Tag Archives: Respect

Three reasons why Christians should read military history

A while back, I finished a book called “Beyond The Call: The True Story of One World War II Pilot’s Covert Mission to Rescue POWs on the Eastern Front”. It’s about a World War 2 heavy bomber pilot who completes 35 missions, and then goes into the Soviet Union (our allies, at the time) to rescue American POWs who were starving or being kidnapped or murdered by the Soviet secret police.

I found a very good article about it from Stripes, to just quickly introduce the story:

Later, after making contact with POWs roaming the Polish countryside, [Capt. Robert Trimble] fully embraced his mission. He saw the desperate plight of those who had been liberated from Third Reich prison camps. Many were sick, emaciated, often clothed in rags and left to fend for themselves during a brutally harsh winter.

Trimble risked his life numerous times over six weeks, helping to rescue hundreds of POWs. He came to the aid of others, too. In one daring rescue, nearly foiled by Russian agents who had become suspicious of his activities, Trimble helped 400 French women make it out of Poland and back to France.

Although he was being constantly trailed by Russian spies and informers, he would evade them, and bring food and money to the POWs, then put them on a train to Odessa, Ukraine, where they could get onto a ship going home.

Roger Trimble, standing second from the left, in front of his B-24 Liberator
Roger Trimble, standing second from the left, in front of his B-24 Liberator

Why I read military history

It is hard to develop virtues just by wishing and hoping. Something has to go into your mind that causes you to think differently, and feel differently. Everything that you watch on TV, hear on the radio, or see in the movie theater, is made by secular leftists. They aren’t trying to build your moral character. They’re goal is to break down your resistance to their unBiblical worldview and moral values. Instead of giving people who hate Jesus your money, just so you can be entertained, why not try to put something in front of your eyes that will make you better?

Look at this famous passage from the Bible.

Romans 12:1-2:

1Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. 

2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.

And also this from Philippians, my favorite book of the Bible.

Philippians 4:8:

8 Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.

So you can see that when I am reading, my goal is to work on my character. I want to have feelings about things that are appropriate for a Christian man.

So why military history? Here are three reasons why I read these military history books.

Humility

First, humility. Humility used to be one of my biggest challenges. So I thought to myself “instead of seeing yourself as some heroic figure, why don’t you read about some real heroes… people who willingly gave their lives for their friends, like the Bible urges, and like Jesus did by example”.

Remember this from John 15:13?

13 Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends.

Military history is filled with stories of courage, bravery, self-sacrifice, endurance, unselfishness, and many other virtues. When you read about people who are better than you, doing more important things than what you’re doing, it really helps you to be humble.

The best thing for humility is reading Medal of Honor citations. You can find a bunch of them online here. And if you want a book to read, try these books about Medal of Honor recipients:

Endurance

Second, endurance. I sometimes feel badly about not having found someone to marry and not having lots of children. I wanted a good marriage to be a model for others, and also to have an influence in the next generation through my children. However, whenever I read military history, I see a lot of young men dying in battle. And I think, they too won’t know what sex is like. And, they too won’t know what marriage is like. And, they too won’t know what having children is like. But it’s not just the ones who die, it’s the hardships they have to go through, as well. Cold, hunger, imprisonment, pain, loss of their friends, etc.

I remember reading about one of my favorite battles – probably the most famous battle of the Korean War, which is our most moral war. It’s about Fox Company of the 2nd Battalion, 7th Regiment, 1st Marine Division. They had to hold a hill beside a vital road against overwhelming numbers of Chinese soldiers during the freezing cold North Korean winter. I remember reading about how one soldier got up to go to the bathroom, and was nearly shot by a sniper. He fell over on his own poop, which had already frozen by the time it hit the ground. For months after, I would always think about this whenever I went into a bathroom. We have pre-warmed water in our bathrooms at work, along with soap, lysol spray, febreeze, contact lense cleaner, hand sanitizer, and other things. Just understanding what other people have to go through in war helps me to be more patient with the little tiny setbacks that I experience. I used to get very anxious when anything went wrong, because of I was raised by strict immigrant parents. That anxiety seemed to last a long time, but since I started to read military history, I’ve been much more patient. I know that things could be worse.

Thankfulness

The third thing that I’ve experienced is thankfulness. Not just for all the things that I have because of what our armed forces have done, e.g. – basic human rights, prosperity, liberty, security, etc. But also specifically about those who gave their lives so that I could live free in a free country, and practice my Christian faith without fear.

Here are two of my favorite Medal of Honor stories from World War 2, in the Battle of Pearl Harbor:

Congressional Medal of Honor
Awarded Posthumously
PETER TOMICH

Rank and organization: Chief Watertender, U.S. Navy.
Place and date: Pearl Harbor, 7 December 1941.
Born: 3 June 1893, Prolog, Austria.

Although realizing that the ship was capsizing as a result of enemy bombing and torpedoing, Tomich remained at his post in the engineering plant of the U.S.S. Utah, until he saw that all boilers were secured and all fireroom personnel had left their stations, and by so doing lost his own life.

And:

Congressional Medal of Honor
Awarded Posthumously
JAMES RICHARD WARD

Rank and organization: Seaman First Class, U.S. Navy.
Place and date: Pearl Harbor, 7 December 1941.
Born: 10 September 1921, Springfield, Ohio.

When it was seen that the U.S.S. Oklahoma was going to capsize and the order was given to abandon ship, Ward remained in a turret holding a flashlight so the remainder of the turret crew could see to escape, thereby sacrificing his own life.

I do think that it’s important for Christians to read these kinds of stories in order to feed their own awareness of what it must have been like for Jesus to give his life voluntarily for us.

There is no shortcut to gratitude. You have to constantly reflect on the sacrifices made by others for you, if you are to have any concrete reason for feeling grateful. The more you read about examples of people giving their lives for others, the more you’ll appreciate what Jesus did for you. It will make you grateful.

There is a very annoying idea out there in the culture that says that people just do whatever is easy and fun for themselves, and since everyone else is always doing what makes them feel good, then there is no need to be thankful for anything. It’s comforting for people to delude themselves with that belief, but it’s false.

My reading list

You can check out the “What I am Reading” section of the blog to see which military history books I’ve been reading.

How to be an alpha male and signal manliness without being a promiscuous predator

These days, there seems to be a perception that in order to be an alpha male, you have to become a pick-up artist and sleep with a whole bunch of fatherless women, then ghost them (don’t talk to them any more). But as a Christian man, that’s all off-limits to me. In this post, I’m going to lay out three ways for a Christian man to be an alpha male without being a promiscuous predator.

1. Never let a woman override your vision to serve Christ

As a man, your life goal is to self-sacrificially invest your time, money and effort into some enterprise that benefits Christ. Your life goal is NOT to serve women (See 1 Cor 7, and 2 Tim 2:4) For example, in my case, I’ve invested time in learning apologetics, having a blog as a platform, and giving charity to invest in organizations to do apologetics events. Alpha males don’t give up their mission in order to get the girl. If a girl comes along who thinks that she would like to help me serve God according to MY plan, then she is welcome to do that. And I will evaluate her and decide whether I think getting her help is worth the loss of autonomy (2 Tim 2:4).

It is tempting for a man to let a woman re-focus his time, money and effort on giving her what she wants. If she is his wife, then some of that will be legitimate, just as some government spending is legitimate because it is Constitutional. A man should love his wife, protect her and provide for her. But he should not be distracted for other frivolous priorities that have nothing to do with a Christian marriage plan.

Christian women often absorb secular left priorities from the culture, and they expect Christian men to give them what the culture says they ought to want or need, e.g. – putting the kids in daycare and public schools so she can have a career like her non-Christian friends. Alpha males put their own vision above what the secular left culture says they should be doing.

2. Never let a woman disrespect your leadership / mentoring role

It’s important for you to have areas of your life where you actually know what you are talking about, and have demonstrated success at mentoring others. In my case, those areas are education, career and finances. I have invested time in learning what to study. And I achieved a BS and MS in computer science. I have invested time in learning how to interview, what skills to train, and what jobs to take, and how to keep a job. And I achieved a 22-year+ gap-less resume with good companies, using good skills. I have chosen not to borrow money at interest (ever), not to spend money on travel / fun / thrills, and to invest early and often. And I have achieved a six-figure income and a 7-figure net worth (1.3 million). A man needs to have areas like that where he studies and achieves, so that he knows how to advise others, and has a record of successful mentoring.

I sometimes mentor women. Some of them listen to me and some do not. I’ve gotten women to drop their non-STEM majors to study engineering or computer science. I’ve gotten women to stop wasting money on fun and thrills, in order to pay off their debts and start investing and giving to charity. I’ve gotten women to dump hot bad boys who would not commit, and choose commitment-minded men. I’ve gotten women to quit bad jobs in order to take better jobs. In the areas where I have demonstrated competence, I expect women to respect my leadership, even if it makes them feel bad in the short term. Men signal alpha male status when they obtain good results in their mentoring activities.

Also, I’m just going to throw this out there: “spiritual leadership” does not mean telling a woman that God really is speaking to her through her feelings, when she wants to make impulsive, impractical decisions that are likely to result in failure. And a man’s role as leader is not “servant leadership”. The value that I have to a woman is not primarily serving her – making her comfortable, happy and loved. The value that I have is my decision-making ability in areas related to serving God. I know what to do to achieve results in certain areas, and that’s not my opinion. So, if a woman comes along and tries to grab the controls and force me to make her feel good, it’s not good for my Boss and I will avoid her. My job for my Boss is to get the best I can out of her, for the benefit of my Boss. I am not supposed to use authority to make her serve me. But if I can get her focused on important things, built her up, support her, encourage her (including kindness and care and love), then I can do that.

3. Never let a woman stop you from expressing your moral convictions

In the 2012 election, most single / unmarried  / divorced women voted pro-abortion and pro-gay-marriage.

Excerpt:

NBC News national exit polling shows that 67 percent of unmarried women said they voted for Obama. That’s in line with the 2008 election, when 70 percent of single women helped usher the president into office. This proves it wasn’t a single-election phenomenon: unmarried women have solidified into a powerful voting force, experts say.

[…]By the way — this isn’t just young women, Maatz pointed out. Many of the single women voters were over 50 — divorced, widowed or never married.

These women voted for a candidate who voted multiple times for infanticide as a state senator in Illinois. Why is this? Well, young unmarried women are more influenced by feelings like compassion. They tend to see themselves as “exempt” from moral standards, because they are constantly told that they are “special”. They tend to see the predictable consequences of poor choices as “unexpected”, causing them to think that people aren’t responsible for their own poor choices. If you look at the books that Christian women read, you’ll see a lot of them are about the idea that God or “The Universe” is all laid out for their benefit – including giving them a “soul mate” who will make them happy, but never challenge them. As a result, they tend to get into a lot of trouble (e.g. – student loan debt, unwanted pregnancy, infertility, etc.) and then they look to government to give them a bailout, and prevent anyone from “judging” them.

A man can signal his alpha male status to women by being bold and persuasive on moral issues (and issues of policy that touch on moral issues). This may not work on all women, but it will work on the ones he should be interested in for wife and mother roles. Men should never just express their feelings about moral issues, or just tell about their experiences. Men ought to go further, and make logical arguments supported by scientific evidence. Instead of sharing “their opinion” (subjective), they ought to press those who disagree to change their minds. It is the studying of arguments and evidence that allows the Christian man to signal alpha male status when these moral issues are debated. Christian men should never spend time, money or effort on women who make them feel bad about having true beliefs or moral convictions.

Conclusion

My friend Dina likes to say that the essence of manliness is when a man refuses to let a woman redirect him away from his vision and his moral convictions by using sex, sexual attraction, the promise of sex, or by withholding sex (from her husband). I think men can learn something from her definition. Women are useful as helpers, but we shouldn’t automatically assume that they are wise and virtuous, and give them the authority to rule over us in areas where we ought to lead.

Dina also says never to trust women’s words, when deciding whether they will respect your leadership in your vision and moral convictions. Before you marry a woman, you must observe her taking the initiative to perform independent actions that help you with your vision – actions that go against her own feelings and desires. The most important part about being an alpha male is not losing your alpha male status by marrying someone who won’t respect it.

What’s the best book a woman can read to prepare herself for marriage?

Does government provide incentives for people to get married?
A good marriage is more than fun and feelings – it takes planning and work

I found a great lecture by Sue Bohlin, who works at Probe Ministries. The lecture is about the book “The Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands” by Dr. Laura Schlessinger. I recommend this book more highly than any other book to Christian women. It really does a lot to give young women a different perspective on men and marriage. Don’t be thrown off by the funny title, it’s really good.

The MP3 file is here. (48 minutes)

Here is a blog post that Sue wrote that captures most of the material in the lecture.

Here’s the introduction:

Talk show host Dr. Laura Schlessinger has written a book that is improving thousands of marriages: The Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands. We need this book because millions of wives either don’t know how to love their husbands wisely and well, or they’re too self-centered to see it as important. Dr. Laura credits this dismal condition to forty years of feminist philosophy, “with its condemnation of just about everything male as evil, stupid, and oppressive, and the denigration of female and male roles in families.” While the women’s movement certainly had a hand to play in the disintegration of relationships and the family, I believe the core cause is our sinful self-centeredness, just as the Bible says.

Which is why we need help, and God instructs older women to train younger women to love their husband and children, 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. The Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands is a great resource for learning these important values and skills.

And here’s the first part I thought was most important:

A listener to Dr. Laura’s radio show named Edgar wrote, “There are a few things that men want so bad they would do anything for it. I think a good number of men want respect more than love. They like to feel they have some power. I nearly cry when you tell a woman caller to respect her husband. There is so much selfishness in the world—in marriages. Prosperity has allowed women to be so independent, and thus so selfish. I always feel as though I come last—my feelings come last, my needs come last.”

“A good number of men want respect more than love.” God knew this when He made us. His commands to husbands and wives in Ephesians 5:33 reflects each one’s deepest needs: “Each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.” Dr. Emerson Eggerichs of LoveandRespect.com points out that this verse commands a husband to love his wife. Why? She needs love like she needs air to breathe. This same verse commands a wife to respect her husband. Why? He needs respect like he needs air to breathe.

  • Respect means treating someone in a way that builds him up and doesn’t tear him down, never denigrating or attacking.
  • Respect means always treating the other person with the dignity they deserve as a person made in the image of God.
  • Respect means grasping that a man’s needs and wants are every bit as valid and important as a woman’s needs and wants.
  • Respect means not venting to others, especially the children. One woman wrote to Dr. Laura, “No emotional outlet is worth damaging my husband’s reputation.”

There are three A’s that men long for from their wives: attention, affection, and affirmation. Respect involves paying attention to what they do simply because they’re the ones doing it.

Yes, respect is very important to men, but the thing is, a woman can’t respect every man equally. She should choose a man who does things that are respectable. Then respecting him will be easy. Sometimes, women overestimate how easy men are to change after marriage. It’s better to just pick one who does all the important things instead of thinking that you can pick a good-looking one and make him do the important stuff like be faithful to you, hold a steady job, save money, argue without getting angry, etc. later. Men don’t change much, so pick one who does things that you respect and then give him respect.

And this part also seemed important to me:

A man named Roy wrote to Dr. Laura with some good advice for wives: “If you can’t accentuate the positive, at least acknowledge it. The world is full of messages to men that there are standards we don’t meet. There is always another man who is more handsome, more virile, or more athletic than we are. None of that matters if the most important person in our life looks up to us, accepts us as we are, and loves us even though we aren’t perfect. . . . All I know is that the husband who has a wife who supports him and praises him for the positive things he does is the envy of all the other men who have to live with criticism, sarcasm, and constant reminders of their failures.”

Men desperately want and need the support of their wives. This is reflected in what God reveals in His Word when He says, “It is not good for man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.” And through the apostle Paul, God instructs wives to relate to their husbands in a way that meets this need when He says, “Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord.”

Submission is basically giving support with a willing, cooperative heart.

A wife’s submission includes knowing her gifts and strengths, and using them to serve her husband and family.

Service has a bad name, but both husbands and wives are called to serve God first and then each other; husbands are called to sacrificially love and serve their wives with Jesus as their pattern.

So what does support look like?

  • Believing in him. Telling him, “You have what it takes.” Being his #1 fan.
  • Cultivating a cooperative heart.
  • Being generous and openhearted—willing to use your gifts and strengths to help him succeed.
  • Understanding the importance of making him look good: never saying anything negative in public.
  • Creating a home that’s a safe haven from the world.
  • Having a warm heart with a positive, cheerful demeanor. Women set the temperature of the home; we are thermostats, not thermometers, of the family. (On the other hand, Proverbs says “A quarrelsome wife is like a constant dripping on a rainy day; restraining her is like restraining the wind or grasping oil with the hand.”)
  • Being interested in him and his life.
  • Showing thoughtfulness. What does he like? Do it.
  • And though by no means exhaustive, it also means being a person of faithfulness and integrity. That means keeping your promises and being dependable. As Proverbs 31 puts it, “Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value.”

Support and encouragement is SO important to a man. A man can continue to function fine if the whole world opposes him, but not if the woman he loves doesn’t support him. When a man falls in love, a woman has to realize the enormous power she has over him, and be careful not to hurt him. Men are vulnerable to the woman they choose. Although they look pretty tough on the outside, they can easily be hurt by insults or discouragement.

Parting thoughts

So, this lecture and the book are good, but young women should also seek out the advice of older Christian women who have been married successfully for some time. Read Titus 2:3-4 – the Bible encourages older women to mentor younger women! This is really important because we are in a time where young women are often pulled by the culture in many wrong directions, and they need help from people who know what they are doing.

One last point – I actually bought the audio version of the Dr. Laura book and noticed that it was just over two hours long. It turns out that the audio version is abridged – it is not as complete as the actual book. I noticed that Sue was quoting from the book passages that I had not heard in the audio recording. So, if you want the full content, get the book, not the audio recording.