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Having a chuckle here, because it often seems as if I find myself skipping along in faith, trilling with the forest creatures, having a merry old-time, when I suddenly realize I’ve gone and stepped in something.

Ewwww, something icky that smells bad.

So naturally I have to blog about it and share the misery. This week’s pile of ick actually comes from Dalrock and by proxy, Pastor Wilson. I don’t intend that to sound unkind and needlessly harsh, but I have no idea how to declare “bovine poo” and make it sound all pretty.

The essence of the problem is that they found this small group, a men’s mentoring program, in which men sign a covenant agreeing to 9 things, the 9th being the real nail right through the pride, the source of all horror, the clear and concrete evidence that the churchian world has been totally feminized and men are now oppressed victims.

Here is the offensive item, “I discussed this commitment with my wife and she fully supports my involvement. She willingly relinquishes the time it will take to attend the sessions and retreats and to do the reading and homework, with the goal of my becoming a godlier man.”

For the record they have similar covenant for their women’s groups, in which wives are asked to get their husband’s to sign off on the same thing. I thought it was kind of interesting because we do have a real problem with commitment in this culture. We are contractual rather than covenantal. As a Christian, you really want to be all about the covenants because what makes them different is that a contract is dependent on two parties living up to it or else it is null and void. A covenant is an agreement to stand in the contract no matter what the other party does.

Ephesians 2:8 shows us the nature of a covenant, “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God.”

God is in a covenant with us. If He was in a contract, our own behavior would have rendered it null and void long ago. A covenant takes ownership and responsibility, it captures the idea of unconditional love. Parents have a covenant with their children, in the sense that we don’t throw them out and get new children when they make a mistake or disappoint us.

My husband and I, as flawed and imperfect as we are, do often have this never-ending dialogue going on having to do with consent and support, “Do you mind if I..?” “Is it okay with you if I….”  There is an attitude going on, an awareness that our time is not exclusively our own. Absolutely nothing happens if we forget to communicate or do something defiant without informing the other, beyond you simply forgive, forget, and move on. The attitude is there however, the essence permeates our marriage.

I honestly cannot imagine being married to someone who simply declares, “my time is my time and I don’t need your permission to do anything.” That’s human nature, but if that is human nature ALL of the time, you are in a  marriage of one or perhaps a marriage of 3, Me, Myself, and I.  There is no give and take in that situation, no cooperation, no respect for one another.

The reason why I am not a happy camper is because both Pastor Wilson and Dalrock are forever carrying on about “wives submit,” while reducing “men, love your wives” to an abstract concept having only to do with duty. That’s not biblical, that not about grace, that’s not about building healthy marriages, that is about nurturing perpetual male dominance, pride, and ego.

Pride is a real bugger, it’s a heavy burden to bear, and while I am all about accommodating men and making allowances for nature and design, this is just teaching the adoration of plain, old-fashioned pride, and using scripture to try to justify it.

Pastor Wilson is quite eloquent and always begins by saying the best things like, “We want to sandpaper the Bible to make it smooth to the sinners’ touch. But God uses industrial grit sandpaper on the sinner to make him smooth to the touch of the text.”

Yes, yes, amen, but then we begin to swirl the drain when we realize the industrial grit sandpaper is for the rebellious women only, and the men must be gently polished with God’s soft bit of flannel, their egos simply shined to perfection.

Neither one of these guys seem to understand that it is women who get the better deal here, that God’s industrial grade sand paper is a great blessing, that the one who is losing out is the man you have placed under that dainty polishing cloth, now being buffed and waxed….. into his own creation.

I must put my foot down here, if any of these words trigger you, I discussed this commitment with my wife and she fully supports my involvement, you need to ask why, because flat-out, “discussed, commitment, support, and involvement” are pretty much foundational concepts in marriage, and if any of those things are perceived as beneath you, as a great offense, as a sign of a feminized church, as something that undermines a husband’s authority, then something has gone all awry with our thinking.

That said, I will now wipe such things from my shoe and go back to skipping along, trilling with the forest creatures.