The rules of the road for Commission also apply to Marriage.
Readership: All; The Married; Those interested in Marriage; Men;
Author’s Note: This post had some input from Jack.
Length: 2,300 words
Reading Time: 8 minutes
Conflicts as Vectors of Life Lessons
I’ve had some email conversations with Deti, Jack, and Mike at Marriage, Sex, and More (NSFW). The discussions with these men have been very helpful, and between their insights and some honest self-evaluation, I saw a few areas that I needed to change in myself regarding my interactions with my wife. These areas are directly related to masculinity.
Here’s one noteworthy change that I’ll relate to our readers. Being the head, I don’t argue with my wife at all, because what superior argues with their direct reports? I’ll state expectations once, and she either complies or she does not, but I don’t worry about her behavior even though I may have to take action to address it in the future. This alone has made for better interactions between us. I also don’t ask anymore, I say what I want, I give instructions, or I act. For as headstrong and obstinate as she can be at times, she really hasn’t given me any negative replies or real resistance. There are still times when it feels like my stomach is churning because the beta chump in me does not want to give up without a fight, but I’m working on putting that part of me in its place.
Jack covered this approach in a past study he did on Marital Conflict. He goes over an in-depth account of the psychology, and describes the interaction as making “bids” (the man invites positive attention from the wife) and making “demands” (the man makes requests for the wife to do something or change her actions). Jack came up with the idea of “demanding better responses to bids”, and it appears that several readers have had tremendous success with this approach. Jack also reported a study from John Gottman that showed when the husband initiates more conflict than the wife, then the marriage improved over the long haul. When the wife initiated more conflict than the husband, then the opposite happened. I strongly urge all married men to carefully read through the posts on this subject, especially these three…
- Σ Frame: Conflict Structure and Marital Satisfaction (November 15, 2017)
- Σ Frame: Disciplined, Submissive, Happy Wives (February 15, 2018)
- Σ Frame: How To Get A Better Response From Your Girl (February 27, 2018)
Mike Davis’ approach is very similar to this but he describes it in his own words. For example, instead of “bids” and “demands”, he’ll say something along the lines of “Men say what they want. It’s up to her to comply, but if she doesn’t, go about your business like it didn’t really matter to you.” It is the concept of bid and demand in action. Deti’s approach is kind of the same way, except his wife is less submissive and more disorderly, so he ramps up the tension (usually with Dread Game) in order to induce some humility in her and give her a sense of security.
One of the areas that emailing with Mike showed me is the difference between dominant and domineering. My issue, because of the hurt and anger, is a propensity to move into domineering territory. Fighting the urge to argue a point helps me keep more in the dominant category, which helps my marriage.
To me, the difference between dominant and domineering is having what the ‘sphere calls an outcome independence mindset. Mike and Deti both have this mindset, and Jack wrote a post about this too. Dominant is when you accept that she may not act the way you want her to, but you know that you will be fine no matter what she does. Domineering behavior comes from a place of fear that you will not be fine depending on her behavior, and so you do whatever you can to control the outcome in order to keep it all together. Being dominant is an expression of faith that God will handle everything, resulting in calm, assured confidence, whereas being domineering does not.
Lessons on Life and Marriage from Matthew 10
So what does all this have to do with Matthew 10 which is the chapter where Christ sends out the 12 disciples? The instructions Jesus gives them require behaviors and attitudes that draw from the blueprint for masculinity. I’ll go over these aspects of masculinity in the remainder of this post.
Verses 5-6: Christ demonstrates what having a vision looks like. He clearly lays out the mission of what His ministry looks like. There is no doubt in the apostle’s minds what they are to do, because in these verses Christ provides direct instruction for how to carry out the mission.
- Stay focused on the mission.
- Concentrate on helping your own people.
- Don’t waste time and effort on nonessentials.
- Know the sheep from the wolves, and stick to your own kind.*
- Team up with those who share the same values, goals and modus operandi that you do, and who complement your abilities. Doing otherwise will limit your blessings.
These instructions require behaviors and attitudes that display characteristics of masculinity. The laying out of his vision and giving instructions to achieve it are what husbands are to do with their own families.
Verse 7: Telling people that the kingdom of heaven is at hand is a bold declaration of truth and commitment to truth that would draw the ire of the religious leaders of the day. Applying this to marriage requires husbands to boldly state the truth and offer encouraging words when appropriate.
Verse 8: Demonstrates an understanding of God’s provision to us through helping those God puts in our lives to help. Think of the confidence you would need to have to raise the dead, heal terminal illness or tell demons to leave and expect them to obey. One might even call this irrational. In marriage, a husband should have this kind of confidence and faith, doing what he can to improve the quality and spiritual vitality of his family foremost, but also others who cross his path of life.
Verses 9-10: Leaving on a journey without provisions requires outcome independence that only exists when there is confidence and trust in God’s provision. As a husband you are the spiritual head of your family and headship starts and ends with trust in God.
Verses 11-13: In these verses, Jesus gives the apostles the standards they are to enforce and the means by which to enforce them. They were to evaluate people for worthiness to the vision and mission. Those that met the standard were to receive the peace Jesus gave the apostles to share. Those that did not meet the standard and those that rejected God’s message of His kingdom were be left for judgement. This is a basic overview of evaluating the marriage potential of a woman against your vision. Knowing your standards and withdrawing your blessing (attention in the case of marriage) are also tactics for a husband to manage his wife’s willingness to work towards the objective of his vision.
Going further, these instructions can be applied to child rearing as well. The inherent lessons applicable to children would be…
- Maintain good standards and habits.
- Associate with those of good repute.
- Build rapport with friends and classmates.
- Draw appropriate boundaries and withdraw from those who don’t respect your boundaries or treat you right.
- Choose your friends wisely, those you can trust.
- Be appreciative and respectful to those who teach, guide, and support you.
- Don’t behave in ways that would create topics for gossip or bring shame to yourself or the family.
- Stay where you are supposed to be. Do your best in the place where you are.
- Finish what you start. Move on to the next task when the previous work is finished.
The need for this instruction points back to the importance of fathers displaying masculine traits in the home.
Verses 14-15: If people under your care won’t follow you, then leave them to their own devices. Let them learn the hard way if that’s how it goes. This is the outcome independence that comes from knowing God is in control. It also shows that not everyone can or wants to be helped and that we have to be comfortable with that fact.
Verses 16-20: These verses are calls for wisdom and outcome independence with regards to staying on mission. The idea that anything could happen to you for staying on mission but that you will know what to do when the time comes, again, points to confidence and faith in God.
Verses 21-23: The apostles knew that they would head into circumstances that would lead to conflict, but they went anyway. Staying the course for what is right even when it is not easy or convenient is a generally masculine trait. Moving on from people who do not help you towards your vision is a means of setting and holding those boundaries necessary for accomplishing a long-term objective.
Verses 24-25: These verses portray a hierarchy of authority. The students and servants are not above their teachers and masters and the members of the household follow its head. This corresponds to Headship in marriage. I have seen my own family follow in my reactions, where my short temperedness and irritability shows up in them. I have also seen where my happiness feeds into their own happiness and helps them when they are struggling. Basically, “Happy king, Happy kingdom.” This conveys the importance of having a Godly wife.
Verses 26-31: These verses show us the boldness the disciples were to do their work with, which is a very masculine trait, and that they were to do so without fear of consequences. We also see the reason why we as men can act without fear of the outcome, namely that God controls the world down to things as insignificant as the life of a sparrow or the number of hairs on our heads. (A moment of candor, if God controls how many hairs are on my head and can sustain trillions of stars in the sky, does he really have to make the counting easier using my scalp?) Jesus is basically telling them there is a plan that the Almighty set in motion. It could be tough, but you do not have to fear. If I were to apply this to our world today, it would be to say, “Men, act and speak confidently and boldly because it is who God made you to be in His image. Don’t worry about the outcome, because God won’t let anything happen to you that is not in His plan, down to knowing which of your hairs were going to fall out on your pillow last night.”
* Concerning Matthew 10:6, fellow blogger W. J. Tychonievich wrote an interesting post that sheds light on the identity of the lost sheep of Israel.
Correctly understanding your value as a man is so important.
Men who grew up in a converged or progressive church are not very well aware of how the Bible is an authority on masculine traits. But when you become aware of the nature of masculinity, and those traits associated with it (through taking the Red Pill), then you can see that those traits show up throughout scripture. In this post, I’ve only covered one chapter in the Bible, and we see that a plethora of masculine traits are shown in the commands Jesus gives the disciples before sending them out.
This suggests that the core of masculinity has elements of trusting God’s provision in many aspects of life, including resources (go out without any money), shelter (staying at the home of someone you just met), and trusting God with what to say. Outcome independence is the term for trusting God with your life, knowing that whatever happens is of His doing for your ultimate benefit.
Similarly, PUA tactics are all based on mirroring concepts of dominant masculinity and male sexual authority that are reminiscent of Headship. But instead of moving towards a life’s vision, their ends are more carnal in nature. The Christian Manosphere concentrates on those true aspects of masculinity that have been forgotten within churchianity, and attempts to avoid the spiritual pitfalls that secular authors ride through roughshod in their pursuit of a score. For example, secular Red Pill authors have stated that you need to be totally self-sufficient, have a “backup plan” of some sort, and you have to “stop caring” in order to achieve outcome independence. This approach might appear the same on the outside, but this kind of comprehension is missing the element of faith.
How do the things I discussed in the first section (e.g. “bids”, making “demands”, outcome independence, etc.) tie in with the lessons from Matthew 10?
While Jack and I were examining every verse in light of masculine traits, it was hard not to get sidetracked by delving into tactics instead of masculine characteristics. We decided to focus on traits, and let readers discover more about the tactics on their own. You’re welcome to discuss tactics in the comments.
To give readers a clue, RP tactics are based off of masculine traits. Deti started a long discussion of this in his comment the other day about the importance of knowing one’s value and worth. Man has vision. He keeps that vision as his primary objective. Not putting up with activities/people that don’t support that vision creates man’s frame. Man holds frame by enforcing the boundaries he puts in place so that he can stay on mission.
It’s all, in one way or another, a display of dominant, masculine traits.
- Σ Frame: The True Ontology of Power (2019-05-16)
- Σ Frame: Lest we forget, Marriage was once intended to Glorify God (2019-08-08)
- Σ Frame: Washing Her Clean (2019-10-21)
- Σ Frame: What is a woman’s desire for her husband according to Genesis 3:16? (2020-10-23)
- Σ Frame: More on Relational Archetypes (2020-11-28)
- Σ Frame: The Greatest Archetype (2021-05-21)