Part 4 will go from chapter 19 – chapter 26
The author once again discusses suffering and struggling for g-d.
“When obedience to God contradicts what I think will give me pleasure, let me ask myself if I love Him [god]. If I can say yes to that question, can’t I say yes to pleasing Him [god]? Can’t I say yes even if it means a sacrifice? A little quite reflection will remind me that yes to God always lead in the end to joy.” p86
“‘After you have suffered a while, he himself will mend that which was broken.’ If all struggles and suffering were eliminated, the spirit would no more reach maturity than would the child. The Heavenly Father wants to see us grow up.” p87
I’m happy to say this chapter moves on to a new topic, finally. In this chapter the author describes the struggles of the “flesh.” Or really just the struggle with as the author puts it “The strongest human drive, sexuality.”
Well how does a Christian avoid such temptation. Well she starts with scripture “It is good for a man not to ouch a woman.” Then she inserts her interpretation and opinion.
“In other words, when you get to the point where you can’t keep your hands off each other, it’s time to get married. The current ‘touchy-poo’ brand of Christianity had no place in Paul’s thinking.” p90
“My father counseled his four sons never to say “I love you” to a woman until they were ready to follow immediately with ‘Will you marry me?'” p90
Both of these idea were pulled into my own life. The first that a certain level of physical contact was only allowed if you were married. And if you “crossed that line” then you needed to marry. This is complete BS in my opinion currently, but I certainly held that view for a long time.
And the second one that you should only say “I love you” if you were willing to marry the person. This is such an odd and outdated view. But I certainly believed it as I dated “her;” and she can attest to the fact that I waited long into our relationship before I was comfortable with saying “I love you.” The words were not used in my home, and I had been told the phrase was a very serious commitment.
The following quote is regarding how Christians are to deal with sexual desires when they are “aroused.”
“If your passion are aroused, say so- to yourself and to God, not to the object of your passion. Then turn the reins over to God. Bring your will to Him. Will to obey Him, ask for HIs help. He will not do the obeying for you, but He will help you.” p93
The author makes it clear that you are not to tell your lover of your sexual desires. Basically the idea is anytime you have a sexual thought you give it to G-d. Asking g-d to remove the sexual thoughts and desires.
I can’t even really begin to unpack this one. But things like this teach that any sexual thought or desire is bad. And that you are bad if you have these thoughts. The divine is suppose to help remove these desires from you. In my experience this just makes expressing sexual desires and thoughts so much harder when they are finally “permissible.” A healthy couple should be willing to mutually express their sexual desires and feelings as the relationship grows. Not working to repress those desires and feelings.
I’ll leave the literal title of the chapter – “What Women Do to Men.” Yeah, I think that pretty well sets the tone for this chapter. In this chapter the author makes it very clear what role a woman should play in the relationship.
She makes it very clear that women are not to initiate any part of the relationship. And that the man should take the lead in all parts of the relationship. A woman should not even be the first to express her “feelings” towards a man, but should instead wait for the man to make the first move.
“Which is exactly why I beg of women to wait. Wait on God. Keep your moth shut. Don’t expect anything until the declaration is clear and forthright.” p98
This fun quote makes it into chapter 22.
“‘Do you want women to do the asking?’ was one of my questions.
‘It’s a shock,’ somebody said.
‘A turnoff,’ somebody else said.
‘If a woman is mart, she knows the best place for her to be, according to Scripture, is submission. A man is supposed to serve because he is the head,’ one man said.”
She doesn’t really address the submission statement. Only to tell the man that it is a marriage role, not a role for a single women. So she clearly supports the idea of a submissive wife in a marriage. She also lets the previous statement go completely unchallenged, and from the previous chapter I can safely say she is not a big fan of a woman making the first move.
At the end of this chapter she concludes that what men are really looking for is mystery. A woman that they have to wonder over and figure out. A woman that has an inward beauty but doesn’t flaunt her outer beauty.
Well we delve deeper into gender roles in this one. The author boldly proclaims that all societies are patriarchal. She also states that patriarchy is the natural order of the world.
“It was Adam’s job to husband her, that is, he was responsible – to care for, protect, provide for, and cherish her. Males, as the physical design alone would show, are made to be initiators. Females are made to be receptors, responders.” p106
“Adam and Eve made a mess of things when they reversed roles. She took the initiative, offered him the forbidden fruit, and he, instead of standing as her protector, responded and sinned along with her. It’s been chaos ever since.” p106
Oh don’t you worry she isn’t done yet.
“There are signs of confusion far worse than women chasing men. Homosexuality, teen pregnancy, divorce, abortion, the new ‘house-husband’ role, new translation of the Bible to eliminate ‘sexist’ language, women suing the New York fire department because they flunked the test for ‘firepersons’ – signs that the congruous has become incongruous. The order disordered. The complementary competitive. The glory of our sexuality, in short, is tarnished.” p106-107
This book shows it’s age with it’s dated examples. But still I believe you can understand the idea she is giving. That moving towards gender equality is disrupting g-d’s “natural plan” for men and women. There is a lot more hate and bigotry in this quote, but I’m not sure how far down that rabbit hole I want to go. Maybe one day I need to sit down and write a satirical “house husband” post. As there are many days were I am the only one in the house with my children, and I have the full responsibility of their care on those days.
The language use is biting and ignorant. She in no way attempts to understand the causes or pains of the women fighting for the ability to work. Or women that have no way to emotionally or physically support a child and chose an abortion instead. The LGBTQ+ community is completely dismissed as being “a sign of confusion.”
Back to the normal chapters of listening to the author long after her lover. All the while expressing the need to “wait on g-d” and “give it over” to g-d. With a small reminder, of course, on how g-d calls us to suffering. (Sorry about all of this I had to get some sarcasm out after the last chapter).
Carbon copy of chapter 24, but instead of longing the word focused on is loneliness.
“Jim told me he felt that God had given the liberty to start a correspondence.”
Once again the more I read the more confused I am. This is entirely self induced misery. She could have called or written at any time. Instead she waited for g-d to tell her man that it was okay for them to write letters. Apparently Jim was given this answer when reading 1 Cor 7:37.
But the man who has settled the matter in his own mind, who is under no compulsion but has control over his own will, and who has made up his mind not to marry the virgin—this man also does the right thing.1 Corinthians 7:37
So at this point in the book the author re-connects with Jim via mail. He talks at length about his desires, and how his relationship with g-d helps him to subdue those sinful desires. Jim refers to g-d as his eternal lover.
I think I’m going to leave this section here. I could go further but the theme seems to be shifting. Especially after she starts writing back and forth with Jim.
For a recap of what I did go through. There is some of the normal conversation initially about how we must suffer for g-d in the first chapter. Then she discusses using g-d to rid yourself of sexual desires. The author then moves into several highly misogynistic chapters. About how men must be the leaders in the relationship. And we can’t forget the wonderful section of the book on how society is falling apart because we are moving away from traditional gender roles. Oh and apparently g-d only “speaks clearly” to men.