Wintery Knight

…integrating Christian faith and knowledge in the public square

Six ways for women to stamp out the risk of divorce

From the liberal Huffington Post, of all places.

First, here’s the list of skills for women to develop to avoid divorce:

  • Skill #1: Do at Least Three Things a Day for Your Own Pleasure
  • Skill #2: Relinquish Control of People You Can’t Control
  • Skill #3: Receive Gifts, Compliments and Help Graciously
  • Skill #4: Respect The Man You Chose
  • Skill #5: Express Gratitude Three Times Daily
  • Skill #6: Strive to be Vulnerable

And here’s the detail on one that I think is the most important:

Skill #4: Respect The Man You Chose

Being respectful will resurrect the man you fell in love with. You’re too smart to have married a dumb guy, so if he seems dumb now, it’s because you’re focused on his shortcomings. It’s not that you made a mistake in marrying him, it’s that you’ve been focused on his mistakes since you married him. A man who feels respected by the woman who knows him best also feels self-respect, which is far more attractive than cowering and hostility.

Lack of respect causes more divorces than cheating does because for men, respect is like oxygen. They need it more than sex. Respect means that you don’t dismiss, criticize, contradict or try to teach him anything. Of course he won’t do things the same way you do; for that, you could have just married yourself. But with your respect, he will once again do the things that amazed and delighted you to begin with — so much so that you married him.

And here’s the detail on the one that I think is the most neglected:

Skill #6: Strive to be Vulnerable

Intimacy and vulnerability are directly connected. If you want intimacy, then you’ll need to take the risk of admitting that you’re lonely, embarrassed or hurt. This is not the same as weakness; it actually requires great strength.

When you’re vulnerable you don’t care about being right, you’re just open and trusting enough to say “I miss you” instead of “you never spend time with me.” It means you simply say, “ouch!” when he’s insensitive instead of retaliating. That vulnerability completely changes the way he responds to you.

Vulnerability is not only attractive, it’s the only way to get to that incredible feeling of being loved just the way you are by someone who knows you well. There’s nothing like the joy of intimacy that results from vulnerability. It really is worth dropping the burden of being an efficient, overscheduled superwoman to have it.

Before I get started,  a piece of advice for men. I really, really recommend that single men take the time to read ALL the comments by the women underneath that post before they even think about getting married. It’s important for single men to realize that your old-fashioned ideas about marriage and what women should do in a marriage are often not accepted by modern women – even modern Christian women. Most churches don’t emphasize the things in the list above, because they are trying to make women feel good, and not to tell them what needs doing and how to do it. When you read the comments by women blaming men and attacking the 6 points, that will help you to see what you should be looking for, so you know how to make sound judgments about who to marry and whether to marry at all.

Right. Let’s begin with the 6 points.

From that list above, the ones I have personally encountered are #1, #3, #4, #5 and #6.

For #1, many unmarried women think that relationships are more about being happy than achieving things. If the woman gets into a relationship for happiness, and is not happy, then she may blame the man for failing to make her happy. The solution is to have a more realistic balance between happiness and self-sacrificial service. An unmarried women should focus on finding out what the man’s plans and goals are, and why he needs her. She has to focus on showing him that she wants to be informed and engaged in helping him. That is the best way for her to learn how to balance the need for happiness with the need to handle her relationship obligations (to children, as well as her spouse). Another way to lower the need for happiness provided by the man is for the woman to have her own interests. For example, my favorite single woman likes to spend time in the evening decompressing with stuff like cross-stitching, reading, playing with her cat, etc. before we do stuff together. She has her own sources of happiness and that means that I am not overburdened every day as the sole source of happiness. That can be overwhelming on days where she is stressed out from work.

For #3 and #5, I have to tell a funny story about what I have been doing lately with my favorite single woman. I have been busy trying to get her to tell me all about what her life is like from day to day and then buying her small things to help her out with her daily struggles. For example, I bought her an ice scraper so that she wouldn’t have to scrape ice off her windshield with her gloves. I bought her kitchen shears so that she wouldn’t have to fuss with raw chicken. I got her a new corded hand-vacuum for Christmas because she had to lug her heavy one up and down the stairs to clean them. Why am I fussing so much about this woman? Because she is the most grateful woman I know. Whenever I do anything for her, she tells everyone about it and I hear about how helpful I’ve been every time she uses whatever I bought her. Women, get it clear: men prefer to help grateful women.

For #4, I think the scariest thing for a woman is thinking that she will have to respect a bad men, even when he is bad. But women like that are looking at marriage wrong. The respect is non-negotiable. You will respect your husband or you will be cheated on or divorced. So with that in mind, choose a man who you do respect. That’s the solution – test the men carefully and effectively and choose one who is easy to respect and then marry that man. Make the respectability of the man the main criteria. The time to make the decision is before the marriage, because divorce is out of the question. And women really need to work at this, in my experience, because they typically let feelings dominate their decision-making, instead of being practical about finding the right man to do the work that men do in a marriage. The appearance of the man tends to be their only criteria, these days. Instead of choosing on appearances, women should test men out during the courtship to see if they like the way he leads, persuades and makes decisions. Instead of letting feelings and peer-approval decide, just think of what a man does and prefer men who can do those things.

For #6, I think that women really need to realize the power of vulnerability. My view, which is controversial, is that the reason why women are focusing so much on their appearance and sexuality is because feminism has made it illegal for them to attract men with traditional femininity. Vulnerability, trust, modesty, nurturing, care, concern, attention, support, etc. are all viewed by unmarried women as prohibited by feminism – even though they work on men very well. Men treat women nicely when they see how sensitive women are to good treatment and bad treatment. Men are motivated by the desire to make a difference and to be appreciated by a woman who needs them. Women need to practice being vulnerable, and to protect their ability to be vulnerable by avoiding premarital sex and messy breakups. Women need to learn to control their feelings and not batter themselves up on a sequence of men who are not ready for marriage. The most common thing I am seeing with women these days, including Christian women, is that their ability to trust a man, and to let a good man lead them, have been completely wrecked because they’ve dashed themselves to pieces over and over on men who looked good and impressed their friends, but who were not qualified for marriage. Marriage, for a man, is a faithful, life-long self-sacrificial commitment to provide for and serve a spouse and to train up children. Pick the right man for that job.

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When is it appropriate for Christians to start dating?

First, read this article from a Crisis Pregnancy Center worker.

Excerpt:

I have a bone to pick with young, socially conservative Americans, and I know it’s something that will get under your skin. Just sit tight, though, and hear me out, because the elephant in our tidy little room is starting to tear things up. It’s time we acknowledge his existence, and maybe even call in some animal movers to take him back to the zoo.

I currently live in a small community in the Bible-belt of the country and I have been given some opportunities to mentor young people from my area through different venues. I can count on one hand the kids I know from the local high school whose parents have never been divorced.  I’ve witnessed reactions of genuine surprise and envy from students who hear that my parents are still together. In any given conversation with groups of youth, I can expect to hear continual references to step-parents, step-siblings, and half-siblings. Divorce is a way of life down here – albeit one that has taken its toll in the lives of the young people that will make up the next generation.

However, while I could certainly write extensively on my experience with the negative effects of divorce on children and on society at large, I actually want to address something else entirely.  I have concerns about the number one way that our culture chooses to perpetuate the cancer of broken marriages and failed relationships– underage dating.

You can follow them on Facebook – the failed attempts at love, I mean. Somebody is always changing their status from “in a relationship” to “single.” Unfortunately, a huge number of these disappointed lovers are too young to be legally married. I wonder sometimes if I am the only one who winces to hear a thirteen-year old speak with cavalier abandon of his or her “ex?”  Since when is it considered healthy and acceptable for underage people to be in “relationships?” Just what do parents and educators expect to be the result of the romantic conquests of these middle-school children and young high school students? The results I’ve witnessed personally are beyond disturbing; they are downright sinister, and have caused me to question whether or not those who claim to champion marital fidelity and family values are paying any attention at all to the standards we are passing to our children.

The trouble with underage dating is that it presents an entirely faulty view of what interaction with the opposite gender should be about. Rather than placing emphasis on building one strong relationship with one person at a stage of life when a marital commitment is feasible, dating encourages young people to pour their energies into consistently seducing other young people at a time when neither of them are capable of making any long-term commitments. Their “relationships” are destined to fail from the get-go because they are founded on unhealthy perceptions of love and not backed by any real necessity to stick it out.

The beauty of marriage, as it was intended to be, is that it teaches two people of opposite genders to learn to work through incompatibilities and give of themselves. In the same way, the great ugliness of dating as it is practiced by our culture and portrayed by our media, is that it teaches two people of opposite genders to be selfish by giving them an easy “out” when things don’t go according to their initial feelings. I believe it is fair to say that this form of dating is a training manual for divorce, because it encourages young people to grow accustomed to giving their hearts away and then taking them back.

Sadly, parents who should know better continue to display shocking naïveté regarding the absurd practices of driving their twelve year olds out on a “date,” or purchasing provocative clothing for their sixteen-year-olds, or sympathizing with their broken-hearted fourteen-year-olds by assuring them that they’ll “find someone better.” “They’re just having fun,” they’ll tell us, rolling their eyes at what they consider to be our tightly wound principles. I work a volunteer shift at Crisis Pregnancy Clinic where I witness every week the ruined lives and broken dreams that “fun” has left with our youth.

And now here’s my take.

Basically, you can start dating as a prelude to courting when the woman and man are able to demonstrate to the other person that they are ready to fulfill their roles in the marriage.

For example, the woman should be able to show that she has been able to maintain commitments to caring for others through some period of time, maybe with small children or pets. She should be voluntarily entering into relationships and responsibilities with other people where she is giving of herself – like volunteering at a crisis pregnancy center or caring for an ailing or elderly relative. That shows potential suitors that she has the right attitude to relationships – serving others self-sacrificially, and not looking for tingles and amusement. She should be able to show that she is good at making commitments and solving problems by studying hard subjects in school like nursing, economics, biology, chemistry, physics, engineering or computer science. That shows that she is able to do hard things that she doesn’t feel like doing, and apply herself over time until she has a degree. Obviously being conservative politically and being good at apologetics are also important if she intends to raise children.

And for the man, he should be able to show that he is able to do his roles – protector, provider and moral/spiritual leader. He should be able to prove that he is able to mentor and guide other people to learn things and do things that will make them more effective Christians. That’s moral and spiritual leadership. He should have studied a subject that is going to allow him to find work. If he is committed to going to graduate school, then he can study philosophy and law and other “world-changing” subjects, like a William Lane Craig or a Ryan Anderson. Otherwise, he should study things like petroleum engineering, computer science, or other fields that will allow him to be stable and secure. It’s not enough to be a hard worker, you have to be able to pull in the money and save it and still have time left over to care for your wife and lead the children. Again, conservative politics and apologetics are a must.

I think there are other ways for men and women to show that they are ready for marriage, but those are some ways. The key thing is that people shouldn’t be dating until they are able to show that they know the roles that they are expected to fill in marriage as men and women. They should also be looking for the right things in others. They can’t be looking for the shallow things that give them tingles, like looks, athleticism, etc. They can’t be looking for sexual attraction, primarily. Marriage requires specific behaviors from men and women, which are derived from what men and women do in marriage. Before men and women start dating, they have to be able to show that they are working on being able to handle their responsibilities, and they have to show that their selection criteria for the opposite sex are at least partly based on the responsibilities that the opposite sex has in a marriage. Otherwise they are just training to be governed by their tingles and to be selfish and to break up when all that falls apart.

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

Christian men, be selective when giving attention to women

Here is a thought-provoking post from agnostic libertarian economist Captain Capitalism.

Excerpt:

Of the many lies men will be told from the ages of 12 to…umm….death, one of the more misleading ones (that can trip you up for years unless you learn the deceit behind it) is,

“I don’t do X for you!  I do it for myself!”

“X” being

dressing up
make up
working out
lingerie
etc. etc.

[...][T]he reason this lie is so tricky is because when a woman says this, it is a half-truth.

While she is NOT dressing up for you, she IS dressing up for somebody else.  And that somebody else certainly is NOT her (at least in a direct sense).

Again, we revisit the realm where economics and sexuality meet.  Women are (primarily) driven by attention.  Attention from who?  Attention from anybody.

Oh, go ahead and threaten me with your Adria Richard’s hallow threats, I’m sorry dearies, I have nothing left to lose.  Besides, this is a fact and is truth.  And if you don’t like that…well, then maybe you really don’t like being treated as an equal and perhaps like every other guy I could continue lying to your face to spare your precious little feelings.  But I’m sorry, I’m not a sexist.  I believe in the equality of the sexes so you’ll APPRECIATE me treating you as a GENUINE equal and never daring to lie to you as that would be degrading.

Anyway, women crave attention.  And the primary way (before social media) they can get that is by simply dressing the part.  This is why in large part you can be at a bar/club, see a group of girls LITERALLY dressed as ladies of the evening, approach them and get your butt shot down.  They REALLY weren’t dressing that way for you, just as they technically weren’t dressing that way for themselves.  They were merely dressing that way to get your attention and the attention of others.  And should a supreme specimen of man (professional athlete, celebrity, obvious rich man) approach them, that is also why they dressed that way or went to the gym.

In other words, don’t be a fool on either end of this half-lie, half truth.  She really isn’t doing it for you.  And, yes, in a roundabout way she is doing it for herself.  But she is ultimately doing it to garner the attention of other people, both men and women.

So this caused me to think a little, because it echoes what Dina explained to me just a few months back, and Mariangela verified it as well. (My knowledge of women is mostly theoretical, so some of these obvious things have escaped me). Anyway, they basically agreed with the Captain’s assessment, that many of the things that women do are to get attention. This is fine. The point of this post is not to pick on women, but to warn men. And so here’s the warning for Christian men.

Christian Men: Like everything in life, God asserts sovereignty over your choices with women. One of those choices is who you pay attention to, and why. Whenever you pay attention to a woman, you are in some way validating her choices, beliefs and lifestyle. Therefore, you need to be careful to choose women who deserve attention for the right reasons. You need to pass on women who show a lot of skin to people they hardly know. You need to pass on women who are known to use sex to get attention from men easily, without having to listen to his values. You need to pass on women who won’t read things that men care about, like apologetics, economics, etc.

Whenever I get distracted by a woman who is trying to get attention from me without wanting to listen or be led by me, I ask myself questions about her and her motives.

I ask:

  • Has this women ever borrowed a lecture or a debate form me?
  • Has this woman ever read a book that I asked her to read?
  • Does this woman let me talk if I bring up religion or politics?
  • Is this woman pro-life, and pro-marriage?
  • Is this woman grieved by big government socialism?
  • Is this woman pro-child, and anti-feminism?

And so on. Now if you are a woman reading this, you might think “why do you have to do that? Obviously they haven’t, so why pay attention to them? I’ve done all that good stuff, so pay attention to me!”. But it’s not that simple for a man, not even a virgin like me. About 99% of the time, I don’t have to go through this process. But there are some days…. you could call it my time of the month… where suddenly blubbering out how great this woman looks to her seems *rational*. And I don’t want to do that. I would rather get on my e-mail or Facebook and encourage a Christian woman who is actually doing the right things. I don’t want to be encouraging other women who are trying to cheat their way to attention without letting me express my faith, talk about politics, and so on. If I can’t lead you to learn about God so that you can serve God, then you shouldn’t get attention from me. One of the most helpful things I ever learned was from a young lady who had a sexual past, who flat out told me that she used sex in order to pacify and control men so that they would continue to give her attention no matter how much of a witch she was to them. That helped me to understand why I have to be selective with who I am going to endorse with my attention.

I think that men need to recognize that just as women who embrace feminism are responsible for wrecking men with all of this hooking-up, high tax rates, gun control, no-fault divorce, etc., that men are wrecking women by rewarding them with attention for the wrong reasons. If you want to fix women, the easiest thing to start with is to favor the good ones – the ones who listen to you, the ones who study hard things, the ones who want to serve God. Avert your eyes from the flirty ones. Don’t talk to them. Consciously prefer the best, most moral, most hard-working, women. That’s going to communicate the right message to women, and give them an incentive to value the right feminine qualities.

Christian men, if you are single, why not just take a minute now to go to the book store and buy a good apologetics or economics book and some white flowers for the Christian woman you know who does the most good for God? That would be a start. I recommend “Is God Just a Human Invention?” and three white carnations, some baby’s breath and some greenery. They are not too expensive and they last a long time. If you get her that book, tell her about Brian Auten’s read-along, which just started again. We all have to do the best we can to fix male-female relations. Women, and men. The solution to the problem of women being bad is not for men to be bad, too. It’s for men to be selective.

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Study in feminist journal calls chivalry and gentlemanly behavior “dangerous”

Dr. Stuart Schneiderman reports on the study.

Excerpt:

With heavy heart we turn to Kathleen Connelly and Martin Heesacker’s article, entitled: “Why Is Benevolent Sexism Appealing?” Co-authored by a graduate student and a professor at the University of Florida, is has been published by a scholarly Journal called the Psychology of Women Quarterly.

Here is how the PWQ describes itself:

Psychology of Women Quarterly (PWQ) is a feminist, scientific, peer-reviewed journal that publishes empirical research, critical reviews and theoretical articles that advance a field of inquiry, brief reports on timely topics, teaching briefs, and invited book reviews related to the psychology of women and gender.

Here is a snip from the abstract of the study:

Previous research suggests that benevolent sexism is an ideology that perpetuates gender inequality.

[...]The results imply that although benevolent sexism perpetuates inequality at the structural level, it might offer some benefits at the personal level. Thus, our findings reinforce the dangerous nature of benevolent sexism and emphasize the need for interventions to reduce its prevalence.

Got that? Treating men and women differently in good ways is “dangerous” even though it has good effects. So no more giving women flowers, and no more giving men respect.

Dr. Schneiderman comments:

Connelly/Heesacker have discovered that when men behave like gentlemen toward women it produces “life satisfaction” for both parties.

They conclude that gentlemanly behavior is “dangerous” and that we must intervene “to reduce its prevalence.”

By their pseudo-reasoning, the positive benefits that accrue to men and women when men act like gentlemen provide a false sense of satisfaction that undermines the feminist revolution.

Since I did not spring for the $25.00 fee to read the article, I can only surmise that by benevolent sexism the authors mean such simple courtesies as asking a woman out on a date, paying for her, holding the door for her, helping her with her coat, accompanying her home and so on.

This argument is not new. It came in with second wave feminism. It was intended to assert women’s independence and autonomy. It resulted in more men treating more women discourteously and disrespectfully.

From a feminist perspective, if a man acted like a gentleman, a woman was expected to act like a lady. This was a bad thing, a betrayal of a woman’s allegiance to the feminist cult.

Feminists believed that gentlemanly behavior signified that women were the weaker sex, needing male protection.

They also believed that when a man paid for dinner and a show a woman felt obligated to repay the favor with her “favors.”

From a feminist perspective it’s better for women to give it away for free because then she will not feel that she is being bought.

As I say, feminists have been rebelling against “benevolent sexism” for around four decades now.

As a result, women are more likely to be abused. They are more likely to be used for sex. They are less likely to be involved in sustained relationships.

Men have been excoriated for acting courteously and politely, lest they be accused of being patronizing, so they have concluded that they need to act badly toward women.

Men concluded that they could further the revolutionary feminist cause by being revolting.

When feminism decided that courtship and even dating was a relic of a bygone age, all the rude, lewd, crude dudes rejoiced.

Today, Connelly and Heesacker have their backs.

Here’s a nice video showing a traditional marriage:

See those traditional sex roles? Feminists think we should intervene to reduce its prevalence because it’s “dangerous”.

I’ve written before about how feminists push women into premarital recreational sex because they want to undermine sexist notions like chivalry, courtship, marriage and stay-at-home motherhood. Their number one target is the traditional family, where the husband works and the wife stays home and raises the children. They know that if they can get women to binge-drink and hook-up with a bunch of men, then marriage will die. And that’s their goal. That’s what it means to be a feminist – act promiscuously and depend on the government for free condoms, free abortions and single mother welfare. Government replaces men.

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Nearly half of 15-year-olds are not living with both parents

Dina sent me this article from the UK Telegraph, which features our favorite Conservative MP, Iain Duncan Smith.

Excerpt:

Some 45% see their mother and father’s relationship break down before then, although 80% are born to a couple living together.

The figures were released as the Government announced plans to change the way it measures the effectiveness of social programmes for the poor.

Halting the breakdown of family life will become the key measure of success, with officials being asked to record how they promote family stability and tackle joblessness, and whether children in the families affected perform as well their peers in other families.

Companies providing the programmes to provide help for Britain’s 120,000 so-called problem families will be paid in accordance with how well they improve the statistics in these areas, the Daily Mail reported.

Iain Duncan Smith, the Work and Pensions Secretary, told the Social Justice Conference in London: “Stable, loving families matter.

“They matter for this government, and they matter for the most vulnerable in society

“By measuring the proportion of children living with the same parents from birth and whether their parents report a good quality relationship we are driving home the message that social programmes should promote family stability and avert breakdown.

“You don’t help families by shrugging your shoulders when parental relationships fall apart.

“When families are strong and stable, so are children, showing higher levels of wellbeing and more positive outcomes.

“But when things go wrong – either through family breakdown or a damaged parental relationship – the impact on a child’s later life can be devastating.”

Mr Duncan Smith warned last week that the welfare system was promoting destructive behaviour by encouraging poorer families to have more children and denying them the incentive to get a job.

Wouldn’t it be nice if we could have a frank talk in this nation about the social costs of family breakdown and how to prevent it? We need to spend time as a nation going over the harm that family breakdown causes to children, and developing best practices for dating, courting, mate-selection and behaviors with marriage.

I wrote quite a long post about how women can prevent divorce earlier this week and was surprised that we did not get many comments on it. I noticed that many people read it, but no one commented. Sometimes I feel that a whole bunch of us have this view of relationships such that we choose our mate based on emotions, and that the purpose of the relationship is to make us feel happy. But that’s not going to provide children with the stability they need.

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