Thursday, August 21, 2014

AWPATT VIII: July 20-August 21 (Thoughts 50-82)

50 It seems unlikely to me that I’d marry someone much taller than me, because of the physical aspect to being her protector. If she couldn’t feel safe because she could ‘look up to me,’ in a sense, that would be a detriment to our relationship.

51 I also wouldn’t be very much interested in someone very much shorter than me, because of how shortness is associated with childishness, psychologically, for me. I wouldn’t want the temptation to look down on her like a child.

52 Basically I want someone I can look straight in the eye as an equal. A reasonable height is not important for its own sake, but for it to not subconsciously interfere with my ability to easily see and think of her as who she really is, without distraction.

53 Sometimes I wonder if I’ll be romantically alone for…well, up to and including my whole life, and why? Because the older I get, the more the chance diminishes that I’ll be able to meet someone my age who hasn’t over time done away with purity. Yea, when a son of man leaves his father and mother, will he find faithfulness among the women on earth? à That’s not a Bible passage, but it’s taken from a mashup of two that came to mind, (Matthew 19:4-5 and Luke 18:8). The connecting thread is this: The world is trending from more faithful to less faithful. This primarily concerns, per the passage, the amount of people who will come to Jesus Christ out of a generation—but it also affects the amount of people who will, as a result of that faithlessness, have any sort of decency in their character over the course of their life. The double meaning in my phrase plays on the second definition of being faithful as being sexually exclusive with one’s spouse. Will it be at all possible to find a single woman who hasn’t made herself unclean? Knowing my own sin*, it’s troubling to consider that most people, even still, are worse than I—by their own admission, in polls and anecdotes. Where is the restraint? From time to time I am brought to despair.

*of a specific sort. I am definitely not saying that I’m, across-the-board, less of a sinner than others. That would be monumentally naïve and arrogantly presumptuous.

54 If she initially shows a modest disinterest in me, save for a few glances perhaps, it would give me the impression she’s wholesome and restrained, whereas if she couldn’t take her eyes off me, and acted overtly to express physical desire for me, it would give me the impression she’s lustful and possibly lacking in sexual restraint, which would be unattractive.

55 I don’t much like people who appear uptight, but I’m far more favorable toward someone who’s awkwardly modest, than someone who’s notably immodest, awkward or not.

56 I thrive on direct communication. One of the many consequences of this is that I despise experiencing one-way communication with someone who’s emotionally withdrawn, or otherwise stunted. Normally pleasant people have behaved awkwardly and secretively after indicating some romantic interest. This could be expanded into a full treatise but I’ll stop here. I will strongly suggest to young women that refusing to say anything lest you say the wrong thing IS saying the wrong thing.*

*[note that this is in the context of a conversation and not in sharing your opinion, publically, on a subject of debate—there are numerous Proverbs attesting to the wisdom of holding one’s tongue in the latter case]

57 Watching movies together on evenings is one of the more consistent things I’ve done with my family in recent years, now that we’re older and all working. I imagine movie nights (even better with discussion) would be an easy tradition to begin while we’re courting, and continue when we’re married.

58 It’s historically been difficult for me to think and talk at the same time as I’m looking someone in the eye—at least at the beginning of formulating a thought, before I get into it. One thought from this: if I seem less intelligent when talking to you, you may be having an effect on me. Awe generally initially begets speechlessness.

59 The other thought from this: I’ll be able to practice and improve on this with you, to become a more capable speaker in one-on-one, face-to-face conversations, as in an interview, or sensitive counseling situation, for example.

60 The chances of finding a woman who has the four characteristics of being close to me in age, agreeable in similar/shared life goals, attractive and theologically sound are very low; it’s an easy thing to find people having just one or two of those! Considering that I know so much theology compared to the typical 20something non-seminary-student, I’ll probably find someone I like but who I’ll be minded to correct on some level. The thought: if I’m to be the Biblical husband and serve as spiritual leader for my spouse, she’d have to be willing and actually able to change wrong ideas and learn and adopt what is right and true, from me—not because I know everything that’s true, but the flipside is that she can’t, like any other person in the world, resist what I say just because I say it. That’s a different sort of bad response. Whereas she shouldn’t listen to me for my own sake, she shouldn’t disregard what I say for the sake of it being said by me. If this isn’t something that can happen with a young woman I’m getting to know—if she refuses to listen to reason early on, particularly if she’s imbibed wonky theology, then clearly she can’t be that woman who would be my wife.

61 Personal preference: I’m not a huge fan of piercings. Sure, some of it may look good sometimes on some people, but in my opinion it either is unnecessary, or should be. See thought #20: hair is a woman’s natural jewelry. There are two ways that wearing too much jewelry, too often, is a bad thing: one, there’s the risk that a man will only find your embellished self attractive, and what good is that? Ought he not to be able to ‘fall in love’ with what you look like, as you actually are? You’ll both be naked together at some point. Unless, of course, you never remove your jewelry. Which brings me to the second way: if you never, ever remove or are seen without your jewelry, because you’d be too insecure to dress down, then you have your security in your jewelry. You’ve put your trust, your confidence in material things. You’ve made the made-up you into an idol, and it is really a sin because your confidence should be in God, not your looks. What a shame if you can’t trust that your husband would really love you if he saw you without metal hanging from your ears.

62 The foregoing thought is related to this one via the memory of a Dr. Phil (or Dr. Oz? probably the former) show where a woman confessed to never in decades having let her husband or children see her without makeup on. She’d go to bed with it on, and wake up before them to apply a fresh coat in the morning. What a shame. What a travesty that she was so obsessed, and so insecure. Never in my life. Never in my wife.

63 Circling back to the jewelry idea, I’m a bit of a purist when it comes to beauty, but by no means rigidly merciless in my opinion: I wouldn’t refuse to marry someone because they wear jewelry. But here’s something to think about: if you’re constantly blinged-up with precious stones, then in a sense your wedding ring will be but one among many. It’s a parallel to how multiple sexual partners before marriage cheapens the impact of the monogamous commitment. It doesn’t prevent you from having a good marriage, per se, but something about it shows that you don’t really approach it with a sense of…holiness. That you think it’s unique or special or deserving of greater honor than other competing things: past boyfriends, past finger accessories. Now, this is a strong line, and I don’t aim to claim that more than a portion of women have this attitude—but because it does exist, excessive glorification of the self in the form of shiny stones is something that would make me wary, approaching a woman.

64 That said, I can understand the alternative, that a father may wisely have given his daughters beautiful gifts that no boy could afford, to shield them from the temptations of impudent youths who would hope to propose to or proposition them. There is a scene in Courageous where Ken Bevel’s character does just that for his daughter. I’m amenable to this concept.

65 That said, a fiancée should know that I’m not in favor of allowing my children to get ear piercings, nose, lip, tongue or eyebrow piercings, tattoos or for that matter makeup or going tanning. I’m a dad. Well, dad at heart, dad-to-be, let’s not get ahead of myself, but the stern putting down of the foot is already here in my mind. I think it’s unnecessary, it’s dangerous—I speak in a social context, and as a Christian I recognize that wanting these things

a) just because everyone else does it, is a sin,

b) to look beautiful and have the boys like me, is a sin,

c) because dad’s against it, therefore it must be good, is a sin,

d) to be more self confident, is a sin!

If I raise any daughters I may have right, then they’ll listen because they respect that I know and will what’s best for them, and if I raise them well, they’ll not even be tempted by it, and understand why it’s good to refrain from it. I’m of the opinion that it’s most appropriate for a woman to first have her ears or nose pierced in advance of her wedding, when it’s all well and good for her to be splendorously arrayed—and not for her own sake, but for the sake of the symbolism of marriage and what she represents: union with God and our glorification as our Redeemer comes to take His Bride home. There is no moment in life more pivotal and important than marriage, second to one’s personal salvation of course, and there is therefore no other time in life prior to that when there would even be a point to getting oneself pierced for the adornment of jewelry. Just none. That is my spiel, as a future dad, and husband to be.

That was a lot of thoughts, wrapped in one big thought.

66 I didn’t even know until recently that either the origin of or the present motive for women to get a tongue piercing is because it allegedly enhances the experience of oral sex for the male.  Know before you go! A ring or a stud is not an evil item in itself, but a hole in your body is unnatural, and when you know what sinful purposes others do with the same, then why would you want to be associated with that? “Be holy because I am holy.”

Is my screed against piercings done? Probably not. There are 944 thoughts to go. There’ll be plenty of time later for “afterthoughts.” :D

67 Male and female stereotypes of personality are excuses. “I’m more emotional than you are” is just as wrong as “I’m not really emotional.” I won’t tolerate it.

68 What kind of music does she listen to? The lyrics of what you frequently listen to can tell volumes about your character and what you believe.

69 Watching movies with the children, I wonder if, provided we don’t refuse to watch movies with sexual content in them at all, I wonder if she’d have “power of the remote” and the prerogative to fast forward through useless sex scenes while I make sure the kids’ eyes stay closed. Practical stuff. I remember when we were young, our mom would fast forward through scarier scenes. This is the same concept. The adults can handle it, or even if they’re affected, it’s more important to protect the kids from it, so the parents should be subjected instead.

70 Considering the ending to my post on [[SLEEPY HOLLOW]], would she be fine not having a tv, at least early on in our life together? In fact, if I meet someone who doesn’t watch much tv, or is open to the idea of just having a shared internet-capable computer, nothing else (dumb phones), that’d be someone I’d get interested in, upon hearing that.

71 Someone who doesn’t want children of their own, or has a preordained quota, is someone who really doesn’t have life figured out, and isn’t ready for marriage.

72 A random thought I had (when a well endowed woman walked in, at work): Some young ladies are very shapely on top but lackluster on bottom, or alternatively have killer hips but a modest upper body (referring also to leg and arm musculature: skinniness and flabbiness are both…disappointing), and there are few who have an excellent frame as well as athletic proportions at the same time, HOWEVER, it is interesting to note that someone need not be perfect with an idealized build to be attractive to the point of being desirable as a partner, all other considerations accounted for. Consequently, I mused that I may approach someone out of interest who is either “d” shaped or “P” shaped, since whereas an “X” shape is obviously more sensuously provocative, the threshold of spouse-quality attractiveness is reached without too extreme of a requirement for physical fairness. Just someone who is in good shape and is curvy and soft “somewhere,” is really all it takes.

73 [written in a lamenting text to a friend after being upset at seeing people at work act with complete disregard for others, either out of moral corruption or mental corruption]: For real though. I am too smart. Stuff I see there bothers me too much to tolerate it. And being around stupid people just makes me despair.* I’m so glad my IQ is just “gifted,” not “genius,” because life with an intelligence so high would be mentally traumatizing. As it is, 1 in every 14 to 1 in every 200 (depending on which test was more accurate) people I meet is of a close enough level of mental capacity that we can communicate and understand each other without undue frustration. 10 or 20 more points and it’d be more like 1 in every 3,000 people I meet, or in other words, I’d meet about 5 people like that in my lifetime. I’m glad I’m “common” enough that I can understand (mostly) people who are dumber—and yes, it’s fair to call people who use words like “ratchet” and “turnt up” dumber (Bill Cosby says so)—but I’m just knowledgeable enough and wise enough and intelligent enough (those aren’t the same thing) that I can’t get myself to be understood by people, fairly frequently, and it causes me to feel despair at times. I need a smart wife or I’ll be single.

* see also Confessions of A Smart Guy

74 It’s a weird world, though. It’s a place where I can ask the average girl a question like “do you ever play with your own boobs?” and get a philosophical answer, and so I can be, mentally, veeeeeery exposed, traveled, desensitized, conscious, educated, whatever word one may use to describe it, and YET still be remarkably unscathed in terms of my physical person, having had to have very little unpleasant or unwise or negative personal experience myself, in order to learn the vast things I have about an extensive sampling of individuals I’ve spoken to, and the way they think and feel about very intimate subjects.

75 By comparison, there are a few (very few!) girls I’ve interacted with whose behavior could be considered Puritanical, and that’s refreshing, frankly. It’s nice to not be able to exploit a foolish young woman’s thoughts to serve my own curiosity. It encourages me to know that there are women out there who are able to practice restraint, even in the realm of thoughts and speech. I want to love and be loved by a woman like that.

76 There were some middle aged women (mid 40s to mid 50s?) who said I had very blue eyes and straight teeth and bla and bla. I finally figured out what to say when that happens, and I did: “it’s only the mature, confident ladies who tell me that.” It’s true. I don’t get complimented on my appearance by early-20s women. And in most cases I resent compliments on my appearance and feel disgusted, so it’s just as well.

77 Why would I feel disgusted? Not out of self-abasement. I don’t have insecurity. But the source of a compliment can cause offense. The culture is so antichristian, that chances are nearly 100% that if a girl hits on me, she will be of the character that makes me despair of the shame that they don’t understand that they’re not desirable. My snort is not from shyness, it’s a concealed scoff. It’s not that I esteem myself so special. No. It’s that the World’s Women gluttonously reach out with bloodstained hands at me and don’t have eyes to see their corruption. It’s the simple fact that they think they’re better than they are that offends me. Show me a woman who knows the vileness in her, and can see it in me, too. What am I really asking for? I’m asking for a Christian woman.

78 To piggyback that last statement, I’m turned off by someone who’s either incapable of or unwilling to resist saying that someone they like is perfect or flawless, or admit that they are broken as well. It’s godless self-righteousness. You’re going to LIE about me by saying I’m good when I’m not, you’re going to be CONCEITED in how you see yourself—as better than you are, and you’re going to HATE my heavenly father and my Savior, by denying His very existence and sacrifice? Yeah, good luck making me interested in you.

79 I hope these different perspectives I offer on romantic issues is going to incite at least one person who reads them to receive a greater understanding of WHY things they didn’t really understand were offensive, before, totally are. In thinking of my future fiancée, if someone is not theologically wise yet but is willing to learn from me, then if I could teach these things to her and change her understanding, I would love that, and I’d be well on my way to considering proposing to her now. Upward trajectories are always better than illusions of perfection.

80 To the guy who doesn’t want to look weak by being vulnerable emotionally with a woman, lest you be deemed unmasculine and she shun you -- Have you pondered the risk that being too casual in terms of your subject matter (not talking about anything that makes you feel vulnerable or threatening your image) can make you seem flippant and unserious to a serious gal? You could inadvertently be judged as “not husband material” because you’re deemed a fun guy, someone to talk to, someone to debate with, sass, etc, but not someone to take seriously on an emotional level, because you don’t project emotion or an openness to connecting emotionally.

81 To the guys again: You don’t have to become totally vulnerable all at once. How terrible is it really to say that ‘you seem like a genuinely nice young lady’ and await the response? If she really shuns you at that point, how hurt will you really be? What do you have to be embarrassed about if your attraction isn’t reciprocated?

82 Women are responsive creatures. The corollary, then, and which the Bible sheds light on, is that men are designed to be initiators. I don’t know how to dance, but I know one thing that’s always true: the man leads, and the woman follows. The guy can’t stand still and wait for the woman to follow him. He can’t be followed if he’s not moving. He has to take the first step (metaphor win). So while the desire to have her like you before you bare your heart to her is understandable—I care about that, too—consider the possibility that it’s your prerogative (that in fact you might have the ability) to PROVOKE her to like you by placing the idea in her head. Inception, if you will. The fact that women get turned on after they start participating in intimacy isn’t something that’s confined to sexual intercourse. You have the God-given ability to improve the possibility of her liking you.

~ Rak Chazak

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