When lures look like minnows

Note: this post is inspired by (but does not quote) a few comments I’ve made recently. I think they are worth reading.  See here and here.


rapala-ultra-light-minnow
There’s a difference, you know. Between a minnow and a lure. One is full of nutrition, the other is a clever facsimile with barbed hooks to catch the unwary.

This is a warning about the lures.

The lures of “Godly, submissive, Christian women bloggers who write about marriage and how to be a good wife.”

You heard me.

Those chicks be dangerous. They got them some hooks. And they look so good, don’t they?

But dangerous they are. Dangerous to your wives and dangerous to you–both single and married.

And their danger is the same regardless of whether they are sincere or not. Let’s look at some of those dangers.

First, the danger to your wife (if you have one). These bloggers, let’s call them “Submissive Christian Women-Bloggers (SCWs), will lead your wife away from you. SCWs will do this regardless of whether or not they are actually submissive to their own husbands. If the SCW is submissive to her own husband, she will teach your wife to follow her as she follows her husband. If the SCW is not submissive to her own husband, she will teach your wife to follow her as she wanders around aimlessly. Note the constant in both scenarios–your wife follows the SCW rather than you. This is because any blog that intends to teach a woman how to be a good wife implicitly makes itself an authority on the same–directly in conflict with a husband’s authority.

Your wife is not under the authority of SCWs, and thus ought not to be looking to them for instruction. No instruction comes without authority.

I should say that again: no instruction comes without authority. That is why one is said to submit to instruction. Consider that well when you choose who you allow to instruct your wife.

But there is a danger to you beside the danger to your wife–if you are perusing such sites. Such sites lie to you about the Daughters of Eve. The lures just seem to sashay more than the real minnows–to look just a little jucier, despite being made of balsa rather than flesh. What do I mean? I mean they give false impressions of submission and rebellion. To read SCWs, you’d think that only the bad Christian wives rebel. The good Christian wives (SCWs, of course!) never rebel, and are only occasionally tempted to rebel.

Which, naturally, is a load of horseshit.

Reading that doesn’t prepare you to deal effectively with rebellion. It gives a wrong impression of submission. It leads you to believe that it’s just something your wife chooses to do, and then when she doesn’t, you don’t know what to do. You wonder if you picked one of the bad ones instead of one of the good ones, rather than yoking the plow and breaking up that fallow ground. But all Daughters of Eve rebel. She has a sin nature as surely as you do. So, while submission is peaceful, the struggle that leads up to the submission is not–although the struggle should happen less over time.

Whom a man follows, him doth he serve.

It’s true for women too. Don’t send your wife to follow and serve some other man’s wife. Keep your springs to yourself.

And don’t bite the lure yourself. Don’t read submission-porn.

If you’re married, and starving for submission, enjoy the fruits of your labor–don’t use a cheap substitute.

If you’re single, don’t fall into the trap of becoming so enthralled by the fake and easy perfection in the submission-porn lure that you refuse to engage in the real-word good God made because “standards.”

No true good in this world will come to you but by the sweat of your brow.

A submissive wife is a great good–expect to put in a great amount of work. Be joyful in your labor, enjoy its fruits, and avoid the lures of the Devil.

You shall eat the fruit of the labor of your hands; you shall be blessed, and it shall be well with you. Your wife will be like a fruitful vine within your house; your children will be like olive shoots around your table. —Psalm 128:2-3 (ESV)

 

19 thoughts on “When lures look like minnows

  1. What part of “shall not suffer a woman to teach” don’t they understand?

    There might be a point to education, recopies, household tips, etc.

    But Education in spiritual things or theology has been denied them.

    Eat of any tree except the one in the center.

  2. @MooseNorseman:
    so you consider yourself giving instructions to your readers and they (/we) are supposed to submit to your instructions? If so, you’re deluded, if not – why are the female bloggers any different?
    Honestly this whole direction of argumentation seems very manipulative – and not only because your arguments don’t withstand any scrutiny if similarly applied on other topics, it’s also utter lack of any citations which would support your claims* (and which would still not be able to prove it generally anyway).

    @tz:
    maybe Titus 2:3-5?

    *e.g. I mean they give false impressions of submission and rebellion. To read SCWs, you’d think that only the bad Christian wives rebel. The good Christian wives (SCWs, of course!) never rebel, and are only occasionally tempted to rebel.

  3. A man drags his woman, kicking and screaming, up Calvary. If a man is not ready for that, as a man he must train and look to guidance. If a womans blog doesn’t regularly show her faults and ways hey were overcome, that the man can use as a tool, it is a mere distraction at best. At worst, as you say, submission porn.

    But the husband should get ready for the kicking and screaming if he wants to do it right. If hes blessed, the screaming will occasionally turn to songs of joy and the kicking will be aimed towards the demons pursuing the couple.

    but she’ll still be kicking and screaming, and it will never get easier.

  4. @ PotE

    Women are easily deceived. When the easily deceived lead the easily deceived, deception abounds.

    Or, in the words of Jesus, “When the blind lead the blind they both fall in the ditch.”

  5. What about Titus 2:3 “Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good. 4 Then they can urge the younger women to love their husbands and children, 5 to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God.”

    This seems to give specific instruction that women should teach other women.

  6. @ Derick

    Pilgrim of the East mentioned the same verse. It is important to note that there is a large difference between teaching and instruction. Instruction can be given on a blog, but teaching cannot. Older women should indeed teach younger women but a big part of that teaching is modeling correct behaviors in real life. See the following for more on the difference between teaching and instruction: http://devlinsangle.blogspot.com/2012/03/difference-between-teaching-and_01.html

  7. @MNM

    It is important to note that there is a large difference between teaching and instruction. Instruction can be given on a blog, but teaching cannot. Older women should indeed teach younger women but a big part of that teaching is modeling correct behaviors in real life.

    Having now read the Devlin’s Angle link (thanks for that, by the way), I’m not sure what you’re trying to say here. According to Devlin’s definitions: Whether or not a blog is a tool of instruction (unidirectional) or teaching (bidirectional) would be defined by the amount and kinds of follow-up, comments, etc. My observation is that most of the women’s blogs I have seen have a lot of interaction and would probably be called “teaching” by Devlin.

  8. @ CC et al

    Compare your school math classes with learning to drive, taking tennis lessons, being taught how to ride a bicycle, being taught to play a musical instrument, or being taught how to ski or improve your golf. Unless you were being seriously ripped off or shortchanged, each of those was highly interactive, with your teacher watching your performance and guiding you toward improvement.

    The distinction between instruction and teaching/learning becomes significant when cash-strapped education districts look to technology for assistance. For whereas technology can provide instruction and can provide teachers and students with resources to assist them, what is cannot do on its own is teach them.

    It’s tempting to try to overcome the Cena-type problem by introducing an interactive component. But that too does not work, as was discovered in 1973.

    Women’s blogs are often highly interactive. But that does not make them teaching. A teacher cannot “watch your performance and guide you towards improvement” on a blog, because your “performance” is self-reported. And the errors the teacher watches for and corrects are the ones the student is not aware he is making–and thus cannot self-report. Saying it a little differently, my observation is that women’s self-reported “performance” as a submissive Christian wife may not always match observable reality.

    Changing topics from instruction vs teaching back to Titus 2:
    The final thing that older women are to teach younger women, according to Titus 2:3-5 is “to be obedient to their own husbands.” If the so-called teaching has the opposite effect, then claiming Titus 2 as cover for it is blasphemy.

  9. I don’t think I agree with Devlin’s hard split.

    Isn’t anacceptance of Devlin’s teaching/instructing dichotomy an indictment of male bloggers, too? Because if blogging is instruction but not teaching, and older women are to be teaching not instructing (blogging), the best case scenario is that a man’s blog isn’t forbidden, per se, but it is superfluous and therefore extra-biblical. Then wouldn’t women’s blogs also be in that superfluous but not anti-biblical per se category?

    That’s the best case. The worst is that men are also instructing when they should be teaching, and that instructing is anti-biblical.

  10. @ CC

    1. If I follow your logic above, it relies on an assumption that the rules for “older women” are the same as the rules for men. I’m not willing to take that as a given, so I would need some establishment of that point to get to your conclusion.

    2. I have treated the Titus 2 argument as a mere distraction. I believe it is. But I see now that I need to address it more fully and seriously. I will do so in a new post.

  11. Or you could assume that Paul isn’t writing under Devlin’s dichotomy.

    Obviously (given my survey request) I’m going to be writing on the topic soon.

  12. “It’s true for women too. Don’t send your wife to follow and serve some other man’s wife. Keep your springs to yourself.

    And don’t bite the lure yourself. Don’t read submission-porn.”

    Thank you for these metaphors, Moose. They have gone a long way in focusing my mind on this issue.

  13. He who has ears, let him hear.
    I’m grateful for this discussion as it has struck up a sympathetic resonance with my own chord(s).

    Having almost left a comment on an SCW’s blog the other day, I do realize that in all likelihood it would have only resulted in flattery and back patting.

    However; what you said about submission-porn – that’s exactly what drove me to begin a comment!! Rather than tending to my own (unruly) vineyard I was staring across the pond at how abundant the neighbour’s was growing.

    This brings to mind the fine line between admiration and covetousness – I did not feel I was merely dreaming of submission, but honestly admiring the turn of heart of a couple of women’s stories. I was not scrolling through stories like an addict, but rather felt my hope renewed to be patient; having just put in the work I could see needed doing in my own vineyard.

    I rarely read any SCW blogs… generally a waste of time. In this case:
    1. I took action, then went to read after feeling discouraged.
    2. Found a reader story on an SCW blog.
    3. Felt encouraged, and moved on with life (rather than trying to force my immediate situation to change).
    4. My patience rewarded, I woke up next morning to beautiful new blooms in my own vineyard.

    How does that fit in?

  14. @ Eusebius

    This brings to mind the fine line between admiration and covetousness – I did not feel I was merely dreaming of submission, but honestly admiring the turn of heart of a couple of women’s stories. I was not scrolling through stories like an addict, but rather felt my hope renewed to be patient; having just put in the work I could see needed doing in my own vineyard.

    I rarely read any SCW blogs… generally a waste of time. In this case:
    1. I took action, then went to read after feeling discouraged.
    2. Found a reader story on an SCW blog.
    3. Felt encouraged, and moved on with life (rather than trying to force my immediate situation to change).
    4. My patience rewarded, I woke up next morning to beautiful new blooms in my own vineyard.

    How does that fit in?

    I would counsel that moments of discouragement are an especially dangerous time when the brain is even more strongly drawn to submission-porn. I would counsel you to look instead to God’s promises found in scripture in those times of discouragement, and I think you will find that leads to less discouragement over time, and more blooms.

Leave a Comment