Jazz Hands For Justice – A MOTW article

Watching the recent Antifa videos taken in Austin, Texas, I can’t help but be unimpressed with what passes for modern rhetoric. Color me less than convinced by those pitiful little passels of sadness called Antifa.

Surprisingly, “F*#k you” has risen above mere vulgarity. Moving into the realm of educated speech, it is now intended to defend the veracity of one’s right to protest. Profanity is the next wave in philosophical brilliance.

I had no idea. I thought excessive foul language was used when people without an adequate vocabulary or education attempted to appear forceful.

Go to Men of The West to read the rest.

The Next Revolution Starts At Home – A Men of The West article

I have been given the opportunity to write at the blog, Men of The West, which is run by some of my longtime blogging and internet friends.  Comprised of a large group of men, and a few of ladies like myself,  all from very diverse backgrounds.  We write with a focus on reminding ourselves and our readers  of the foundations of western culture and the threats against it.  We want to stir you and ourselves to stand up against apathy, social de-evolution, and the encroaching cultural ideologies opposed to our foundations.  

The Next Revolution Starts At Home

Two hundred forty-two years ago, Edmund Burke spoke to Parliament, the governing body of the British Empire. The issue was the brewing discontent across the sea. They needed to tread carefully when dealing with the restless and rustling American colonies. Sabers were rattling.

In 1766, a prominent American politician, most likely Franklin, had warned Burke of the danger of continued infringement upon the Americans. The colonists were unwilling to tolerate the existing status quo any longer.

It was 1775 at the time of his famous speech, and nine years had not improved the situation. The colonies were now more than unwilling. They were awake, armed, and angry.

Something must be done. But, what? The redcoats were ready but so was the colonial militia.

After careful examination of the situation, Burke reached his conclusion. There existed, in the colonies of the Americas, “a fierce spirit of liberty” which stemmed, in large part, from the personal and impassioned pursuit of education engulfing even the most common people. Common men, immigrants and farmers, those who lived outside the aristocracy and ruling class, had become leaders and statesman.

In no other part of the Empire were people so devoted to the course of their own enfranchisement.   No others had become so prosperous or so bold. No other colony was this aware and conversant in the laws and philosophies of the land to which they were supposed to be submitted.

Why? What was different about the American colonists that could not be found in India, for example?

These colonists educated themselves, formed their own tribunals and legislation, and painstakingly built their own societies. In nearly every home were Blackstone’s Commentaries (an 18th century treatise on common law) where they were studied and discussed. The subjects indulged in self-reliance, without any intention of asking permission from the government, and it rattled the mighty Empire to her core.

Together with faith, an indomitable nation was rising out of the mish-mash of social, political, and economic refugees, and even across the Atlantic a middle-aged politician could see it.

“The education of the Americans is also on the same unalterable bottom with their religion. You cannot persuade them to burn their books of curious science; to banish their lawyers from their courts of laws; or to quench the lights of their assemblies…”1

These overlooked colonists were building a nation that would eventually rival any other dynasty in its power, prosperity, and influence. Burke stood on the very cusp of the American Revolution, overlooking the landscape.

And he flinched.

Yet, the question remains: in contrast with the colonists, who have we become?

To read the rest?   Head on over and find out! 

The Birds & The Queen Bee

As much of an introvert as I am, people fascinate me. They things they do. The things they say. I consistently strive to understand the complexity of the rhythm of life and how it plays out through the lives of those around me. More often than not, I can be found on the sidelines, an observer of humanity, taking notes.

One of the more intriguing things about which I tend to fixate is the dance between women and men. An over-arching social dynamic which ebbs and flows between the sexes determining status and responsibility, opportunity and reward.

It’s a real thing.

For the most part, it is played on a subconscious, or at least, on a lower level of consciousness.

There seems to be a social hierarchy in men which is implausible to and absent in women. It is sort of like a pyramid scheme of who is in charge and who isn’t according to personality, drive, and success rates. There are names for the roles that don’t really seem to make much sense to me, but they do make sense to those who have spent a lot more time on this than I have. I won’t fumble my way through their definitions, I just offer my own observations.

First, you must know, while an element of romance is present within most interaction between men and women, none of these scenarios are based on romantic attraction. That’s a story for another day, if I were to be inclined to tell it.

This line of thought revolves around social interaction and the complexity of the dance.

Here are the players:

There are men I’ve met who will absolutely and fundamentally repulse me. Within seconds of meeting, I’m eying the door and scooting across the sofa to get to a safer space. As nice as they may seem, there is something unsettling about them.  I cannot stand to be near them. Perhaps it’s a tone in their voice or the way they eye the room. Maybe, they offered a limp handshake, giving off a faint, but unsettling, apologetic air. As though there is always something undone which is never to be completed. My response is visceral. Unconscious. This man will never be someone I will welcome willingly into my social circle. Even at extended range they reek of weakness.

Sadly, as I get older and older, this type of man has become more and more common. As though life has beaten them into submission and all they have left is a whimper and a whine while practicing the crippled art of subversion.

On the other end of the spectrum, are the men I find fundamentally compelling. Within moments of meeting them I want to know everything about them. How they think. What they believe. Why they do the things they do. I am very nearly mesmerized. They speak with confidence and boldness. Perhaps they aren’t relatable at first, but their strength of conviction and willingness to appear dauntless make them larger than life. Fascinating  He is the man every woman wants to know and the man every man wishes to be.

He gets all the Dos Equis.

Just as the weak man leaves nothing but relief in his wake upon leaving the gathering, the compelling man leaves a hole his companions immediately feel and regret. Often the group will dissipate in his absence or pursue him in order that he might be convinced to return.

It’s not about physical appearance, necessarily. I’ve met very attractive men who became significantly less so by merit of their absence of character and strength. I’ve also met men who were initially unattractive but whose value increased as the conversation progressed due to their confidence, articulation, and an unwillingness to be compromised from their own singular identity.

From Marmalade man to Marlboro man there lies a spectrum of becoming that men seem to fall in line with, somehow. As some men are becoming compelling through rising to meet life’s challenges and enduring the cross-fit of personal experience, they have been made stronger, more determined, more focused, more intriguing. They stand out. They are stepping out. We admire them.

Yet, there are also those who have been strong before but now, settling for weakness and complacency, have faded into the shadows. Where they would have once defended and stood for principle and ideal, they are now cowed and fearful. Eager to please in the infuriating way a dog whimpers and wets itself when the shrill voice of the owner says, “No!” they exist in a perverse state of submission which makes them easily despised.

Women pity them. Men avoid them. They languish in a wasteland of regret and jealousy.

And the women….

Oh, women aren’t exempt from this dance.

We just do it very differently.

More often than not, women rate each other’s value and social currency on things like dress size and financial ranking, circling and snipping at the Christian Louboutin heels in front of them until those deemed less valuable are shuffled off to the side and those found worthy are presented like debutantes.

The pecking order must be established and then maintained. There is often no genuine understanding of personal cost, only the consensus of the group and the will of the strongest female present.

Not the kindest female. Not the one with the most integrity. Simply, the one who can dominate all others to her will. No matter how benevolent she might be, she is the woman in charge. No one is allowed to forget it.

The top female dictates the rules. She runs the coop, so to speak, and orchestrates the acceptance and rejection of the lesser females as well as where they fit into her plan.

While the advancement of male hierarchy tends to favor merit and achievement based betterment, the advancement of female hierarchy tends flourish or languish on the emotional stability, or lack thereof, of the lead female. Every movement of the group becomes contingent upon how she is to be appeased.

Perhaps she is a kindhearted woman who wants to see others succeed? Best case scenario, she will still have her favorites and raise them up, based not on individual accomplishments and effort but on personal prejudice and a strongly desired conformity to what is considered the acceptable and preferable behavior of her particular social preference.

No matter how benevolent or vitriolic the Queen may be in her heart, she will establish her court around her according to the value system of her own personal preferences. You are either in or out.

And then? Then they dance.

Dos Equis men tend to choose to engage with the dominant female unless one of the sub-dominate females is more physically attractive to him or somehow makes herself specifically noteworthy. Conversation swirls around them as an amen chorus and tinkling laughter oiling the gears of society.

The repugnant man will loiter on the outer edges doing his best to interact with as many low ranking females as possible. Quantity over quality. And who knows, maybe he’ll catch a naïve one who will believe his card tricks and endless braggadocio.

Perhaps he thinks he can improve his status if, perhaps, a particularly pretty or dynamic woman takes the time to engage him.   And he might be right.   He can learn.

Finally, the lowest level females and males will huddle and commiserate about their woes and degrade the status of the compelling man and the queen and her court. Pulling down what they envy in their hearts.

And on the fringes, are some of us, who, without the proper guidance and movement, clumsily navigate from space to space with limited success.   Eye contact is awkward. Handshakes are fumbling. Hugs take our breath away for a moment.

I find myself fascinated by the most gregarious and charming, eager to mimic their behavior and modify it to suit my own particular voice and inclination.

That compelling man speaks and I am drawn to him, like a moth to a fly. He is provocative and unpredictable and utterly riveting.

I envy the queen her easy laugh and casually affected posture winning the affection of the group. See how effortlessly she moves through the dance, without a misstep.

It is an intricate movement, this social caper, and it fascinates me with all the moving parts and unconscious design.

An Open Letter To The Sisterhood

I wrote this several years ago and my heart clenches hard when I read these words.  But not because I am ashamed.  Because they are so true.  In black and white, varying incarnations throughout the years, this is what relationships with women have meant to me and many like me.  We have watched those girls. The ones across the room who laugh easy and smile big, who live all bright and shiny, never quite making eye contact.

There is a viciousness to women unparalleled in humanity.  There is also a kindness and compassion intrinsic to women, when nurtured, that can rally armies and stir nations.

Too many of us fail to nurture the kindness and wallow only in the bitter.

For those of us who wrestle?   This letter is for us.

And for that girl. Just in case she reads this too.

Read more “An Open Letter To The Sisterhood”

The Submission Myth Exposed

I wrote recently, in The Death of a Feminist about my struggle to live well in my role as wife and mother.  To get the first part of the story, start there.

Life looks more like this now and here is my attempt to share how I came to understand the part submission really has to play in marriage.  What I have shared here resembles nothing of what I had been told and this revelation has opened my eyes to more joy and fulfillment than I ever imagined possible within the garden where God has placed me.

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Part 2: The Purpose

When the feminist inside died, her death made room for a brand new kind of person to begin to live. It wasn’t sudden or even all that marvelous. It was a lot of little steps until, surprisingly, I was bringing life to our home instead of consistent conflict.

Even though I didn’t have a way to explain it and I still hated that word, submission, I had begun living according to a Biblical purpose that more closely honored God and the authority He had over me. I no longer resented authority in general as I began to recognize it flows from God and down through the family dynamic in an avalanche of potential blessing. I began to walk and exhibit a grace I had neither seen nor been capable of comprehending when focused solely on a selfish need to control, well, everything.

As my heart began to come alive toward my husband I didn’t even think about submission. I just wanted to see this incredible man smile and be cared for in the ways I was uniquely able to care for him. I let myself focus on him. I studied him. I learned HIM until I was an expert in all the things that made him tick.

It was fun. The payoff was huge.

Somewhere, through the years, I became stunningly aware that submission isn’t really what marriage is about at all. I had been focused on the wrong thing.

We’ve all been focused on the wrong thing.

Before I go any further, a caveat is necessary. Fundamentally, any discussion of covenantal relationship must be from a Biblical foundation. Marriage is only one of several significant covenants. That means this dialogue is pointed specifically at those who claim allegiance to the one true God.

Those who don’t hold to belief there is Divine Imperative for covenant relationships have neither the capability nor the capacity to follow a Biblical mandate. Which isn’t to say they get a free pass. Not at all. There is a price to pay for living outside God’s plan, lost in ignorance. These affairs will, sadly, always fall below the abundant beauty God intended for us to flourish within.

Am I saying those who aren’t believers in Jesus live absolutely devoid of any of the benefits of divinely inspired relationship? Of course not. Everyone has the opportunity to enjoy parts of God’s reflected nature in whichever measure they are willing to accept His truth. The Truth is truth and it resonates throughout cultural identity, beyond trauma, or ignorance because truth is Truth.

Those without heavenly insight will taste it, occasionally. Every once in a while beauty will trickle into their collective consciousness and light up the dinginess of their world. However, it will not stay with them. No matter how they might try to contain and retain it, they cannot. They haven’t the capacity to hold onto the truth.

Water is wet. Snow is cold. Things fall. Because of gravity. You don’t have to agree with it. Covenant is sacred. Because it is. Even if you hate it. Or hate me for saying it.

There is an undeniable Truth. Honor and integrity are critical to a solid foundation in any relationship. We have a specific purpose, Daughters of Eve and Sons of Adam.

At the dawn of creation, God gave a directive to all of humanity, men and women. “Be fruitful and multiply.” He said to our first mother and father. This charge hasn’t been lifted in all that time. If anything, it has been greatly amplified. In an additional bit of clarity given to the disciples, Jesus gave a very specific expression of fruitfulness and multiplication. He said, “Go and make disciples!” and therein exists the fundamental purpose for every person who claims to call on the name of the Lord.

The most primal aspect of our lives, as believers, remains constant: “Be fruitful”. This means we intentionally do all the things necessary for developing a sustaining strength. We purposefully live with obvious, visible nurturing of those roles most important to serving that goal. In fact, a bountiful expression of our existence gives evidence of deep roots and adequate nutrition. Yes, that is great, but being fruitful simply isn’t enough. One tree does not an orchard make. We are told to “multiply” as well. Obedience to this commandment means we recognize we are not created to be alone. We are commanded to add numbers to our existence. Provide enough to feed more than us. Spread the light. Grow.

Link arms and move forward. Onward and upward.

In marriage, fruitfulness and multiplication don’t necessarily have to do with lots of babies. Although children are easily the most obvious and profound blessing of a united couple, that isn’t all it means. Fruitfulness and multiplication are the processes of living with and toward a common goal.

Which is to thrive. Live. Do all the things that contribute to life. Abandon, reject, and staunchly refuse to embrace those things threatening to destroy the object of our existence. Firmly hold onto those actions and intentions protecting and supporting the objective.

Pursue the good and productive at the expense of everything else.

Everything else.

Which leads me to the idea of submission as a wife.

It doesn’t matter. It’s not the point. It was never intended to be the point.

Marriage isn’t about submission. It has never been. It is about a man no longer alone and a woman who walks beside him sharing the load. It has nothing to do with who dominates and who abdicates responsibility, but with an unrelenting obedience and desire for fruitfulness and multiplication.

What if submission, like romantic love, is just the byproduct of a unified and purpose filled determination by humanity to obey a God-given mandate and a dedication to a holy purpose which super-cedes personal ambition?

When fruitfulness and multiplication are the purpose of all humanity expressed through lifestyle and practice, then the passion and energy originally poured into defining our own existence, living in rabid independence, and demanding to be served become the very strength we can apply to finding and pursuing goodness, kindness, gentleness, patience, self-control… And radically, through this life-style, we learn individually and eventually corporately what it means to honor and respect authority. To follow, serve, and, naturally, to submit.

Submission. It’s not just for married people. It’s not a specific and solitary goal solely for married women any more than leadership and authority are limited to married men.

Entire libraries of books have been written on the subject. We have endured decades of discussion and both sexes have shed countless tears. Seriously.

I don’t know anyone who hasn’t been effected by those who should submit and won’t or the angry voices who demands submission without having the authority to do so. We’ve all witnessed the catastrophe of someone who tried to walk solely in submission and failed. How many have been damaged by a misguided submission that left the weak exposed to the domination of the wickedly powerful? Cults. Abusive spouses. Religious leaders.

Submission as the goal has become a weapon and a means to an end all by itself. Yet, imagine a world where the goal was not to demand others respect your authority but where your passion is to respect God’s authority above all others. What if your greatest achievement was taking what you’ve been given and investing in others, making you a leader worthy of trust and a follower worthy of an honorable reputation?

How?

To be fruitful you must care for your garden. Nurture your “seedlings”. Take the abundance and serve others so they might grow. Growth will automatically produce of its own kind. Don’t worry about making it happen by your own strength.   God makes the increase. He will bring the Multiplication.

Wash. Rinse. Repeat.

What does it mean for a woman to care for her garden? Nurture her seeds? Harvest and share the abundance?

It means taking the life in front of her and doing it with all her might in a way that supports the goal of the family. Not selfishly demanding her way. She grows in grace and integrity, not rebellion and defiance, inspiring the same in her children and her husband.

His goals only differ in application, not in purpose. He follows his Master and accepts His authority, growing in strength and determination. The lives put in his care know that he accepts the responsibility of their trust. His acceptance brings a strength and trustworthiness, in turn, inspiring the same in his wife and children.

Submission has nothing to do with who earns the money, does the dishes, changes the diapers, or wears the pants in the family. However, its absence or its presence will affect every part of our lives.

However, just as the smell of cake isn’t the purpose of baking a cake, submission isn’t even the point. It’s a byproduct of the goal.

The goal of marriage is to be fruitful and multiply.

Actually, it is the purpose of humanity. No one is exempt. What if women didn’t wait until marriage to focus on living a focused godly life? What if men didn’t wait until marriage to find out what it means to be godly men?

I have an ambition as both a woman and a wife. My driving purpose is to ensure, to the best of my ability, the fruitfulness and multiplication of our vision and goals according to the specific path now comprised of the four of us, at this stage, in our journey.

I can’t do that if I am constantly vying for a position. Fighting with my husband creates an atmosphere that is an antithesis to fruitfulness and divides us at the core of our family. It never multiplies. We are shattered and purposeless in our anger, open to all kinds of temptation and fear.

I can’t accomplish our goals when I resent his opinions and defy him. When I am offended by and rebel against anyone restricting my entitlement to define my own existence I will always fail to love and honor the people to whom God has made me accountable.

In the simplest terms: I serve God, the vision, the team, the man. If I were unmarried, I would lack the opportunity to serve a specific man, yet I would never lack the opportunity to walk in submission to God’s plan by dedicating myself to living in a way He has laid out for us all.

I don’t submit according to anything I’ve ever read by well-intentioned vendors of marital bliss. I have no idea where many of the modern philosophers are coming from. I don’t understand half-measures of love. Quid pro quo doesn’t make for successful covenants.

I work with my husband at the expense of myself because, like the Master, I lay down my life for my friend.

That’s my MISSION.

It plays out with me lending all my strength to a family that is learning to produce lives capable of being fruitful and multiplying.

It just happens to look like Submission.