cultural absurdity, from the best-ofs files, Uncategorized

The “Christian” heritage of first wave feminism.

Posted in 2011, brought back to memory by a dialog with Robyn over at The Reading Room.

I thought we might shed a bit of light on the so-called first wave of feminists, whom Christian feminists (is that an oxymoron?) often hold up as God-fearing, Bible believing women who simply wanted to end female oppression. Whether or not these women had legitimate arguments on one or two points is not something I want to debate, though I will if the reader insists.

Aside from being anti-abortion, however, the philosophy of most of these women was very similar to that of the more “radical” feminists of the 1960′s, whom most all Christians agree have done a great deal of damage to family life, and by extension to society at large. Allow me to introduce to those who may not know, a few members of the first wave.

Elizabeth Cady Stanton (1815-1902), who refused to allow the word “obey’ to be a part of her marriage vows:

“The memory of my own suffering has prevented me from ever shadowing one young soul with the superstitions of the Christian religion.”

“The Bible teaches that woman brought sin and death into the world, that she precipitated the fall of the race, that she was arraigned before the judgment seat of Heaven, tried, condemned and sentenced. Marriage for her was to be a condition of bondage, maternity a period of suffering and anguish, and in silence and subjection, she was to play the role of a dependent on man’s bounty for all her material wants, and for all the information she might desire…. Here is the Bible position of woman briefly summed up.”-

Introduction to The Women’s Bible, which Stanton authored.

Those are just two of the quotes I found from Mrs. Stanton, never mind that the second is total misrepresentation of what the Bible teaches. She is recorded as having felt like a caged bird bound to the domestic drudgery of her home.

Lucy Stone (1818-1893), first American woman recorded to have kept her own name after marrying. In fact, she was very much in step with today’s thinking, as she was 37  and well educated before she tied the knot. She was arrested for refusing to pay property taxes when she wasn’t allowed to vote. I actually agree with her in principle on that one. My problem is that we are often told that  no women were allowed to own property before these women fought the good fight on our behalf.

Susan  B. Anthony(1820-1906). I have a bit more regard for her since she was at least never married and therefore never had a family to treat as a stumbling block to all she might be without them. Still, the view of  the white woman  as being oppressed on the level of the African slave is something that I will never be able to agree to. A couple of quotes from Ms. Anthony, as I’m sure she would be called today:

“I beg you to speak of Woman as you do of the Negro, speak of her as a human being, as a citizen of the United States, as a half of the people in whose hands lies the destiny of this Nation.”

“I do not consider divorce an evil by any means. It is just as much a refuge for women married to brutal men as Canada was to the slaves of brutal masters.”

(I do not believe women should be subject to a husband’s brutality either, but how many divorces can honestly be blamed on that?)

“Oh, if I could but live another century and see the fruition of all the work for women! There is so much yet to be done.”-

I, too, wonder what Ms. Anthony would think if she could see today’s empowered woman.

Victoria Woodhull (1838-1927), the first woman to run for president in 1872. Married 3 times, and a fierce proponent of the idea of “free love”, she is quoted as saying:

“To woman, by nature, belongs the right of sexual determination. When the instinct is aroused in her, then and then only should commerce follow. When woman rises from sexual slavery to sexual freedom, into the ownership and control of her sexual organs, and man is obliged to respect this freedom, then will this instinct become pure and holy; then will woman be raised from the iniquity and morbidness in which she now wallows for existence, and the intensity and glory of her creative functions be increased a hundred-fold …”

So much for the oh-so-holy first wave of feminists.

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Common sense, cultural absurdity, from the best-ofs files, Uncategorized

Treasures Hidden Away from This Generation

This post was originally posted in 2012. It’s still one of my favorites.

multigenerational

In this corner of the ‘net people lament that the baby boomer generation sped up the rate of cultural decline in America. Bloggers and commenters alike express skepticism when I extol the wisdom of those who have gone before. The objections initially left me incredulous as I was raised to respect the experience and knowledge of those who have gone where I have yet to tread. The more I observe however, I see why young people are growing wary of advice from today’s emerging elders.

I recently had the occasion to speak at length with a woman whom I’ve only exchanged pleasantries with in passing. She’s in her 60s. For reasons I still cannot fathom, she proceeded to share with me that she thought her life might have been better if she’d left her late husband, who’d died within the past year.  She said that when she was a young woman, divorce was less accepted, so she did what was expected and stayed. He drank, he cursed, he worked all the time, and he wasn’t as nice to her as she deserved.

We lived across the street from this couple for 8 years before the man died. He seemed pleasant enough. We never heard shouting or saw her look unhappy or abused in any way. No cop cars frequenting the residence to break up fights. I think he even won “yard of the month” once. Still, she felt like she’d deserved more from marriage. She also thought her son-in-law was less than her daughter deserved, even though she admitted that he treats her daughter well.

I tried to be an encouragement while being respectful as I don’t feel it’s appropriate to offer unsolicited advice to an elderly woman. I told her that her daughter was fortunate to have a husband who treats her well. However, I came away with a profound sense of sadness on behalf of the generation of men and women coming after me. There really is a dearth of godly, elderly wisdom because this isn’t the first time I’ve heard this kind of talk from an older woman.

One of the things you encounter online quite regularly are blogs authored by young people (male and female alike), that purport to offer profound knowledge to readers based on their years of accumulated wisdom. This is not limited to the Internet.  I have been lambasted and accused of being prideful when I have expressed reservations in the face of wisdom offered by those who have far less experience in life, marriage, or parenthood than I have. If I suggest that women a little younger might be wise to consider that women a bit older and more experienced may have something to offer, the response is tepid at best.

I’m beginning to understand their reluctance even as I cling to the belief that there is much to be gained from those who are nearer to the ends of their lives than to the beginning. There is still a remnant of godly older women who can teach the younger. Thankfully there are also some young wives and mothers making the effort to live out godly principles in their lives and families. This gives me hope.

I also recognize that there are young people who have experienced trial and pain far beyond what their youth would indicate. I was one of those people when I was younger, but I can also attest that the years have offered a sense of perspective that I simply did not possess 20 years ago. There is a reason the Bible reminds us:

“You shall stand up before the gray head and honor the face of an old man, and you shall fear your God: I am the LORD.” Lev. 19:32

“Wisdom is with aged men, With long life is understanding.” Job 12:12

While the modern lack of regard for the wisdom and experiences of those who have gone before wasn’t cultivated in a vacuum and is not without merit,  it hasn’t always been this way.  I was blessed to glean wisdom and direction that has helped me in my years as a wife, mother, and Christian from godly older people who went before me and shared their wisdom with me. However, every single one of them is over the age of 80. My aunt, 81. My uncle, 90. My father, 80. The most instrumental of all is my grandmother-in-law, 87.

What did these godly, grace-filled older people instill into me? The principles of duty, selflessness, modesty, and delayed gratification. They taught me that no one owes me anything, but that I owe every person I meet the courtesy of respect and treating them the way I want to be treated. My grandmother-in-law, who mentored me like Titus 2 admonishes in every way, taught me to be a woman and a wife indeed; not because I feel the warm fuzzies for my husband every day, but because it’s what I vowed to do.

She shared many practical homemaking things with me but mostly exemplified contented, dignified womanhood. She never hid the struggles that came with her 50+ years of marriage. She also never hinted even once, that she ever considered throwing in the towel. Despite the suggestions of many, she has never cut her waist length hair. Her husband loved her hair and that increased her attachment to it despite his being gone over two decades.

After the chat  with my neighbor it occurred to me how often I have heard other women around her age, baby boomers, with a very different philosophy of life and marriage than the one I received from my aunt, grandmother-in-law, father, and uncle. How often I’ve heard these women encourage us to be ball-busting, take no prisoner types. To essentially be like a man in a skirt, because putting your faith in a man is a bad idea. Refuse to settle for anything less than your bliss. Discard anything and anyone that gives you more than a limited amount of discomfort. Don’t set yourself up for a life filled with regrets for what you could have done and didn’t.

Now I know why young people who are looking for something deeper than fun times and material comfort keep coming up empty. I also see why young people who have no more wisdom than can fit into a thimble think they have life figured out. It’s because more and more of our elders are failing us by teaching us that the way we feel should take precedence over everything. The ones among us who have something of worth to impart have been locked away in the nearest assisted living institution, age-segregated where there are no young people to guide and instruct in common sense and timeless godly wisdom.

I feel profoundly blessed to have been born in time to benefit from the lives of those born before and during the Depression. And that they were still around to guide me. I feel for the younger people who are stuck with the “wisdom” of the ME generation, masquerading as profundity. I can’t stress enough how much you can gain from seeking out older, godly people to get some sense of what life is really all about.

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. Knowing how much we don’t know is probably a close second.

Uncategorized

Gender Inequality at the Local Bookstore.

A Reading Room post worthy of cross-posting.

El's Reading Room...

I was recently in Barnes and Noble to pick up a paperback copy of the book our 11-year-old needs for her literature class this upcoming semester. As I was looking for the title another book, on the subject of black women in American history, caught my attention. I was less than impressed with the some on list of names presented as worthy of emulation and consideration, but as I put it back on the shelf, the sign above the books caught my attention:

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As I turned around to leave, I ran across another table of books. Included on those shelves was this title:

20180101_134254_Film4.jpg

And a second volume:

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Above another shelf of books was this sign:

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By this point I was thorougly ntrigued and totally distracted from the purpose of my original foray into the young people’s book section. I spent the next 15 minutes carefully combing the children’s and young…

View original post 102 more words

Common sense, healthy living, Humility is important, real living in a virtual world, spirit led living

An obligatory New Year’s post.

new year

New Year’s “reso-lies”, as my dad called them, provide little hits of dopamine and adrenaline. They offer another opportunity to jump on a bandwagon, discuss ad nauseam how this is going to be our best year ever (new year, new me!), to be a part of the herd; things we women tend to thrive on.

It’s exciting at the beginning and makes us feel as if we’re accomplishing more than we actually are. Before you know it, it’s June 1st and we haven’t progressed one iota. In some cases, there may even be regression. I am reminded of a Proverb:

In all labor there is profit, But mere talk leads only to poverty. Proverbs 14:23

Yesterday at church, however, I was afforded the opportunity to consider principles worth remembering as I move forward into a stage of life that is transitory in some respects, and stubbornly mundane and consistent in others.

  1. Progress is made one day, one moment even, at a time. Where I am and what I have accomplished by December 31, 2018 is the cumulative result of daily decisions. Planning some things too far down the road instills mental margins which give me cover to blow it “just this day” or “just this week”. Skipping prayer this morning, a doughnut the next, vowing to double on this or that tomorrow? It’s what happens when I forget that all I truly have is today. Right now. This moment.
  2. Time is a commodity to be invested wisely. Not every minute should be spent with my nose to the grindstone. However, there needs to be some sort of corresponding return of value on how I invest my time. Value in the form of spiritual, financial, relational, and physical evidence are all valid areas in which to look for returns on my investment.
  3. Letting go of what lies behind when it is time to do so is vitally important. This has always been a challenging thing for me because I tend to hold on to people and endeavors far more tightly than I should. I used to believe that holding on to dead relationships with a ferocious determination is always a virtue, especially in our throw away culture. However, I am evolving in the area, albeit slowly. It is impossible to press forward while looking backwards. Lot’s wife is instructive here.

Does that mean I have no plans, hopes or accomplishments I want to see come to fruition for 2018? No, not at all! I am firm believer that failing to plan is planning to fail. One of the things I have had to work diligently on in 2017 however, is addressing the way I think about things and the way my thoughts are expressed, both in word and deed.

The first day of January can be an opportunity to start afresh, but there is nothing magical about it. Every day is an opportunity to do better than the day before. It’s not as if we get a new life on January 1st to go back to the starting gate and begin again. All of the good decisions which led me to this place in some areas, along with all the bad decisions which have kept me from a better place in others, are still in effect.

The New Year is an excellent time for assessment and contemplation. If there is anything I learned through the difficulties 2017, however, it’s that principles will sustain me when life throws curve balls that derail even the best laid plans. I don’t want to be this gal:

 

resolution meme

 

 

 

from the best-ofs files, Uncategorized

We can see that he doesn’t own you, and it’s not a good look.

This wasn’t even slightly offensive to the 2013 TC readers. It probably is now though, but I think it’s good and funny, plus unclaimed women still have a certain way about them, so I am republishing it as one of my fondest posts.

dont own me

We radical lady bloggers often get into trouble around here with our metaphors, particularly when it comes to relationships. However, they work well because they fit the narrative. Our Alte caused a storm when she extolled the virtues of the thug in relationships. Laura Grace caused a stir when she equated husband skills with the talents of the Dog Whisperer.  My metaphor is much tamer by comparison, but given our penchant for outrage when women are referred to as property, I decided to cover myself by noting that there have been more extreme examples proffered than the one I offer here. It could be worse. I heard this song recently and the irony was palpable:

You don’t own me

I’m not just one of your many toys

You don’t own me

Don’t say I can’t go with other boys

Don’t tell me what to say, and don’t tell me what to do

And please, when I go out with you , don’t put me on display ’cause

You don’t own me

Don’t try to change me in any way

You don’t own me

Don’t tie me down ’cause I’d never stay

It has been said that in the days of the Old Testament, women were treated as little more than property. Fathers gave their daughters in marriage and husbands were responsible for the vows their wives made. “Women were property!” was the clarion call of the women’s liberation movement. This, though not even entirely true, was offered up as a bad thing, but I beg to differ. Women have degenerated markedly since becoming the authoresses of their own destiny. I submit that being the property of a man is a boon to the woman as well as to the property owner.

Drive through any community where there are a plurality of rented homes, and then drive through the ones where the majority of residents own their homes. The difference is striking. Rented property communities have very few houses where improvements are made regularly. The paint is faded on most of the homes, the yards are marginal at best. When we were in the market for a house back in 2001 we could tell almost instantly whether the house we were viewing was occupied by an owner or a renter. Owners make improvements at will. Renters put up with whatever the owner gives them to work with, which isn’t much given that he doesn’t occupy the property.

The same dynamic is seen in marriage. Couples who view marriage as a capstone of life, where the wife is a free agent, the husband respects her autonomy, and everyone does what they think is best for the family in their own wisdom look vastly different from one where the couple views their marriage as their cornerstone; a single unit with one head rather than a two-headed monstrosity. Like the rented property, the self-owned wife has little to no curb appeal. What’s worse, because she doesn’t really belong to him, her husband isn’t free to make necessary improvements.

What does a rental property marriage like? She’s lazy, and excuses it as her right to relax because she works so hard, despite all evidence to the contrary. He accepts it because she’s not his property. She gets fat, and he pretends it doesn’t matter. Just normal wear and tear, and it’s not his house. No sex? Another “normal” part of married life. Kids taking priority over the marriage? She gave birth to them so it’s just (again) “normal” that she would give them top priority. He should be thankful that his children are blessed with such a devoted mother. He dare not offer any objection to anything she does because she is after all, a free agent and she just might take advantage of said agency. She probably will anyway because everyone knows that the owned property feels more loved than the rented one. Rented wives have no curb appeal yet blame the tenant despite the fact that they chose to be rented rather than owned.

Contrast with a marriage where a wife accepts that she is now the property and responsibility of her husband. He takes very seriously the responsibilities as well as the privileges that come with such ownership. He is free to make improvements, and she knows that rather than attempting to destroy her uniqueness, he is working to increase her value; to himself, his children, and others, including her. When he questions the way she spends her time, she gives account and makes the necessary adjustments. When she doesn’t take proper care of her health and appearance, he calls her on it. Rather than take offense, she is motivated. She puts in the time and effort to be a more fit, healthy, and attractive wife. She willingly engages her husband physically, understanding that her body is not her own and that regular intimacy helps to keep the foundation of their relationship a solid one. She sees her children as the blessed result of love made with her husband rather than the fruit ripened solely as a result of her decision to loan herself as an incubator for 40 weeks. They are well loved but kept in their proper place. She doesn’t even own herself, so she knows she doesn’t own her children either.

I know that owners sell homes all the time, particularly in this current market. My analogy is far from perfect, but it’s still valid. The trend of selling homes and upgrading to something bigger, shinier, and newer is just an extension of the way we do things now.  Everything is expendable, including those we claim to love. Again this is new, not normal. Just as people didn’t switch spouses every ten years, neither did they routinely switch houses every decade. They bought a house, raised their kids in it, and often died in it, because it was theirs. My father has lived in the same house for over 50 years. I know many people of his generation who have done likewise and passed the family homestead onto their children.

Rented property has always appeared expendable to its occupants and the owners of such properties have always added far less value to them than to the properties they own AND occupy.  The modern day homeowner is really no more than a decorated renter anyway. Very few people truly own anything, and very few marriages are marriages real and true. Nothing of worth is invested, and the negative returns on the investment  reflect that.

from the best-ofs files, Uncategorized

Majors vs. Minors

From 2012. It seems trite and simplistic to many people in an age when we all think we are supposed to be expert amateur theologians, but I am still quite firmly planted in this position.

Karen Jones asked in response to my last post:

I wish someone would say exactly what the minor and major issues are…even the bible leaves me confused about it…

I think I know that the basics should be Jesus son of God…God come to earth to die on a cross for all our sins and be resurrected into eternal life that we all can freely have if we confess his name as our savior, the bible is God’s words to us ” an instruction book for earth living” then I do not compromise on any of that. But people are calling marriage or abortion and other things minor issues which I consider major issues. Yet I see people have formed different churches over things like length of hair , dress , etc. which I consider more minor issues.

This is a good question and if you’re like me, you find that the things you consider major change as you grow and change. Things that seemed monumental to me 5 years ago seem inconsequential to me now. I’ll use the marriage debate as an example since it is an issue that several Christians have disagreed with me about as well as issue raised by Karen in her comment.

When I wrote Why The Marriage Debate Fails to Move Me, most of the response was positive, but I did receive private correspondence from a few readers who thought I was way off base. They believe that this is a major issue, that the church needs to take a stand on it, and that my position is antithetical to the Christian mandate.

Five years ago, I felt the exact same way. I thought that the extension of marriage rights to homosexuals would signal the death knell of marriage as we know it. I thought that we needed to fight state sanctioned homosexual marriage. The validity of all marriages depended on it. While this was once a major issue to me, it no longer is. In fact, I have evolved even more as I have come to believe that the state should probably withdraw from the marriage business altogether, that the church should perform and record sacramental marriages among its own, and that the church should also impose harsh disciplinary and social penalties on those who divorce for any reasons not clearly outlined in Scripture. The state can do and honor whatever it wishes for those on the outside, and it should be of little concern to us.

Does this mean that I am in favor of homosexual marriage? Absolutely not. There is nothing good or right about it. Is it a hill that the church should be willing to die on? In my opinion, it is not. Again, I haven’t always felt that way, but I do now. The fact that I don’t see it as major doesn’t mean that it isn’t a major issue for someone else. It has been a struggle for me to divorce the political from the spiritual.

Others who have not had that struggle may be perfectly free to fight this fight. It is not my fight. I am more concerned with the dismal state of marriage within the church and am thoroughly convinced that we should give more attention to that issue than we should whether or not the state gives gays access to civilly recognized unions under the umbrella of marriage, as if tacking the word “marriage” on to the word “gay” suddenly makes it a valid form of marriage. I don’t believe it does, so for me the issue is less exciting.

Ultimately, I believe there are some things that are major issued for us all and I’ll end this post in just a minute with what I believe those issues are. First however, I think we need to understand as believers that everyone has a story and a struggle for deliverance from certain vices, and what is a a genuine, eternal life or death major issue for one person may not rise to the same level for another.

For a recovered alcoholic, one glass of wine is a major. For another believer, it is a minor issue where total abstention is not required. To declare that the only way to walk is as a teetotaler is to impose an unbiblical standard on another believer’s liberty.

For the woman who has struggled with lust, promiscuity, or a desire to be desired, the modesty issue comes front and center in a way that it doesn’t for a woman who doesn’t have the same issues even though we are all Scripturally committed to modesty. Makeup or none, jeans or none, sleeveless or not, it will play out differently depending on the woman, her story, her husband. It’s not for me to decide whether or not it’s a major issue nor how she should walk it out.

There are major issues that all believers can unite around. As we strive to prayerfully live out the universal majors, we free others to master their personal major issues and we are free to do the same. Well, what are the major issues?

“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. John 3:16

30 and you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ 31 The second is this, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” Mark 12:30-31

that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation. Romans 10:9-10

Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; [b]bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.  1 Corinthians 13: 4-7

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Galatians 5: 22-23

And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him. Hebrews 11:6

He has shown you, O man, what is good;
And what does the Lord require of you
But to do justly,
To love mercy,
And to walk humbly with your God? Micah 6:8

There are of course, other bedrock doctrinal truths that I could list, but there isn’t the time. I could go on for days! You get the picture.

It is not my intent to ignore this most important question: How Then, Shall We Live? I just happen to believe that the answer to that question comes into much better focus when we strive to build a firm foundation on the fundamentals.

Uncategorized

Why the Marriage Debate Fails to Move Me

From 2011. Can’t say my position has changed very much. At least not enough to do any major editing. It is interesting how we have pretty much moved on from this in the past couple of years and are now discussing whether or not there are more than the two human sexes God created. Slipper slopes and all that.

Has anyone noticed that until now, I haven’t wasted a single keyboard stroke discussing the gay marriage debate? There’s a reason. In my opinion the church has been largely complicit in destroying the sanctity of marriage. Until we decide that we will  believe and live what the Bible has to say about marriage, I will not get up in arms about what the state does with respect to civil unions/partnerships/ marriage, whatever.

There is no special magic in the word “marriage.” Its sacredness is directly proportional to our commitment to honor God and our spouse by keeping our vows and agreeing with the Scripture’s commands concerning the marital relationship. It is the height of hypocrisy for a church with a divorce rate of the Western church  to wag its fingers at anyone when it comes to the sacredness of marriage.

I am crystal clear on what the Scriptures say about homosexuality and am in no way attempting to defend the indefensible position of those who would expand the definition of holy matrimony. What I am saying  is that we (the church) took the “holy” out of matrimony a long time ago. We need to clean up our act. We  have no moral authority with respect to the gay marriage debate. The authority of Scripture can only affect society at large as they see us faithfully live it.

What the church needs is an internal debate to establish whether we are indeed the church referred to in the Scriptures we claim to hold dear. And if so, we must adhere to what the Bible has to say about marriage before we can convince the secular world of its sacredness. Before you dismiss the possibility that secularists can be convinced of the sacredness of marriage, keep in mind that a generation or two ago, people of all faith traditions, or no faith traditions at all, were in general agreement on what marriage is and the seriousness of the commitment. Now people of faith and no faith have banded together to dismiss the seriousness of the marriage commitment.

This is why the gay marriage debate bores me. I don’t feel like I have a dog in that hunt.

Sidebar: While I am passionate about marriage for those of us who are married, I don’t believe that everyone must aspire to be married. Marriage is a  major commitment, and too big of a risk in the age of anti-family courts and frivolous divorce (especially for the average man) to wade into on a whim. Furthermore, the Scriptures are clear that the unmarried are much more free to serve God and others than the married are, and that singleness is a blessed state. Please keep this note in mind as marriage discussions arise going forward.

Beauty, from the best-ofs files, How to pick a guy, wife stuff

The Middle Way for Women

This was written on TC blog back in 2011 by CL. She gave me permission to use it in this best-of series. I borrowed it because I can’t think of anything much written by Christians on the subject of women and modesty that doesn’t make me wish there was someone, somewhere, with a modicum of sense. Someone not so open-minded that their brains have fallen out. The “bikinis are fine!” crowd spring to mind here. Someone not so prudish and wound up at the sexual nature of men and women that they make me recoil. The “revealing of curves or enhancement of any kind is evil” crowd springs to mind here. Then I remembered that there was once, someone who wrote on the topic in a way I could get on board with.

This is my first post here. My husband planted a seed and I have nurtured it – it was a fruitful union and this is what we have procreated.

Have you noticed that a single woman dresses to attract, then when she gets married, she dresses to minimize? A married woman dressing as if she were single, going on girls’ nights out, is not generally looked upon well, even if the stigma appears less than in times gone by, and most married women intuit this.

What are attracts men is simple but seems complex because it is counter-intuitive. Often a woman showing too much skin gives off a vibe of selfishness. Such intentional dress is often intimidating to men; the better quality betas often do not have the confidence to approach – or they simply don’t know how to approach such a woman except perhaps to ask, “How much?” Of course the alpha guys will approach her, but the good guys will think twice more often than not.

The women overly concerned with modesty often have a body language that is not attractive. Their posture often is such that they hide their curves. This is body insecurity, which is not an attractive trait. Often these women have the walking gait of a man. But even those seemingly unconcerned with modesty do this – I see women all the time dressed to the nines but walking like a man, slightly hunched even, with legs apart instead of one foot in front of the other. In this case, the woman who is modestly dressed yet carries herself well is going to attract more attention than the one showing a lot of skin but who doesn’t know how to carry herself in a feminine way.

This is the middle way. Wearing clothes that do not reveal too much but walking with confidence: shoulders back, breasts out, standing tall. Walking like a woman, one foot in front of the other, which causes her hips to sway even without heels. How many times do you see women hunched over with her arms pulled forward or crossed to disguise her breasts? This is not attractive. Rather, good posture, smiling, not wearing a lot of makeup, shorter finger nails without obnoxious bright colors will likely cause the good men to notice and the alphas to hesitate in ‘using up’ such beauty.

The peace and glow of a woman after prayer or a woman really striving toward God shows up in the way she carries herself. Cads often do have a code of conduct to not ruin such a woman. Furthermore, she is not easy and it would take a larger investment of his time than he typically is willing to give. So in this way, she can attract quality men without flaunting herself and still look good while at the same time protecting herself.

The middle way woman attracts a better quality man because that man sees all of her character, including her comfortable confidence in her sexuality, since she neither flaunts nor disguises. Sometimes this kind of woman will later change her style of dress to be like the woman concerned with modesty. That is disconcerting to her man. He wants to be proud of his wife and show her off a bit. If she does not want to be eye candy for him sometimes – and not just in private – this can lead to disinterest from him and insecurity in her, which causes their connection to become more distant and usually a woman reacts by holding on to him and pulling him back with her claws. Oh, if she would just draw him back with her wiles, by planting some irresistible private intimate images in his mind.

A better approach is for her to do the opposite of most women; when out with him, she can dress a bit more revealing; she can find out what he would like to see and do that for him. The attention of the world is on the two of them and the focus is more diffused. They will see her in context with him; he is there to protect her. When this is done right, she is noticed as a beautiful woman, and people look at him and think, “Lucky guy.” Men live for this feeling – it affirms his masculinity. The focus is no longer on her; it is redirected to him. She feels good, because he feels good and also because this makes her feel more attractive, thus increasing her confidence. She will pick up on the admiration others have for her man and delight that such a man is her man.

Emotions are contagious. In a relationship the two are often feeling the same things. It is good to remember this, because this is the way to fix things. Being willing to do things like this for your man encourages him to be open about what he wants from you, and the more you show yourself willing to please him, the more the positive emotions will overwhelm the negative ones. This isn’t to say you are a doormat, but that you show yourself willing to please. In the modern world, this will set you apart from the average woman, as will dressing nicely but not slutty and carrying yourself with poise and confidence.

Yes, I realize that this post was void of any Scriptural reference or mention of “shamefacedness”, that word in 1 Timothy that has been bastardized to within an inch of its poor life. I’ll get into that later. Trust me on that, because I have something to say about it.

Beauty, from the best-ofs files

1947. When People Got Dressed.

This one is from 2013. Just in time for those who get dolled up for New Years. I’m too much of a fuddy-duddy for all that, but I appreciate the notion nonetheless. I’ll go glam in Febuay for our annivesary.

My husband and I saw the movie 42 recently, and I was so enamored with the fashion that I could barely appreciate the film, set in 1947. Women wore dresses and pumps to the ball park. The men wore shirts and ties. It was intoxicating to me, all the care that was put into presenting oneself well and with dignity, and I’m not even a particularly formal dresser. I enjoy my sundresses and sandals.

As I watched I wondered who decided that slovenly is necessarily more comfortable, and that the quickest route from the bed to the door is the best one. And then I looked at myself and realized that I had encased my hair in a clip of some sort every day for the past week. No curls, no extra effort, just twist it up clip it and go.

I tried to make up for it wearing dresses and dangly earrings because big earring look better with up dos, but I was taking the short cut. No amount of lip gloss was going to change that. It is very easy to get into a rut, especially when your husband is too busy to really look and pause long enough to ask “What’s up?”

Since it’s Friday, I figured I’d lighten things up with a bit of vintage fashion inspiration.

42-wife

The first photo is the actress who played Jackie Robinson’s wife in the film. She’s gorgeous, but  more importantly, look at how the people at the ball park are dressed!

1940-fashion

 

No frump here, and that yellow dress is divine. Next up: Hats!

 

another fashion hat

1940s-war-ration-fashion1

I saw this last one and immediately thought of our resident expert on all things beautiful:

turquoise-1940s

Consider this the TC shallow fashion blog of the week. Have a great weekend!

Humility is important, Living with other believers, spirit led living, things that make me go hmm....

An Atypical Christmas Sermon

It’s Christmas Eve, and if anyone reading this is like us, you’re stuck somewhere between finishing touches, anticipation, and looking forward to the exhale as this holiday winds down.

As in so many things, SAM and I are a study in the attraction of opposites. He is usually full of Christmas joy, relishing every dollar spent and every stranger with whom he strikes up a temporary friendship. I am more contemplative, struggling to make sure the Savior doesn’t get lost in the shuffle and watching the budget like a hawk.

This year however, is different. We buried my FIL in October, and all of us including the children, are a bit stunned at the realization that my husband’s grandmother is the only grandparent they have left; that neither my husband or I have a living blood parent. My stepmother is great, and we love her, but there is a hole that has even sucked the wind out of the youngest and most festive Christmas celebrants in our household. Family matters, bringing me to the point of this post, which is going to be shorter than its introduction might indicate.

Our pastor went off script today, and what started out as a seemingly typical sermon on the First Messianic Family of Mary and Joseph, turned into an exposition of how God intends families to function. From here, I’ll just bullet point the highlights as I have a meal to prep:

  • God sent his son into the world as a human baby and set Him in a family that he’d spent generations preparing. The church is made up of families. The legacy of spiritual truth or apostasy is handed down through families. As the homes crumble, so do nations and the churches in them.
  • Fathers are supposed to be the primary drivers and teachers of the ways and laws of God to their children. The church can support, but too many people leave the job to their local children’s and youth church ministries. And too many of them are too concerned with cultural relevance.
  • The home is not a democracy. The father’s word is law. (He noted how hard it would be to get just about anyone in the Western world to agree to a home where the man is in really charge)
  • The Bible offers instruction and parallels over and over again -in the New as well as Old Testaments- about the importance of a man ruling his home well.
  • A large part of the reason the church is losing so many young people from one generation to the next is because rather than passing down timeless Biblical and spiritual truths, the church is allowing each generation to “express itself and its opinions” about who they thing God is to them. Included in this is the changing of the way we worship, dress, speak, all of it.
  • Instead of the older women teaching the younger women, the older women are trying to be like the younger women.
  • As 2018 comes in, our church renews a commitment to teaching men to teach their children, love their wife, and teaching women to learn to respect their husbands.
  • One of the cool things I’ve noted about our church on previous occasions is the high number of men in attendance. That is the norm, not a Christmas abberation. Not enough young men are there, but if this thing on our pastor’s heart catches fire in the pews, we might see young people with a heart for God increase in number.

There is nuance in the sermon that I don’t really have time to add. Just know that our large church is one where you’ll not find anything even slightly resembling a cult-like, controlling atmosphere. Far from it, in fact.

That our pastor had the backbone to say these things boldly and without any qualifiers was noteworthy in itself.

Merry Christmas!

For unto us a Child is born,
Unto us a Son is given;
And the government will be upon His shoulder.
And His name will be called
Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.  Isaiah 9:6