Wintery Knight

…integrating Christian faith and knowledge in the public square

Should you marry someone who promises you that “there will be no divorce”?

I was having a chat with a friend of mine who just got out of a serious relationship and I was trying to pick his brain to find out everything about the woman he was intending to marry so I could see why things went wrong. He told me that she had told him over and over that “there would be no divorce” and that he found that very convincing, despite very obvious warning signs in the area of respect (which I wrote about yesterday).

Well. I was very surprised to hear this, and so I asked him whether he thought it was enough that this woman told him that “three will be no divorce”. He said yes. This woman had experienced the divorce of her own parents and she was resolved (by act of will) never to let that happen to her. He found that acceptable, but I didn’t because I know the numbers on this, and I know that children of divorced parents are more likely to divorce themselves. So the pain of divorce is no deterrent here.

So should we believe that people can avoid a divorce just by saying they will? I told him no. And for an example, I offered a thought experiment. I said to imagine two runners on a track who are charged with completing 10 laps. One runner is a Navy SEAL like Mike Murphy, who has been trained to run miles and miles carrying a 60 pound load. In the mountains. The other is a 300-lb couch potato whose idea of exercise is reaching for the TV remote control. Suppose I ask both runners: do you intend to finish the 10 laps? Should I believe them if they both say yes?

Look, marriage is like building a house. People can say whatever they want about their prospects for success, but the will doesn’t decide here. You have to certain skills, you have to have a certain amount of money, you have to have a plan, you have to be able to read blueprints, you have to be able to hire specialists, you understand the differences between materials, etc. When you think about it, no long-term enterprise can be accomplished by act of will. Piano recitals, math exams, investing for retirement… nothing can be done by sheer act of will.

Now with that being said, let’s take a look at an example.

An example

I found this article in the Wall Street Journal way back in 2011, but it fits my conversation with my friend.

The author, Susan Gregory Thomas, lists some of the mistakes she made that led her to get a divorce in her first marriage.

This is the first thing I saw that caught my eye:

“Whatever happens, we’re never going to get divorced.” Over the course of 16 years, I said that often to my husband, especially after our children were born.

So she is trying to express an intention here, repeatedly, to her husband. I think the point here is that she did have good intentions but as we shall see that was not enough to prevent the divorce. That’s a warning to others that good intentions are not enough.

Here is the second thing:

I believed that I had married my best friend as fervently as I believed that I’d never get divorced. No marital scenario, I told myself, could become so bleak or hopeless as to compel me to embed my children in the torture of a split family. And I wasn’t the only one with strong personal reasons to make this commitment.

I noticed that a lot of people seem to think that being compatible is very important to marriage. But I don’t think that it is the most important thing. For example, you would not expect two cocaine addicts or two gambling addicts, etc. to have a stable marriage. I think marriage is more like a job interview where there are specific things that each person has to be able to do in order to make it work. So again, she’s giving a warning to others that compatibility is not a guarantee of marriage success.

And there’s more:

My husband and I were as obvious as points on a graph in a Generation X marriage study. We were together for nearly eight years before we got married, and even though statistics show that divorce rates are 48% higher for those who have lived together previously, we paid no heed.

We also paid no heed to his Catholic parents, who comprised one of the rare reassuringly unified couples I’d ever met, when they warned us that we should wait until we were married to live together. As they put it, being pals and roommates is different from being husband and wife. How bizarrely old-fashioned and sexist! We didn’t need anything so naïve or retro as “marriage.” Please. We were best friends.

Sociologists, anthropologists and other cultural observers tell us that members of Generation X are more emotionally invested in our spouses than previous generations were. We are best friends; our marriages are genuine partnerships. Many studies have found that Generation X family men help around the house a good deal more than their forefathers. We depend on each other and work together.

So here I am seeing that she rejected sex roles, parental advice, or the moral guidelines of Christianity. Again, she is discussing some of the factors that I at least think contribute to divorce. I think that she is right to highlight the fact that she was wrong to disregard the statistics on cohabitation.

So here are some of the mistakes:

  • reject advice from parents
  • avoid chastity
  • cohabitate for EIGHT YEARS
  • embrace feminism, reject complementarian sex roles
  • thinking that good intentions would overcome every challenge

So, what does the research show works to have a stable marriage?

  • chastity
  • rejection of feminism
  • regular church attendance
  • parental involvement in the courting
  • parents of both spouses married
  • no previous divorces

Guess what? You can’t break all the rules and still succeed by sheer force of will.  If you break all the rules like that woman in the story, you can’t have a working marriage. Not without repudiating everything you believed, and taking steps to undo all the damage from everything you’ve done. You can’t keep all the bad beliefs and bad habits you’ve built up and marry them to a marriage that will stand the test of time.

A good marriage is an enterprise, and it requires that your character be changed to fit the requirements. There is no way to short-circuit the preparation / selection processes by act of will. And just because your friends are getting married, that’s no reason for you to rush into it unprepared. The best way to prepare for marriage is pick people of the opposite sex and practice marriage behaviors (e.g. – listening, helping) with them – even with people you don’t intend to marry. Take an interest in their lives and practice denying yourself to help them with their problems. That’s better than making idle promises you’re not able to keep. And this works the same for men and for women. Both people need to get this right.

Filed under: Polemics, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

My conversation with a leftist friend about basic economics and rent control

My conversation with a leftist friend about “Basic Economics: A Common Sense Guide to the Economy, 4th Edition“, by Thomas Sowell.

Him: I remember why I stopped reading that book when you asked me to read it.

Me: Why did you stop reading it?

Him: Because of the chapter on rent control.

Me: Chapter 3 is the chapter on price controls. It talks about rent control.

Him: I expect an economist to present both sides of rent control. He has to present the arguments for and against rent control.

Me: There are not two sides to rent control. There is only one side to rent control. He chose that because it is a clear cut example of the problems caused by price controls. Economists universally condemn rent control, across the ideological spectrum.

Him: No they don’t.

Me: The chair of the Department of Economics at Harvard University, Greg Mankiw, reports in his economics textbook that 93% of professional economists agree that rent control reduces housing supply and housing quality. It is the most agreed upon position among economists across the ideological spectrum, number one in his list of facts on which professional economists agree. And obviously they have reasons for agreeing on that, specifically the experience of trying rent control policies in different times and places. It has always failed.

Him: Somebody must like rent control, because they have it in New York city.

Me: Politicians and low-information voters support rent control. It makes politicians feel good, and it gets them elected, too – if the voters are economically illiterate enough, as they are in New York city.

Him: But what about global warming then? Isn’t the consensus against you there?

Me: There has been no global warming in the last 17 years, according to the New York Times. They were reporting on findings by the UN IPCC in 2013.

Him: The UN never said that. The New York Times never wrote that.

Me: Yes, they did. And I have the sources I can send them to you.

Him: I’ll bet you do. (walks away in a huff)

This is the relevant quote from the Greg Mankiw post from his survey of economists that appears in his textbook:

  1. A ceiling on rents reduces the quantity and quality of housing available. (93%)
  2. Tariffs and import quotas usually reduce general economic welfare. (93%)
  3. Flexible and floating exchange rates offer an effective international monetary arrangement. (90%)
  4. Fiscal policy (e.g., tax cut and/or government expenditure increase) has a significant stimulative impact on a less than fully employed economy. (90%)
  5. The United States should not restrict employers from outsourcing work to foreign countries. (90%)
  6. The United States should eliminate agricultural subsidies. (85%)
  7. Local and state governments should eliminate subsidies to professional sports franchises. (85%)
  8. If the federal budget is to be balanced, it should be done over the business cycle rather than yearly. (85%)
  9. The gap between Social Security funds and expenditures will become unsustainably large within the next fifty years if current policies remain unchanged. (85%)
  10. Cash payments increase the welfare of recipients to a greater degree than do transfers-in-kind of equal cash value. (84%)
  11. A large federal budget deficit has an adverse effect on the economy. (83%)
  12. A minimum wage increases unemployment among young and unskilled workers. (79%)
  13. The government should restructure the welfare system along the lines of a “negative income tax.” (79%)
  14. Effluent taxes and marketable pollution permits represent a better approach to pollution control than imposition of pollution ceilings. (78%)

And this is the relevant quote from the New York Times article, dated September 2013:

The global warming crowd has a problem. For all of its warnings, and despite a steady escalation of greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere, the planet’s average surface temperature has remained pretty much the same for the last 15 years.

As you might guess, skeptics of warming were in full attack mode as the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change gathered in Sweden this week to approve its latest findings about our warming planet. The skeptics argue that this recent plateau illustrates what they always knew — that complex global climate models have no predictive capability and that, therefore, there is no proof of global warming, human-caused or not.

The author of the NYT article (a leftist) goes on to attempt to explain he is not concerned by the 17 year period of no significant warming, but the point is that the 17 year (not 15 year) period of no significant warming is A FACT acknowledged by the UN IPCC that has to be explained by those who believe in catastrophic man-made global warming. The IPCC may not like the temperature measurements, but those facts are not in doubt. The global warming crowd might make predictions about the future, but they made predictions about the past before, and we now know for a fact that those predictions (polar ice caps melting, Himalayans melting, significant global warming, etc.) were FALSE. They have been falsified by evidence, and that’s not in doubt.

Economic illiteracy is the problem

When people on the left voted for Barack Obama in 2012, they did not know based on evidence that they could keep their doctors and keep their health plans and that insurance premiums would drop $2500. They did not know it because the economic studies contradicted Obama’s words. They even believed Obama when he said that the Benghazi incident was caused by a Youtube video. Obama-supporters had a sincere belief in the words of his passionate speeches. They were impressed by the visuals of him talking to large crowds of young people. They believed him because they had feelings about him. And voting for him made them have good feelings about themselves. They felt that they were going to achieve good things by voting for this good man. They meant well, but they did not know. They did not have evidence.

Before the 2012 election, people on the right pointed to evidence from studies (like this one) showing that Obama was lying, but his supporters were apparently not interested in economic studies. They want to preserve the feelings of being good people. They want to preserve the belief that you can embrace policies that sound good, and that words that sound good will necessarily lead to good results for people who are at a disadvantage. I don’t question the motives of people on the left – they mean well. But meaning well doesn’t produce good results without knowledge of economics. In economics, policies that sound appealing to well-meaning liberals (rent control, tariffs, protectionism, minimum wage, trillion-dollar deficits) actually produce bad results for poor people. And we know this for a fact from our experience across different times and places.

If we can get people to accept the authority of our observations of policy experimentation in different times and places over and above their feelings and intuitions, then we can save this country.

Filed under: Commentary, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Can a Christian woman divorce her husband if she is really, really unhappy?

So, the topic for this post is whether it’s OK to get divorced.

I noticed a lot of people getting divorced these days in the church, and trying to justify why they are allowed to divorce and why they should be allowed to pursue remarriage. So I’m first going to quote from an article from Focus on the Family by Amy Tracy.

She writes:

God is very clear, however, that He hates divorce (Malachi 2:16). He also says, “So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate” (Matthew 19:6). According to the New Testament, there are two justifications for divorce: infidelity (Matthew 5:32) and desertion (1 Corinthians 7:15).

Now, I had always taken the rule of Dr. Laura for this. She says that you can get divorced for adultery and abandonment (as above), but she allows allows for physical abuse and drug addiction. But it looks like the Bible is more strict than Dr. Laura, even.

Now with that Biblical standard in mind, take a look at this post about a woman who professes to be a Christian who is divorcing her husband for unhappiness, which I found on Sunshine Mary’s blog.

Look:

So how are we to understand women like Jenny Erickson, and the many other Christian women like her, who claim that despite thousands of years of Christian and Jewish tradition, despite the clear commands in Scripture not to separate from one’s husband, despite the commandments against adultery, nevertheless the Lord God Himself has made a special exemption just for her?  Because He wants her to be happy, so if she needs to be a faithless woman who breaks her vows and becomes an adulteress, then hey it’s all good?

[...]After secretly filing for divorce from her husband, Mrs. Erickson’s pastor caught wind of the situation and attempted to discuss it with her.  When she refused, the pastor went to her husband about the situation.  Mrs. Erickson has since railed against her soon-to-be ex-husband and her now ex-Pastor because they actually had the nerve to call what she was doing a sin – which, according to the Bible, is is.  Let’s read through a few quotes from Mrs. Erickson:

Thankfully, my faith in God is stronger than my fear of men, and I feel like I’m finally getting right with Him again after years of wandering in the wilderness.

[...]Here are a few more things that Mrs. Erickson claims:

It’s odd and strangely freeing to not know exactly where I’m going to be a year from now. I’ve always been the girl with The Plan. The Plan has changed every now and then, because hey, life requires adaptation, but right now there is No Plan other than love my girls like crazy, work hard enough to pay the bills, and rely totally and fully on God.  I’m sure His Plan is better than My Plan anyway.

and

I needed a time-out for my marriage — possibly a permanent one. But every person that tells me I’m going against God’s will by separating from my husband drives me further away from wanting to reconcile with him.

Details aren’t needed. Leif is the father of my amazing children, and I want nothing more than to be his friend again someday, regardless of what happens in our marriage. But things have been very broken between us for a very long time, and it took every ounce of courage I had to take the step that went against everything my religious culture told me but somehow I knew God was telling me was right.

and

To be told that this beautiful, wonderful thing I have learned exists in my soul, this thing that gives me the strength to flip my life over when nothing else has worked, this thing that has made me braver than I thought possible, and made me rely on God more than I ever have in my entire life … to be told that this is a perversion of His plan for me?

These points must confuse a lot of women because I have heard these rationalizations used by many Christian women who are leaving or have left their husbands.  Therefore, allow me to clear up the confusion that seems to be rampant (but it really isn’t confusion, it is willful disobedience), lest any of my sisters in Christ are considering following Mrs. Erickson’s example.

God’s plan for you will never include violating anything written in the Bible.

If you hear a voice whispering in your ear, Here’s the plan; what I want you to do is... and the plan includes going against clear commandments in God’s Word, then it is not God who is speaking to you.  God’s plan for your life, sister, never includes you filing for divorce.  Not ever, not under any circumstances, no matter what your husband has or has not done, no matter what you want, no matter what would make you happy.

So, I think we need to be really careful with spousal candidates who claim to be Christian – we need to make sure that they really are comfortable with being led and with the authority of the Bible to overrule their feelings. In fact, you can check to see if a person takes their faith seriously just by trying to lead them to take the Bible seriously. You just have to read the Bible and think about how to live it out in a marriage, and then talk to your spousal candidate about what you’ve discovered. You want to present to them your plans and your reasons for those plans, and explain what you need them to do in order to make the plan work. This is a great way to see if they know what marriage is really about and how they feel about what’s expected of them if they marry YOU.

Sometimes, it’s really obvious that the person is not a good candidate for marriage. If you tell them your plans and then complain about arrogance, ego and how your questions would turn off any woman, then you are dealing with someone who is going to divorce you. And they might have already divorced someone else – like Erickson. The name calling in response to you trying to to make the Bible have authority over the roles that you each play in the marriage is a sure sign of impending divorce. Basically, you have to beware of anyone who is feelings-driven instead of Scripture-driven and detect them early. There are things to do in a marriage that need to be done whether anyone feels like it or not. You can’t be married to someone who responds to rational discussion about plans and duties with verbal abuse.

Filed under: Commentary, , , , , , , ,

Woman who slept with 18 guys shocked that no one wants to marry her

Does being a virgin before marriage affect marital stabilitity?

Does being a virgin before marriage affect marital stability?

Sunshine Mary linked to a post from Reddit by a 32-year old “progressive” woman who is surprised that 15 years of sleeping around with 18 different guys is not attractive to marriage-minded men.

Excerpt:

My parents are first generation immigrants. I have a younger brother and younger sister. In my family I was always the rebellious one; I would often challenge my parents. My family was very strict, when it came to dating and my siblings usually fell in line. However, I would challenge that norm.

My brother and sister were very repressed with their sexualities as a result, while I lost my virginity at 17 to my then boyfriend. While my brother and followed the traditional Indian path. My brother ended up not having any sexual contact with a girl until he got married at 25 (arranged marriage) and now they have a child together. My sister (too never kissed a boy) has recently gotten married too at 24 with an Indian boy she met at our Temple (both parents approved).

I live in LA, a city where both men and woman tend to marry a bit later in life, and yet I still spent the last years of my 20‘s feeling that somehow, I’d messed up. I had followed the wrong trail and thus, my “important-life-moments” timeline was off. Even with my more progressive friends it began slowly at first, when I was 27 … an engagement post on Facebook, an invite to a wedding—it was happening. People I knew were beginning the next stage of life and saying “I do.”

Throughout my whole life I never really dated any Indian guys; I exclusively dated white guys. However now I realize more than ever that the guys I dated never really took me seriously. They never really viewed me as someone they would eventually marry. I was always just some exotic fun. This part was definitely a realization that has hurt me to the core. I didn’t actually do it to spite Indian men or anything like that. I did what a lot of my white female friends did; I thought I was the same as them, but that could be farther from the truth. Most white guys I ran into wanted white wives.

I am now 32, and seems like everyone in my family has lapped me. I too want a family a marriage. However, now my chance of finding someone is gone. At my age getting an arranged marriage or finding another Indian man to marry me is out of the question. Majority of Indian guys usually get married pretty early. Often either to another Indian girl they meet here, or they go back to India for an arranged marriage. My parents have tried signing me up for a matrimony site, but of the guys I’d meet they would be turned off by my history (drink/eat meat/not a virgin).

[...]Most of my relationships have been long term I have only been with 18 guys and I have been sexually active since I was 17 years old.

She has only had steady sexual relationships with 18 guys in 15 years! That’s not a lot. Is it?

Let’s see what Sunshine Mary says first:

However, the more I think about it, the more it seems to me that articles like hers are a good thing simply because they expose the lie.  Feminists have sold young women a bill of goods, that they can live like men, work like men, have sex like men, and then turn back into women when they feel like it.  We laugh at a woman like this sometimes and make fun of her and say, “Didn’t she know that she’d end up like this?”

No, she didn’t know that.  That’s because when you are 17 years old, you don’t know much, especially in this culture of extended adolescence.  And when you have been told from a very young age that, as a girl, it is your destiny to Have It All exactly When You Want It, I’m sure it is very baffling to find yourself in your thirties with no husband and none in sight, with the dawning realization that your job and lonely apartment are not nearly as fulfilling as being a wife and mother would have been.

[...]Personally, I feel no joy in this woman’s pain.  I don’t think a White Knight should ride in to save her because I think she should suffer the natural consequences of her decisions so that other young women may see and learn from her errors, but I take no pleasure in the fact that she will have this lot in life.  However, what most of us don’t seem to understand is that young women make the terrible choices that they are making because they are told from an early age that these are actually good choices.  Some girls are able to resist that message, which saturates every aspect of the media and schools, but most girls aren’t, and they don’t develop the necessary wisdom until it is too late.

Emphasis hers. And now my turn.

Let me tell you what awaits a man who marries a woman like that, who spent her 20s hooking up with hot guys who had no interest in marriage and no  demonstrated ability to protect, provide and lead on moral/spiritual issues. She will have convinced herself that she is more attractive than she really is, and be constantly comparing a less-attractive husband to these other hot guys. I therefore do not recommend that any man marry this woman as she is now. What men need in marriage is respect, affection, affirmation and approval. A woman like her needs to work on building up her ability to trust and encourage men by choosing good men and supporting them chastely and unselfishly. That is the only way to fix this, if it even can be fixed.

I know that women will be surprised by this, but men can tell if you are a virgin or not based on how much you trust and encourage them in their plans. If you are constantly putting them down, calling them names, and making excuses for why you don’t have to care about their needs and feelings, then that’s just your past promiscuity showing itself. Virgins with good relationships with their fathers don’t put men down like that – they build men up. My recommendation for women who realize that they are making bad choices with men and being negative about the men they choose is to look in the mirror and acknowledge that they are the problem. The solution, then, is to find a good man and work hard at being submissive and supportive, but chastely.

In the church

My friend Ari, who is married with lots of kids, sent me a related article from Vox Day, about how church women are making choices about during their 20s and 30s.

Vox writes:

Women increasingly expect churches and church functions to be places of freedom from “unwanted” interactions. Translated, this means women expect unattractive men to know their place and not to ask women out or otherwise talk to them at church. They expect men either to avoid them completely, or to be eunuchs, existing to serve them. There have been reports in the manosphere of women actually complaining to pastors about “unattractive” men asking them out at church. It is as if women expect pastors and church staff to punish and rebuke men for “sexual harassment” at churches, merely because in a social situation they acted like men and pursued someone/something they wanted. Of course, none of this applies to attractive men, who are never the subject of complaint or sanction no matter what they do.

A friend of mine who has an engineering degree from MIT and a very high-paying job replied to that with this:

Heh. Sad, but good insight about the desexualized church. When I was single, I very friendly (not sexually — was very discerning and had very high standards) and some women found that very disconcerting. I was even had my behavior likened as “sexual harassment” at one point, so I asked if there were things like pelvic thrusts, hands in pockets pointing the wrong way, things that I said that were inappropriate. No, the answer came back. It was just that I was friendly. (Besides, I couldn’t see any of the women as date-material … one or two from what I could discern were nominally Christian, as in, one thought it would be cool to find a husband at a church but would take home guys.)

So I stated: I merely say hi and ask how the person is and if the person doesn’t want to talk, I don’t push the conversation. I am merely being pleasant especially to people I know. The answer came back that a certain group of women wanted me to just ignore them, not even wave, say hi, or acknowledge their existence. Really? Jesus died so we could just ignore each other? I mostly gaped … and wondered about John 13:34-35.

I was told “this was an unachievable ideal, don’t even try.” Now, who is still worshiping and still there? Not this group of women!

I think this problem of women wasting their lives on men who are attractive and entertaining, but not marriage-capable, is even more serious when it comes to the church, because I think there is a temptation that women have to be very secular in their standard for men, and yet the church affirms them by making it seem that their feelings are actually God speaking to them about which man to like. Every objection about the man’s unsuitability for marriage is met with “but he has a good heart for Jesus and he works hard”. Heart for Jesus = never read so much as a C.S. Lewis book in his life.

Where does the standard come from? Well it comes from TV, movies, music and pop culture. That’s where they learn what kind of man to like, and it’s reinforced by their peers. There is no effort to look at what a Christian man does in a marriage and then choose a man who is showing he can do that. A woman should always choose a man who gives her the tingles, because the tingles are the voice of God telling her that he is opening doors and providing signs for her to prefer the agnostic psychology student who lives in his parents’ basement and is 3 years younger than she is. But he is hawt, and the Holy Spirit told her to spend her 20s pining away for him. Her friends would be so envious, because he looks like that guy on “Mad Men”.

Filed under: News, , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Hillary Clinton, Huma Abedin, Elin Nordegren, Elizabeth Edwards and Maria Shriver

All of these women were cheated on, to some extent, by their spouses:

  • Hillary Clinton is the wife of Bill Clinton.
  • Huma Abedin is the wife of the Anthony Weiner.
  • Elin Nordegren is the wife of Tiger Woods.
  • Elizabeth Edwards is the wife of John Edwards.
  • Maria Shriver is the wife of Arnold Schwarzenegger.

So what do they all have in common?

They all picked secular men with liberal views on social policy and they all got cheated on.

So how should women test men for marriage?

Here are some questions that the five women who chose these disgusting creeps for husbands SHOULD have asked:

  1. What is the public purpose of marriage?
  2. What are the expected public outcomes of a good marriage?
  3. Does chastity before marriage provide any indication about a person’s ability to stay faithful in a marriage?
  4. What should men and women bring to a relationship so that they are able to perform expected marital behaviors?
  5. Is marriage more about self-indulgence or about self-sacrifice? Can you get used to self-sacrifice by being self-indulgent?
  6. If a person is pro-abortion, what do they believe about taking responsibility to avoid harming others with their poor decisions?
  7. If a person is pro-same-sex marriage, what do they believe about the needs of children compared to the needs of adults?
  8. If a person believes in wealth redistribution, do they have a correct understanding of working, saving and investing?
  9. Does a person’s superior appearance, wealth, or power determine whether they will be faithful in a marriage?
  10. Can you cause your spouse to be faithful by spending a lot of money on a wedding?
  11. Can you cause your spouse to be faithful by inviting famous people to your wedding?
  12. Is it a good idea to choose someone to marry who your parents and elders disapprove of?
  13. Is it a good idea to choose whether to have sex with someone using “the 180-second rule”?
  14. Is it a good idea to choose someone to marry in order to impress your friends (or to make them jealous)?
  15. Is it a good idea to marry someone because most of your friends are getting married?
  16. Is it a good idea to avoid studying the effects of divorce on children prior to marrying?
  17. Can you expect a spouse to adhere to objective moral obligations without a knowledge of God’s existence, grounded on evidence?
  18. Can you expect a spouse to adhere to objective moral obligations without a knowledge of God’s character, grounded on evidence?
  19. Does holding a Bible for a photo-op make someone into a William Lane Craig or a Wayne Grudem?
  20. Does singing praise hymns in church make someone into a William Lane Craig or a Wayne Grudem?

Those last items are to show that you really cannot have a moral standard that is binding unless there is some way that the universe ought to be, because it was designed to be a certain way by a Designer. If a person is convinced that there is a Designer who made people, it rationally grounds the idea that there is a way that humans ought to act – independently of how we may feel individually, or even in different cultures in different places and times. The more a man knows whether God exists and knows what God is like as a person – based on evidence – the more seriously that man will try to incorporate God’s personality into his decision making. A serious study of the evidence for God’s existence and character helps people to take moral obligations to others more seriously – especially when they don’t FEEL LIKE IT. That is why marriages where both spouses attend church regularly last. I can guarantee you that there are times when people don’t feel like going to church, e.g. – bad weather days. But people who attend church regularly have trained themselves to take their relationship with God more seriously than their own comfort. That is a useful prerequisite for marriage, especially if the church attendance spills into even harder things like theology, philosophy of religion, ethics and apologetics. Women need to be asking men these worldview and morality questions, and insisting on seeing the behaviors that raise the probability of having a stable marriage to a faithful man.

Basically, instead of relying on feelings and peer approval to choose a man, women need to ask men questions to find out whether they are trustworthy and equal to the tasks that men perform as husbands and fathers. I don’t think that women who were cheated on really asked questions about their chosen spouse’s worldview, and how the man’s worldview grounded moral obligations, such as the obligation NOT to cheat. It seems that today, a well-grounded worldview that grounds moral obligations is regarded by some women as being superfluous to marital stability. I guess they think that fidelity is basically random – that Elliot Spitzer is as likely to be a faithful spouse as James Dobson. They just don’t ask men to explain what they believe and why, and why any particular man can be trusted to make moral decisions. And they shouldn’t be satisfied with words – they should demand to see evidence that the man has studied these issues, written about them, debated with others about them, and acted on these convictions personally.

I think that women today are also giving up their responsibility to read about marriage and parenting, to read about risks and challenges that threaten stable marriages, like no-fault divorce laws and cohabitation, and to read about how important it is to stay married because of how divorce affects children. Women should not abdicate the responsibility to judge men, they should not say that “men are unpredictable”, and they should not set themselves up as helpless victims. They need to keep men at arm’s length, keep their wits about them and do the work of evaluating men for the roles that men play in marriage and family.

Character and knowledge count. Just because a man can put on a show for you, it doesn’t mean that he is capable of producing the results of a thoughtful Christian worldview.

What does Dr. Laura say about marriage?

“Commitment to marriage and child rearing was once viewed as the pinnacle of adulthood identity, so that women looked carefully for the “right” man for the job, and parents were consulted for opinions and blessings.”
Source: Dr. Laura Schlessinger, The Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands, page 53.

Find the right man for the job. You wouldn’t resort to feelings to hire someone for your company, so why resort to feelings when it comes to picking a husband and father to your children?

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