Keeping Our Kids Off Porn

Not my method…

Last week,  I discussed the fact that porn is a drug and corrected some common misconceptions about it. This week I intend to give a couple of methods that I see as useful in preventing and fighting porn addiction.

I recommended last time that those who are hooked should stop right now, cold turkey. But while the behavior can be stopped immediately, I think it’s important to examine the root of this addiction and slavery to sexual sin. What makes so many men (and women) vulnerable?

Part of the allure is wiring. Illicit sex is a very enticing sin to many. We are wired with a strong need for intimacy and human touch, and sex is the strongest expression of both. We are often so needy of intimacy that we will settle for even the cheapest of imitations. 

Sex is such a strong desire in our lives, many have over-focused on it and made sexual sin out to be the worst possible sin one can commit. While scripture certainly tells us that sexual sin is especially heinous to the point where one sins against his own body, it is certainly not the unpardonable sin. We need to extend grace to those who have genuinely repented of sexual sins.

It is an understatement to say that we live in a sex-saturated culture. While some of the discussion about sex are healthy and much preferable to the prudishness of previous generations, much if not most of what’s floating around out there is anything but helpful. Most of the sexual discussions out there do not promote healthy sexuality.

What is the root of this porn obsessed culture?

Within the church a large part of it is the “modesty culture.” This sub – culture of Christianity has placed undo sexual meaning to the word “modest” and has created an entire generation of sons who can’t even look around at the mall. 

This group of people have so over obsessed with the sexual attractiveness of the female body that even breastfeeding is shameful and should be kept in bathrooms or in one’s own home. 

Both the church and the secular culture at large have bought into the Freudian lie that sex is the most basic motivator for all human behavior. Our sexuality and sexual appetites define us now. It has become the biggest definer of our self-worth and self-image. 

If everything is sexual, everything becomes Pornographic,  regardless of the content. Even showing affection to your children is sexualized now. 

In the sex-obsessed world we live in it may seem impossible to prevent and kill porn addiction. How do I recommend we do it? 

Short answer: we change our perspective of the human body and sex. Instead of adopting the culture’s pornographic view of the body and sex or the modern church’s prude view of the body and sex, we need to instead adopt a proper and Biblical view. 

The human body:

Much of what attracts young men to porn is the allure of the forbidden. Growing up many if not most Christian boys are constantly told that the allure of the female body is so strong that they have no choice but to lust when exposed to any part of it. 

I believe many young men get into porn as an innocent desire to see what has been hidden. They are told growing up that the sight of a bare breast (thigh, midriff, ankle, etc) will set them into wild fits of lust. They are told to avert their eyes every time a girl walks by in a bikini. This kind of indoctrination creates a curiosity in the young mind. Will the sight of female flesh really make them feel great? What’s under there that is so powerful it must be hidden at all times? 

Naturally these boys will look for what is most accessible. Unfortunately,  most of what is readily available is highky sexual in nature. The media reinforces the teaching that men can only view women as sex objects by portraying them primarily as sex objects. And, just as prohibiting and limiting alcohol consumption until older and older ages leads many into binge drinking and unhealthy alcohol abuse, limiting healthy exposure to the normal human body leads to unhealthy binge consumption of unhealthily sexualized bodies. What started as a curiosity easily turns into an addiction. 

When you are constantly told “don’t look don’t look don’t look”  your mind is being trained to view women’s bodies (and women in general) as stumbling blocks, not as people. 

I knew guys in college who were proud of the fact that they stared at the sand or the sky every time they went to the beach. They avoided even the slightest sight of flesh. That is not something to be proud of. That’s actually a great sign that you need an adjusted mind. One should be able to see a nude woman (or any part of a woman) without flying into fits of sexual rage. 

We should not confuse attraction with lust. Attraction is normal, wild covetousness of women is not. Men who grow up being told that this is how they will react to the sight of women are in a sense conditioned into lust. Well-meaning “bounce your eyes” teachers tell them that even just one lingering glance is lust. If merely looking is lust, why not continue on to do the real thing?

Many of the “bounce your eyes” porn-fighters make avoiding the sight of the female body the cornerstone of their method. I recommend the opposite approach. I recommend seeing it more, specifically in an artistic, non-sexual setting. 

This serves two purposes. First, it removes much of the “forbidden fruit” aspect of the body that increases unhealthy interest in it. Second,  it trains the mind to view the body as on object of symmetry and beauty, not as a purely sexual object. If the non-sexualized nude body was a normalized sight in our culture this “body = sex” association would be much more difficult to plant in the minds of young men (and women). 

If you can train your mind to “not lust” by averting your eyes you are also training your mind to lust when your gaze lingers. A much better approach is to learn a proper perspective of the body not as a pornographic object but as an object made in the image of God and worthy of our respect and admiration. 

I found that when I started painting and drawing the human figure, much of the sexual aspects of the body faded into the background. It’s not that the body is not attractive, it just becomes attractive in a different way. When viewed as art, the body becomes lines, curves, and symmetry. The body becomes an object of great beauty, not an object of sexual appetite.

If you think that the body uncovered is sin in itself just stick around for my next CRAS post. 

Sex:

My last posts got called out for being “repressive” and “puritanical”. I hope I did not come across as prude to my mainly Christian audience. My intent is not to make sex taboo or make people think it is dirty and couples can’t have fun with it. Quite the contrary, I encourage married couples to experiment and try new things to keep their sex lives spicy. 

Key word there is “married”. That is the box I place sex into. I don’t think it is repressive or “puritanical” (not in the sense most use it anyway) to claim that truly healthy sex is found only within the bounds of committed heterosexual monogamy. Marriage is God’s gift to us and allows us the ability to channel our sexual appetites into a productive and beautiful place, rather than into degrading and harmful places. 

In my opinion,  one of the best ways to take the steam out of the pornographic culture we live in is to teach a healthy ethic of sex. This needs to be done early and often in our children’s lives. Start with basic biology well before puberty begins and slowly introduce them to the fact that sex feels good and has many positive and wonderful effects within a committed and monogamous relationship. 

We need to teach our kids, boys and girls, that attraction is a normal thing. As they grow, they are going to find themselves feeling inclined to look and linger at the bodies of others. We need to teach them that this is normal and healthy and that they shouldn’t be ashamed of it. They should not obsess over or feed these thoughts too much either as they can lead to lust.We shouldn’t be teaching them that this attraction is lust or that every time they notice another person they will lust. They can have these thoughts and feelings and not be mastered by them. 

We then need to teach them that marriage is the channel God intended us to put our sexual thoughts and desires into. Teach them that passionate marriages are a good and blessed thing, and that there is nothing shameful at all about sex within that boundary.

To fight porn’s temptation our children need to understand that sex is not a tool for self-gratification. Sex is a building block of intimacy with another person. It is one way we share ourselves with the one person we will (should) spend the bulk of our lives with. It is a powerful part of building intimacy and as such should be reserved for one person alone. 

There are many more things I could say, but I hope you get the idea. Perhaps one day I’ll get deeper into these discussions as I’m sure some of you will find tons of holes in this that I simply don’t have the ability to fill in so few words. 

But for now, I’ll leave it at this: if you want to keep your self or your kids off porn, work on changing your and/or your children’s understanding of the body and of sex.

Pornographic Misconceptions

Before I talk about ways to fight a porn obsessed culture, I’d like to be frank about a couple misconceptions men and women have about the subject.

Marriage and Porn Addiction

Women, before you get serious about a man, you need to have a frank and honest discussion about this topic. He needs to know you’re serious about this topic, and you need to know whether you can trust him. It’s that simple. 

Don’t necessarily come out and directly ask “So, do you watch porn?” on your first date. Look for ways to bring it up. Maybe discuss human trafficking or your opinion on transgender bathrooms, there are no shortage of current topics floating around the internet that have a direct or indirect relation to the topic of sex.

Many of you are probably creative enough to breech the subject well enough to gauge his opinion of porn without directly asking if he’s addicted.

When you do get serious make it a point that there is no marriage until he commits to quitting this habit if you find out he has one. Don’t give a timetable. If he asks how long he has to go without ask him how frequently he would like you to text out sexual pictures of yourself to “friends”, it’s just about the equivalent. 

Man, don’t think that just because you get married your problems are going to go away. If anything marriage just magnifies your porn addiction. Just because you’re having sex does not mean your appetite for the drug of porn is going to go away. In fact it may even increase.

Men, don’t think that you can just quit for a couple of months and be rid of the urge. Eventually it is going to come back. You’ll have withdrawal. You will still have the desire and the urges for quite some time. They may not be as strong as they were in the midst of the addiction period but they will still be there. I recommend that you be very honest with your wife-to-be or your wife about your problem. Let her know that you really want to kill it and it is not more important to you than she is. Ask for her help and accountability while fighting your urges. 

What is Porn? 

Some define porn as anything depicting anyone (attractive) in a state of undress. This is a rather awful definition. Porn is porn in the eye of the beholder. Pretty much anything can and has been used as porn. 

Inversely, many things that are commonly seen as porn may not be to all all who perceive it. So don’t automatically assume all men are lusting at Victoria’s Secret posters in the mall. 

Don’t assume every artistic nude is an automatic turn-on. But also, don’t be naive and assume that just because a woman (or man) is covered up that she (or he)  can’t be the object of lustful thoughts.  
Who watches this smut? 

People from all walks of life ingest pornography. It’s not just a teenage male problem. It’s not just a male problem. In fact, there is a fair amount of push in our culture to encourage women to watch it so they can somehow be equal to men. Women can now share their addiction with their husbands, because that’s healthy.  

Pastors watch it. Your children’s teachers watch it. Young kids are watching it. Even older people are watching it. If there was ever a “everybody’s doing it” excuse, it certainly belongs to porn. 

What makes it bad? 

I won’t go through the litany again, but I will tell you the worst part of porn addiction is the numbness it produces in normal sexual interactions. In order to maintain healthy sex, porn addicts often have to resort to sex toys or fantasy. They no longer simply enjoy sex, they must do something more provocative to get off. 

Perhaps with some of these things out of the way, next week’s posts will make more sense. Check back Wednesday for an unconventional porn fighting idea that you may not have heard of before. 

Not Your Father’s Porno

Pornography.

This one word has many definitions, many connotations, and many reactions.

I will not start by telling you why it is evil.

I will not tell you that it give you a false sense of what sex is like, there is quite a bit of realistic porn out there. This is not your father’s unrealistic porn; this is often real people having real sex.

I will not tell you that it gives you a false impression of what women should look like, though it might, but again, this is not your father’s porn. Often these are real women, no photoshop or plastic surgery involved.

I will not tell you that porn is bad because you are lusting for women that are not your wife. It might be, but I dare say chances are you do not want that woman on your screen, you just want the pleasure that you are seeing portrayed on that screen. You covet the sex, probably not the women.

I will not tell you that porn makes you a violent lover or practice “unnatural acts” as a result of seeing it. Sex has been done in many ways for many millennia, porn is probably just capturing what is already out there.

I will not tell you that it’s degrading to women and the women in it are always victims of rape or sexual slavery. While that may be largely true, it is not completely honest. Some are; many are not.

What I will tell you is this: porn is a drug. It is an addictive dopamine-releasing drug. This drug numbs your ability to enjoy actual sex with actual people. This drug numbs your ability to satisfy your wife and have real intimacy with her. This drug may make you prone to erectile dysfunction and loss of physical sensation. This drug lowers your sperm count.

Porn is a scourge on your life. While you think it is increasing your pleasure in life, it’s secretly in the back of your brain robbing you of your libido and desire for normal relationships. It stunts you sexually and makes you weak in the bedroom.

If you haven’t gotten hooked, don’t. If you have just dipped a toe in the waters, get out. Don’t let this refuse infuse into your mind.

If you are currently hooked on it, stop. Quit. Cold-turkey.

If you are a Christian, you are no longer slaves to sin. It’s this simple: you don’t have to. So much of our culture tells men they will. Culture tells men they have to, if they don’t it’s assumed there is something wrong with them. Maybe this is true for the unregenerate, but Christian, you don’t have to. You have a choice. You can stop.

Culture tries to tell us that “boys will be boys” and that men are nothing but insatiable animals unable to control baser instincts and that the must lust for the flesh of women or there is something wrong with them. This is the great lie of our day. Men are not mere animals. Men have minds and consciences and are able to make moral choices.

There are many options out there for men wanting to quit their addiction, from accountability software to men’s support groups. There is even a group called “NoFap” which has a secular spin.

I won’t recommend the “bounce your eyes” option. I don’t recommend you shame yourself (or your sons for that matter) about noticing attractive women. You will be faced with beautiful women your entire life. Avoiding them is simply not an option.

First, we have to stop confusing attraction with lust. There is something about attraction to women that makes many Christian men freak out.  But attraction is not lust. Arousal itself isn’t even lust. Was Christ aroused by the thought of bread while fasting in the desert? I would venture a “yes” otherwise it could not very well have been called a “temptation”.  Attraction and arousal may play into lust, but they are not themselves lust. Lust involves a coveting or strong desiring to have something that does not rightfully belong to us as our own.

When we lust after a woman, we are objectifying her and desiring to have her for our own pleasure.  Attraction is an entirely different animal. Attraction to someone of the opposite sex is merely a natural reaction to the beauty and desirability of the opposite sex. We are made to find the opposite sex attractive.

Arousal happens. Attraction happens. Lust is a choice.

Mmmm, sexy.

I love luxury cars. I can look at beautiful cars all day. I would love to have an Austen Martin DB9 in my driveway. One could say I am attracted to the lines and symmetry of this particular vehicle. I can imagine myself driving it. But am I coveting it? No. At the end of the day I do not want that car badly enough to steal it or kill for it. It’s just a nice thought. I can admire it from afar and not think, “I must have that!”
We can do the same thing for nice houses, or clothes, or any number of attractive things. Is the attraction to these things covetous? I don’t believe so. I can find these things attractive and even desirable without lusting for them. Lust involves the conscious choice to be overwhelmed with desire to the point that all I can think of is having the object of my lust at all costs.

As I said before, I do not think men lust for the women in porn as much as they lust for the passion and sensation of the sex itself. They may covet the exotic idea of sex with women who are not theirs, but I do not think deep down they actually want the woman. They want that passion so badly that they are willing to endanger their real sex lives in favor of the addiction to a fake one.

We need to teach men to properly channel sexual urges into their spouse or into productive endeavors. We need to also train them to see women as people, more than just their bodies, and not as sexual objects. While they should be taught it’s normal and good to admire the beauty of a woman as a part of God’s creation they should not be taught that those women are objects for their covetous desires.

We ought not focus so much on lust and telling men not to have contact with women lest they stumble. We ought to be teaching what Paul teaches in Timothy:

Treat younger men as brothers, older women as mothers, and younger women as sisters, with absolute purity.

Stay tuned for a porn fighting idea that you may not have heard of before.

 

TBH, Daddy-Daughter Dates Have Nothing To Do With “The Patriarchy” 

By taking daughters out and treating them kindly you are teaching them to expect men to love, honor, and cherish them. You are teaching them to expect respect from men. This is anti-patriarchy. 

This RC Sproul quote was my first thought when I read the blog post in question.

Since today is Valentine’s Day,  and this story came across my feed recently, this seems an apt topic.  

Sunday morning I was greeted first thing with a blog about daddy-daughter dates. The author of this post has decided that treating your daughter with common decency is symptomatic  of “the patriarchy”. She contends that it is “creepy” to take your daughter out and treat her special. Somehow, in her mind, inspiring your daughter to expect respect from men is encouraging “rape culture”. 

First off, I contend that fathers should treat their daughters special just because their daughters are their daughters. This is a little person who loves you and needs your love in return. You’ve been entrusted with her care and with teaching her to be a decent human being in a big ugly world. Treat her special because she is special. 

Secondly, it’s not wrong or “creepy”  to treat your children with common respect. The author’s contention that pulling your child’s chair out for them,  picking out their outfit,  and basically treating them with kindness and love somehow promotes “rape culture” is ridiculous.

Please, stop insisting that a man holding the door for you is “rape”. You’ve destroyed all the meaning of that word and have disrespected every woman who has actually been raped. Rape culture is promoted mostly by teaching little girls that all men are creeps. Set their standards low and they will settle for any sleeze that tells them he loves them. After all, if all men are creeps, why waste time trying to get a good one?  

When a father takes his daughter out and treats her with respect, he’s not teaching her that she is unequal to men. He is teaching her what real love looks like from a man. Real love respects others and treats them not just as equals but, in many respects,  as superiors. Shouldn’t this be desired by modern feminists? Shouldn’t they want this?  

Why do modern feminists insist that equality is a zero-sum game and that we can’t treat people with kindness and also see them as equals? Not only do I open doors for women, I also open doors for men. Is it because I think they are weak, or below me, or not equal? No, it is because I respect them and I like to treat other people with kindness and love. 

Do these women think that men treat other men like dirt and therefore the only way to be equal with men is to be treated like dirt?  Instead of teaching men to stop treating their daughters with special love and care shouldn’t we instead call men to treat other men (and women) with respect?

Must men treat women like dirt in order to be considered up to date with modern feminist equality standards?

She also says that mother son dates aren’t a thing. Personally,  I hope women do take their sons out on dates. Parenting requires one-on-one time with your child. When you have 5 kids like we do it’s darn near impossible to get one-on-one time with each one. Being intentional about getting that time is to be commended. 

Thanks to Freud and the sexual Revolution, our culture is convinced that our sexuality is what defines us as people. Therefore, according to our culture, even showing affection to your kids is somehow sexual. This is just plain stupid. It is not sexual to show affection to your children. If it is every good parent should be in jail. (And if it does in fact become sexual, you deserve worse than jail.) 

It is perverted to suggest that somehow taking your daughter out for dinner, pulling her chair out, opening doors for her,  and calling her beautiful and a princess is somehow sexual. To claim such doesn’t just betray the insecurities of the author, it strongly condemns modern culture with its ridiculous sexual mores. 

Purity balls….

I’ll  give her that purity balls are a little creepy and weird.  Those actually do create a weird sexual tension between fathers and daughters. Yes, you should abstain from sexual activity until you are married, but pledging your purity to your father is a little awkward and kind of creepy. 

But taking your child out one-on-one for special time together is healthy, natural, and should be normal. 

Should we take our daughters out one on on? Yes. Should we also take our sons out one on one? Yes. Should we treat them with dignity and kindness and do kind things for them? Yes. This is teaching them common courtesy and how to treat others like human beings.  It is not teaching them to lay down and accept demeaning treatment.

It has been shown that girls often marry men like their fathers. They learn how men should treat women from how their father treats them and more importantly, their mother. Girls who are abused or watch their mothers be abused often pursue men who abuse. Is this what we want our daughters to do? 
Why do modern feminists want men to continue to marry jerks? Is it because they want to validate their idea that all men are jerks and that all men are part of “the patriarchy”? 

I’m not saying it’s patriarchy, but it’s patriarchy. Actually it isn’t…

Daddy-daughter dating is not patriarchy. Patriarchy is insisting that your daughter or your wife is less than you and that she does not deserve your respect. Patriarchy says that because of her sex she does not deserve honor. As a woman, she deserves nothing but to be under you as a slave or servant. 

Patriarchy views females as less than males. It does not honor them by opening doors, calling them wonderful names, or treating them with respect and dignity. Patriarchy puts women under men’s thumbs. By taking daughters out and treating them kindly, you are teaching them to expect men to love, honor, and cherish them. You are teaching them to expect respect from men. This is anti-patriarchy. 

I suggest to these feminists that if they want to end “the patriarchy” they should call on men to start treating their daughters with kindness and honor. They should encourage them to put their daughters on a pedestal and treat them as individuals worthy of great respect. This will teach their daughters to expect their husbands and all men to respect them and treat them with dignity. 

If daughters are treated like dirt by their father they will learn to accept that treatment by all men. They will continue to support the patriarchy by giving themselves to patriarchal jerk men. Let’s instead encourage them to expect more from men. 

End the patriarchy, and while we are at it, end third and fourth-wave feminism.

“Equality” and the “A Word” 

“Should individuals be denied their rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness simply because they are different looking than you?”

There is not much to say about the Women’s March that hasn’t already been said, good or bad. Most of what I have seen from both sides has been vulgar and not worth listening to. I’ll get to that another post. 
What I will say now is that I completely agree with treating women with respect and honor and as equal to men in rights and protection under the law. I fully support the right of people to protest and speak out against abuse and aggression. I have no problem with speaking truth to power and making sure the underrepresented are represented properly in law and culture. 

Which is why I support the rights of the unborn.

So much has been said mocking the women marching around the world. So much bile has been spewed from their opponents, someone has to stand up and actually pick on a principle not just on people. 

These women are people, and people don’t deserve abuse. As opponents to their ideals,  we don’t need to make jokes about their weight. We don’t have to make sandwich jokes. We don’t have to mock their poorly spelled signs. We should be better than that. We should be mature enough to hit where it counts: right in the hypocrisy. 

They claim to be marching for equal rights. But are they? 

Access to abortion is not a “right”, it is a privilege. A right is something every human being is created with. A privilege is something bestowed by elites upon those they have power over. The privilege of abortion is only given to women, by lawmakers interested in keeping women voters in lock step. 

Men have no such privilege. This is hardly equality. These women are not honestly concerned with equality, they are interested in keeping their privilege. The politicians who grant them the privilege are not concerned about equality either, they just want votes.  

Abortion is not just a privilege that women have that men do not, it is a privilege they have over very very young people. I will refrain from using emotionally charged words like “baby” and I will simply call them what they are: people, persons, individuals. 

Far too many of these women are claiming they should have the privilege of murdering a specific group of individuals simply based on the age of those individuals. 

I have heard the arguments before: persons in the womb have no self-awareness. Neither does a sleeping person, or a person in a coma. We do not murder the comatose or sleeping and justify it by saying “they weren’t self aware so it was okay.” Why do we do this with pre-born people? Do we even know how self-aware they are? 

“Oh, but they aren’t really alive.” So you mean to tell me that two living cells came together and started multiplying into some sort of undead/unliving vampiric lump of tissue? This is what you consider a person before they escape the trappings of the womb? 

“Oh, but they aren’t people.” By all objective standards,  a fetus is an individual with unique human DNA and as they grow, miniature human organs. There is nothing unhuman about a person before they are born. They simply don’t look like adults. 

“Oh, but they are trespassing in the womb.” No. You put them there. You made a choice to create the circumstances where this person is now dependent on you for sustenance until they self-evict from the womb. 

Let’s say you owned a dock, opened it to the public, and kept it in disrepair. Let’s say someone fell off the dock and into the water. You have the ability to save them but you don’t. Instead you let them drown. Are you morally culpable?

Let’s say you actually pushed them into the water, then sat there and watched them drown. In both instances you would be culpable for murder, one count involuntary, the other voluntary. By your actions you put those people in positions of dependence on you. 

When a women places herself in a situation where she might get pregnant, by having sex, she is creating a circumstance where another person can come into existence. The individual who takes up residence inside of her was placed there by her actions. This is not trespass. This individual should not be punished for her actions. 

Yes, less than 1% to 3% (depending on who you ask) of abortions are performed on rape victims. Rape is a crime, it is a violation of the NAP, it is abhorrent and disgusting. There is a great amount of pain and vulnerability involved in rape, more than I, as a man,  could ever understand. 

I do not claim that women who have been raped are in any way culpable for their rape. I don’t care what she is wearing, I don’t even really care if she was drunk. She is a victim and is not morally culpable or responsible for the life that is within her.

However, the person in the womb is not responsible for the rape either. The death penalty should not be carried out on an innocent party.

In the case of a woman pregnant by rape, the rapist is the party responsible for the individual in the womb. The rapist should be made to pay all medical expenses, the cost of the delivery, and the entire cost of adopting the child out. They should pay further restitution to the rape victim and the child up to a limit determined by a judge. 

“But it’s my body, my choice.” Yes, you have ownership of your body, but they too, have ownership of theirs. You do not have the right to treat them as property for your disposal any more than a man should have the right to treat women as property at his disposal.

If you feel that somehow your age gives you some sort of privilege over the unborn, you are no better the chauvinist pigs who feel their sex gives them privilege over women. 

Those who support the privilege of murdering the inconvenient are no better morally speaking than those who supported keeping slavery legal. 

Slavery supporters in this nation used color as an excuse to deny rights to an entire class of individuals. Those who support keeping abortion legal use age and dependency as an excuse to deny rights to an entire class of individuals.

Women of the marches tell me this: should individuals be denied their rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness simply because they are different looking than you? 

If your answer is yes, than you are no better than the creeps you protest against. 

The Transgender Illusion 

I don’t believe transgenderism is anything more than a delusion. A man cannot “feel like” a woman, he has no objective understanding of what it feels like to be a woman. 

​Just a few more thoughts about the Ryland post. I don’t believe transgenderism is anything more than a delusion. A man cannot “feel like” a woman, he has no objective understanding of what it feels like to be a woman. 

Ryland does not know what it feels like to be a boy. She has never been a boy, she has no true concept of what it feels like to be a boy. She knows she has preferences and desires that match what culture tells her a boy would have. She knows that she fits the stereotype of a boy more than the stereotype of a girl.

Given that there is no objective meaning to the term “gender”, how can we tell someone who’s struggling with gender disphoria that they are actually the opposite of their genetic sex? 

We should be telling them “no, you are what you are. Accept reality and make it the best you can.” We should not mutilate and manipulate the physical reality to make it match their delusion. That is cruel and inhumane. 

We wouldn’t tell a person with multiple personality disorder that they are in fact multiple people and then go about creating identities (driver’s licenses for each identity, families for each character, separate lives for each etc.) for them in the physical world just so they don’t have to confront their delusions. 

This is exactly what we have decided to do for the gender confused. We would rather not hurt feelings so we let them live a lie and we try to mold the physical world to fit those lies. Rylands parents would rather not hurt her feelings, so instead of saying “No Ryland you really are a girl, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy ‘boy’ things.” they bend over backwards to make the physical reality match her delusion. 

This is perhaps one of the worst symptoms of the empty philosophies of the postmodern movement in the 20th century. If there is no such thing as objective truth, who are we to tell people what reality is? 

Reality is whatever one wants it to be. If I want to be a female, despite my biology, I can just declare myself one. If we can create surgeries and pulls that can make me phenotypically one, great! 

It’s only a matter of time before “doctors” attempt to create a surgery to turn children into whatever animal they are currently pretending to be. Call this an exaggeration if you want, but some are already calling for doctors to amputate limbs to “help” those who “feel they are disabled.” It’s not much of a stretch to say that self identified “cats” will want tails installed. 

In all seriousness, telling children that their feelings dictate reality is a cruel joke. These children need help, or at the very least they need parents who will allow them to go through their phases without encouraging them to embrace whatever “reality”  they are creating in their developing minds. If your kid said he was a dinosaur would you say “oh yes, you are a dinosaur. God made a mistake and trapped you in a child’s body.”? No, the healthy thing to say is “Dinosaurs are cool. Do you want to look up dinosaur videos on YouTube?” 

If your boy says he is a girl, ask him why he feels that way. If it’s because he likes pink or wants to paint his nails, explain to him that those don’t have to be “girl things.” Offer a compromise if you’re embarrassed to be out with a son with painted nails. Maybe paint one nail, or paint them at home. Chances are it’s a novelty that will wear off pretty quickly. 

If he insists that he is in fact a girl, then I believe the humane thing to do is to get him counseling to correct his wrong thoughts. We should be treating gender disphoria as we treat any other mental illness. This is not popular in today’s “feels” driven culture, but it is right. 

 

Stop Implying That My Wife Isn’t A Real Woman

All you need to know one’s gender is what’s between their legs. 

Now that I got through my sidetrack about marriage, we can return to the previous discussion about gender norms and the nonsense views so many folks seem to have about them (though that marriage theme is far from being fully explored).

Previously I talked about how gender is not a spectrum. One is either a male or a female, behavior, tastes, preferences, or personality traits do not determine gender. We live in a culture that wants to make a big deal about these things. We no longer accept that tomboys are female or (insert word for the male equivalent of a tomboy)’s are male. In our world, they must be somewhere in the middle or are in fact the other gender. 

This woman perfectly describes this change in our culture. She grew up a tomboy, rough and tumble, doing “boy” things. Her parents didn’t read into it anymore than they had to. They didn’t lash out and push her into a more “girlish” mold. They accepted her as herself and let her eventually grow up to be (surprise surprise) a well adjusted and clearly female woman. 

It’s funny to me that she specifically points out her preference for being unshod. When growing up I didn’t know any men who enjoyed being barefoot, only females, so my preference for it led me to think I was slightly girly. 

Which leads me to this point: even our stereotypes are different depending on the family we grew up in. Those who grew up in more “conservative” homes are going to define the genders a bit more black and white than those who grew up in less strict atmospheres. 

Unfortunately those conservatives are the ones who write the Christian mommy/homemaker blogs. Those blogs tend to make women who don’t fit the mold feel marginalized and a bit less of a woman. “You mean you don’t worship your perfect kids or make your husband feel like royalty?” “You have an interest in deep theological matters and think rationally rather than living by emotions?” “You’re not a multitasker who can handle cooking a big meal and hosting a dozen other women once or thrice a week, and then cleaning up after them, all while homeschooling your eight beautiful children and ensuring that your husband’s bedroom needs and laundry requirements are met to a ‘T’?” “What do you mean, you don’t really like spending all your time with your loinfruits?” “You don’t shave? You don’t like makeup? You’d rather not get dressed up to go shopping? You don’t like shopping?!!”

Even when these aren’t explicitly stated, when one reads enough (and I have) one begins to sense a trend. If you (or your wife) doesn’t live up to these perfect women’s standards, perhaps they aren’t women at all. Perhaps God made a mistake, He made them with the wrong parts. These women are describing “Biblical womanhood” are they not? 

It’s not just women who get fed this steady stream of “if you’re not like this you aren’t Godly”. Men too have to endure the world of “Wild at Heart” and are always the subject of conferences pushing them all to be bold leaders and macho men of God. I personally get whacked with these stereotypes all the time. 

Often it comes in the form of “men do x, while women do y”. Roughly 75% of the time in my marriage we are completely the opposite. The most recent example I heard was a description of how men and women pack for trips. Men pack only what they need. Women… Well. They pack for every possibility.  I’m not saying the generality doesn’t fit the rest of the world. I’m saying we need to stop making those outside the generalities feel like sinners for being a little different. I am not trying to be a woman because I tend to overpack any more than my wife is trying to be a man when she leaves for a week with a Walmart bag of clothes and probably no toiletries. 

I tend to be emotional, my wife rational. I tend to be social and extroverted, my wife is very much an introvert and has social phobias. Neither of us are too keen on shopping though she is probably more of a shopper just because I am a miser. We both hate sports. She is a bit more mechanically inclined than I am. I clean better, cooking is a draw, and she’s the disciplinarian of the children. She likes video games and cards, me not so much. Her mind is much more focused and she tends to be the one sucked into a screen or a book while I am panicked over the kids. 

She hates makeup. She doesn’t shave. She does knit and crochet She hates cooking, but loves baking. She likes lifting heavy things. She likes spiders and reptiles. She is not a fan of mice but does not panic about them. She keeps a cool calm head under pressure and is quick to jump into leadership when a group is faltering. She often craves sex more than I do. She likes to work on cars. She detests the idea that a woman serves no other function than be a pretty decoration on a man’s arm, completely dependent on him and always concerned with appearance above all else. 

Looking around the internet at most of the Christian blogs one gets the impression that all Christian women are monolithic. There is just not a variety out there, at least not when it comes to Reformed women or women that write blogs. And those who don’t fit the mold end up being the odd woman out so to speak. 

I’m going to put this out there. My wife is all woman. Just because she doesn’t fit some cultural idea of how a woman should be doesn’t mean she is not a woman. And just because I don’t fit the typical male described on these sites does not mean I am not a man. 

Watch your implications, folks. Those who write, don’t imply that you are the definition of a godly woman. Those who read,  don’t let those implications  make you feel less like a godly woman. You are a woman. Your non-stereotypical husband is in fact a man. 

All you need to know one’s gender is what’s between their legs.