22 January 2013

God, Man, and Marriage

There is a certain segment of the Manosophere that is both nominally Christian and participates in the Men’s Rights Movement (MRM).  I generally make a point of avoiding these people since, as far as I can tell based on what I’ve read, they generally make a point of blaming women for everything that’s wrong with the world.  This view is hardly new, as Adam’s response to God in Genesis could certainly be viewed as the very first instance of Men’s Rights activism.  God’s response, if you’ll recall, was basically to say that because Adam shirked his duty as leader, his life was going to become considerably more difficult.  Note that this was not a particularly sympathetic response.

Anyhow, getting back to the point at hand, there are still plenty of men today who are, in a sense, trying to blame Eve for every major problem they have.  The complaints are legion.  Some men complain about getting fucked over in a divorce.  Some men complain about not getting fucked over enough in the marriage bed. Some men complain that their wives are unattractive; some men complain that their wives are not attracted to them.  Some men complain that their wives are lazy and refuse to help around the house.  In general, a good number of these men avoid being introspective and asking themselves whether they have at all contributed to their own problems.

It is helpful to take a moment and consider the purpose of marriage.  Obviously, one purpose of marriage is the propagation of Godly children.  Another reason for marriage is that allows for the proper release of sexual desire, and best enables pair-bonding.  Also, marriage acts as a method of conveying a number of theological truths.

In regards to marriage serving as a method of theological pedagogy, it is helpful to further note that truth can be learned through both pleasure and pain.  That pain can be used to impart certain theological lessons is often ignored, since it is often emotionally easier to view pain as capricious in its administration.  However, the pain of a bad marriage should be viewed as a time to learn certain theological truths.

Consider the example of Hosea.  Hosea was commanded by God marry a prostitute.1  The lesson that God wanted to illustrate was that as Hosea’s wife was unfaithful to Hosea by playing the harlot, in like manner the children of Israel were being unfaithful to God by worshiping idols.  This would certainly be a very painful thing for Hosea to endure.  The pain that he felt knowing that his wife was selling her body to strange men must have been quite severe.  Nonetheless, his pain provides a very distinct reminder for the children of Israel, and even for us:  The pain that a man feels knowing his wife is a whore is akin to the pain that God feels when his people worship idols.

There are, of course, many other theological truths that can be learned from observing both good and bad marriages alike.  Paul, for example, spends some time discussing how the ideal functioning of marriage should mirror the relationship between Christ and the church.  Many other spiritual lessons, particularly in regards to submission and hierarchy, can be drawn from marriage without needing explicit scriptural verification.  Men, in general, would do well to contemplate the theological truths found in marriage, for doing so would enable them to improve their marriages considerably.

One thing that I’ve noticed, regarding the aforementioned complaints, is how they are extremely gynocentric.  In a sense, these men are making women the focus of their lives, and in this case are doing so negatively.2 This is certainly a problem, since God is greater than Woman, and must be viewed as such.

What happens is that men become exceedingly focused on their wives and neglect their responsibilities to God.  Evidence for this can be seen in the common male lament:  “but I thought women wanted nice3 guys.”  This complaint is especially indicative of the fundamental failure that men have regarding women, since this complaint perfectly encapsulates their problem:  they are heeding the words of women instead of heeding the Word of God.  Nowhere in scripture does God say that men need to be “nice” to their wives, or even to women in general.  He says they need to be loving to their wives, and kind, but he does not ever expect men to defer to their wives, nor does he expect men to cater to their wives’ every whim.  God clearly expects men to lead their wives, and do what it is best for them, their wives’ protestations notwithstanding.

Men’s tendency towards niceness is a rather pernicious sin, because most men are trying—but failing—to manipulate women by being nice.  Those men who act nice towards attractive women are only doing so because they want something in exchange, and not because God commands this of this of them.4  This mindset is clearly condemned by Christ.  Those who only do “good” things because they expect some sort of recognition or reward will have their reward in full on this earth.  And that reward, Christ notes, is often shallow and meaningless.   Men who are nice to women because they are expecting a reward already have their reward in full.  Men used to be able to depend on getting women by being nice, but now those days are no more, but even in the days of Christ, being nice was only rewarded on earth; there was no spiritual benefit to it.  If you’re only being nice to get pussy, then whatever pussy you get is your reward, even if you get no pussy.

A husband’s job, though, is to obey God and do what he says.  In regards to marriage, the husband is expected to lead.  He is expected to treat his wife with kindness.  He is to love his wife and not be bitter towards her. He is to protect his wife.  He is to provide for his wife.5  He is to sacrifice himself for his wife, if necessary.  He is to make sure that his wife is sexually fulfilled.6  He is to do this because God requires this of him.  He is not to do this because he expects his wife to return the favor.  To him that knows to do good and does it not, to him it is sin.” Man cannot refrain from doing what is right simply because there is no earthly reward in it.  If a man knows that God expects him to behave a certain way, he had bloody well better behave that way.

When you think about it, marriage is one of God’s most brilliant designs.  Marriages function properly when husbands and wives submit to their proper roles in the marital hierarchy.  As long as men focus on submitting to Christ (and thereby treating their wives the way God commands them to) and as long women focus on submitting to their husbands, then the marriage will work just fine.  However, if man subverts the hierarchy by submitting to/worshiping his wife (or if the wife tries to subvert the hierarchy by ruling over her husband and her husband goes along with it), then the marriage breaks down.

Fittingly, the reward for subverting the spiritual hierarchy, which is itself a form of idolatry,7 leads to painful consequences which illustrate a broader theological truth.  When you elevate Woman above God, the natural result is a marital pain that demonstrates the pain God feels when he is not worshiped as he deserves.  Also fittingly, the corrective action is to restore the natural hierarchy, which in turn leads to a happier marriage.

One thing that whiny Christian MRAs should consider doing is spending a little bit more time examining their lives, to see whether they are truly worshiping God.  Marital problems are not completely one-sided, and the social problems that result are not solely the fault of the female gender.  If God’s word is to be believed, it is far more likely that a good number of marital problems—and the attendant social ills that accompany them—are largely results of men shirking their God-given duty.

This is not to say that women are completely without fault.  However, it is clear that the greater fault lies with the men and their near-complete failure to comply with God’s commands.  Therefore, men in unhappy marriages need to examine their lives for sin and failure, and do what they can to correct their course and live as the leaders that God would have them to be.  Once they’ve done that, then we can talk about the women.

1. I note, not without some degree of amusement, that the example of Hosea would indicate, contra to the assertion of some MRMs and MGTOWs, that God does occasionally expect men man to man up and marry whores.

2.  The other extreme of gynocentricity is the positive end of the spectrum, which is usually filled with PUAs, who worship at the altar of pussy.  While they are quite skilled in acquiring what they want, they are just as much slaves to women as men who constantly complain about how terrible their wives are since, in both cases, women are the center of focus, attention, and energy.  That one group gets what they want while the other does not doesn’t change the fact that both groups make women the focus of their life.  The proper way to view this is that one group’s sacrifices are not accepted while the other group’s sacrifices are.  In both cases, sacrifices are being offered.  (I observe here that it is to women’s credit that they are disgusted with the sacrifices offered by betas.  Women do not like being the object of idolatry, at least as evidenced by the fact that women do not generally reward it.  Also note that the main difference between God and Woman is that God rewards Man when Man offers his best, but Woman rewards Man when he offers his worst, which should indicate that, if nothing else, Woman is not worthy of worship since they simply do not appreciate it.)

3.  “Nice” is here defined as engaging in behaviors that are deferential towards women or otherwise indicate female superiority (e.g. listening to every last banal word that comes out of her mouth, doing things for her that she is capable of doing herself, buying her lots of/expensive presents, constantly asking her what she wants to do, and so on.)

4. For those who are inclined to argue that some men sincerely believe that God commands them to be nice to women/their wives, I would recommend reading Jeremiah 17:9 and 2 Peter 3:16.

5. If the only thing you, as a husband, can say in defense of your role as husband is that you provide for your wife, then you have utterly failed as a husband.  Providing for your family is so fundamental that failure to do so is considered to be worse than not believing in God.  This would indicate, then, that being a provider is considered such a basic point that hanging your hat on this accomplishment is a clear indication of being a low achiever.

6. As a side note, I’d like to take a minute to point of some of the implications of this expectation.  Since God does, in fact, expect men to sexually satisfy their wives, it would certainly behoove men to learn how to do so.  Now, unless I am simply projecting, and am therefore gravely mistaken, I sincerely believe that few men would be sexually satisfied with their wives just spreading their legs when it comes to sex.  Most men, and correct me if I’m wrong, want their wives to be sexually attractive and sexually engaged (e.g., this might mean staying in shape, wearing lingerie, wearing makeup, talking dirty, engaging in sexual role play, and so forth).  Satiating the male appetite for sex is not accomplished simply by the spreading of legs (though there are certainly occasions when it may be).  Likewise, satiating the female appetite for sex is not accomplished merely having a raging hard-on (though there are certainly occasions when it may be).

The apostle Paul forbade husbands and wives from depriving one another sexually.  I would take this to mean that both men and women alike are expected to whatever they reasonably can to make sure their spouses are sexually satisfied.  For women, this would generally mean looking as sexy as possible, and being a willing and engaged participant in sex.  For men, this would mean making yourself as attractive as possible, and engaging in what can reasonably be described as foreplay.  Men should also not forget that female sexual desire is remarkably different from male sexual desire (e.g., it’s not as dependent on bodily aesthetics).  As such, men should make an effort to figure out what their wives like and give it to them.  This more than likely entails learning Game, or at least learning how to demonstrate dominance and confidence, and learning how to tease.

I’d also like to point at that the modern church has completely failed in this theological matter.  God does not take the modern Churchian view that attraction is not necessary for marital satisfaction (cf. Song of Songs).  Why the modern church has shoved its metaphorical head up its ass on this matter and thinks that sexual attraction is not relevant to marriage is beyond me.  The church’s failure to adequately address the nature of sexual attraction and how it is to be satisfied in marriage is a black spot of colossal proportions.

7. Technically, I suppose this is really a form of improper apotheosis, but that’s for another post.