Friday, August 25, 2006

On Career Women and Lazy Men

As probably all of you are already aware, Forbes recently ran an article written by a man and titled Don't Marry a Career Women. They pretty quickly posted a counterpoint article written by a woman and titled Don't Marry a Lazy Man. The two articles are now posted side-by-side on the Forbes website.

No surprise - I didn't agree with the rebuttal article by the woman. I didn't like the tone of her writing, which was demeaning to men, nor her apparent disvaluing of the role of women at home. The man's article was interesting and factul and stated what I consider to be the obvious: career women are less likely to have a healthy and happy family life. But do you know what? The more I pondered the man's article, the less I liked it. It was true, it was to the point, and it was information that needs to be heard - not glazed over as it normally is in our society. But I didn't like the way it was presented.

There was no love spoken with the truth. I found no hint that the author valued women. Statistically, non-career women mean a more stable marriage, but there was no heart in his statements, no inkling that women are precious and have a special role. I could just as easily criticize the female author's demeaning attitude towards men (which is a topic for another post entirely!), but I won't, because the conservative blogosphere has already done that in abundance - and correctly so! Instead, I'm left pondering the message the male author is sending. On second reading I came away wondering if the author even liked women, if he was married, and if his own marriage was happy. He's a real candidate for misogyny.

Most issues can either be painted as very glorious or very repulsive, depending on the wielder of the brush. I think the role and place of women is just such an issue. It is too easy to either view women as equal in role to men, thus brushing over the glorious distinctions God has given the two sexes, or conversely to harp on the servitude of women and their need to keep a "proper place" in society. The male writer of the Forbes article did not do either, but there was still no beauty in his painting of a woman's role, no esteem for her position. She was a statistic who shouldn't compete with men. Period.

The Bible paints a different picture, though. Women have a different role than men. Woman is created to be his helpmeet, walking beside him hand in hand through life. Marriage is a union, a binding of two lives that the two might work together more effectively than apart. In that beautiful union, woman does take the role that is often deemed "demeaning." She is a guard of the home, a nurturer of children. She takes the home as her sphere of influence gladly, not because it is statistically better but because she belongs there. She was created for a special purpose. She is not free household staff, but a cherished wife and a mother. And yes, she is an obedient wife.

Here again, with the topic of submission, I am very afraid that it is easily painted in two opposing and equally unbiblical lights. We have the feminists, who recoil at the very word and try to explain away such a clear Biblical teaching. Then we have the quintessential fundamentalist, who preaches submission, submission, submission in a way that comes across as utter servitude. The Bible teaches differently.

Ephesians 5 is the classic passage on headship. I find it a very comforting passage, albeit a challenging one. I find myself wondering if someday I will be able to follow Paul's command to submit to my husband as to the Lord. Submit in everything?, wonders my rebellious heart. I see the beauty of the husband and wife positions though, and I find in them a beautiful picture of Christ in his church. I hope to someday stand before God and man and pledge to love, honor, and obey my husband until death do us part.

But as my pastor preached a few months ago, Ephesians 5 is no good without a necessary perspective. One cannot talk about headship rightly apart from the gospel. Without the gospel, headship is an ugly truth; with the gospel, headship is a glorious picture. To properly understand Ephesians 5, one must first read Ephesians 1-4. After reading Ephesians 1-4 and then reading Ephesians 5, including the verses that charge husbands to love their wives as Christ loves the church, I cannot feel cheated, torn down, or demeaned by my call to submission. I am to aid my husband as the church aids Christ. What a beautiful mission! My husband, though, is to act as a type of Christ to me and our household! Wow.

What a beautiful role given to the man, but what a heavy responsibility, and a responsibility I would not snatch from any man. That is obligation; that is a set of very big shoes to fill. Unless a man can speak of women's roles in light of the gospel and his own call to serve his wife as Christ, than I must stand with the feminists and find his writings to be demeaning and void of any real esteem for women. The husband and wife roles of Ephesians 5 are beautiful because they are complimentary. Either, without the other, is ugly; together they are a beautiful picture.

Woman is not merely a housewife, but a helpmeet. Without the gospel, the womanly roles that are painted in Ephesians 5 and Titus 2 are not beautiful, but constrained and subservient. But with the gospel, women have a special role and a purpose!

36 comments:

Jessie said...

Wow! This may be your best post ever!
I have yet to read the article (Crystal linked to it as well) but yours is so good, I almost feel I don't have to! Thanks for reminding us of the Gospel and Christ, and how the beauty of it all is reflected in the way God has ordained marriage.

Sarah Joy said...

Hi! I found your blog while flipping through the blogs and commenters.
A good point. Our society seems to be designed to make men and women hate each other. Men are despised and women are undervalued. God made men to need "reverence" and women to need love-that selfless unconditional love that one can understand only when they know God. Seeing such bitterness in anyone makes me sad. What a flip-flop world!

John Dekker said...

I've been wondering whther to mention this, but in case you're unaware of it, people are talking about you, Susan. Peter @ Alarm-alarm made some disparaging remarks about your post on Lydia's blog, but then Daniel Larison @ Eunomia responded, defending you.

But for my part, I think you've been doing a wonderful work, and really admire what you've written.

Susan said...

Oh, do go read the original articles when you get the time, Jessie! They are interesting :).

Welcome to my blog, Sarah Joy! I have a friend named Sarah Joy, so how fun :). I especially loved the way you described men's needs. Men are so despised in our society. It seems that the way to elevate women is to bash men (just take a look at the woman's rebuttal on Forbes), which is not at all the Biblical solution!

Interesting, John. No, I wasn't aware that I'm still the buzz of the blogosphere :). I came across a number of less-than-flattering analyses of my guest post on Lydia's blog, but that was several weeks ago. Apparently I believe in a flat earth, use terms that don't exist (if only they had bothered to check dictionary.com), and have an overbearing father. . . I could go on.

The posts I read previously didn't phase me, nor did the one you linked to :). I let things roll off my back easily. I was unaware of those two links before I wrote this post, so that's rather interesting. Daniel Larison's article was encouraging and very gracious. People (sadly, including Christians) seem to forget that we can disagree and discuss our differences without slinging mud at each other!

And thank you for your vote of confidence :).

Ashley said...

Hehe I can't imagine your dad being overbearing!

Spunky said...

I think you did an excellent job talking about the biblical role of women and headship.

And I might be inclined to agree with your idea of how the article by Mr. Noer was presented, except that he was speaking to men. His first paragraph started with "Guys..."

Men are facts not feelings orientated. So I cut him some slack in that department. Also, the author doesn't make any pretense that he is coming from a biblical worldview so why would I expect him to see that side of it? He is speaking from his worldview.

Further, his article did not have the purpose of how to achieve a happy marriage or how to treat a wife. The whole point was just to state the fact that "career women" are not his choice in a mate.

The fact that there was an ommission in "heart" does not mean that he doesn't value women. That would be an erroneous assumption based on one article. His point was not to talk about he beauty of a women's role but to give advice to men on how to choose a wife based on the career aspirations of the women.

By way of analogy, my husband is a financial planner. He speaks to couples all the time about incomes and women working. He will often point out that living on one income is the preferred option. He speaks in terms of dollars earned and saved and points out the hidden costs in a two income home. Does that mean he doesn't value women or see their biblical role? Hardly, but the context is such that this is what he focuses on.

The same could be said about this gentleman's article. Just because he didn't talk about the value of women doesn't mean he doesn't value them.

Remember he is speaking to guys in their language. Not to women in ours. I would have loved to have heard many of the things you mentioned and for him to gush on how our great worth. But because he didn't doesn't mean he doesn't value women or lacks a happy marriage. It may not be a godly marriage, but this man may not even be a Christian.

We just don't know from just one article. He's a guy who just wants a happy marriage and a healthy life. He's just telling guys his thoughts on how to get it. Nothing more than that.

Jessica said...

Great post, Susan! I haven't read the original articles either, yet it sounds like your post sums it up very well...good job!

Susan said...

Spunky,

You make an excellent point that Mr. Noer was speaking to guys. I never said he doesn't value women, remember, but that there was no hint that he did. I may be misreading him, and he may highly esteem women, but he could have done a better job showing it a little! Remember, though he addressed the article to guys, he is posting it on the internet for the whole world to see - women included. In fact, his article almost seems written to rile up the feminists, not to promote healthy discussion on the subject.

I did cut him some slack in the "facts v. feelings" department, especially on first read. For a woman I am a very facts-oriented person, in fact :). I really enjoyed his article when I first read. But then I let it simmer in my brain, and I decided a day later to reread the article. On second read it came across to me as cold and flippant, frankly. I had noticed the flippant attitude before, but had ignored it because I agreed with the facts he presented.

You are absolutely correct that Mr. Noer made no pretense at coming towards the subject from a Biblical worldview. That is precisely my point. I think statistics are useful (I teach statistics, in fact!), but statistics never convinced anyone to change a major portion of their worldview. Especially when those statistics are presented in a cold manner.

Laws don't change anyone; the Holy Spirit does. Likewise discussing Biblical principles without their context and without the gospel first is rarely fruitful. To me the role of women is a discussion that should usually come after the gospel, not before. I am much more likely to have a discussion of women's roles with a believer than I am with an unbeliever, because it is not the primary point of the Bible; it is a necessary (and important) result of the gospel message. It is so easy to get our causes and effects all messed up.

I hope that explains a bit more where I'm coming from :). I agree for the most part with all the conservative commentary that has come from this whole Forbes issue. I just think the real issue is something bigger, and that without the gospel, the discussion - even backed by wonderful statistics - has limited impact. That is where I think Mr. Noer's article fails.

Spunky said...

I agree this article and every other article that fails to promote the gospel first is incomplete. As an aside, that was my biggest issue with the popular book by Debi Pearl. But that's a whole different issue.

My only point was that, this is one article. I wrote an article last year for The Old Schoolhouse. I talked about education reform and how it will impact homeschoolers. I talked very little about the biblical basis for homeschooling or other foundational Truths. Someone could come away with the idea that I believed that there was little biblical basis for my conviction to homeschool and higher education was the goal of our homeschooling. They couldn't be more wrong. The article focused on one small aspect of the large issue of homeschooling. Further, there were things I wrote that editors took out. Those are beyond a writers control.

I guess I viewed this article in a similar way. His article spoke to one small aspect of picking a spouse, not a doctoral dissertation on the issue of selecting a mate.

I agree that if a person doesn't share a biblical worldview talking about this is largely an exercise in futility.

But for someone who may not have a biblical worldview, statistics are what people use. Yes, it isn't going to change a heart. But at least he got people thinking and talking. Sure it stirred up the pot. But I guess if it gives me and others a platform to speak the Truth along with the stats. I don't mind it too much.

By the way, you and I are actually very similar. I was a computer scientist, heavily into math and stats before I chose to stay home to be with my family. I'd have to say, I bet you and I would have a fun time discussing this over a cup of coffee.

Mrs.B. said...

Excellent Susan!

I agree. I was bothered by his tone too but didn't quite know how to put inyo words what bothered me about it. Thank you for doing it for me!

Susan said...

Hi again, Spunky,

You make some very good points about him focusing on one aspect. Certainly Mr. Noer did not intend to give the subject full treatment. The statistics he provided do give some excellent springboard for discussion, and I will keep them handy for use in the future. I love statistical data!

I guess I just wish he would have presented the data, if not from a Biblical viewpoint, at least from a slightly less feminists-please-disregard-what-I-am-saying-because-I-am-saying-it-flippantly attitude, if you know what I mean :). Gloria Steinman (sp?) thinks his article so ridiculous that it does more for the feminists than it harms. I think she's ignoring the clear data Mr. Noer presented, but it is easier for her to dismiss his article because it was not done in love, or even apparent genuine concern for women. Like I said before, I seriously think he may have written the article just to rile the feminists, not so much to expose the truth, but that's just a hunch ;).

There are certainly a number of ways to approach debate, and in college I debated (using the logical categorization of the word debate - civil discussion with the intent of persuasion) with many of my classmates and teachers on a number of topics. I knew I had to be prepared to give a defense for the hope that was in me. . . Since they were mostly not Christians, I didn't waste time so much quoting specific Bible verses as much as discussing issues from a social viewpont, albeit a Christian one. But I did so with a respect for them as a human being. When I presented a paper on evolution in class, I didn't open it with a joke, warning my classmates not to date evolutionists. . . and I realize that's a rather far-fetched analogy :).

All that to say, I think Mr. Noer would have done far more for the Biblical Womanhood camp (of which I am a part) had he composed his article with more humility. Even then, I would understand why (though of course not agree with) the feminists would find his data repugnant, because the message of the gospel (and I believe the complementarian roles of the sexes are a picture of the gospel) are foolishness to the unbeliever.

Actually, we wouldn't have a good time discussing all this over coffee. . . because I don't like coffee ;). But it's too bad tea is not an option :). I've joined your thoughts!

Spunky said...

There are a few excellent tea rooms near me. I love taking my daughters there. :)

As far as the point-counterpoint, he really didn't write this in a debate format. He wrote it as a stand alone piece to men. Had he known he was going to be a part of a point counterpoint he might have done things differently. But that's the way it turned out. What he may have intended to put forth with a little sarcasm and "male humor" exploded into something larger.

I guess the take away for all of us who write is to always consider the unintended audience along with the intended audience.

As far as helping the biblical womanhood camp (which my daughters and I are also a part of) he may not have done us any favors. But I don't think it hurt our message of redemption in Christ and hope for a Godly marriage at all. Sure it might have been an opportunity missed to boost us up a little, but I wouldn't call it a complete disaster either.

agodlyhomemaker said...

i think this is a fantastic post! :) thank you!!

Susan said...

Spunky,

I think your last paragraph summarized things nicely :).

Becky Miller said...

I agree with Jessica - this is definitely one of your best posts ever!

I felt similarly as you did about NOer's article. It was poorly written, and his point was poorly presented. His social science research was very interesting, but his tone, I think, hurt the efficacy of his message. I would also have liked to see those studies cited more clearly and directly.

I thought your discussion of Eph. 5 and the preeminence of the gospel message in talking about gender roles was EXCELLENT!

And I have often thought to myself what you said in one of your comments...that the gospel (and therefore Biblically outlined gender roles) is foolishness to those who are perishing. (BUT to those who are being saved, it is the power of God!)

Adrian C. Keister said...

Very nice post - I'll add my admiration to the mix.

One of the most frustrating things as a male reading about this sort of thing is the ridiculous disproportion given to the "submission" question. Whatever it is, it would surely be a lot easier to do if men were doing their job properly (loving their wives). See, here's the proof of that. If men have always been tyrannizing their wives, as the feminists claim, and the relative strengths of the sexes has remained a virtual constant, then how come feminism hasn't come on the field long before now?

I'm quite convinced that it was around the year 1900 that men started falling down on their jobs, and hence we have the feminist explosion - soon may it die due to men taking up their responsibilities again!

Keep it up.

In Christ.

Susan said...

It is sad that the husband/wife roles are rarely discussed with balance. Most conservatives harp on submission like it's a cross to be born - not very inspiring, nor an accurate representation of the complementary roles God has gifted the sexes. Did you take a look at the "utter servitude" article to which I linked? It's humorous, but also a bit eery because there is an ounce of truth in it.

I think you're a bit hard on your sex, but I do agree that the feminist revolution was largely propelled by an abdication on the part of the men. But then, it's really two-sided. You can't have the feminist revolution without a great number of women also failing to follow their role. Of course, as the heads, the men take primary responsibility.

zan said...

I don't think men like to argue with women. Period. They like peace. Women can eventually get their own way because of there persistence.

Adrian, you are hard on men, but it is nice to hear it. : )

Adrian C. Keister said...

Replies.

The utter servitude article was... interesting. I think the SBC has gone off the deep end, to be sure. I can think of about five things they're doing wrong right off the top of my head. 1. Extending the right fist of fellowship (a metaphor due to Chuck Colson from The Body), a.k.a. not extending grace to fellow-believers. 2. Saying that women are in absolute complete servitude to men. I object to the number, the word "absolute," and the word "servitude." I object to the number, because one woman is to be subject to one man, not all women to all men. I object to the absolutism, because a husband commanding his wife to sin must be disobeyed. I object to servitude, as putting on a negative connotation.

In Ephesians 5, the verb "submit" is in the middle voice, according to the commentators, indicating a voluntary thing. The SBC appears to have ignored this.

Maybe I am hard on men, but we're supposed to be able to take it. Yeah right. I've read in numerous places of the "fragile male ego." Whatever happened to, "Rebuke a wise man, and he will love you?" Whatever happened to, "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, but fools despise wisdom and instruction?" Hmph!!

In Christ.

Susan said...

What SBC resolution are you referencing? The only relevant one I know of (from 1998) didn't use the term "absolute," as far as I know. I can't find the exact document online, though. The Lark News article was written in 2003, but I couldn't find a SBC resolution from that time, so I assumed it was a parody of the 1998 resolution. Perhaps you have some insight here?

I agree that a woman is not commanded to submit to her husband in sin, but the term "absolute" may just be a rewording of Paul's command to submit "in everything." Those two little words have always confused me, actually. Any exegetical insights there?

The Happy Feminist said...

Thank you for your thoughtful commentary on this article. Regardless of my strong disagreement with you regarding the appropriate roles in marriage, you hit the nail on the head with your observation that (to paraphrase you) Noer seems to find no value in women whatsoever besides our ability to wait upon men hand in foot.

I have to say that I didn't think the coutnerpoint was as strong or as intelligent or as funny as it could have been. I did not, however, see any hint that the author of the counterpoint despises men. Her sarcasm seemed to be directed only at men as they are implicitly portrayed in Noer's piece -- i.e. couch potatoes who don't seem to feel the need to put forth any effort in their marriages aside from bringing in the paycheck.

I think that men do face unfair prejudices and limiting constraints in the dominant culture. But I don't see much in the way of despising men -- other than from anti-feminists themselves. I am thinking of men like Noer or the authors of those stupid TV sitcoms or advertisement which imply that men are hopelessly incompetent at household tasks. These shows and ads are just a big argument for women to keep doing all the work on the household front-- not an argument that is part of the feminist "agenda" at all!

Adrian C. Keister said...

Reply to Susan.

By resolution of the SBC, I mean the statement from the utter servitude article as follows: "Members of the Southern Baptist Convention voted during their annual convention this week to affirm the 'utter and complete servitude of women to men, in all things domestic and spiritual, with no qualifications,' their most dramatic position on an issue that has divided its ministers for years." It doesn't really matter to me when that happened, just that it happened. So, no, I don't have any extra insight here. ;-)]

Ah, now, as to the wording "in everything." I'm uncomfortable with trading "in everything" for "utter and complete" like the SBC did, or for "absolute." In order to go on, I'd like to highlight a difference that I see. Submission, when it is not to an absolute authority, is not precisely equal to obedience. It is equal to obedience almost everywhere, to use a mthematical expression. But there can be exceptions. I think, for example, that Abigail submitted to Nabal when she intervened. She certainly did not obey. Obedience in this extreme case would have meant sure and certain disaster for Nabal. Maybe I'm wrong here, and Abigail did not submit either. I'm inclined, though, to think that she submitted but did not obey.

The Ephesians passage commands wives to submit to their own husbands "as to the Lord." That phrase indicates two things to me. One is that it does command a wife to obey her own husband, since the wife is certainly commanded to obey the Lord. Secondly, it seems to point to a wife's obedience to the Lord as the model for her obedience to her husband. It seems to me, therefore, that the obedience to the Lord is the greater thing, and should over-rule obedience to the husband in the (hopefully rare!) case that they conflict. In addition, you have the passage in Acts where Peter says that "We must obey God rather than men." Peter only means they must disobey men in the case where the commands of mere men conflict with those of God. So it seems clear to me that obedience to a husband is not absolute. What is not so clear, though I am currently persuaded of it, is that wifely submission should be absolute. Submission might mean disobedience in an extreme case. But, we sinful human beings will always jump to the extreme case and not consider that with a Christian husband who truly loves his wife, there will be precious few times when he will ever ask her to sin.

If I ever marry, I live in dread of doing so. Think what would face me in the judgment if I caused her to sin! The Bible says it would be better if I had never been born. Praise be to the Lord Jesus Christ, who takes away my sin.

In Christ.

The Happy Feminist said...

From Susan's comment:

I think she's ignoring the clear data Mr. Noer presented, but it is easier for her to dismiss his article because it was not done in love, or even apparent genuine concern for women.

A lot of Noer's defenders have been saying, "But he must be right! He has all this data on his side!"

Assuming for the sake of argument that Noer's statistics are correct (I have not examined them), the statistics do not at all support Noer's conclusions, which are all value judgments, nor do they support a conclusion that women should not have careers. After all, the fact that a two-career couple's house is dirtier is equally attributable to the husband's career. The husband could just as well dig out a mop as his wife. The fact that career women with kids are stressed and unhappy is also attributable to the husband's career and the dominant expectation that she continue to be the children's primary caretaker rather than expect her husband to take on an equal share. If women with careers are more likely to have affairs than women at home, the same is surely true for men with careers. Etc. Etc.

So we're back at square one. There are no statistics which support a conclusion that women, rather than men, should not have careers. The problems and stresses faced by dual career families are certainly solvable by other means than the woman simply not having a career. For example, as more and more two-career families proliferate, it will become more and more common and acceptable for men to do their fair share around the house and with the kids. Indeed, we are already seeing an improvement in our society on that score, including baby changing tables in the men's bathrooms!

I understand that you and many of your readers find support for the notion of traditional gender roles in the Bible. But that is quite a different thing than relying on Noer's statistical data.

Indeed, much of Noer's data is perhaps not explained by greater marital HAPPINESS among families with homemaker wives, but by a greater resources allowing career wives to walk away from an unhappy marriage. For example, Stanford researchers doing a state-by-state study found that the female suicide rate dropped by and average 6% once a state instituted no-fault divorce laws. Rather than concluding "Don't marry a career women," a lot of men, like my husband, conclude, "Hey a little dirt and a little stress is worth it in order for both spouses to have an equally unconstrained opportunities to fulfill their talents and their vision."

And I agree with Steinem that Noer's article has helped to prove feminists' point!

Susan said...

Happy Feminist,

I would disagree regarding your assessment of male-bashing in our society. It is considered a social faux pas to mock women as a group, but our culture is saturated with male bashing through adverisements, TV shows, magazine articles, news shows, etc. Why has this become acceptable in the past 50 years? The feminist revolution.

You make a good point that Noer's data (that I know of) does not support a stay-at-home woman's role so much as a more generic stay-at-home spouse's role. Interesting. Now, I have seen other studies that compare homes where women work verses where men work, but this was not one. This of course brings me back to my original point that these statistics, while helpful, only do so much. Ultimately Christian's use the Bible as their guide, not a set of statistics. I by no means (as you see from my post) am blinding holding Noer's banner and declaring a victory for anti-feminists. I just don't see his article or his data as that compelling, though I do see his data as somewhat useful.

Susan said...

Adrian,

Lark news is a parody news site, and the articles are mostly based extremely loosely on real events, if that. They expose absurdities by extreme overstatement or more. I by no means am positive that the "utter servitude" article is even connected with a real SBC resolution. I have searched the internet and found no such evidence. I know the SBC has passed some more more standard measures, such as one calling women to "gracious submission," but I have no evidence of anything like what is described in the Lark news article. I thought you realized that before.

You said: It doesn't really matter to me when that happened, just that it happened. My point in asking you before was to see if it had happened, because I'm not sure it did.

I agree that obedience to the Lord should over-rule obedience to a husband! Certainly. Submission is beautiful when both the husband and wife are fulfilling their duties. I remember hearing a quote once, where a girl asked her grandmother her secret to a lifelong marriage of godly submission to her husband. The grandmother replied, It's easy to be submissive when you have a godly husband.

That's rather sad that you live in dread of marriage! You're sounding like Hannah now, and I've told her that as long as she feels that way, she shouldn't marry. So same to you.

I think here you are taking a verse out of context, though. The Bible says that anyone who would cause a little child to stumble would be better never born. How does this relate to women? Little children are helpless and easily molded in a wrong direction. Women have their faculties, they are independent thinkers, and have the ability to make choices using reason and logic. Both husbands and wives will make mistakes, but that is no reason to dread marriage. That is the beauty of grace.

Adrian C. Keister said...

Reply to Susan.

Ah, that would explain that. Obviously, I was taking the article seriously, and shouldn't have.

Well, if the SBC calls women to "gracious submission," more power to them! The PCA might learn something from them having the backbone to say that.

Your grandmother quote is most apt, most apt. That is exactly right, and that is exactly why it is so incredibly important for men to recover something of what they are supposed to be doing. So many societal problems would simply disappear if the men would stand up and sacrifice their lives (most of them in a daily manner) and exhibit servant leadership.

I don't dread marriage! Are you teasing me again? I am scared to death of headship, especially if God gives me a strong woman; but the grace of God will see me through it. It's rather like the story of Caspian in Prince Caspian, where Aslan asks him if he is ready to take on the kingship, and he says he doesn't think he is. Aslan says that is good, and adds that if Caspian had thought he was ready it would have been proof that he was not.

I do not mean women are helpless, or are exactly like little children. However, it is clearly wrong to tempt anyone to sin. The main idea of causing someone to stumble, which is dealt with elsewhere as well, is the same. I could have chosen better verses, you're right. How much more wrong to command someone to sin! I believe that husbands present their wives to God on the judgment day, and they will have to answer for them. Like you said, praise be to God for His abundant grace!

In Christ.

Susan said...

I think there have been a few amusing misunderstandings in this whole conversation :).

No, I wasn't teasing you when I spoke of you "dreading marriage." Read your previous comment. I think you were a bit unclear as to what exactly you meant there!

But, we sinful human beings will always jump to the extreme case and not consider that with a Christian husband who truly loves his wife, there will be precious few times when he will ever ask her to sin.

If I ever marry, I live in dread of doing so. Think what would face me in the judgment if I caused her to sin! The Bible says it would be better if I had never been born. Praise be to the Lord Jesus Christ, who takes away my sin.


I am now assuming that the thing you were "dreading doing" was asking your wife to sin, but look at the way you structured it! I think starting a new paragraph and making "dreading doing so" rather ambiguous gave quite an interesting effect. It makes it sound like you were dreading marriage! And I think it right that you approach the thought of headship with proper reverence and fear. And I quite liked the CoN reference, of course :).

So no, I wasn't teasing you. But now, may I? ;) Please tell me you didn't read the entire Lark news article in detail and think that it was strictly factual! Using cattle prods to bind women hand and foot, putting hoods over their heads, and shipping them to a secret detention center to await the results of a disciplinary committee? I'm going to assume that you either (a) did not read the article thoroughly or (b) thought it was based on fact, not strictly factual. Otherwise you had a huge blond moment :).

Adrian C. Keister said...

Fine, fine.

Blond moment #1.

Blond moment #2.

Satisfied? ;-)]

In Christ.

Susan said...

Quite. . . :)

Adrian C. Keister said...

There... you... go... with... ellipses... again...

In... Christ...

Susan said...

I like ellipses. . . do you have a problem with that?

Adrian C. Keister said...

There's nothing wrong with ellipses per se. However, what do they mean? They can mean one of about three things, all of which are related. I could have:

"... *gobbledy gook*,"

which would mean I omitted material before the quote or typed stuff. I could have

"*some gobbledy gook* ... *O, look: more gobbledy gook* (all of which said in a remarkably Gamgee fashion).

This would mean either I omitted material in the middle somewhere, or I intend a long pause. Finally, I could have

"*gobbledy gook* ..."

This would mean either I am omitting something at the end (possibly for the user to fill in), or another pause. It doesn't make sense for ellipses at the beginning to indicate a pause; at least not very often.

Perhaps I could mention my use of ellipses on my other blog: used to indicated a continuation. I'm not sure I've seen that use before, but it's pretty clear what I'm doing, I think.

Now, given all these uses, which of the intended meanings are you very specifically intending to convey? Or are you writing ellipses just because you like ellipses?

I hope by this time you are rolling on the floor; no one in their right mind could possibly seriously debate the use of ellipses for this long. Why are you still reading this? I suppose I might as well ask why I'm still writ...

Susan said...

I wasn't on the floor laughing, but I was chuckling a good bit :). If no one in their right mind could possibly debate ellipses this long, what about our lengthier debate over the black background of Cucumberland Island? :-D. I believe I won that one. . . or you just gave up. . . :)

Adrian C. Keister said...

Cucumberlandisland was definitely a case of the unjust judge being heckled by the widow. And I'll leave you to assign the proper roles in the analogy.

Oh, well, it was fun. Shall we TIOC?

Susan said...

Yes, I agree to TIOC, but after one question. What is the "unjust judge and heckling widow" to which you keep referring? Am I missing a book or movie quote? You mentioned it when we first had our dark/light duel, but I didn't at the time think it was a specific reference. But now I'm wondering. . .

I had to get in some ellipses :).

Susan said...

Oh. . . one of your Brother Dear's recent sermons shed light on that mystery :). It's a NT parable! Why didn't I remember that. Ah well.