Consider the puppy, learn his lesson

This post is for the unmarried men in my audience, but in a way that is not usually true, it is also for the unmarried women I know lurk here. No, I will not make an exception to the comments policy for this post–I don’t need to hear what you women have to say, quite the opposite. I’m going to tell you how to land a husband that would otherwise be out of your league. If you don’t understand, read it again. If you still don’t understand, email me–do not comment on this post.

In a recent post, Donal laid out the two main options available to marriage-minded men today:

Good women who want to marry are few and far between, and their aren’t nearly enough of them to go around. This means that many young men who want to marry will have to choose one of these two options:

  1. Refuse to marry because no worthy women are available
  2. Lower their standards in order to marry

This is a difficult choice to make, and nothing I can say will make it any less difficult. I sympathize with those going through this. How could I not, as I am going through it myself? As a matter of recommendation I would suggest the first course of action, but I won’t belittle a man who chooses the second.

Now, Donal is a little bit wrong here: “Good women who want to marry” are not “few and far between,” they are non-existent–largely because there are no good women. There aren’t even any good men. Zero. Nada. Zilch.

Consider that well.

But Donal is largely correct as to the two paths available to the man looking to marry the non-existent good woman–remain as he is, or lower his standards to some extent.

I, and just about every happily married Christian man I know, started with option 1, and switched to option 2 when the specific situation arose where we felt the gain of doing so outweighed the risk. Where that point is, is a personal decision that each man must make for himself.

But one very controllable trait makes a huge difference in that consideration. Chad commented:

I would say that, in the circumstances, the one trait I would look for is docility/submissiveness. A woman with little skills or mistakes in her past can be led forward by a husband willing to shepherd his wife. It will take more work, but that’s what it takes in today’s world.

To be clear, I mean the kind of submission where if she crosses a line and you tell her to go outside and walk around the house, she does so without argument. My fiance didn’t start there, but got there quickly.

Such kind of submission means I can trust my instincts on leadership, and that she trusts them as well. This can apply to social situations, religious matters, or simply telling her to go for a walk so one/both of us can cool down. It is without price, and the foundation for a good marriage in times of trial as well as blessings

He’s right–although a husband willing to shepherd his wife is not just “what it takes in today’s world,” but what it has always taken.

Anyhow, time for a story.

Exhausted, covered in mud and desperately hungry, a team of Swedish athletes sat down for a meal as they prepared to take on a dangerous 20-mile trek through the Ecuadorian rainforest.

As they opened their canned meat, a tired Mikael Lindnord noticed a scruffy, miserable stray dog staring at him out of the corner of his eye.

Feeling sorry for him, he fed the dog a meatball and thought nothing of it, but as the team stood up to continue their race the animal started to follow them – and he didn’t stop.

As the group of four navigated the final two stages of the 430-mile Adventure Racing World Championship, the dog befriended them and was eventually given the name Arthur.

Every grueling task the team face, Arthur would do the same. He swam alongside them while they kayaked down rivers, dragged himself up hills during hikes and pulled through knee-deep mud during treks.

Even when the team tried to get rid of their new member out of concerns for his safety – he refused to leave.

This meant when he was tired they stopped for a break and when he got stuck in the mud they pulled him out.

After six days the team finished the race, and the dog had suffered. They therefore decided to take him to a vet while still in South America to have him checked out.

During that time Lindord thought to himself that after their experience, they could not leave Arthur, so he decided to adopt him and take him back to Sweden

The mutt in that story wasn’t the prettiest–he was scruffy and miserable. But he knew how to land the provision, protection, love, and affection of a man–and you girls should take note.

I should know–that’s how my wife landed me.

I remember commenting soon after I met her that I felt like I had been adopted by a stray dog.

Not that she was obnoxious or pushy. She just showed up, quietly and unobtrusively, wherever I was. I talked to her briefly once, and then started walking away.

She went with me.

I walked a one-mile loop 13 times, not talking much. I wanted to see how long she would walk with me. After 13 miles, I figured she would follow me as long as I let her. So I started talking to her.

After talking to her for about two weeks, I mentioned that any woman I married would need to wear a prayer veil in church. She said that wouldn’t be a problem.  18 weeks later, I handed her a Bible with her first name and my last name engraved on it, and asked if she wanted it.

I married her with confidence, because I knew she would follow me.

Consider the puppy, learn his lesson.

13 thoughts on “Consider the puppy, learn his lesson

  1. This week we’ve been going through Christ as the good shepherd. If sheep weren’t sheep they wouldn’t need a shepherd. Men are to image Christ.
    I don’t think it means lowering standards, but being willing to remain single until a worthy (in terms of this world) woman appears.
    This will be especially important when children come. Children will try to pit mommy and daddy against each other if they can – They will ask one for something and “no” will just mean to ask the other. The Children must be obedient to the Mother, but that won’t work if she is rebellious to the Father.
    Docility and obedience is not passivity, it is often the opposite. Consider a paid employee – it is better he is not a slave or robot but understands the job and can be pro-active. But the boss is the only one that knows everything that is going on, the goal, the path. Or the Centurion (Lord, I am not worthy for you to come under my roof … I tell someone do this and he does it).
    A wife will be the subordinate, but it is best to be like the executive secretary, the office manager, the girl Friday that handles all the minutiae. The first officer to the Captain. More is mutiny. Less is slavery. But it is hard to find the golden mean of the helpmeet.

  2. Top, top post. My work is harder now because I need to develop my leadership skills in a shorter time and my wife-to-be may not have grasped the concept of submission fully. I guess in some ways it is harder now for her to submit, given the environment that we are in.

    Good on you for finding such a woman who is willing to walk with you and support you.

  3. The post captured what I was trying to convey – I always said I was pursuing christ on Calvary with an open hand reaching behind me for a woman to grasp. From there, I would drag her kicking and screaming to Christ.

    My fiancee got offended the first time she heard it. I basically told her to deal with it, but that it was my job to lead and she would rebel. When she did, she wouldn’t have to worry about me not putting up with it.

    And then, the puppy follows us through this valley of tears

  4. I like the post Moose, although I have to roll my eyes at the use of Luke 18:19. Must I always put that in scare quotes? Or should I simply drop it from my vocabulary?

    Is it really so hard to see the deeper point Jesus was making.

    /rant mode off

  5. @ Donal:

    I’ve read enough of your stuff to know that you probably were already completely aware of the point I was making–and in fact, your audience may be as well, making it unnecessary for you to point out. However, my primary audience is young men who are young in the faith, and it is a point that many in that cohort still need to internalize, so I took this opportunity to highlight it.

  6. I’ve come back to this last post because the “moral of the story” is most important for men. It’s one I wish I had followed as a younger man.

    It’s not a man’s job to work his ass off to attract a woman. If he’s incessantly trying to qualify for a woman, if he’s always in her bad graces and trying to make up things to her, then one or more of the following is going on.

    1) he’s not an attractive man. He doesn’t have attractive qualities.

    2) she isn’t really attracted to him.

    3) she doesn’t want to be with him badly enough.

    If he’s having to work THAT hard to “prove himself” to her, then he needs to improve, and he needs to accept she’s just not that into him.

    A man and a woman should not have to work all the time, every day, to make it work between them. If they’re having to work that hard, they’re not right for each other, and they need to own their respective shit and work through it first.

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