Friday, March 14, 2014

I gave her to you

We watch the television show, Parenthood, on a regular basis. I appreciate the show for the writers' willingness to showcase all the challenges that are real and present today in our society. It's a drama and skews fanciful but on many occasions even the secular get it right. Truth is Truth no matter what, and I can't help but believe the popularity of this show is because of the Truth this family stumbles across, regardless their godless perspective.

One of the story lines is a daughter, Julia, and her husband who are struggling in their marriage. Some background, he was a stay at home dad and she was a lawyer. Being desperate to have another child and being unable to conceive, they adopt an older boy. The husband, Joel, goes back to work in his construction company and she comes home. There remains distance between them as is common in marriages today, their parenting sucks, their marriage sucks, and they keep going down their her own selfish path. Julia creates a way too comfortable relationship with a man whose child goes to her daughter's school. This part is a bit unrealistic, the man is a soft Beta going through a divorce. Her attraction to him makes no sense, when you understand reality. Regardless, she lets things get too close, the Beta dude kisses her and she doesn't pull away in revulsion as she should, being a married woman. She confesses the incident to her husband. He reacts as a man would - utter disgust, betrayal, repulsion, and moves out of the home.

It's painful to watch this unfold. The writers have made sure the children of this couple say and ask the exact things that children of separated parents will say and ask. They are headed for divorce, no question about it. If it weren't for those children, we would all cheer Joel on: "divorce the ungrateful bitch! She's a clueless, selfish woman who lacks loyalty and restraint." Well, that is if we weren't civilizationalists and Christians to boot.

Julia is remorseful, to an extent, but she wants her marriage to work. It's unclear what she's willing to repent of. Sometimes she's written as the victim and others the wondering, clueless, adulteress. What is clear, is the patriarch of the family, Zeek Braverman (played by Craig T. Nelson), loves his family and believes in this marriage. He's not a Christian man yet upholds some Christian tradition. This last episode he goes to see Joel for the first time since Joel and Julia's separation. Joel and Julia were going to be the God parents of the latest grandchild born to Zeek. Due to their separation, Joel has been replaced by a different uncle as Godfather and has decided he won't be attending the baptism. Zeek goes to see Joel to encourage him to attend. There isn't a clip of it available and this link to the full episode won't work after a few weeks, but if you're interested, the exchange happens at the 35:00 mark: Limbo
Zeek:  Let me ask you something... What the hell are you doing?
Joel: I'm trying to figure things out.
Zeek: Well, let me ask you a favor then, could you try harder?  Hey look, I know that you guys are going through some stuff and I know that you're pissed at Julia. I don't know the circumstances, I don't know that's really important
Joel: It's pretty important
Zeek: Okay, you guys have had it pretty good, and now you're going through a rough patch and you're going to give up? Come on. Look, when I walked Julia down the aisle, I gave her to you and I was so proud and I was so sure, and still am, of the man that I gave her to. I know what kind of a guy he is. I made a vow to support you and her in that marriage, I took you on as a son...
"I gave her to you."

Well, isn't that nice and traditional. Unfortunately what Zeek gave Joel was a feminist woman steeped in equality and careerism. Everything about her life has been about her. Joel has played the dutiful husband meeting all of her wants, dreams, and desires. And, as soon as princess was feeling a bit unhappy, she found solace with another man.

What is playing out in this show is precisely what I envision when I read countless stories of men who have either gone through divorce or are staying in the marriage for the children. They're good guys, hard workers, will do what needs to be done in order to make their bride happy.

But their bride is never happy.

ZEEK! Why is your daughter never happy? Why is your daughter never grateful? Appreciative? Loyal? Honorable? Virtuous? Quiet? gentle? submissive?

Though Zeek is a fictional character, he represents countless fathers in our society who have brought up their daughters in today's feminist culture, believing that they will be able to have it all. They work hard to make sure their daughters will be able to pursue their dreams careers. They pay for expensive college tuition, encouraging her to "find herself" outside of traditional roles. Yet they expect their son-in-laws to tow the traditional feminist line. "Good men don't quit on their families" (even when their wives are being self centered, solipsistic, irrational brats who are not loyal, void of honor, disrespectful and uncommitted to their marriages).

The first place Zeek should have gone was to his daughter. "I'm sorry, honey, I did a terrible disservice to you. I did not tell you about the nature of men. I failed to inform you of what happens in the heart of a man when his wife betrays him with another man. I failed to tell you how important those vows you took are. They meant something to him. He believed you. I supported your marriage because I know the kind of man he is. He's honest, loyal, and hard working. He embodies everything I wanted my little girl to marry. But I failed him. I abdicated my responsibility in raising my daughter to be a wife worthy of this good man. I raised you, my daughter, to be a self serving woman who puts her own wants and desires before her husband's and out of line with what God has instructed for wives. It's not the natural order of things as is evident in your failing marriage and broken family."

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

No love for oozing cellulite. And fat shaming...

Several of you who are personal friends of mine knew this would be coming:

If you are like me and you're starting your journey for the umpteenth time, you fucking rock.

Though I packed on fifteen pounds during my slothful, gluttonous hiatus, I begin again well ahead of where I began last time. As my new trainer has confirmed, I am very strong. He's confident that we'll achieve my goals in no time.

I actually started last Thursday when he put me through an analysis of my strengths, recorded my weight and body fat percentage, discussed my goals, and started developing a daily plan. Our first session was on Friday. It wasn't until today that I could contemplate using my arms. He burned them out like I've never felt before. I reached failure in my triceps - something I don't think I've ever experienced. The soreness didn't get me until Sunday. I spent the next couple days operating like I had some sort of palsy in my arms.

It was ridiculously painful, highly irritating, and the best feeling I've had about myself in five months.

I'm back and I've got this.

I'll be working with this trainer one-on-one every other week. In the mean time, he has a daily workout plan for me to go by and nutritional guidelines he'll be harassing me about. I say harassing me because I've told him explicitly that that is what I am paying him for. "Look," I said, "I operate best with shame. My last trainer knew this about me and never hesitated to let me know when I was sucking. I need that. So please, if you see me phoning it in, you have been hired to let me know in the type of shaming language that I'm sure you think but rarely use."

I'm not at a Crossfit gym anymore. The small town we live in doesn't have one. So I've chosen one of those gyms that has rows and rows of treadmills and ellipticals. They do have free weights so today I returned to my favorite - dead lifts, though the trainer didn't have them programed for me. I followed that with a 5000 meter row.

I have no love affair with my cellulite. In fact we're enemies. I see it there, looking back at me from the mirror...laughing: "I'm baaaaack!" It sneers at me, "Time to get some new clothes, fatty, these don't have room for me anymore."

Little does it know, I do not quit.

So, what made me succumb to eating more than I needed and not exercising? ME. Just me. My very own personal lies, laziness, excuses, and indulgences. I'm like that. It's like I'm a five-year-old performing the vinegar/baking soda volcano experiment over and over again thinking that it might not work this time. But just as the little kid will delight in watching the bubbly liquid expand and flow, I watch as too much food + not enough movement makes my fat multiply. Crazy how that works, huh?

What I do know, though, is that this experiment can be reversed with rewarding results. A disciplined diet + commitment to exercise makes ugly cellulite DIE.

Though I doubt anyone will be stupid enough to wave their fat pride flag on this post, let me say in advance, shut up.

And since I'm a Christian and am supposed to be nice to seek the Truth from His Word I'll leave these here as well:
For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ: whose end is destruction, whose god is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame—who set their mind on earthly things. -Philippians 3:18-19
Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers. For I rejoiced greatly when brethren came and testified of the truth that is in you, just as you walk in the truth. I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth. -3 John 1:2-3
A foolish woman is clamorous;
She is simple, and knows nothing. 
For she sits at the door of her house,
On a seat by the highest places of the city,
To call to those who pass by,
Who go straight on their way:
“Whoever is simple, let him turn in here”;
And as for him who lacks understanding, she says to him,
“Stolen water is sweet,
And bread eaten in secret is pleasant.”
But he does not know that the dead are there,
That her guests are in the depths of hell.
-Proverbs 9:13-18

And they shall say to the elders of his city, ‘This son of ours is stubborn and rebellious; he will not obey our voice; he is a glutton and a drunkard.’ -Deuteronomy 21:20
Hear, my son, and be wise;
And guide your heart in the way.
Do not mix with winebibbers,
Or with gluttonous eaters of meat;

For the drunkard and the glutton will come to poverty,
And drowsiness will clothe a man with rags.
-Proverbs 23:19-21
Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life. -Galatians 6:7-8
Look, this was the iniquity of your sister Sodom: She and her daughter had pride, fullness of food, and abundance of idleness; neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy. And they were haughty and committed abomination before Me; therefore I took them away as I saw fit. -Ezekiel 16:49-50

Saturday, March 8, 2014

He walks the line

I'll be referencing a post and comment thread on Vox Popoli: The Churchian elevation of sin.
This debate is quite fascinating... I believe in submitting to my husband over everything (though I fail a lot), but I married a good man who makes good choices for his family and his errors are minor.

I would not submit to my husband in such a case* - and I believe God would have mercy on me in such an extreme position in spite my sin of disobedience. - C
*In this case, what she's determined would nullify her submission is the command to have an abortion or any other egregious sin. Likely not a little sin, just the sinful commands that cross her line.

I Walk the Line - Johnny Cash
I keep a close watch on this heart of mine
I keep my eyes wide open all the time
I keep the ends out for the tie that binds
Because you're mine, I walk the line

I find it very, very easy to be true
I find myself alone when each day is through
Yes, I'll admit that I'm a fool for you
Because you're mine, I walk the line

As sure as night is dark and day is light
I keep you on my mind both day and night
And happiness I've known proves that it's right
Because you're mine, I walk the line

You've got a way to keep me on your side
You give me cause for love that I can't hide
For you I know I'd even try to turn the tide
Because you're mine, I walk the line

I keep a close watch on this heart of mine
I keep my eyes wide open all the time
I keep the ends out for the tie that binds
Because you're mine, I walk the line 

I asked several times yet no one wants to answer the question of how. How does the wife exert her disobedience to those things which she's determined is not what she should submit to? I asked this repeatedly because no matter your answer, the result of it is that she will determine a husband unworthy and not submit at all.

When she has determined he has crossed the line with a sinful request that she can not submit to, she will then stop submitting to anything and everything. The spirit of submission will be gone from her (though I'm dubious it was ever there to begin with if she had a list already made in her head "I'll submit to him, out of obedience to God except for if/when he does this, this, this and that").

The men in these marriages are never truly respected and honored as the head. How could he be? There is a line that if he should cross it, will detonate his authority and she determines that line by her interpretation of what the Commandments say - which in and of itself dismisses her husband as her spiritual authority. - Sarah's Daughter

 SD - I concede.

You are right, I would stop obeying my husband in all things after disobeying him on that one thing. Not so much due to my rebellious spirit, but more so because my husband commanding a thing so egregious would result in a complete and total loss of trust and respect from me.

So... I would definitely no longer be a suitable wife and it would be best for me to just seek a divorce.

I love how all the answers we have here are all defined as sin. -C

I've highlighted this woman's comments because of how forthcoming she was and because I would have written the very same things five years ago. I was the wife who breathed that sigh of relief having married a good man. It's a wise thing to do - marry a good man. You'll find security in knowing that this good man will not lead you astray. He will not deceive you, he will not fall from Grace, he will do what is right, though he may sin a little, he will not cross the line.


And if that's right then the Scripture is easy:
Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord.  For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body.  Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything. -Ephesians 5:22-24
Yes, there is that word "everything" in there, but no worries, my husband knows when everything doesn't actually mean everything. Sure, I'll let some little sins pass but he knows where the line is and will never put my obedience to the Scripture to the test. I'm safe.
My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. - James 1:2-4
Uh oh.

I don't stay awake at night worrying about whether my husband will; tell me to have an abortion, tell me sacrifice one of my children, tell me to worship Satan, start abusing me or my children etc. However, since I have confessed with my mouth that I desire to be obedient to God and His commands for me in marriage, I've been tested with many little things. Many of which, if my submission was reliant on his goodness, would be quite easy to rationalize and justify as areas that fall outside of "everything" - that is, if I am the determiner of what is and is not good.

If I am the determiner of what is and is not good, then I am the Spiritual Authority of our marriage, my husband is not. If I am the judge of his behavior (discerning its sin content), if I am the arbiter of what is or is not respect worthy, then I have elevated myself to head of the marriage, I have drawn a line.  
SD - it doesn't take a lot of discerning to know that the Bible says "Do not murder." It also doesn't take a lot to know not to put anyone above God. - C
If my husband walks a line, I have put myself above God.
For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body.- Ephesians 5:23

I'll tell you the truth of where I've been tested most since my vow of obedience to God's command for me to submit to my husband in everything: the very little things that in no way are sinful. It is not sin for my husband to ask me to prepare him some food when I'm tired and irritable. It is not sin for my husband to ask that I return a phone call that he answered and told the caller I'd get right back to them. It is not sin for my husband to admonish me for having an ungrateful attitude. Yet these are three of the times, just last week, I've been convicted in my heart of my rebellious spirit. Because I suck and fail - a lot. The difference between now and five years ago, I am convicted that I have two choices, rationalize and justify my behavior in rebellion to God or repent of it and ask for forgiveness and correction and return to obedience.

When I've rationalized and justified my behavior, contention remains in our home.
 It is better to dwell in a corner of a housetop,
Than in a house shared with a contentious woman. -
Proverbs 25:24
When I repent and return to obedience, I am at peace.
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. - Philippians 4:6-7
I've successfully done both. I've tested the results. It is with my moral agency (something I've been accused of claiming women do not posses or must deny to be obedient to God's Word) that I choose peace. 

*Edit - In the comment thread on VP, blogger, Subject by Design, left a link to her blog that is excellent further reading: On Being a Subject