Gluttons for punishment (Manosphere 2)

I agree with @Fr_Bill that a husband does not have authority to coerce his wife, and that’s been true for a long time in Christian nations. What’s different about today is that there is much more incentive for a wife to rebel and much more pain for the husband when she does. This is something that I think has not been sufficiently appreciated among evangelical/conservative Christians in general (this forum is an exception).

Another truth that I think is not sufficiently appreciated is that if a wife chooses Christian submission or her husband has captured her natural respect, then marriage is relatively easy, but if a wife choose not to submit and her husband has not captured her natural respect, then marriage can be quite difficult. Men in the latter case often bridle at statements about headship and responsibility because it comes across as, “be warmed and filled.” I believe that evangelical/conservative Christians in general have failed such men in effectively helping them live out their headship and responsibility.

Now I will say something probably controversial. Urging husbands to love their wives as Christ loves the church isn’t going to help them gain respect or submission from their wives once respect or submission are lost (or never had). The reason is that in the current culture loving one’s wife is nearly universally understood as making her happy – this follows from the widespread belief among Christians that Jesus loves them by overlooking their sins and giving them earthly blessings. And so the husband tries to placate his wife, and of course she never gains respect for him or is motivated to submit. Absent the correction of some grievous fault in the husband, the evangelical/conservative church shouldn’t put forth the idea that becoming a more loving husband is going to change the attitude of a disrespectful and rebellious wife, or that his wife is disrespectful or rebellious because he isn’t sufficiently loving.

What should a man do in such a situation? As @Fr_Bill says above, he should stand firm in what is right whether in love or rebuke, despite how his wife feels or acts, and he must be patient and willing to suffer. Not only is that the biblical approach; it’s also what is most likely to engender respect from his wife.


What churches encourage men to do this?

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Do you actually see this much in the church? From my experience, the women I know in my church do not have this rebellious feminist attitude. Maybe my church is a special case, but what is keeping all these anonymous manosphere types from moving to more conservative regions? I personally moved away from Chicago to be in a community more aligned with biblical ideals. It’s a free country after all!

Is it possible that these bitter men are simply incompetent when it comes to women? Women are attracted to men who lead! It’s part of their nature. Isn’t that one of the key tenants of the manosphere by the way? It seems there are some inherent contradictions in the ideology.

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One answer would be, “The same ones that harbor women who are destroying their families. The same ones that blame the husband for not being loving enough to win her back.” In other words, churches that don’t discipline those members (men or women) that pursue divorce are encouraging such behavior.

Well, it’s quite common at various levels of intensity in most churches. Yes, moving to be part of a good church is certainly something I think many more people should consider. The problem is that the man who is already embittered at his own wife is unlikely to be able to get her to move with him.

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Sure, but what I don’t understand, is that according to the “red pill” philosophy, the way to get women to comply is to increase their attraction by being an “alpha”, lifting weights and telling her “we’re moving babe!”

The manosphere purports to give the solution, but instead of actually applying the solution, they write and whine endlessly about the problem!

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Yes, this is a real problem. There is a lot of self-contradiction in the reasoning. Ultimately they want to claim the benefits of patriarchy while denying patriarchy.

As with all bitterness, it all goes back to blaming God. Let’s walk through it quickly.

  1. I just realized women are attracted to “alpha” men.
  2. But by definition, only a small percentage of men can be “alpha.”
  3. Thus, God put the majority of men at a severe disadvantage and set them up for “failure” at various levels. (“The woman You gave to be with me… She gave me of the tree and I ate.”)

There are all sorts of underlying assumptions and subtleties that can be explored here, but I don’t have the time for it today.

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All sorts of things stop people from moving. Family commitments, evangelistic opportunities where they are, financial limitations, etc. I think our efforts would be better spent encouraging people to be faithful in the circumstances they’re in than telling them in what circumstances it would be easier for them to be faithful. Moving away from Chicago won’t give any man or woman a clean heart. Sanctification doesn’t work by shortcuts.


My main point is that men have agency to change their circumstances. Instead, what seems typical in the manosphere is spending hours online complaining about their circumstances. God made us to rule over nature, not the other way around. Coincidentally, women happen to be attracted to men of action, so you are hitting two birds with one stone! The answer seems to be for men to embrace their roles as leaders and lead! Oh, and don’t marry a feminist stupid! (not directed at you Jimthousand.)

Too late for many men, who were feminists themselves when they married their feminist wife. Which is yet another reason why we need to be willing to speak these truths publicly, not hide them behind anonymous online identities. Love for your brother requires you to warn him before it’s too late.


Is there an incisive word we could use to refer to a realization that one has wasted time and omitted to be virtuous, and (possibly) been deceived into doing so? I think it might be repentance. A husband who realizes he has been weak and faithless in his marriage should repent of it and begin making changes (including lifting weights if he’s been a poor steward of his body, I would think.)

Bitterness and anger are tempting because they seem galvanizing, but it’s never okay to use sin to accomplish something and the results will be perverted, anyway.

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I suspect Adam meant, “Bitterness is, often, a sin that a person is tempted by when they feel helpless.” In other words, the “often” wasn’t limiting the sinfulness of bitterness but indicating the frequency with which bitterness might be a temptation under a certain circumstance. Which I thought was pretty insightful, as it jibes with my…uh…friend’s…experience with being tempted to bitterness. :wink:

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I don’t want to nitpick, and I’m willing to accept that as a possible intended meaning.

Perhaps @AdamWright will clarify for us?

So as I was listening to the podcast, I was wondering, what was the point of attacks on Doug and Tim, two of the most anti-feminist guys I know? It really doesn’t make a lot of sense if you think of the topic in terms of fighting feminism.

But it isn’t about the issue at all. It is about drawing followers to yourself, and one way to do that is to peel away followers from others and/or present yourself as the “true” representative of the Christian view of sexuality to gain disaffected “red pilled” men as followers.

And that is really pathetic when you’re not even drawing people to you as a person, but to your anonymous avatar online.


Yes. But is the teaching of the Evangelical/conservative church at large pushing men in the direction of competence with women or incompetence? I think a strong case could be made for the latter. And is the church at large teaching a husband to lead even if it is in a direction his wife doesn’t want to go, or is it teaching him to lead by figuring out the direction his wife wants to go and then running out in front of that? Again, a strong case for the latter.

Good advice. Unfortunately there are many fewer women that qualify than is the conventional wisdom held by the Evangelical/conservative church at large.


There are entire segments of the manosphere that could be best described as self-help programs. It’s not unusual for complaining to be openly mocked.


Ok. But the single men awake to these issues needn’t heed the siren call of weak effeminate pastors. Find a church that upholds traditional values. With the internet it is not that hard. Single men are generally free to move to different regions if need be. If their mothers are dependent on them (or whatever other excuse manosphere types come up with) they should tell the mother she’s moving with him.

What do you base this statement on? Fortunately the birth rates are still roughly 50/50 where I live (I do feel sorry for the men in China). If you surround yourself with traditional families the women will be there.

Yes, that’s what I always did, but in my experience that means being at a small church with few other single people and particularly few or no single women.

My personal experience in several places around the country is that a solid Reformed church will be small, have few singles, and most of them will be men. And yes, there will be many traditional families, but they will have younger children and typically not include daughters of marriageable age.

But here are some statistics, obtained from Pew.

According to Pew, the PCA was 52% men in 2014 and 57% men in 2007. Given the feminization trend occurring in the PCA, I’d guess there was the same, if not more, weighting toward men in earlier years, back when I was a single man.

The only religious denomination listed in the Pew statistics that has more weighting towards men than the PCA is “non-denominational fundamentalist”, with 61% men in 2014 and 63% in 2007. I’d say there are some shared characteristics between fundamentalist churches and and solidly Reformed churches (e.g., focus on Scripture and sanctification), so the weighting towards men seems consistent.

The bottom line is that a man who seeks out a church with a masculine pastor that upholds biblical teaching will gain a good wife if he is able to find one, but he will be at a pond with few fish and many fishermen.


Surrounding yourself with traditional families is getting harder to do. I think that’s the point. I can name several churches that are very conservative and filled with traditional families in one sense, but where the young women are, for the most part, clueless about how to pursue biblical femininity today. The young men are the same.

Telling young men to quit looking at porn and playing video games is pretty common, and a good start, I’d say. But yeah, then it gets undercut by this:

My wife laments the women she talks with who are part of evangelyfish Christian churches and traditional stay-at-home mothers whose highest praise for their husbands is to talk about how supportive he is of them.


My observation has long been the opposite—that there are far more quality unmarried women than quality men to pursue them. 🤷