You cannot grow a beard in a moment of passion. ―G.K. Chesterton, Tremendous Trifles
New content this week:
- We have a new podcast up, “Media and Manhood,” with Michael and Marcus Pittman: https://www.buzzsprout.com/266333/8010964
- Bnonn and Michael were on the Dominion Dating podcast with Brandon Durham, talking about masculine mission: https://anchor.fm/dominion-dating/episodes/Interview-Developing-A-True-Mission-w-Bnonn-Tennant–Michael-Foster-eqvcm0
5 reasons to oppose female heads of state: #
Teleological. Women exercising headship violates the creation design, for Adam was formed first, and then Eve (cf. 1 Timothy 2:13). Thus the prohibitions on women exercising headship in families and congregations are not arbitrary restrictions over specific domains, but merely two instances of a broader teleological principle.
A fortiori. Nations are comprised of collections of households. If a woman is not to exercise headship over one household (1 Peter 3:5–6), how much less should she exercise headship over many households.
Exegetical. Scripture describes the rulership of women over a nation as a curse, akin to being defeated by children (Isaiah 3:12, 4). A curse is a fitting inversion of God’s intended order, as a judgment on rebellion against it (cf. Romans 1:18ff).
Inductive. Women are not to exercise headship in the assembly (1 Timothy 2:12). The assembly is a kingdom and a nation (e.g. 1 Peter 2:9). Therefore, women are not to exercise headship in kingdoms or nations generally.
Missional. Israel, and now the church, are God’s models for a rightly ordered society (Deuteronomy 4:6–8; Psalm 19:7; Matthew 5–7 etc), which is why we are commanded to teach all the nations to conform to this model (Matthew 28:18–20). Thus, we must preach all the nations to reject female heads of state.
5 ways to stop being weak: #
The curse affects us all, and it especially attacks that which most defines us: our strength. There are lots of things you can start doing to get stronger. But you have to start doing them. Sometimes it’s a lot easier to just stop doing things. Here are five things many men do, which if you simply don’t, will increase your gravitas and set you apart from them. So here are five key things that most men do that make them weak—things you can just stop doing today to become more masculine:
1. Stop seeking praise
This is the base motivation of virtue-posturing social justice warriors and thirsty white knights. They perform their good works to be noticed. Why? In John 12, Jesus says…
…they loved the approval of men rather than the approval of God.
Seeking the praise of men, and especially of women, demonstrates weakness in men: you are compliant to the perceptions of others, rather than commanding your own world, and having it in turn commanded by God. The Lord knows the quality of your work. He sees all. Live for his praise (Colossians 3:22). The confident man knows where he has failed and has spoken with God about it.
You should not be ashamed of enjoying praise—men naturally respond to being honored, and naturally create honor structures. But seeking praise turns it into an idol. Be known by the quality of your work, and fix your desire for praise on God alone. Look forward to hearing from him, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”
2. Stop being self-deprecating
Again, this demonstrates weakness. Many men assume that it’s somehow endearing to put themselves down; in fact, it shows that you lack confidence. Emphasizing and even apologizing in advance for your own failures or weaknesses rarely gains you anything; it merely draws attention to what might otherwise have gone unnoticed.
That being said, you should be able to laugh at yourself. A self-serious man is usually twice as frail as the self-deprecater (though few realize this).
3. Stop complaining
Men solve problems. They don’t whine about a situation; they create a solution with the resources available (including prayer). Complaining achieves nothing but to share your misery with everyone else. It demonstrates weakness of resolve, and typically reflects a victim mentality completely unbecoming of a man who was created to exercise dominion.
It is also indicative of faithlessness: a man who complains implicitly sees himself over God, rather than under him—demanding that his Father rule better, rather than trustingly submitting to his will.
4. Stop making excuses
If you fail, own it. Own it completely. Men are leaders, and leaders aren’t excuse-makers. Owning your failure demonstrates strength, because it shows that you will not sublimate your command over your world to anything—even when things don’t go the way you wanted. Excusing failure is a demonstration of weakness; a willingness to become compliant to circumstance. It is just another way to seek praise.
5. Stop breaking promises
Those who are quick to promise are generally slow to perform. —C.H. Spurgeon
You break fewer promises if you are slower to make them. If you do say you’ll do something, then do it. And do it no matter how hard it is. If you have a command of your world, then you know what you can and cannot do. So don’t promise things you can’t realistically do. Untrustworthiness might as well be a synonym for weakness. If you’re not sure you can do it, or should do it, don’t promise to do it. If you keep finding yourself breaking promises, then you don’t have the command of your world that you thought, and you need to step back and re-calibrate. Always under-promise and over-deliver. As a rule of thumb, assume that everything you’re intending to promise will take three times longer and cost three times more than you expect.
Courage is no longer a virtue in our society. Rather, virtue is signaled through playing the victim.
Here’s a good summary from Arnold Kling’s article, ‘Academic corruption 2: Emasculated culture’:
One of her ideas is that men have a social strategy that works well in war: organize unrelated males, fight other groups overtly according to rules, then reconcile after battle. Women have a social strategy that works well for protecting their individual health and the health of their children: emphasize safety, covertly undermine the status of unrelated females, and exclude rivals rather than reconcile with them.
This leads me to speculate on the consequences of adding a lot of women to formerly male domains. Over the past several decades, a number of important institutions that were formerly almost exclusively male now include many women: academia, journalism, politics, and management positions in organizations. These institutions increasingly are discarding the values that sustained them when the female presence was less.
- The older culture saw differential rewards as just when based on performance. The newer culture sees differential rewards as unjust.
- The older culture sought people who demonstrate the most competence. The newer culture seeks to nurture those who are at a disadvantage.
- The older culture admires those who seek to stand out. The newer culture disdains such people.
- The older culture uses proportional punishment that is predictable based on known rules. The newer culture suddenly turns against a target and permanently banishes the alleged violator, based on the latest moral fashions.
- The older culture valued open debate. The newer culture seeks to curtail speech it regards as dangerous.
- The older culture saw liberty as essential to a good society. The newer culture sees conformity as essential to a good society.
- The older culture was oriented toward achievement. The newer culture is oriented toward safety.
That’s all for this week; most of our energy is going into finishing It’s Good To Be A Man, the book. We expect to have the full draft handed in by the time you see the next email.
Bnonn & Michael