On Debt-Free Virgins without Tattoos – Stop being Gnostics

A silly, little article has swept the internet by storm. I call it silly not necessarily due to its content – to be honest, there isn’t a ton within the article that I take exception with. Tattoos, college education, and a wife in the workplace, are a matter of preference and freedom, but matters of sexual purity, demeanor, and money management all find commands rooted within the Scriptures. These things shouldn’t be controversial in the least: every Christian is under obligation to be shrewd in matters of finance, bearing a general disposition of self-controlled, godly behavior, and reserve intercourse for the marriage bed.

However, even in terms of these matters of conscience, a woman deciding to forego college in order to manage the home, likewise, shouldn’t be controversial (or even an unwanted thing). I personally know many stay at home moms that are far more intelligent than their college-educated peers. I also know college-educated women (and professional women) who have left both of these things behind to, gasp, become stay at home moms. Daddy manned up and went to work to provide for his own family, as he should.

Despite our culture’s obsession with earning a degree, universities are literally circling the drain, financially and academically. It makes little sense for the system, as it stands, to continue. Not only are trade jobs in overwhelming supply, but the university model is on decline. Thousands of educated graduates are not working in the field they desire, nor are they finding job openings in these fields any time soon. One can blame it on the boomers – yet the reality is that not everyone should be getting a college degree, men included. Couple this with the crippling debt college grads often have, while making minimum wage and barely scrapping by, and the prudence of pursuing college is often underwhelming, to say the least.

On the matters of the post itself though, much issue is taken with the object being that the individual writing the blog makes some fairly broad-brush statements on the nature of college-educated women. Again, it’s a broad-brush (and should be dismissed as so), but people have to simply address what’s at the heart of the command for women to bear a gentle and a quiet spirit. Regardless of what often gets inserted into that meaning, it is a quality well-pleasing to the Lord, inasmuch as a man’s meekness would be pleasing to the Lord (and arguably, his spouse).

Secondly, we live in a culture that consistently degrades stay at home mothers, and this is largely owing to our culture’s general hatred of children. Not only is the prevailing attitude against children much like this mother’s, but stay at home moms are publicly viewed as simpletons who contribute little to society. They believe women are not fulfilling their true potential if they forego college and/or the workplace, conversely, stay at home moms don’t provide tangible value; these same women are subjugated to their brutish husbands if they place themselves under their headship. As an aside, if you didn’t view submission to headship as a choice, you’ve sorely misunderstood what that time leading up to marriage involves. All women are free to not marry an individual at any point leading up to the nuptials.

Third, we live in a culture that holds no value on sexual purity whatsoever. Virgins are openly mocked, and the marriage bed is openly profaned by adulterers, homosexuals, the effeminate, and other devious persons of perversity. Christians think little on the value and beauty of an individual who has maintained sexual purity; it is an increasingly rare thing in our culture, and the pornographization of our nation only adds to this mess. Beyond this, people wish to remove all elements of shame connected with losing this purity – yet the reality of living in a sin-tainted world is that some sins have lasting consequences.

If I drunkenly blow off my fingers in a moment of in discretionary folly with fireworks – I don’t get to have my fingers back once I become a Christian in submission to Scripture’s commands to flee drunkenness. Likewise, having sex prior to your spouse naturally incurs a form wherein that bond, specifically designated for that union, is broken to a degree. This does not relegate Christ’s atoning work to the trash-heap, but it does simply speak to the reality that sin distorts everything. Everything.

In a purely pragmatic sense, no individual should be despised for having a set of preferences in the dating pool that might not naturally align with your own. Dating is generally an awkward series of missed high-fives as it is, each party with a series of preferences they hold which are unbiblical. Scripture doesn’t speak to general levels of physical attraction, music, food, and drink tastes, inasmuch as it doesn’t address many other subjective qualities some find desirable in a spouse. If a young, virginal, debt-free and tattoo-less male were to prefer the same criteria in a spouse, he has every right to do so (and this wouldn’t be wrong of him).

Yet the pity of the outrage on these “criteria” this woman chose stands upon the fact that it is built upon these semi-gnostic leanings demonstrated above. Yes, the gospel has cleansed the sinner and made them white as snow. Naturally, forgiveness of sin and dignity of worth are bound in Christ, thus, even such measures as sexual purity and debt-management find their loci in pleasing God. However, if you sense that God being the maximal object of your obedience does not carry a proximal effect upon your spouse, you’re missing the plain benefits and beauty of marriage.

Surely, my wife and I strive together toward holiness in order to please the Lord, yet many of my choices (as well as many of her own) are bound in principally trying to please her. This is, in part, what the apostle Paul speaks to in 1 Cor. 7, in the same context as his own preference (that all would remain as he: an unmarried virgin). The point Paul drives toward in this passage though is that all would live as they are called; some are called to singleness, some to marriage. Within each of these contexts one finds a plethora of baggage simply due to the nature of one’s own life prior to Christ. Regardless of where one finds they are in life though, the apostle simply encourages they remain in the condition God called them, with particular focus on honoring the Lord.

Of key interest for our purposes, we see Paul’s argument unfold in vv. 32-35, specifically speaking with reference to the married man or woman being concerned with how they might please their spouse. My wife and I do various things for one another in consideration for that other person, yet we have a clear set of distinctions set in our roles, per Scripture’s own qualifications. The only detriment to this, according to Paul in this passage, is simply bound in the matter that the married will have divided attention; they will be concerned with how they might please one another, rather than having an individual (read: single) focus on pleasing the Lord.

I chose to take on a debt-laden, tattooed, non-virgin as my wife because it was a picture of the gospel and I loved her deeply. But guess what we fought about in the early years of our marriage? I’ll give you a hint: it wasn’t tattoos. However, we stuck it out. We remained where we were called, and focused on pleasing God and our spouse rather than ourselves. Over years of repentance, diligence, shifting focus, and hard work, we’ve struggled our way through to having less debt. You caught that, right? We still have debt we’d both prefer wasn’t our current reality. We also both wish we’d not have ventured into territories of sexual exploration with people other than each other. We have to live with the repercussions of our sin to this day, even though we are both faithful members of our church in good standing.

Sin has consequences, often, lasting a lifetime. If you think that simply because you’ve come to know Christ that this erases any of these things, you are naïve to how devastating sin can truly be. The article then is silly, not because she broad-brushes a host of people and gives no demonstrable, scriptural proofs of her claims, nor even for the fact that she might confuse preference for command – but for the reaction it has drawn out from many.

In the mad dash to grab the low-hanging fruit of what’s wrong in the piece, people have simply taken offense at the wrong thing. It’s the ol’ bait and switch. What you should be mad at here is the fact that virginity is scorned, submission is painted as this oppressive reality rather than the flourishing it is when done rightly, the worth of a mother is downplayed, child-rearing is seen as a horrid thing, and financial prudence is also something that should tossed to the side. God forbid we hold lasting regret for making foolish decisions – let’s hold selective outrage because we are the persona non grata.

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  • Salvatore Anthony Luiso

    Regarding “A silly, little article has swept the internet by storm”: I am among those who did not get hit by that storm. I wouldn’t know about it if I hadn’t read this article by Mr. Gilbert–although today Anne Kennedy’s blog (also on Patheos) has a article entitled “Debt-Free, Tattoo-Free Podcast and Links”.

    I find it very odd that the “silly, little article”, entitled “Men Prefer Debt-Free Virgins Without Tattoos”, by Lori Alexander, should be at the center of so much controversy. There are all sorts of controversial opinions posted on the Internet, and most of them receive little or no attention. Why has this one received so much?

    It sounds as if Mr. Gilbert, believes Alexander’s article is little (short) but not silly, and that the reaction to it is been big and silly. Only one comment is posted beneath Alexander’s article. Were there others not fit to print? It is not clear to me why Mr. Gilbert believes any of the reactions to it are gnostic of gnostic-leaning.

    I agree that Alexander has used an overly broad brush. With all due respect, so has Mr. Gilbert. Does our culture have a “general hatred of children”? We have a hatred to be inconvenienced by them, which is so great and so common that there is a huge market for artificial contraception and 3,000 are aborted every day. At the same time, though, we have many parents who have voluntarily decided to indulge their children’s wishes to such an extent that one might think the children are in charge of the parents and not vice versa. So many parents are overly protective of their children that a term has been coined for them: “helicopter parent”.

    Every year we celebrate Mother’s Day: a day on which stay at home moms are celebrated, not “publicly viewed as simpletons who contribute little to society”. Not “All women are free to not marry an individual at any point leading up to the nuptials”. Forced marriage is still a problem in some parts of the world–including the United States. In 2016 The PBS NewsHour presented a report entitled “Uncovering the problem of forced marriage in the U.S.”. At present it is accessible here: https://www.pbs.org/newshour/show/uncovering-problem-forced-marriage-u-s

    • corky

      “We have a hatred to be inconvenienced by them” Salvatore, I found this remark to be extremely insensitive. People are living in with so much hardship, financial especially, housing conditions often not great and abortion is performed also on babies who have died in the womb. If you were in a situation of desperate poverty, homeless etc. what would you do? Who will be responsible for all these babies for the next 18 years, feed, clothe, house, nurture them etc.? The government? hardly! Although I do not agree with abortion and it would be far better to prevent pregnancy, it is not a black and white situation and if we are not personally prepared to take one of these children into our homes for the next 18 years we cannot judge.

      • Salvatore Anthony Luiso

        Most women who have an abortion are not homeless. I don’t know how many are in “desperate poverty”, but many are not. Many women who have an abortion want to have children, “Just not now”.

        You asked: “If you were in a situation of desperate poverty, homeless etc. what would you do?”. I would seek help. I might visit a pregnancy resource center. I might contact an adoption agency. There are couples who would love to adopt a newborn baby. There are couples who would happily support a pregnant woman and pay for the delivery of her child in an agreement wherein the couple would adopt and raise the child after birth.

        If one believes abortion kills a human life, and one approves of abortion in cases of hardship, then why should one not also approve of infanticide and filicide in cases of hardship? Of course that isn’t legal. Common in such cases children are cared for in an orphanage or placed with a foster family. May I assume that if you were a child in an orphanage, you would rather be there than that you had been killed in the womb? (Orphanages nowadays are not like the one in David Copperfield.)

        I disagree with the argument, “You cannot judge me for killing my dependent son/daughter/father/mother unless you are not personally prepared to have cared for him/her in your home for a number of years”.

        • corky

          I did not say that homeless women had most of the abortions, it was just an example of some life circumstances, women suffer terribly after abortion. Would you have aborted Hitler, and Stalin, and Idi Amin, and Robert Mugabe, and Ghaddafi, and Assad, and Pol Pot, and Nicolae Ceausescu king Herod and Pontius Pilate ?

          • Salvatore Anthony Luiso

            I know you did not say “that homeless women had most of the abortions”–but it seemed to me as if you might think that most women who regard a pregnancy as an inconvenience are in “desperate poverty”, and even homeless. I think most do not. Many of them simply prefer not to bear a child until they are in their late 20s or 30s, and yet willingly engage in sexual intercourse anyway.

            In answer to your question: No, I would not have aborted any of those people. No one knew what they would do as adults while they were in the womb. Before they were born, they had done nothing worthy of death.

            I think that most women who have an abortion do not do so out of concern that the children developing inside them could one day be like Hitler, Stalin, Idi Amin, etc..

          • corky

            There are so many reasons for an abortion and I feel for these women. As a mother and grandmother of four and four respectively, and never having had or wanted to have an abortion but can understand the desperation that drives women to feel as though they have no alternative. The realities of life can be harsh and until a man can be pregnant, have four or five kids at home to look after and perhaps need to work as well, it is not a decision to be criticised.

          • Salvatore Anthony Luiso

            I feel for the women, too–and for the children they bear. That is one reason why I support and promote organizations which help pregnant women who may think they have no alternative to abortion, such as pregnancy resource centers. Organizations such as Human Coalition, Save the Storks, and Care Net.

            If I a woman has five kids at home to look after, and perhaps needs to work, I hope you will not mind if I criticize her decision if she decides to make life easier for herself by killing one of her children.

          • corky

            :” if I criticize her decision if she decides to make life easier for herself by killing one of her children.} that statements shows you have absolutely no idea

          • P. McCoy

            It’s easy to be an anti choice male and blame Women for wanting to have sex. Instead of these Men refraining from having sex with Women themselves as a way of preventing abortion, they wail about the inconveniences of forced chastity aka the Incel movement or blame Women’s appearance or clothing like the Iranian Imans do.

          • corky
          • corky

            In 2014, three-fourths of abortion patients were low income—49% living at less than the federal poverty level, and 26% living at 100–199% of the poverty level.
            https://www.guttmacher.org/report/characteristics-us-abortion-patients-2014 [https://www.guttmacher.org/sites/default/files/styles/open_graph_large/public/images/apspreviewimage.jpg?itok=tEknzklI]
            Characteristics of U.S. Abortion Patients in 2014 and … Background. Abortion is common in the United States and is a critical component of comprehensive reproductive health care. 1 However, information about individuals who have abortions is limited. http://www.guttmacher.org

          • Salvatore Anthony Luiso

            I am skeptical of the statistics because the Guttmacher Institute was founded by Planned Parenthood.

            I agree that abortion is “common in the United States”. I do not agree that abortion is “a critical component of comprehensive reproductive health care”. Health care does not deliberately kill a life.

            Regardless as to the accuracy of the statistics: Poverty does not justify the killing of a human being. There is help for pregnant women in need and there are better alternatives to abortion.

          • corky

            There is nothing to be gained from misquoting the reasons for abortions. It’s very easy to throw money at organisations but when women have to deal with the day to day reality of caring for children it’s a tough decision. Many women regret it of course understandably. The people of Samaria must bear their guilt,
            because they have rebelled against their God.
            They will fall by the sword;
            their little ones will be dashed to the ground,
            their pregnant women ripped open.”
            Great verse from Hosea 13;16

          • Salvatore Anthony Luiso

            If a pregnant woman believes she cannot “deal with the day to day reality of caring for children”, I suggest she consider putting her child up for adoption.

            The verse of Hosea is irrelevant as to whether a woman is justified in killing her pre-born child.

          • corky

            http://www.patheos.com/blogs/unreasonablefaith/2009/08/the-bible-is-pro-child-killing/ [http://wp.patheos.com/blogs/unreasonablefaith/files/2009/08/pregnancy.jpg]
            The Bible Is Pro-Child Killing – Unreasonable Faith I’ve pointed out before that the Bible nor the God it portrays is “pro-life,” but the BEattitude has compiled some more verses about the Bible’s stance on killing babies in the womb: God will punish women by aborting their fetus through a miscarriage. http://www.patheos.com

          • Salvatore Anthony Luiso

            Being the Creator of the universe, God rightly has the power and authority to punish evil as He pleases.

            The fact that He punished some people by killing them does not mean that He condones murder.

            In fact, one of the Ten Commandments forbids murder, and there are crimes which He commanded should be punished by death.

            Thus the argument that because God killed pre-born children, therefore abortion is justified, is wrong.

          • corky

            If this is not condoning murder I don;t know what is.
            Now go and attack Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and do not spare them. But kill both man and woman, infant and nursing child, ox and sheep, camel and donkey. (1 Samuel 15:3)

          • Salvatore Anthony Luiso

            It is God’s judgment on a foreign nation. He could have done it many ways, but He chose to do it by way of the Israelites.

          • corky

            And god doesn’t condone murder?

          • Salvatore Anthony Luiso

            It’s prohibited in the Ten Commandments.

          • corky

            That’s all very fine if people have a belief in the bible/god but we can’t impose our beliefs on others.

          • Salvatore Anthony Luiso

            Whether they believe in the Bible or God, it’s still wrong.

          • corky

            That’s your morality, not everyone else’s that you can try to impose your opinion, and for the record I am not for abortion

          • Salvatore Anthony Luiso

            Whether I “impose” it or not, it’s still wrong.

          • corky

            only according to your idea of morality. As I said I don;t agree with abortion either but judge not etc

          • Salvatore Anthony Luiso

            I believe that morality is objective. You are misusing the admonition against judging. It does not mean that one should not judge an act to be good or evil.

          • corky

            Psalm 137:8-9 New International Version (NIV)

            8 Daughter Babylon, doomed to destruction,
            happy is the one who repays you
            according to what you have done to us.
            9 Happy is the one who seizes your infants
            and dashes them against the rocks.

          • corky

            2 Kings 15:16 New International Version (NIV)

            16 At that time Menahem, starting out from Tirzah, attacked Tiphsah and everyone in the city and its vicinity, because they refused to open their gates. He sacked Tiphsah and ripped open all the pregnant women.

          • corky

            http://www.evilbible.com/evil-bible-home-page/murder-in-the-bible/ Murder in the Bible – Evil Bible .com The act of murder is rampant in the Bible. In much of the Bible, especially the Old Testament, there are laws that command that people be killed for absurd reasons such as working on the Sabbath, being gay, cursing your parents, or not being a virgin on your wedding night. http://www.evilbible.com

          • Salvatore Anthony Luiso

            All of which is irrelevant to the question of the morality of abortion.

          • corky

            So therefore if a woman who has 4 children at home and her life hangs in the balance with a fifth pregnancy but the doctors can only save one, what would you do? It has happened, not hypothetical

          • Salvatore Anthony Luiso

            I would pray.

            Notice how far away you have gone from the statement in my original comment to which you have objected: “We have a hatred to be inconvenienced by them [children], which is so great and so common that there is a huge market for artificial contraception and 3,000 are aborted every day”. It seems as if you object to much more than this statement: you object to considering any abortion to be immoral.

          • corky

            Pray instead for the millions of babies in especially third world countries that die of starvation and preventable disease. Plenty of prayer studies say it is useless, Tell the doctors they should pray , no doubt the doctors would be impressed, You didn’t have an answer for that question, it is NOT a black and white issue as you are suggesting

          • Salvatore Anthony Luiso

            I gave you an answer for the question. I think it isn’t worthwhile for me to say more in answer to it, because, as I said, it seems you object to considering any abortion to be immoral–and that you will use any argument to justify it.

            It’s sad that “millions of babies in especially third world countries that die of starvation and preventable disease”.

            It’s also sad that millions of babies–all of the world–die of abortion.

            I hope you don’t think that a good solution to the problem of babies dying of starvation and preventable disease is to kill them before they are born.

          • corky
          • corky
          • Salvatore Anthony Luiso

            I wouldn’t say that. Did you read this part of the article?:

            “Whereas abortion is the direct and intentional destruction of an unborn baby and is gravely immoral in all circumstances, this is different from medical treatments which do not directly and intentionally seek to end the life of the unborn baby,” the bishops said in their statement.

          • corky

            It is still a wilful destruction of life despite the politically correct language.

          • Salvatore Anthony Luiso

            Yes, and the bishops say it is “gravely immoral in all circumstances”.

          • corky
          • corky

            I HAVE NEVER SAID I THOUGHT ABORTION WAS MORAL!! There are just extremely difficult situations in life that women think abortion is the only solution. Many end up with PTSD etc, regret, guilt for years.As far as Hitler etc is concerned you wouldn’t have aborted him to save millions of people? That is unbelievable

          • Salvatore Anthony Luiso

            It seems to me that your arguments concern far more than “extremely difficult situations in life”. It seems to me that you are seeking to use any justification–even asking: “Would you have aborted Hitler, and Stalin, and Idi Amin, and Robert Mugabe, and Ghaddafi, and Assad, and Pol Pot, and Nicolae Ceausescu king Herod and Pontius Pilate ?”.

            The question about Hitler etc. is unhelpful because it is unrealistic. One could ask a similar question with Hitler etc. as children who have been born, e.g. “Would you have strangled Hitler if you were babysitting for his parents?”. As if one could know when he was a baby what he would do if he became a middle-aged adult.

        • P. McCoy

          Most pro Lifers put up signs that indicate that ONLY Aryan, healthy infants are desirable for adoption; babies with Black infants are put up on posters as props, used to shame Black Women who by their own choice choose to have abortions.

          In the United States, healthy older children, special needs children and non White Children healthy or not are the LEAST desirable in the adoption race and the first to languish in foster care victims of physical, emotional and sexual abuse not excluding sex trafficking.

          So called Crisis Pregnancy centers besides tricking and lying to White Women especially in order to get that coveted Aryan infant a high priced item in the adoption racket is only going to support for what? Six months after birth? A year maybe? Not enough!

          It’s true that the United States has a hatred of children but Contraception, stay at home mothers nor abortion are the manifestations of this hatred.

          To me the manifestations are, a health care system that doesn’t support fully special needs children leaving the entire burden on parents, relatives or siblings of that child who are expected to sacrifice their hopes and dreams to care for the special needs child.

          The hostility and contempt shown to the poorer POC women who choose to have children rather than abortion and worse KEEP them rather than throw them to the maw of the foster care system with its consequences.

          Most obvious is this “illegal alien” basically false imprisonment and torture of Latino infants and children; if an American kills someone we jail the criminal, not the infant nor small child; the latter stays with relatives or friends, when those are lacking then they are put in Foster Care not the best choice, but better than these Concentration Camps that are akin to Nazi Germany.

          The ” pro life ” sides unwillingness to protest, let alone volunteer through their churches and organization to care for these children let alone the Obvious racial hatred shown towards them and their parents speaks volumes about the real desire of those who see the Iron Age values of the Bible as desirable to impose on a 21st Century society- a desire to return to a patriarchal, misogynistic, racist and homophobic, theocratic dictatorship- a mirror of ISIL which will be vigorously resisted by many!

          • corky

            Thoughtful article McCoy wish I could articulate as well. I notice Savatore hasn’t replied. So easy to spout pro life arguments when the reality of raising children is much more burdensome, more so for some than others. I do wonder though why there are so many unplanned pregnancies in this day and age, fair enough a small amount are due to failing contraception, is the cost of birth control so high?

          • P. McCoy

            Thank you for your response. As I understand, IUDs not only can be quite expensive, but they also need a doctor to fit, adjust, monitor for abnormal reactions, damages to the female body. The pill, cannot be taken by all women due to allergies or side effects, such as causing blood clots in the lungs etc;. Anti. Spermicide foams can also be a source of allergies for man or woman. Now finally Condoms- they can be structurally defective, ie; tears or holes. They can cause painful reactions IF the man or woman is allergic to latex and non latex Condoms are less effective against STDs including HIV. Also, because they can for some men, dull the sensation, or the man just isn’t willing to take the time to put on a Condom for the above reason or laziness, OR with inexperienced couples they don’t put it on correctly can fail to prevent pregnancy or disease.

            In the realm of pregnancy, these reasons are why every Woman that wants one, should have access to safe, reliable abortion.

            It is a fact that Wealthier Women Will leave their State OR leave the United States in order to procure a safe abortion, UNLESS this country is going to adopt mandatory pregnancy tests on all females of fertile age before traveling outside by any mode of transportation-I don’t think that a majority of people want that.

          • corky

            Although your comments are valid, it seems to be only a minority that are affected this way. Perhaps the problem lies in carelessness or uneducated or too poor.. Interesting article if you care to read it. 70 pages long though

            http://www.un.org/en/development/desa/population/publications/pdf/family/trendsContraceptiveUse2015Report.pdf

  • Elephile

    This is brutal, considering the way things are in the real world.

    What if her husband suddenly stops being charming after “the nuptials” and reveals himself as a philanderer, or wife-beater, or pedophile, or something equally destructive? It does happen – I’ve met the wives.

    And what if her husband, having tried his best to “man up and provide for his family” is unable to, due to lay-offs, injury, age discrimination? I can assure you that a woman with no college degree will find it hard to get a decent wage. There are plenty of couples in that situation, too.

    And what if she can’t have children, is she also forbidden from doing what the ideal, praised wife in Proverbs does – run her home and two businesses, manage her employees, and buy and sell land without consulting her husband?

    As for “headship”, there’s a little secret hidden in plain sight in Paul’s writings that Evangelicals would hate to get out: straight after he talks about women being subject to their husbands, he says:

    ***And all of you be subject to each other.***

    Can we PLEASE, at the end of the world, when our life support, God’s good creation, is fighting for its very life, PLEASE STOP endorsing domestic power – these petty little domestic tyrannies where one rules over the other and the other is not allowed to escape.

    • Gilsongraybert

      Why is it that you run straight to the extreme examples as if to negate the argument? Obviously, there are room for exceptions – but I’m not writing a book on the subject that would allow me to die the death of a thousand qualifications. However, exceptions don’t prove the rule – they are simply what they are: exceptions. Secondly, Paul’s idea of submitting to each other is directly spelled out for us in the remaining verses of Eph. 5; there’s no hermeneutical trick there, we simply must keep reading to see what that mutual submission unto Christ looks like. In that context, there’s no place for the man who abuses his role in any capacity. If more churches were faithful to discipline her members, even to the point of calling the police, we might see better fruit with those who have histories of such atrocious deeds. Yet nonetheless, an abuse of a doctrine does not negate it. There are literally thousands of families who operate under Scripture’s model of headship and bear nothing but flourishing – which is precisely what should happen, when done right.

      • Elephile

        You may not be aware of this, but the examples I cited are not unusual.

        Also, Jesus’s idea of how we should relate to each other was exemplified in his washing of others’ feet.

        And he said that the Gentiles lord it over one another, “but it shall not be so among you”.

        Encouraging men to be domestic dictators and not to be equal with their wives may be OK with Paul (though even that’s arguable) but it is CERTAINLY not OK with Jesus.

        • Gilsongraybert

          It seems you’ve missed my point here: simply because people do the opposite of what they should under the auspices of actually doing that thing, doesn’t then make that thing wrong. A person abusing their role is in sin. Said persons ought to be punished, even by law if necessary. Roles aren’t bad. Roles don’t negate equal standing before the cross. Roles don’t make one less dignified or a lesser image-bearer. Headship does not make one a domestic dictator. I’m not sure where you’ve learned of Complementarianism, but that is not what Scripture teaches with respect to it.

          Secondly, none of the Bible was written by the hand of Christ – so we either accept that God inspired all of Scripture through the hands of the apostles, or you might need to re-evaluate the red-letters to really make sure they came from Christ and not some second-rate dude like Paul (sarcasm intended, obviously Paul was not second-rate).

          • Elephile

            I haven’t missed your point. I just don’t agree with it. There’s nothing wrong with people having different roles IF those roles are legitimate.

            Headship is not just a role, though. Headship means one person is always the one telling the other person what to do or not do, or at least giving or denying permission, and this not going in the other direction. Giving a gloss of sanctity to this means actually encouraging many to push smaller, weaker, powerless people around. It means that the (usually) physically stronger person, with control of the money (life support) getting not only permission but encouragement, no, commandment, to be the boss.

            It’s not a matter of doing the right thing wrong, it’s wrong in itself. It creates power over others, which is anti-gospel and anti-Christ. Jesus is putting down ALL power, ALL authority; we should do our best to go WITH that, not AGAINST it.

          • Gilsongraybert

            Well that’s all good and fine, but you’re not exactly arguing against anything but a straw man you’ve concocted of headship. Again, come back to the biblical discussion (an exegesis of the pertinent passages) and we can debate that – but if you insist on simply building a case against a position I haven’t raised, and one that isn’t even viable when you look to what most Complementarians are arguing, then we’ve already reached an impasse. I won’t argue with you on what you *think* headship must be – I’m interested in discussing what it *actually* is.

          • Elephile

            It’s hardly a straw man. I see what Jesus said (and modeled) about it, and I’ve seen how it plays out in real life. And I certainly am never getting tangled up in that net. The Jesus of the New Testament came to liberate people – his name even means Liberator – not to get them ruling over each other, which is exactly what I’ve seen happening. In Christ there is neither male nor female. Jesus refused to treat women in the way that his culture expected; he expected them to discuss freely with him, and make up their own minds, without having to go through some man.

            And I don’t know what you mean by “Complementarians”, so I can’t address that.

          • Elephile

            A separate point: Paul had some wonderful insights, and I wouldn’t be without them. He was the one who wrote about Jesus putting down all authority and all power so that God would become all in all – the ultimate destiny of the creation.

          • Susan Jane

            “…you might need to re-evaluate the red-letters to really make sure they came from Christ…” Is this the new fundie, right-wing answer when faced with the words of Jesus? Re-evaluate the red letters to make sure they came from Christ? Are you saying the Gospels are fake news? A liberal conspiracy? But, I’m a girl. I have to remember my place.

          • Gilsongraybert

            The whole sentence said to make sure the red letters are from the hand of Christ, meaning that He literally wrote them out. I’m drawing out that she denies other parts of Scripture because she views them less authoritatively than the “red letters” even though these too were written by the hand of those who witnessed Christ. The point being, all of Scripture is authoritative for us, not just the quoted words of Christ. If she denies the other parts because “they don’t come from Christ” – how can she be sure the quoted words of Christ came from Him?

  • George

    Spot on. Decisions and actions have consequences. Always.

  • Lori Buckle

    Er, “swept the internet by storm”? I have never heard of this woman. Now that I have, to paraphrase the great Sherlock Holmes, I will do my best to forget her. Nonetheless, since I took the trouble to read the post, I might as well respond.

    “Do you know how much more attractive debt-free virgins (without tattoos) are to young men?” So, then, why are so many young men hooking up with young women and having sex with them? One of the commenters on that blog entry said that men have historically preferred women who were virgins. That is certainly true. Men have also historically felt free to have as much sex outside of marriage (and before they got married) as they wanted. I really hope Ms. Alexander and her readers are holding men to a higher standard today.

    And since hooking up is done largely at college, then why are so many men at college? If the men preferring debt-free wives don’t have a college degree themselves, then I hope they have a darned good job. And if they did go to college and want a woman who didn’t, then I would say that’s a tad bit hypocritical.

    I love how Ms. Alexander quotes a reader of hers with great reasons why women shouldn’t go to college.

    1. Men don’t like women with debt. Again, this presupposes the man has never been to college, and therefore has no debt himself. If he now has a great job and can support a wife, then good for him. As Elephile pointed out, however, in this unstable economy, what happens if the husband becomes unemployed? My mother dropped out college to marry my dad. She was even a stay-at-home mother for various periods of my life. She also went to work for other periods, when my father was out of a job. It was because of this that my mother finally went back to college and became a teacher. Not only did my father support her on this, he cheered proudly at her graduation when she continued on and got a Master’s Degree. And did I mention that they met at a Bible college, because they are both very conservative Christians?

    “They would also prefer a woman who still lives at her parent’s house that has not had other relationships. Do those two things and you will be highly sought after.” I lived at home for several years after college, and I never had any romantic relationships. I belonged to a great single’s group at my church. Guess what? The men who got married always married women they had met outside of church. Now, our group skewed older. They were only two of us in our twenties, so I guess we were not representative of the author’s audience. However, not only were the men who got married older, they married women in their age bracket who had careers. I finally left home and got my dream job because frankly, I was bored sitting around waiting for Mr. Christian Right. It was only after I did so that I met my husband.

    2. “The husband will need to take years teaching his wife the correct way to act, think, and live since college taught them every possible way that is wrong.” I read that out loud to my husband, and he laughed. He used words like “strange lady” and “load of rubbish.” He did sympathize with the debt-free part, but only because he felt sorry for the men like him who went to college and racked up debt.

    3. “They will start having babies later in life. That is if they can still conceive naturally.” I can actually agree with this one. I personally don’t think it’s right for women to use artificial reproduction to have children, unless they are married and one partner is infertile. I think it’s a terrible injustice to bring children into the world simply because you wanted to build a career. Again, I will point out, though, that since many young men are still living at home due to their college debt, it’s unlikely that these women are going to have children, anyway.

    4. “They lost a handful of years of experience learning to cook large meals and learning how to work in the garden.” This assumes that a) you will have a large family and b) that you will own a house with a garden. My family is Christian on both my mother’s and father’s side. No one on either side had more than four children. No one among my generation has expressed a desire to do so, either. And of myself and my cousins, only two have a house, and one of those is because he lives on a military base. The others still live at home or in apartments. This includes my husband and myself, who live in an apartment. We choose to do so because we don’t want to spend the money on the upkeep for a house. My parents have a house–with a garden! They are always spending money to repair something in it. And frankly, gardening isn’t for me. I’d rather read a book.

    5. “The list goes on. Churches don’t talk about it. They support the college kids (really adults) and the ‘working’ mothers.” (It greatly offends working mothers to teach women to be keepers at home.)” Really? Then I guess that’s why women drop out of the workforce in order to have children, and then suffer in their careers. Right now my husband and I attend a small, conservative church. The girls in the youth group are preparing to attend our denomination’s Bible college. I guess that makes us flaming liberals, according to the authors.

    6. “Your posts sound crazy to anyone who does not believe the Bible is true. Most girls have not read the Bible with their father (Ephesians 6:4) or husband to explain it to them (1 Corinthians 14:35).” Well, I do agree there. Since I learned to read at a young age, I read the Bible by myself. Strangely, my father never had a problem with me just coming to him occasionally with a question. He actually seemed proud that my sisters and I could read and interpret the Bible for ourselves. And might I add that my father is a retired minister and proud member of the Religious Right that liberals despise? And for some reason my husband is comfortable with a woman in her forties reading her Bible without him having to explain it to her.

    7. I do agree about the tatoos, though. I’m not sure if it’s a sin to get one, but I hate them on both men and women. I’m glad my husband doesn’t have one.

  • Elephile

    We’ve discussed the “women” issue on another thread; what got lost there is that men are being told that they must be the ones to provide for their families. Why would you put down the many men who would love to be able to do that, and have tried, but the jobs aren’t there? These men feel bad enough about it, without you telling them they are somehow at fault, which they’re not. Wives HAVE to step in, if the family are to eat, and keep a roof over their heads. This rigidity about who does what in a family serves no one except the pontificators. Jesus never told people what domestic roles they should have.

    This is the 21st century, with outsourcing, robots, computers, and other machinery. Soon AI will arrive, which will make it even harder. Currently, jobs for which women have trained and have experience outnumber those traditional for men, and it’s not easy, or always possible, for them to switch over. So please desist from the “man up” kind of talk.

    • Gilsongraybert

      Again, you are literally leaping to the worst case scenario to try and prove your point rather than affirming an axiom that is generally true, and has been for millennia. Secondly, Jesus did speak quite candidly about the roles of men and women in a society – but since you’re keen of denying His Scriptures, and that’s all I’m going to have for you, it seems relatively fruitless to continue.

      • Elephile

        I’m talking about a lot of people, in fairly common situations for the present day. You are saying, “This is how it must be for couples: the man must rule, the woman must submit; the man must provide, the woman must keep home; the woman should be a virgin at marriage, not so sure about the man”.

        When you start making rules about how a marriage should be, then just one example of how that rule doesn’t work, or is justly offensive, or has no grounds, should suffice as a challenge, whereas my examples are commonplace.

        I’m not shy of simply quoting scripture without references, because I don’t have time to look it up all the time, but where are your grounds for saying what you do? Can you provide JUST ONE INSTANCE of when Jesus said men must be the breadwinners and lord it over their wives, and women should marry as virgins, stay at home and keep quiet? (For anyone reading this, He didn’t.)

  • corky
  • Vanessa Loy

    I read the NPR article regarding trade jobs, but realistically, how many women are going to be fit for those occupations?

  • Widuran

    It takes two to make a marriage rather than buying a wife.