Thursday, November 28, 2013

A non-MGTOW Thanksgiving

We've been at a distance from our families for several years over the holidays. I've done what I can to keep with the traditions I grew up with regards to the food that we eat. My daughter's Celiac Disease has caused me to modify the recipes, passed down for generations, so that they are free of gluten and something she can enjoy. A few years ago I learned how to make gluten free lefse, a Norwegian flat bread. Last night I prepared our lefse with tears in my eyes.

This past year the woman in my family who always prepared the lefse, died. She was my Father's sister, an Aunt who I loved dearly. As I mixed the potatoes and flour I saw her beautiful, smiling face and heard her endearing voice, "good girl" - she said that a lot.

I really miss her.

It isn't just for the food she made, or the afghans, mittens, and scarves that she knitted. It was the love she shared for us, my sister and I, having watched us grow up, the children of divorce - and all that that entails.

I've written previously about my parents' divorce, how it affected me and how I became a statistic growing up. My last post, however, made me really reflect on the love and support I had during that time. I have the advantage of being able to look back now and see the outpouring of love from my family. When my father was dealing with his darkest days, my Aunt was there, loving on us.

He'd bring us to her home when he had his week of custody with us over the holidays. A time when he was lost and most vulnerable. She pampered us with love and affection and tended his wounds the best she could - they'd drink beer and play Cribbage well into the night. She was always an encourager to us, and so proud of all of our accomplishments.

I'll be honest with you, one of the biggest challenges I have with the Christian MGTOW (men going their own way) movement is that in essence it says to me: "You are not worth it." Which necessarily means my children aren't worth it. Call it solipsism, I won't deny it. I know my father dealt with a lot of pain in his life with his divorce. I know he had to call on his family to help him through it.

On this Thanksgiving Day, I give thanks to my Dad. He endured that which men fear, and I am so grateful. And I give thanks to his sister, my treasured Aunt who loved him through it, whose heart broke for him, my Mother, and for us, their children. She remained a rock through it all and never gave up on loving us.

In Loving Memory of my dear Aunt Loretta. 


27 comments:

  1. "You are not worth it."

    My friend. The way the collective male world may see things has nothing to do with you as a person. Are you a statistic? Yes, we all are. Behind every statistic is a story. While your story isn't finished yet, it seems to be on track for a fine finish. Never believe the lie that yesterday determines today or tomorrow.

    A women has only two people that she is to serve, 1. her God 2. her husband. Incidentally God has proclaimed that she is to serve her husband and has made her choices clearer by doing so. Never get distracted by that. God has given you a husband, please him and God is pleased with you. Your service to your mate IS service to your God. Believing anything else is believing a lie.

    This blog is proof that you are growing in wisdom.

    I raise my glass to you and your Aunt. Cheers! and Happy Thanksgiving!

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  2. The suffering endured in this world is nothing compared to the glory of the next. For eternity, the suffering you all went through is worth it.
    Your children are worth it.
    You and your Sister are worth it.

    Because Jesus said so.

    I love you my Sister in Christ.

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  3. If you're married, how is it that men who aren't your husband, choosing not to get married to any women (that means, women who they could be married to, meaning ones not already married as yourself), an affront to you, personally?

    Solipsistic, indeed.

    It's not about you; it's about their life choices. Scripture teaches us that it's okay to choose to be single; Paul even said he wished all men were like him. This, despite God's saying in Genesis 'it is not good for man to be alone'; IOW, marriage isn't for everyone, even if it is for many or most. God's own Word to us, Scripture, recognizes this. A shame not all His followers do...

    Therefore, Christian men who choose to be single, are not in the wrong to do so, and it's nobody else's business, just between them and the Lord.

    Other people should butt out.

    As for non-Christians, and their choices, that's not our concern, either. The Lord will judge them.

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    1. Perhaps I should add a disclaimer: I'm not an MGTOW. Nor am I a PUA. And I believe in traditional, patriarchal marriages.

      But they're not for everyone.

      That's all.

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    2. That doesn't matter; it's a legitimate choice, recognized as such in Scripture.

      And BTW, they don't have to go off and be missionaries, either, unless they feel called to.

      We all, after all, are to witness wherever we find ourselves.

      I am single, open to the possibility of marriage, but open to the possibility that I might not marry, as well.

      I refuse to consider, if that ends up being the case, that I will have done wrong, or that my life will have been a 'waste', just because some of my fellow Christians will wrongly judge me accordingly. I will ignore those incorrect voices from my brethren.

      I don't have a duty to marry; I have a choice to do so, or not, as I please, and as I feel Spirit-led, if I find I am being so led in a particular direction with a particular woman.

      It's my choice, my decision.

      Not others.

      The same is true for other Christian young men, as well.

      I hope and pray that as many as possible can find spouses and have happy lives in service to the Lord as married men, with wives and children, serving Him together, as no doubt you and your wife do, for which I am glad.

      But I also hope and pray that those of us who remain single will nevertheless be able to find joy and purpose in single living as bachelors, serving the Lord in such a capacity, without paying attention to judgmental people telling them, contra Scripture, that they somehow failed, or are less of a Christian, for being bachelors. Because that is wrong.

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    3. It does matter. Unless you don't subscribe to biblical reasoning. Burning with passion is foretold and the solution is marriage. You reject that at your soul's endangerment.

      If you have no burning passion, you are part of a small percentage. Paul calls you blessed. If not...your burning will linger.

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    4. You really should read more of the posts. You wouldn't step into these simple issues.

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  4. I said I was open to marriage, and in fact, I have pursued possibilities. I am not, not trying, as I see possibilities.

    Thus far, none have panned out.

    I remain open to possibilities - but I also recognize that the way may not be open to me, perhaps.

    My soul already belongs to the Lord; it is not in danger, even if I may bear the burden of desire without fulfillment. I am saved, and cannot lose that. (I'm Reformed, or Calvinist; don't know if you are, but I have assurance, which Arminians and others often lack.)

    It is in God's hands whether or not I will find someone to marry.

    If it doesn't happen, I will not have 'failed'. I will simply be single, as I am, now.

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    1. If I try, and fail, to get a wife, I have done nothing wrong. Nor for that matter have the women I ask out or date but don't end up marrying; that's their prerogative, too.

      But I also know, from Scripture, that men who choose not to bother trying but stay single, as Paul recognized as a legitimate choice, are also no more wrong, or at fault, for making such a choice.

      It is wrong for Christians to tell other Christians who have made a choice that is acceptable based on what Scripture itself says, that they are wrong to do so - regardless, too, BTW, of any possible defects of character that said Christians may exhibit - none of us are perfect. And BTW, if you wouldn't have your daughters marry them, why then should you care that they choose not to marry, anyway? (Yes I have looked at other posts here.) Illogical. It's their business what they decide to do, and theirs alone, not yours. Calling them worthless pieces of shit is way out of line, and quite uncharitable for a Christian, I must say.

      I'm done here. Don't worry, I'll leave you in peace.

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    2. I'm done here.

      That's probably best, you'll remember we don't take kindly to having our words twisted.

      Calling them worthless pieces of shit is way out of line, and quite uncharitable for a Christian, I must say.

      You know this wasn't said to a man who has tried and failed to find a wife. This was said about a man who actively proselytizes against marriage (who did so on a Christian married woman's blog). Who clearly desired to add to what Paul said in 1 Corinthians and ignore what was actually said.

      One of his comments:
      A shame that the church or even individual Christian leaders can’t teach men that forgoing their deepest desires is something that may be a price they have to pay in order to follow God.

      In 1 Corinthians, Paul recognizes that each man has his own gift from God. That not not burning for a woman is a gift. He does not say that a man who does not have that gift should forgo, try to suppress, or train that desire to go away. He says it is better to marry.

      Jesus did not say that a man needs to give up his desires for sex to follow Him, in Mark 10, he is talking about possessions.

      Yet this commenter went on to say:
      It’s an uphill battle and despite how badly your heart wants it and how badly we all want to think that marriage is viable, we have to eventually face reality for what it is. I’d hate to see a fellow chap waste and expend such effort for such minimal gain. If you do have extra money..ENJOY it. Travel, try new experiences, do some charity.

      He calls himself Christian and uses a twisted translation of the Bible to win men over to his way of thinking. Look how he celebrates when another man agrees with him:

      YESS!!! FINALLY I GOT THROUGH TO SOMEONE! Man, it was like talking into a black hole without any sort of confirmation whether or not my words would fall upon blind eyes or deaf ears. Cheers to you, Sir

      This same commenter also went on to tell a very convoluted tale about who David was.
      This is the problem I have with that entire leadership mumbo jumbo. It’s a red herring because, frankly, God takes men who are imperfect and who LACK leadership qualities, and through their humility He is glorified. Look at David..he was shaking and quivering as he went up to face Goliath..but he listened to God, and because he was a man after God’s own heart, he prevailed against Goliath…lest any man boast of such a feat.

      Now, I'm not saying I don't err at times when I call someone a piece of shit who actually isn't one. In this case, I did not get it wrong.

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  5. a man who actively proselytizes against marriage (who did so on a Christian married woman's blog)

    I've seen more of this lately. I don't understand it. There seems to be a subset of Christian men who have foregone marriage - I don't personally have a problem with them doing so, of course, as that is a decision between them and God - and who aren't just preaching about the problems in our culture with Marriage 2.0 but who also seem to be saying that marriage as an institution is the problem and is always slavery for men and that men are always happier without it. I might be misunderstanding what is being said, of course, but I do find it odd in that it doesn't seem to square with the Bible.

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    1. I've wondered if I was misunderstanding it as well but when I look at the consistency of those who are saying it, what they are saying, and the fact that they're repeating themselves on a few different blogs, it is concerning. The latest being to be wary of Christian women. What? It's one thing when they actively participate in the conversation, especially when it relates to the OP, it's another when the only reason they seem to exist is to put their message out there.

      I don't know if you read Vox Popoli or not but he has started to no longer tolerate commenters who don't add to the discussion but continue to say the same things over and over again. He states:

      "Anyhow, while I dislike banning people, it has become clear that there are certain individuals who have literally nothing to offer the discourse despite being given every opportunity to demonstrate otherwise. So, I'm creating a new label, Troll Ban, which should help address any false charges that I am banning people because their arguments are too effective, and should also prove useful in identifying trolls if they show up under another name."

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    2. a man who actively proselytizes against marriage

      This is obviously contrary to scripture. Doing so in general terms and as general advice is wrong. If he doesn't like the way American women are, move. There are plenty of good female options in the world and there is no reason to limit ones self to the USA. Marriage is good and holy and children are a blessing from the Lord.

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    3. The warning is generally restricted to advising men not to marry women in North America and Western Europe. Eastern Europe, South America, and Asia; these are often touted as places to go to find a wife. RLB and SD consider those who would leave America to be cowards, though, and they discourage this. They are looking out for their daughters.

      Marriage is not the problem, the State and the MMP are the problem. The institution is not flawed, but what has been built around it obscures its grace and beauty, and corrupts its purpose. Marriage as it once was will not be again until the dross is swept away and the corruption is burned out. Give the MGTOW a woman with the values of the nineteenth century and a justice system instead of a legal system, and a great many would be willing to give it a go.

      The Shadowed Knight

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  6. At the risk of drawing SD's and Red's ire I'm going to side with Will S.

    I'm doing so as a man who has been married for 17 years, has kids and happens to believe that its better for all concerned if Christians get married young. Young meaning before 20 or so. Frankly men are designed to need sex. We need lots of it. Sex was God's plan for procreation, recreation, revelation and relationship. I'm going to guess and say that 95% to 99% of all men need to be married and sooner is better. Women are basically in the same boat but with a slightly different set of reasons.

    We all miss having God's perfect will for our lives. This is a fact. However, sometimes God's plan is being worked out in ways we do not understand. Waiting on Him and His timing should never be discouraged. I've seen good men go down a bad path by waiting too long and I've seen good men rewarded for waiting. Most of the time delaying marriage is a bad idea. If the delay is due to God's providence than its the best idea.

    I don't know Will but if God is working out a plan in his life he would be a fool to go against it.

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    1. Hello Res Ipsa, I certainly don't intentionally go against any plan of God's - as I mentioned above, I'm open to possibilities; I do date / court, as I meet young Christian women of suitable age range, who pique my interest, etc.

      As a Calvinist, I don't think one CAN go against God's plan for your life - ultimately. Nevertheless, I try to be receptive. But thus far, I have not met 'The One', so to speak; in the relationships I've been in thus far, either one of us or the other or both have recognized long-term incompatibility, and have decided to end it (which is only proper, we Christians don't believe in stringing each other along). I've been in all three situations. I have never deliberately 'delayed' marrying. It just has not happened, thus far - and maybe it will not.

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  7. Will,

    I always get a chuckle out of people who call themselves Calvinists. Please don't be angry with me, God made me do it. :-) I'm not sure how I would describe my faith other than to say that I'm just a Christian. I'm aware of the different theologies in the faith but I have found them to be lacking.

    That said the longer I'm a Christian the more literal I find scripture to be. We live in a fallen world and as the USA plunges downward in its death spiral things are only going to get worse. I think our nation will not recover from the moral and cultural cancer that we are affected with. What made America great was that America used to be good. When we were morally right God blessed this land. That is why entire generations of our nation lived in prosperity. It is also why previous generations were able to take certain things like suitable marriage and raising a family for granted. We can no longer take our Christian culture for granted. It has ceased to be the default setting in our nation.

    What are Christian parents to do? I for one am moving to accept the idea of arraigned marriages or at least parent influenced courting.

    Red and SD are correct for most (I'm saying mid to high 90th percentile) men marriage is the best option. In my opinion getting married sooner, before 21 is probably best for both the guys and the gals. I'm willing to side with you and agree that for some men delaying marriage or maybe not getting married is God's plan for them, or if not His plan at least an acceptable option. Since I don't know you or your situation, I'm willing to give you the benefit of the doubt that you might be in the minority group.

    So how old are you and what is your situation in life?

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    1. You hold to a theology, you just don't acknowledge that you do. 'No creed but Christ' is a confession, itself. Bet your church has a 'statement of faith' though, with a list of bullet points, on its website. That's a creed. You have a theology.

      Your condescending tone against us doesn't exactly endear me to you, to say the least.

      In fact, I'm done responding to you. Good day.

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    2. Bahaa!

      You take yourself too seriously. There is no condescension in my intent or my tone. If my church has a website I've not seen it. If we have anyone who even knows how to build one, and do a decent job of it I'd be surprised. Each man is to work out his own salvation in fear in trembling, not rely on a canned set of systematic theology handed down by men who attended a seminary. I did not say I don't have specific theological beliefs. I simply find most of what is professed by those who do, lacking, as well as pretentious, self righteous and contentious.

      FWIW in the particular case of how your world view applies to the subject at hand, men getting married, it may or may not be a valuable asset to you. It depends on how you apply it.

      I asked you how old you are. It may be that you are young enough that you have not experienced the full onslaught of sexual temptation or it may be that you are old enough to be past the worst of it. Either way, life looks different this side of 40 or 50 or 60 etc. You would be wise to seek and accept the council of those 20 or more years your senior on the subject. Provided of course they are able to avoid hurting your feelings with casual remarks made with no ill intent.

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    3. You assume too much. I'm in my 40s.

      My feelings were not hurt; I rightly saw, as I still see in your remark here, that you can't help but pass judgment on those of us who follow what you label 'canned set of systematic theology'. Even now, notwithstanding your protestations to the contrary, you can't help but expound how wrong you think we are.

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  8. Determining the mission risks do not out weigh the investment/ potential lost is what wise men/ commanders do. Knowing this and speaking Against it does not speak wellOf a commander/ man

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  9. Statistics are easy to fake, manipulate . I go with what I observe around me What folks don't get on the don't marry issues is the aggregated risk. Its not only the risk of divorce, divorce theft, losing your kids, its the very likely possibility your marriage will suck. No sex/ very little sex, constant shit tests, her wanting to rack of debt, etc etc etc.

    Even when there is no divorce there is not success. I know two happily married men. Neither would marry again. All others envy my life. Poverty included

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  10. If you are going to advocate a man take on such risks you should be willing to help pay the price of failure. Like the army compensates a man for what he loses in the line of duty. Disability pay, retraining for the injured etc

    Y'all who advocate marriage should also being willing to compensate a man who loses out through divorce theft, alimony, lost children, sexless marriages etc

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  11. How interesting to see you here, Ton. Do you advocate men should live as you have chosen to? Having relationships with women in every way you have need for them but not marrying them? I wonder, do you then take on any responsibility for the consequence of them willfully choosing fornication and rejection of what God provided as a non sinful way to enjoy sex?

    How is your willful disobedience and rebellion any different than a married woman's willful disobedience and rebellion to God's word when she does not live in submission to her husband or when she divorces him?

    The difference between us, Ton, is that I advocate for women to turn from their rebellion and submit to their husbands. You advocate for men to remain in sin and encourage them to bed with whores to fulfill their sexual needs.

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