Wednesday, November 30, 2016

BFF... or Not

I was recently reading Marriage God's Way. My husband asked me to read it so that we could discuss it before he would be giving some feedback to a friend who wanted his opinion on the book. I don't intend for this post to be a review of the book, although I am writing one. Here, I just want to address something that the author, Scott LaPierre, says on page 61,
...we forget that marriage should actually be the union of two best friends... Your spouse should be your best friend.
This sort of statement has always rubbed me the wrong way and I have never taken the time to really put my finger on why this bothers me. Sometimes I see a meme or something that says, "Share if your husband is your best friend" and I just cringe. What is with this modern obsession with friends and best friends?

The basis for my disgust with this notion is that a friendship is fundamentally a non-sexual relationship. Having sex with a friend transforms the relationship to something else entirely. We try to be clever and use terms like "friends with benefits," but the truth is that we don't have sex with friends. Having sex with a person means the person is a lover (in the case of fornicators) or a spouse, in the case of married people.

Different types of relationships have different titles, naturally. The woman who gave birth to me is my mother. The way we are related tends to set the parameters of the relationship. While not every parent/child relationship is identical (since no two people are exactly alike), every parent/child relationship has similar elements. For starters, I don't have sex with my mother or my father, pretty much by definition. Just as I don't have sex with my friends. Mothers and fathers are entitled to honor and there is an exalted status that goes with the parenthood relationship which is not enhanced by referring to them as my friends. But for some reason, in America, the culture gives exalted status to friendship over every other relationship, so that it isn't respectable to be a sister, brother or uncle unless that is qualified with ,"but I consider him a friend."

Not only do we want to have lots of friends and we want to lump every person related to us in any capacity into the group titled "friends." We also like to rate our friends. We have good friends, close friends, old friends and la creme' de la creme', the "best friend." This friend is sometimes referred to as the BFF (best friend forever). But there can only be one BEST friend, right? Otherwise it isn't the best. This is problematic.

Why is it problematic? you may ask. Because we are asking our friends to compete for the title. This is my friend, Jenny, and this is my friend, Mary, and THIS is my best friend, Rita! Now Rita gets to bask in her elevated title and the other gals get to feel inferior and plot how they can knock Rita from the pedestal to which she was exalted. Imagine if Jenny considered me to be her best friend, and I just stated that my best friend is Rita. This is not only confusion, it is cruel and pretty stupid.

Now, let us factor males and females into this mix. Let's say an unmarried woman by the name of Jane has male and female friends. Todd is one of her friends. Todd would like to be more than a friend to Jane, but so far, Jane doesn't seem to share this interest. Jane has declared that Maria is her BFF. According to Scott LaPierre, "marriage should actually be the union of two best friends" so does Jane marry her friend Maria? Of course not. Can Jane marry Todd? I mean, he isn't her best friend.

If Jane decides that Todd would be a good marriage partner, does she have to wait to marry him until Todd achieves BFF status with Jane? What if Todd and Jane become best friends and they don't want to marry? Are they forever forbidden from marrying other people unless they break up as BFFs?

I submit that "husband" is a superior relationship status to "best friend." It is superior in quality and fundamentally different in expression. The husband/wife relationship is, at its base, a sexual relationship. A one-flesh relationship. If I were to refer to my husband as my best friend, it would be a downgrade from the exalted status he holds in my life.

In our relationships with people, we should use care not to become conformed to this world, or to a particular culture. There is a biblical culture that transcends time and location. When God created marriage, He did not look around at the various existing relationships and say "A spouse is like a friend, but of the very best sort."  Instead, he created marriage to illustrate to us the relationship between Christ and the Church. It is valid in every corner of the globe and in every culture. While it might be comfortable for an American to say that his wife is his best friend, in other cultures that idea might be totally preposterous. It just doesn't compute. "A friend? Are you kidding? She's my WIFE!" Because the answers to "what is a friend?" and "who can be my friend" are not universal, we should not be proclaiming that in "marriage God's way" a spouse is a best friend. God did not say such a thing and the Bible doesn't endorse this idea.

Outside of marriage, Americans are equally careless in identifying, quantifying and rating friendships. We would do better to limit the use of friend and to use other more specific terms to define what other people are to us. For example, a person I have just met is more properly described as an acquaintance. In the same way, the men that I know are my husband's friends or the husbands of my friends. I try to never call men my friends. It is not appropriate for men and women to be in friendships as that relationship is thought of in America.

Between the same sex, as in friendships between women, it is wise to identify no particular woman as a best friend. I forbid my children from using this terminology. Among girls, it is almost dangerous because of the multiple ways they will hurt each other by classifying each other. It is ok to say that someone is a close friend, because I may have several women who fit that description. I can say from experience that these sorts of friendships are transitory because life is not static. A close friend to an unmarried woman may move from the inner circle when the woman marries, or when she has children. People change churches and move to other towns and their circles of friends are ever shifting. There is nothing wrong with this and no one should feel burdened to maintain a close friendship whose season in life has passed.

So there. I've said it. My husband is NOT my best friend. He is dearer to me than any other. We share a oneness that no other type of relationship can approach. He is not threatened by my relationships with my close friends, because the nature of my relationship with him and my relationships with my women friends are so completely different in quality. If I were to expect from him the things I look for from my friends, it would be wearisome to him. Likewise, he doesn't look to me for friendship. It doesn't mean we don't have fun together, or that we don't share common interests. We do. But those things do not define our relationship as husband and wife.

I think the author has a presupposition that everyone should have a best friend, and so it is understandable that such a thing might be seen to compete with or endanger the relationship between a husband and wife. Therefore, it would naturally follow (from the presupposition) that husbands and wives should be best friends. However, the Bible doesn't prescribe having a best friend, and it is a good practice for Christians to avoid such decisive relationships. Instead, just call a friend a friend and call a spouse a spouse.

Friday, November 11, 2016

Feminist Misery - Self Inflicted?

I think Dalrock nailed it here. Feminists are drowning in a misery of their own making.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Identity, Politics, and Culture

Society is one thing and civilization is another. Ants have societies. Bees have societies. They can't build civilizations.

Western civilization was built by white men of European decent. The United States of America was founded and built by white men of European decent. In the United States today, white men of European decent have completely different ideas about how what is left of our civilization should be run compared to the ideas held by nearly every other demographic. (White women, by a slim majority, still side with white men.)

What makes non-whites think that they are entitled to take over what is left of western civilization? Why should white men give up everything they have built and fought to keep just because non-whites and feminists are screeching at them? The principles and ideals of white men gave us what we have. What makes us think we can keep what we have or make progress toward a better future if the reins of power are turned over to people who have NOT built western civilization and who don't even espouse or understand the concepts of private property, liberty, Christianity, and self-government?

Keep shrieking about misogyny and racism. Keep trying to convince sane people that gender is fluid and more than binary. You will forever relegate yourself to the camp of the discivic. Those ideas don't build, they only destroy.

I'm not a Trump supporter. This election was just a snapshot of the state of identity politics in the Untied States right now. God is sovereign. He may choose to use the non-white demographic's political ideals (or lack thereof) to destroy and judge the USA. But if He does, that doesn't mean that God is on that side. He used Babylon to judge Israel; that wasn't God's endorsement of Babylon.

We can't expect to allow the demographics of the USA to continue to change while simultaneously expecting the USA to remain free. The non-white people want something else. They will turn the USA into the image of whatever they came here from. Even if they've been here for 2 or 3 generations.

Vox Day has more to say on his blog.

Friday, November 4, 2016

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Busy Bodies

Here is another excellent post by Purva Brown the Classical Unschooler.  She is addressing so-called "free range children" and the busy bodies who seek to destroy their families using the state. Mrs. Brown shared a quote from C.S. Lewis in her article and I'm going to share it here because it is just so good:
Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.