Tag Archives: Wedding

New study explains the best way for young people to avoid sexual risks

Story from Life Site News.

Excerpt:

A new study from Marquette University has found that religious attitudes toward sexuality, parent-based sexual education and intact two-parent households have a positive influence upon youth in their sexual practices and the onset of first sexual intercourse.

Researchers took a nationally representative sample of 3,168 men and women ages 15-21 years old from a 2002 National Survey of Family Growth and obtained the data from 60-90 minute interviews with participants from the 2002 survey.

The study’s findings confirmed previous research literature, which suggests “religiosity” – defined by the authors as a set of institutionalized beliefs, doctrines and rituals, and ethical standards for how to live a good life – is “a protective factor that appears to contribute to decreased sexual risk behaviors.”

According to the study, those who viewed religion as “very important” reported an average of 1.9 lifetime sexual partners and on average began sexual activity at 17.4 years. In contrast, those who viewed religion as somewhat important or “not important at all,” began their first sexual activity at 16.9 years and had an average of 2.9 lifetime sexual partners.

However, researchers found that high religious attitudes toward sexuality (RAS) “appeared to be the most protective religiosity variable in terms of decreasing sexual risk.”

Good parenting from both parents in an intact family and a teleological outlook on life works well during the teen years, because teens sometimes don’t respond to arguments and evidence. They tend to think that bad things won’t happen to them, no matter how much evidence you show them. I would still show them the evidence, though.

But these numbers from the study do surprise me, because it seems as though not very many young people are abstaining from sex before they are married. I am in my thirties and radically, radically chaste. So it is definitely possible to abstain from sex and hold out for a more solid commitment and radical intimacy.

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MUST-READ: Has the decline of chastity and courtship hurt young people?

Here’s an article by Michael Gerson in the Washington Post. (H/T The American Thinker via ECM)

Excerpt:

The casual sex promoted in advertising and entertainment often leads, in the real world of fragile hearts and STDs, to emotional and physical wreckage.

[…]…having a series of low-commitment relationships does not bode well for later marital commitment. Some of this expresses preexisting traits — people who already have a “nontraditional” view of commitment are less likely to be committed in marriage. But there is also evidence, according to Wilcox, that multiple failed relationships can “poison one’s view of the opposite sex.” Serial cohabitation trains people for divorce.

I actually think that a series of sexual experiences outside of marriage poison’s one’s view of the opposite sex and trains people for divorce. I’ve put a lot of thought into the things that should be done during friendships and courtships in order to train the couple for marriage, and pre-marital sex is not one of those things!

There are a lot of people out there today who think that they can get the end goal of a fairy tale wedding, a long, stable marriage, and well-behaved children, by making moral decisions significantly different than their grandparents made. The blessings that our grandparents enjoyed were causally connected to many moral realities that young people seem to have rejected as old-fashioned and outmoded.

I think one of the major reasons why I value chastity so much is because I have come to realize that sex outside of a commitment really affects people, especially women. There is a real difference in the way that I am treated by women who are chaste – they are a lot more vulnerable and susceptible. They are also a lot more open, interested and engaged in our platonic friendships as well.

I think there is an awful lot of sex going on out there, but not a lot of chivalry and romance. I think one of the problems we need to face is that we need to be more cautious about tearing down the morality that was been in place for centuries in the Christian West. Before destroying the foundations, we should first ask ourselves what the consequences will be on other people’s incentives.

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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.

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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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Can same-sex marriage and religious liberty co-exist?

UPDATE: Welcome readers from 4Simpsons! Thanks for the link Neil!

Maggie Gallagher has written an article in the National Review asking whether same-sex marriage will crowd out fundamental liberties, such as the religious liberty.

First, we need to understand that the public expression of religious convictions is a buffer against fascism, just like free market capitalism and the family unit.

Maggie writes:

Take “religious liberty.” Religious liberty is a deeply American solution to a perennial problem. It means that every individual has a right to pursue ultimate meaning without coercion from the government. Totalitarian governments repress religion because they recognize faith communities as competitors with the state’s power to define — or redefine — human rights.

But a funny thing happened on the way to defeating Communism. Religion has emerged as the sole institution standing in the way of a powerful neo-statist liberalism, in which equality doctrines are used not as a shield but as a sword — to legitimate state intrusion into once-private realms.

In practice, religious voters are the core of resistance to social liberalism, and they empower economic conservatism by providing a much broader base of voters for a center-right coalition government.

How will the left get rid of rights like the right to free speech, and the right of religious liberty, which stand in the way of their socialist road to fascism? Well, they might be able to use same-sex marriage.

Maggie goes on to wonder what the left will do in the USA, given what the left is doing in the UK:

Consider what is happening right now in Great Britain, our closest sister democracy and the one with the strongest free-speech tradition. How does the British government treat religious liberty when it clashes with “gay equality”?

Can the British government force a Catholic school to retain a principal who enters a civil union? Yes, it already has. How can that be, given British religious liberty? Well, the government says that if a religion teacher at a Catholic school enters a gay union publicly, he or she could be fired. But nobody else.

Can the government fine an Anglican bishop who refuses to hire an actively and proudly gay youth minister? Yes, it already has. (How is this justified by the above principle? I don’t know. I just know the government can do it, because it has.)

Consider this story from the UK Telegraph.

Religious groups are to be forced to accept homosexual youth workers, secretaries and other staff, even if their faith holds same-sex relationships to be sinful.

…Maria Eagle, the deputy equalities minister, has now indicated that it will cover almost all church employees.”Members of faith groups have a role in making the argument in their own communities for greater LGBT acceptance, but in the meantime the state has a duty to protect people from unfair treatment.”

But limitations on our rights because of same-sex marriage are already here, because of secularism. The denial of fundamental human rights, (which are illusory if God does not exist), is quite widespread in Canada and the United States. Atheists want to be happy, and they will sweep aside your Constitutional rights in order to get that happiness.

Consider the case of Julie Ward.

Ms. Ward was enrolled in a graduate program at the school and as part of her education was required to enroll in a counseling practicum. In that practicum, she was assigned a case involving a homosexual who needed help. Ms. Ward did not feel that she could affirm the student’s homosexual lifestyle because of her Christian beliefs, so she asked her supervisor what she should do. His advice was to refer the student to a counselor who had no qualms with affirming homosexual behavior. That is what she did, and it was all done before she saw the student. There was no counseling that took place between the two, there was no confrontation between the two, and there was no condemnation of homosexuality — just an honest confession of her deeply held religious belief.

Julea was summoned to appear before a disciplinary hearing and told that if she wanted to continue on with her graduate program, she would have to submit to a “remediation” program so that she could see “the error of her ways.” She refused to be forced into a re-education program designed to convert her from biblical faith, and as a result, she was kicked out of school. There’s your tolerance.

And consider homosexual indoctrination for 5-year olds. (H/T Stop the ACLU)

A California school district seems intent on teaching pre-school children to accept the homosexual lifestyle.

The Alameda Unified School District announced it was considering a supplemental curriculum to eradicate “homophobia” in kindergarten children. Brad Dacus, founder of the Pacific Justice Institute (PJI), said the meeting room for the public session earlier this week was overcrowded with angry parents.

“Nowhere at anytime did it give any protection for children being bullied because of their faith, their religion, their size, their race, ethnicity,” he points out. “It is only going to give this special anti-bullying protection for homosexuals and transsexuals.”

…Parents cannot opt out their children from the curriculum.

No wonder men don’t want to marry and have kids, and have the whole thing regulated by the government. If you can’t even pass on your worldview to your kids, or express your beliefs in public, because of all the left-wing cry-babies who are so intolerant that they can’t bear to hear other points of view, then why bother marrying and having children? If single women really wanted husbands and children, they wouldn’t vote Democrat (= anti-family).

Same-sex marriage activists believe in compelling celebration, respect and approval from Christians against their will and in violation of their human rights. If SSM ever became law, our entire society would be re-made so that no public expression of preference for traditional marriage would go unpunished.

Further study

Muddling Towards Maturity linked to two commentaries (one, two) by Chuck Colson listing the many examples of discrimination, including: the coercion of Christian business eHarmony to open up a business to homosexuals, suing people for refusing to facilitate weddings, suing doctors for refusing to provide therapy or in vitro fertalization, forcing adoption agencies to place children with same-sex couples, etc.

I documented the persecution of defenders of traditional marriage here.