Tag Archives: Handkerchief

What Christian men want from Christian women… in paintings!

Chivalry and chastity are two important factors in my life. Both of these ideas are rooted in Christianity, and they give men tools for expressing themselves to women using words or gifts, instead of using touch. Both are complex disciplines to learn. Reading literature is the best way to learn, or by watching your parents get along, if you have a good father and mother (I did not!). But another way to learn is by studying the great works of art. You can learn a lot about the differences between men and women by looking at great art – and you can get some ideas on how to treat them, too.

Below are just a few of my favorite paintings. (I like the Pre-Raphaelite era especially) Each of these paintings expresses something that men want from women in a chaste and chivalrous relationship. These behaviors are great as part of a formal courtship.

Click the small images for MUCH larger images!

RECOGNITION:

Godspeed - Edmund Blair Leighton - 1900
Godspeed - Edmund Blair Leighton - 1900

Men should be judged by godly women based on whether they are doing what God wants them to do. Those men who are willing to put God first in their planning should be recognized as special. Standard procedure is to give committed Christian men a token with the lady’s colors that he can carry into battle.

APPROVAL:

The Accolade - Edmund Blair Leighton - 1901
The Accolade - Edmund Blair Leighton - 1901

Men need to be encouraged to fulfill their obligations to God by receiving the approval of godly women. Men who accomplish great things for God should receive rewards from women. Notice that the painting is portraying a public accolade.

ATTENTION:

Alain Chartier - Edmund Blair Leighton - 1903
Alain Chartier - Edmund Blair Leighton - 1903

Along with her relationship with God, godly women should make time for relating to godly men, especially to her husband if she is married. This is even more important than parenting! I am a big believer in eye contact and long written essays.

UNDERSTANDING/RESPECT:

Call to Arms - Edmund Blair Leighton - 1888
Call to Arms - Edmund Blair Leighton - 1888
Duty - Edmund Blair Leighton - 1883
Duty - Edmund Blair Leighton - 1883

Women need to understand that a man’s duty to her comes second to a man’s duty to God. Part of loving a man is letting him do the activities that he needs to do in order to flourish as a man. Treating a man as a little boy by trying to control him is a sure way to make him disengage from the relationship.

DEFERENCE/GRATITUDE:

St. George Fighting the Dragon - Raphael Sanzio - 1505
St. George Fighting the Dragon - Raphael Sanzio - 1505

A woman should be able to drive a stick shift, fire a Springfield Arms XD accurately, do the family tax return, throw a football 20 yards, and barbecue steaks. However, when men are around, she should allow men to do things for her, even if she can do them better herself. Men should always be asked to do dangerous tasks (shoveling snow, killing spiders, etc.), and they should never be criticized by women about their performance in front of other people, only in private – and even then with gentleness.

Related posts

How Christian women can make Christian men marry without using sex appeal

I just want to jot down a few points about this in brief – this will not be a comprehensive treatment. This is a rush job – I’m leaving things out, it will probably come across as very insulting and scatter-brained.

First, I am addressing this to women who are interested in marriage and children. If you are a woman and you are not interested in marriage and children, this will be no good to you. The reason why is because this method only works for men who are interested in marriage and children.

I’m addressing this to an imaginary Christian woman, whom I will henceforth refer to as “you”.

The wrong approach

Here are some things that women do wrong when trying to get a man to marry.

  • choosing a man based on non-Christian criteria or just selfishness
  • choosing a man based on his appearance of first impressions
  • choosing a man based on whether he is fun and popular
  • thinking that Christianity is a check box on an application form, rather than a 3-hour exam
  • thinking of marriage as bliss that will work out somehow, without planning and effort
  • not understanding what men are really like
  • not understanding what children are really like
  • not understanding what the Bible has to say about marriage
  • thinking that you can make a man love you by using sex appeal or sex itself
  • thinking that acting like a man is what a man wants

In short, marriage should be understood as a task, requiring planning by both partners, as well as study, skills and a will. You’re not picking a man, you’re picking a plan, the plan that you think will help God the most. And there is absolutely no need to resort to sex or alcohol or anything order to discuss these things. What actually works on me is writing me a good long essay about anything. Because marriage is more about communication and relationships than anything else. You can have intimacy without alcohol just by turning the conversation to topics that matter and writing about them.

The lever

Since you will not be using sex, you might as well get clear on what you can use. You can use three things.

  • The Bible, theology, church history and apologetics
  • The man’s own plan to marry and the steps he’s taken so far
  • Your own willingness to do whatever it takes to make your relationship please God

The basic idea is that you are going to find out what marriage in a Christian context is about. Then you are going to find out the man’s plan for marriage within the context of his Christian worldview. Then you are going to convince him that the most rational thing to do in order to achieve his plan is to marry you. You’re going to convince him that he will get a much higher degree of success with you, than without you. Not to mention the possibility of you bearing children and then helping him to parent children who will also count for God.

You’re the helper

Biblically, the role of the woman in the marriage is supposed that of helper. That doesn’t mean that you cannot have your own plan as well, it just means that the way you are going to have a relationship with a man is by helping him with his plan. And in order to help him with his plan, you have to talk to him about his plan. You have to show him that he isn’t going to get dragged away from his high ideals by you if he marries you. On the contrary – you are going to catapult him into the stars, in ways he cannot even imagine.

Here’s what you can do.

  • convince yourself that Christianity is true by studying apologetics, etc.
  • read about chivalry, romance and courtly love
  • get used to the idea that God comes above your own needs and desires
  • begin to view men as tools for serving God instead of tools for serving you
  • learn to evaluate men on the quality of their plans and whether it will help God
  • spend time writing and talking to the man about his plan (eye contact talking)
  • learn to hold your temper in check in order to gain his confidence
  • study to find out more about his goals, and how to achieve them
  • study to find out more about what forces are working against him
  • buy him things to help him with his plan
  • assign him tasks to do that you think will help him to serve God better
  • think of solutions to problems that he is facing and tell him
  • solve those problems and then report to him that the problems are solved
  • form his character by approving and affirming Christian/family behaviors
  • practice evangelism and apologetics to show that you care about nurturing other people’s worldviews
  • take on difficult long-term commitments like starting a business, being a missionary, earning degrees

Who wouldn’t want to have someone around who really knows them, who they can really talk to, and who is always improving their character and helping them to solve problems? The more you study what he is doing and learn things that can help him, the more he will want to have you around everywhere he goes. Every skill you get has potential for solving problems that you both may face when you start a family. It’s actually a very good idea to collect useful skills, make money and have a plan of your own. And I’ll explain why.

Nothing impresses a man more than a woman who is passionate, but rational, about some issue bigger than her own needs. Look at Michele Bachmann and Jennifer Roback Morse. Men are chivalrous. They want to protect and provide for women who are chaste and honorable. But they don’t want to waste time on women who are not engaged in some sort of noble enterprise. And they don’t want to waste time trying to commit to a woman who tries to manipulate them by rushing them into sex, either. Working on your own plan communicates to a man that you are more interested in helping God than in your own needs.

Women should be able to persuade people without getting personal or straying from arguments and evidence. Standing up for your view should be easy for you, but don’t overpower the man just to get your way. Ideally, you should win arguments with him because your ideas are just plain more effective at serving God than his ideas. Of course, if you think he’s right, then go along with him, by all means. I have actually gotten to the point with two women where arguing is a recreational activity than always ends in compliments for them about how happy I am that I can be myself with them. And that’s what a man really wants, anyway.

Marriage and children

But there’s more to being a helper than that. There’s the duties of a wife and mother. Marriage today is an enormous risk and responsibility for a man. The way to persuade a man to marry is to show him that you have studied his concerns, that his concerns are actually much worse than he knows, and that you have solutions to all of his problems. Show him that you have studied these things in detail, that you have written about these concerns passionately in public, and that you are serious about solving them. If you can’t solve the problems, (e.g. – hate crime bills, taxes for public schools), then show him that you are informed about these issues, on his side, and have at least spoken or written passionately about it somewhere public.

Here are some ideas for learning how to be a good wife and mother.

  • study what men think about wives, marriage and children
  • study threats to marriage from taxes, family courts, public schools, etc.
  • study the risks that men are taking on by deciding to marry and become fathers
  • think and write about how you can make your husband and children a gift for God
  • understand the proper care and feeding of husbands and children – how do they thrive?
  • practice taking care others – plants, cars, friends, pets, elderly, children, the poor
  • study to find out what divorce does to men and children
  • study what fatherlessness does to a child
  • study to understand the competition for liberty and resources between family and state
  • practice arguing with men about facts and policies, disregarding your own person, and focusing on the arguments
  • you should absolutely abhor feminism and argue against it at every opportunity
  • be ready to drop everything at a moment’s notice and focus your attention on your relationship

Remember, the way that you treat a man in terms of encouraging and supporting his plan is the main way that you tell him two things: 1) that you will continue to do this after the marriage, so that he doesn’t have to give up his noble plan, and 2) that you will be encouraging and supporting his children towards their goals, so that he can have complete confidence in leaving the children with you until they get old enough for him to take over more of the parenting, (say, age 6 and on). If you help him, then pleasing you will become part of his plan.

It is extremely important to a man that he can trust you to teach the children right from wrong, and the Christian faith, especially when it goes against your compassionate feminine nature. I have actually seen this done, where a mother understands parenting and child development so much that she won’t yield to a screaming disobedient child because he has to learn the habits that will see him on to a Ph.D in physics. What’s even more fun is when she explains to you why she’s doing it, and where she studied it. That what makes a man happy.

Related posts

The rules for friendship and courtship between Christian men and women

This post will probably be changing as time passes and I learn more about relationships.

The goal

The goal of my opposite-sex friendships (hereafter just “friendships”) is for me to build up the skills of Christian women by exchanging training materials to work through, and monitoring progress. The training materials for friendship are centered around apologetics, with some conservative policy, as well. The friendships are beneficial to God because we are building each other up, and it also provides a context for us to evaluate changing to a courtship.

Most of my relationships with Christian women will never enter into the friendship phase because virtually none of them even care for apologetics. But some Christian women have shown an interest in apologetics and conservative policy and that’s what gets the friendship going.

I basically think about this friendship-courtship distinction as a continuum where passing through the gate from friendship to courtship is dependent on progress in sharing my vision with her and having her take appropriate steps to recognize and contribute to my vision. When a female Christian friend begins to contribute to my overall life vision, that’s the point at which we consider changing to a courtship.

Marriage

I am open to marrying any chaste female Christian. The grounds for the decision to marry are that the marriage would provide a better benefit to God in terms of his purposes in the world than if we continued to work separately. In particular, I am looking for my prospective mate to demonstrate her commitment to my four-pronged vision for serving God in the most effective ways. (See below)

I am also interested in whether she understands the challenges facing men and male needs, especially in areas like feminism, big government, no-fault divorce, child custody, etc. But I am also interested in her views in areas like chastity, modesty, grooming, physical fitness and expected frequency of marital sex. She must also recognize standards of chastity, chivalry and romance and participate in standard activities like letter-writing.

My vision

My vision involves operations in 4 areas:

The university:

  • get a PhD and teach in the university as a publicly-identified Christian OR no PhD, but teach in a community college
  • fund Christian scholars to lecture and debate at the university
  • fund research by intelligent design scholars
  • raise brilliant home-schooled children who can get PhDs and go on to impact the university

The church

  • bring scholars in to lecture and especially to debate in the church, and sponsor these events
  • teach adult Sunday school classes in apologetics (i.e. – show debates and discuss them, read books and discuss them)
  • find a wife who can help with these goals

The workplace

  • study apologetics and engage co-workers in discussions at lunch if they are interested
  • operate a library to lend out lectures and debates to those who are interested
  • give co-workers gifts at Christmas like DVDs on intelligent design or debates
  • put things in my office to declare myself as a thoughtful Christian
  • find a wife who can be hospitable, prepare meals and host discussions in our home

The public square

  • blog: inform and educate Christians about economic and public policies that affect our liberty
  • donate to Christian politicians who reflect my priorities
  • donate to other Christians who engage in debates on abortion, Islam, etc.
  • run for office after kids are grown-up
  • encourage wife to run for office after kids are grown-up
  • encourage kids to run for office after they retire from teaching at the universities

If a Christian woman is interested in having me assist her with learning apologetics and stuff, so she can serve God better, that’s called a friendship. If she starts to inquire about my vision and begins to show real recognition and support for it, that’s called a courtship.

The main thing is that God’s goals are always the center of our interactions. Marriage is not the end goal of the relationship. God’s goals in the world are the end. Marriage is just a possible means to that end. Being a good husband is a means to that end. Even being a good father is a means to that end.

The rules

Here are my rules for dealing with Christian women:

  1. No touching during friendship or courtship. This rule holds until the engagement day, where a kiss is permitted, but nothing more. The reason for this rule is to avoid losing 1) the ability to focus on my plan instead of women, and 2) the ability to evaluate Christian women objectively and dispassionately. (Note: I now think that hand-holding and hugging is OK once the initial evaluation of her is complete, and she starts to put in effort on the things that you care about, that are related to your plan)
  2. No being together by ourselves in non-public places without a chaperone. This applies to friendship and courtship.
  3. The friendship advances by exchanging and executing tasks that help us both to be more effective Christians. For example, listening to lectures together and stopping the lecture to discuss things, and then writing about the lecture afterward.
  4. The courtship advances by exchanging and executing tasks related to my vision. For example, we arrange a viewing of a debate or lecture DVD at her church and then jointly take questions from the audience.
  5. Gifts exchange is allowed during the friendship, but no tokens can be given to me.
  6. Token exchange (e.g. – a lady’s handkerchief with her colors), is reserved to mark the beginning of courtship. I have to carry it with me whenever I fight, and give reports to her on how I did. She can withdraw it, ending the courtship. I can also return it, ending the courtship. I can only carry one token at a time.
  7. Parents should be kept informed about the progress of friendships and courtships.
  8. Her parents have the right to engage me in discussions about my views on apologetics, etc. at any time during the friendship or courtship, but they do not have the right to override my vision with their vision.
  9. It helps me if women dress modestly, because I am more comfortable when a woman tries to attract me using non-physical approaches, like words. I resent it when women try to attract me using sex appeal instead of words. I like being in control of myself. Sex appeal is strictly for after the wedding. There are a million ways for a Christian woman to knock a Christian man off his feet just by taking an interest in things like apologetics and economics. The trick is to find a man who cares about being friends with God.
  10. I am looking to court someone who already has the skills to assist me with my vision, or who demonstrates a willingness to develop them, or who is able to persuade me that other skills are an even better match for my vision.

These are guidelines that I try to communicate to women to help us to constrain our relationship to serve God’s goals. These are all subject to discussion and debate, of course.

I think that one of the effects of these rules is to take the pressure to be “sexy” off of women. And to remove sex from the equation entirely – there is no room for clumsy groping in the back seat of a car in this operation. Instead, a woman wins the heart of a man if she is willing to listen to him, learn about his needs as a man, and his vision to serve God, and then work hard to recognize and support all that.

Sample activities

In a friendship, the first steps are going to involve a lot of studying and talking. For example, it is not uncommon for me to spend 2-6 hours just talking to a Christian woman about spiritual things. We do independent studies around things like reading the same books, listening to the same lectures, or even doing the political compass or resurrection questionnaires together. Individual tasks for me from her might include Bible reading, church attending, bringing her resources that she asks for, writing about my feelings and experiences, etc.

I believe in exchanging tasks so that the woman gets into the pattern of getting outside her own needs and thinking about her obligations to me. My concern is that a lot of women have a fairy tale view of marriage. She picks a man for superficial reasons and hopes to change him later. This leads women to ignore male needs and the man’s vision prior to marriage. The man is tricked into the marriage by pre-marital sexual activity.

Unfortunately choosing a bad man and then tricking him with sex doesn’t work to keep that man as her appearance fades. This is particularly bad for women whose self-esteem is tied to appearance. And I think that is a major reason why women are so interested in no-fault divorce and massive government social programs – to relieve them of the burden of having to choose the right man and having to work to win him and having to work to keep him.

Real men find big government very discouraging, which is why men are not interested in marriage any more. The prospect of facing activist family courts run by feminists is too much for thoughtful men to contemplate. Men can’t support a family on a salary that is highly taxed to pay for things like VAWA or welfare programs, or single-payer health care. Men also don’t want to lose access to their kids based on fake charges of domestic violence.

I know that these rules and procedures are going to strike a lot of you as odd, and some of you are going to stop reading my blog because I am just too weird. Well, I think you should just snicker at me and keep reading. After all, someone has to be different. The only people really in a position to judge whether this is working are my female Christian friends, and God. I myself am very happy with these rules because they help me to put God first.

Building Christian women up

One last thing. The man’s role in the relationship is to love his wife all the time, and to do it intelligently. It’s therefore imperative for him to read about how women understand love. I recommend the book “The Five Love Languages” for learning about how to love women well. Also, it’s a great idea to read all about how women think and feel about what they do in a marriage, so that you can support them after first understanding them. A good book to read on that is “What Wives Wish Their Husbands Knew About Women: and similar books. It’s a good idea to think about how to become better at leading by persuasion – by convincing women to grow upward. For example, I convinced one girl I was courting to go back to school and do a degree in economics. Another one went back to school get her law degree. And this not to even mention the basic stuff that women I court do – like organizing public debates, apologetics conferences, teaching apologetics in the church, finding summer jobs, getting top grades in school, giving public speeches, and so on. Courting is the time where you intentionally lead women to become stronger.

In the 2012 the Presidential election, I supported Michele Bachmann as my first choice for the office of President. Her husband Marcus is very traditional about courtship and marriage, just like me. He actually asked her to go back to school at one point to specialize in tax law, in order to help the family business and be better at pushing the children upward through school. That was a smart decision, to grow his wife up like that so that she could be better. So whatever you do in the courtship, your goal should always be to push women up, up, up. And that applies whether she is for you or for someone else or for no one else. Make her better than she used to be so that she can serve God better – to be a better wife and mother, and to have more of an influence in the world for Christ and his Kingdom. Never, ever bring her down or minimize the impact she can have for good. She is a partner in serving God, after all.

Related posts

Neil has a related post on complementarian marriage (which is my view).

What Christian men want from Christian women… in paintings!

The gift of tokens, such as handkerchiefs or pennants, is standard operating procedure in chivalry. Chivalry and chastity are two important factors in my life. Both are complex disciplines to learn. Reading literature is the best way to learn, or by watching your parents get along, if you have a good father and mother (I did not!). But another way to learn is by studying the great works of art.

Below are just a few of my favorite paintings. (I like the Pre-Raphaelite era especially)

Click the small images for MUCH larger images!

RECOGNITION:

Godspeed - Edmund Blair Leighton - 1900
Godspeed – Edmund Blair Leighton – 1900

Men should be judged by godly women based on whether they are doing what God wants them to do. Those men who are willing to put God first in their planning should be recognized as special. Standard procedure is to give committed Christian men a token with the lady’s colors that he can carry into battle.

APPROVAL:

The Accolade - Edmund Blair Leighton - 1901
The Accolade – Edmund Blair Leighton – 1901

Men need to be encouraged to fulfill their obligations to God by receiving the approval of godly women. Men who accomplish great things for God should receive rewards from women. Notice that the painting is portraying a public accolade.

ATTENTION:

Alain Chartier - Edmund Blair Leighton - 1903
Alain Chartier – Edmund Blair Leighton – 1903

Along with her relationship with God, godly women should make time for relating to godly men, especially to her husband if she is married. This is even more important than parenting! I am a big believer in eye contact and long written essays.

UNDERSTANDING/RESPECT:

Call to Arms - Edmund Blair Leighton - 1888
Call to Arms – Edmund Blair Leighton – 1888
Duty - Edmund Blair Leighton - 1883
Duty – Edmund Blair Leighton – 1883

Women need to understand that a man’s duty to her comes second to a man’s duty to God. Part of loving a man is letting him do the activities that he needs to do in order to flourish as a man.

DEFERENCE/GRATITUDE:

St. George Fighting the Dragon - Raphael Sanzio - 1505
St. George Fighting the Dragon – Raphael Sanzio – 1505

A woman should be able to drive a stick shift, fire a Springfield Arms XD accurately, do the family tax return, throw a football 20 yards, and barbecue steaks. However, when men are around, she should allow men to do things for her, even if she can do them better herself. Men should always be asked to do dangerous tasks (shoveling snow, killing spiders, etc.), and they should never be criticized about their performance in front of other people, only in private.

Next time

Next time we can look at other paintings from Frank Dicksee, Arthur Hughes and George F. Watts to express other ideas like vulnerability, susceptibility, nurturing children and animals, modesty, chastity, and trust. It’s important that Christian men and Christian women know how to get along with one another. It’s important that non-Christians see real differences in the way Christians treat the opposite sex.

If you like these paintings, leave a comment and I’ll write more posts about chivalry and romance. Just because I have no experience with women doesn’t mean that I haven’t read the classics. If you want to read something really good on chivalry, check out C.S. Lewis’ essay “The Necessity of Chivalry” or Edmund Rostand’s “Cyrano de Bergerac” or Edmund Spenser’s “The Faerie Queene”.

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