that role. Make sure she is choosing you for the right reasons, using the right criteria. You are a quarterback. Do not play for a team where you will be reduced to cheerleader and mascot. You were not designed to do that.

And women – it makes no sense to complain that men are not raising the children properly if you deliberately chose a man who didn’t believe in moral judgments or truth. If the man makes you behave morally in the courtship, he will make your children behave morally. If the man makes you believe true things in the courtship, he will make your children believe true things. You will just have to learn to like being judged on moral grounds and being led about spiritual things.

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14 Responses

  1. Francine says:

    From the comments going on in “Where have all the good men gone”, I believe this post was meant to be a response to the criticism there, and I think this post was meant to be about what men should be doing an aren’t (as a contrast to posts about women should be doing and aren’t). Interestingly, despite the initial attempt to make it about what men should be looking for in a wife, it really seems to be another post about what women should be doing to be that wife. In fact, it ends with an instruction to women– they’re just going to need to “learn to like being judged”.
    There are many things that could be discussed about where men need to focus their energies of growth. You have discussed some in the past, saving, studying, working hard to build a stable foundation for the future of their family, etc.
    But I would also suggest that it’s important for a potential future husband to cultivate the gentleness of Jesus for his future wife. You mention in this post women fear being judged. I would suggest that women don’t fear having their actions being morally called out and corrected, but they do fear being rejected and ostracized from the love of their husband. When I woman shys away from a moral accusation, I believe this fear is the root of that.
    When a man has learned how to treat his wife with the gentleness and unconditional sacrificial love of Jesus, she knows she need not fear loosing that love. She knows the his words come from that love. When that happens, she can hear his moral judgments without fear. There is nothing “scary” in his words, only aid for her betterment.

  2. Tom says:

    Francine, I agree with most of what you said. Except for one point. I do not agree with the idea of unconditional love. It makes no sense. You mean to tell me, there is are no conditions under which I will stop loving you? That would mean there are no moral boundaries and all behavior is accepted. No matter how you treat me, I will still love you. That makes no sense to me. Boundaries need to be set by both the husband and the wife. They should be reinforced periodically through discussion and/or debate. Women needs to explain to their husbands with words what exactly they want from them. And men should state as gently (yet sternly) exactly what behavior is expected from their wife. If the wife is married to a GOOD man then she must approach this with an open mind and realize this is coming from a good place with good intentions. She needs to understand that her husband is doing this in order to cultivate a loving and fruitful relationship. And husbands need to realize how they are speaking to their wives and try to use language that is gentle.

    While I believe marriage should be for life and every precaution should be made to ensure that that happens, I cannot agree with the idea of unconditional love.

    • “Women needs to explain to their husbands with words what exactly they want from them.”

      This is huge.

      And I agree with you about unconditional love.

      And Dennis Prager agrees with us:
      http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2009/04/21/the_more_given_the_less_earned_96085.html

      Quote:

      We expect unconditional love — meaning unearned love — from spouses. No matter how awfully you treat your wife or husband, as soon as you were married, you were owed unconditional love. While your spouse and you had to earn each other’s love prior to marriage, the moment you got married, you no longer had to earn the other’s love.

      We also expect forgiveness to be given without being earned. Many people believe in what I call automatic forgiveness — the obligation to forgive anyone any crime, committed against anyone, no matter how many victims and no matter how removed from my life. Thus the pastor of a church attended by then-President Bill Clinton told the president and all others at a Sunday service that all Christians were obligated to forgive Timothy McVeigh, the terrorist murderer of 168 people. Did McVeigh earn this forgiveness? Of course not. So where did the notion of unearned forgiveness come from, especially unearned forgiveness from people who were not the victims of the evil being forgiven? It is one thing for me to forgive those who have hurt me; it is quite another for others to forgive those who have hurt me. God Himself demands that we earn forgiveness. The term for that is repentance. No repentance, no forgiveness.

      Finally, the increasingly powerful culture of entitlement and rights further undermines the value of earning anything. The more the state gives to its citizens, the less they have to earn. That is the basic concept of the welfare state — you receive almost everything you need without having to earn any of it. About half of Americans now pay no federal income tax — but they receive all government benefits just as if they had paid for, i.e., earned, them.

      You can see how society can be affected if enough people believe in “unearned love” and then vote on that belief.

      Even that horrible feminist Mark Driscoll lists a bunch of steps for making amends after you have sinned against someone. It’s not enough to say “I’m sorry”. There has to be real remorse, listening, and an attempt to make restitution for the harm caused to the victim.

    • Francine says:

      Mmmh, I suppose “unconditional” love has a lot different meanings for a lot of people. Perhaps I should clarify.
      What I meant, was suppose a woman sins. Something we are all going to do. I am not talking about a repeated, abusive, unrepentant nature. I’m talking about basic human sinful nature. Of course people should set boundaries. To say this behavior is not okay with me. If the other person deliberately continues in that behavior, that’s a different story. But a woman (or man) should not have to fear that any small mistake could mean the withdrawal of their spouse’s love.
      This may seem obvious. Why would a basically good man stop loving a basically good woman just because she slips occasionally? But I think this can be a deep rooted fear that can be exacerbated if work isn’t done to always speak to one another from a place of love and gentleness, even when we are disappointed or angry.
      So I don’t think human “unconditional” love is “free love” or doesn’t have to be earned. But once you have decided that this person is worthy of your vow of love “till death do us part”, I do think both partners are called upon to cultivate that love, and nothing short of an abusive, unrepentant sin should break it.

      • It all depends on what the meaning of the word love is. See C.S. Lewis’ “The Problem of Pain” chapter 3, I think, on divine benevolence, and willing the perfection of the beloved.

  3. Ben says:

    It seems that as of late ‘unconditional love’ has become the modern psudonym of ‘free love’.

    As is known by all (or ought to be) love is the most costly thing – and needs to have conditions… otherwise it is just lust. That is where the entitlement mentality comes from – lust.

  4. Mike Singer says:

    This in essence is the crux of Christian Courting.

    I have met A LOT of women who “say” they want a
    “Christian” man ( btw, Masters/Phd/Successful type).

    However, when it comes down to actually following the scriptures vs. worldly views/lifestyle there is a sharp disconnect when it is presented or asked about it in a kindly fashion.

    Here are a couple of examples:

    1. I know that what the bible says but it doesnt mean that (ie premartial sex IS fornication).

    2. Inability to distinguish between real repentance vs. forgiveness ( ie there are consequences for your actions despite asking for forgiveness).

    3. Understand that going to bar/concert/drinking (certain secular activities) is not holy living.

    There are many other examples that I have run across. But there are very few Christians that I have met who actually care about God.

    Men get exactly women they deserve based on their character and visa-versa.

    The important thing is to give this decision to Christ and be willing to part as friends if things any non-negotiables arise on either side.

    I strongly recommend to come up with a set of rules that is important to you as a follower of Christ and stick to them or refine them as you move along.

    Btw, Wintery Knight came up with a really good set (IMO) that I modified my me. Here is the link.

    http://winteryknight.wordpress.com/2009/08/31/the-rules-for-friendship-and-courtship-between-christian-men-and-women/

    • I think your #1 is a good example. Jesus condemns fornication. Yet I know TONS of Christian women who reject “strict” rules like that. The same kind that talk about the Bible telling people not to judge. Basically, people who talk about opposing moral judgments don’t believe the Bible. They quote it, but they don’t believe it. I have had the Bible quoted to me about not judging by people who favored abortion and same-sex marriage. It’s just talk. They are citing a book they don’t even believe in out of context, in order to support their moral relativism and postmodernism and religious pluralism – ideas which are nowhere in the Bible.

      Oh, about 2), I knew a woman who reads my blog who thought that saying “I’m sorry” was a way of getting out of the worst kinds of betrayals and selfishness.

      Regarding 3), I would add reading fiction, traveling and watching secular television to your list. As soon as I see that, I run away.

  5. McSpinster says:

    What’s wrong with reading fiction, traveling and watching secular TV, WK? WHy do you run from that?

    • Because I read non-fiction in order to be informed, I save money for when I really need to travel – like for that conference in Atlanta, and because I don’t like popular culture stuff as much as I like Shakespeare and Jane Austen.

      • McSpinster says:

        I love Austen and Shakespeare too– but both are both fiction, WK.

        • mike singer says:

          Wintery Knight got it right.

          There are plenty (I do mean plenty) of secular activities that are wholesome / holy / righteous etc that I have no problem doing( what so ever is pure / lovely / think upon these things). They message conveyed is educational, beneficial, wholesome ( I refer to it as the best of the best vs. the “common” or “base” knowledge(something that a higher education brings – greater understanding/enlightment.

          With that being said – there are plenty of secular activities that will ruin a relationship with Christ- like anything – common sense, taste, class, and good judgment goes a long way.

          The majority of people really miss the content/message of what modern fiction, psychology, and travel convey (ie pleasure)- it wars against ones soul and is contrary to the teaching of Christ.

          With that being said – “work out your own salvation with fear and trembling….”

  6. McSpinster says:

    What about work? More people use work as an excuse to not read their Bibles or go to church than pleasure.

  7. mike singer says:

    Would suggest taking a look at Luke 14:16-23…. I think it says it all…

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