Complementarian Bafflegarble

In an older article from 2007, John Piper preached a sermon called Lionhearted and Lamblike: The Christian Husband as Head, Part 1 (manuscript here).

The upload date for this video of the sermon is Sep 6, 2013.

In this sermon John Piper gives a prime example of the utter incoherence of the doctrine of mutual submission. After quoting Ephesians 5:22-25, he says:

Husbands are compared to Christ; wives are compared to the church. Husbands are compared to the head; wives are compared to the body. Husbands are commanded to love as Christ loved; wives are commanded to submit as the church is to submit to Christ.

This is all true. Having said that, John Piper proceeds to say he is surprised that so many people don’t see this, and are instead hyper-focused on mutual submission to the exclusion of what distinguishes the duties of husbands and wives.

It is astonishing how many people do not see this when they deal with this passage. Or, seeing it, neglect it. I have in mind those who would be called egalitarians—the ones who reject the idea that men are called to be leaders in the home. They put all the emphasis on verse 21 and the teaching of mutual submission. (…) But the problem is that egalitarians seem to stop with mutual submission, as if that were all one needed to say about roles in marriage, or as if that is all that the text has to say. And when they stop there, most people today are left with great ambiguity and great confusion about the proper roles of husband and wife. Once you clarify for people that a husband and a wife should be mutually humble, and mutually ready to serve each other, and mutually eager to meet each other’s needs and build each other up—once you have said all that, there remains a great uncertainty as to what, if anything, distinguishes the role of husband and wife. Is it only the biological gift of childbearing that distinguishes the roles? Or is there something more pervasive?

Yet even in this sermon, John Piper produces the very incoherence that leads to this great confusion about marital roles.

Husbands and wives who are filled with the Holy Spirit serve one another. They humble themselves and get down low to lift the other up. They find ways to submit their immediate preferences for comfort to the need of the other. Amen to that! May it happen more and more. I have no desire to minimize the mutuality of submission and servanthood.

Here we have Piper sneaking in a definition of submission without being direct about it. He says husbands and wives find ways to “submit” their preferences for each other’s needs. By submit, he clearly means “sacrifice”, which is not the same word and does not mean the same thing. But, having misused the word submit, he then proceeds to call it mutual submission. But when it came time to define what submission actually means, Piper said:

Submission is the divine calling of a wife to honor and affirm her husband’s leadership and help carry it through according to her gifts.*

That’s not what submission is, but even assuming for the moment that it is, what happened to the definition he gave before? Is submission a call to wives to honor and affirm etc., or is it both wives AND husbands sacrificing preferences for each other’s needs? It can’t be both, especially if the roles of husbands and wives are not reversible:

One of the things that are crystal clear in Ephesians 5 is that the roles of husband and wife in marriage are not arbitrarily assigned and they are not reversible any more than the role of Christ and the church are reversible. The roles of husband and wife are rooted in the distinctive roles of Christ and his church.

He’s right. But, if submission in marriage is to be performed exclusively by the wife toward her husband, then it cannot be “mutual”. This would be a good time for Piper to have exhorted his audience to simply do away with this concept of submission being mutual. After all, it’s not mutual, it can’t flow in both directions, etc. Instead he thinks a call to mutual submission is good, but insufficient.

What we need to hear from this text today is not just a call to mutual submission that leaves young men groping for what it means to be a husband and young women groping for what it means to be a wife. What we need to hear is what headship and submission mean. What are the positive, practical implications of being called head that give man his distinct role in marriage?

Headship means authority. Submission means obedience. Done. See how easy that was? While Piper spent a great deal of his time bemoaning the plight of men and women struggling to understand what these terms mean, I’ve solved it fewer than ten words.

The reason Piper can’t be clear and direct is because this is what complementarian preaching is all about. You can say you want to be clear and direct, but the primary goal is to be anything but those two things. That’s the purpose of having a term like “mutual submission” in the first place. It’s incoherent and unhelpful, but what is a problem for the church in general is the selling point for complementarians.

*You can also find this definition of submission in the video at 37:19.

Blue Collar Naiveté

Nonsense like this gets parroted around the Internet from time to time. May as well take the time to respond to it.

First, if a “kid” has no one to coach him in masculinity, he’s going to have a hard time holding down any job for years, let alone a blue collar job, many of which require extensive amounts of training that costs thousands of dollars.

Second, there’s a common misconception that you can become a real man by throwing yourself into a harsh work environment, like the military. Naïve men enter the military in the hopes that they’ll get bushwhacked into being mentally strong, disciplined, upstanding males that will earn them respect and admiration, from other men if nothing else. It’s untrue, of course, but so is having a blue collar job. Maybe a “kid” will become physically stronger and comfortable being a foul-mouthed letch, but he’ll still wind up getting himself drunk so he can tolerate going home to his ‘boss-man’ wife.

Third, and this shouldn’t have to be said, but the world is filled with blue-collar workers with horrible relationship skills. Maybe they work themselves to death in the fields, on the road, or building and remodeling houses. And they have worked them for years. How come they still get divorce-raped like any other man? How come they’re as feeble in governing their relationships as any other loser in life? In my particular section of the U.S., it’s quite common to see a man in decent physical shape due to the outdoors nature of his job, and be stuck with a fat, husky-voiced southern broad with an attitude and a mouth to match it. How did that happen if a blue collar job teaches you real masculinity?

Not knowing what a so-called “masculinity coach” is, I assume Rando is talking about men who claim to teach masculinity, yet their teachings are unhelpful, and a waste of time and money. A scam, ultimately. But this faith men have in blue-collar jobs is just as silly. There are blue-collar men who pride themselves on not being p****** who are still fat, out of shape, smoke constantly, drink constantly, and live in squalor with their white-trash wives.

Let’s be honest- no one cares what kind of job you have. If you work blue-collar, that’s fine. If you work in an office, that’s fine. As long as you’re financially competent and can have the woman you want, that’s what really matters. But it’s a fact that men in all spheres of life struggle to have the woman they want. Men everywhere, from the nerdy dorks to the so-called real men in the blue collar world are stumbling and bumbling about, trying to get into proper romantic relationships and failing constantly. But why? Doesn’t learning how to lift heavy objects or drive a truck teach those men how to run a marriage? How to raise children even? No, it doesn’t.

You exchange one form of delusion for another, you’ll end up nowhere. Men need to give up this infatuation with putting themselves through intense pain and discomfort. It’s not going to make you a real man. That’s a part of it, but like with building muscle, if you don’t know what you’re doing, all the sweating and pain you put yourself through isn’t going to do you any good.

Refuting Sheila Gregoire’s Assertion That “Deprive is not the same as refuse”

1 Corinthians 7:1-5 has been a standard text that people like myself reference when arguing against feminists like Sheila Gregoire. Sheila is one among many feminists seeking to give wives an excuse for not giving their husbands what 1 Cor. 7:3 describes as their “conjugal rights”. While Sheila acknowledges that verse 5 clearly forbids both spouses from depriving one another, she had to devise some way around it. At least as far back as 2012, she has had this to say (bolding is mine):

First, let’s note what this verse does not say. Paul did not write:

Do not refuse one another, except by mutual consent and for a time…

He wrote do not deprive.

Deprive is not the same as refuse. I believe many people interpret this verse to mean refuse. Are women obligated to have sex every time a man wants it? Are we ever allowed to refuse?

Well, let’s look more closely at deprive.

If I were to say to you, “do not deprive your child of good food,” what am I implying? I’m saying that your child should get the food that is commonly recognized for good health: three healthy meals a day, with some snacks. I am not saying that every time your child pulls at your leg and says, “Mommy, can I have a bag of cheetos?” that you have to say yes. You are not depriving your child of good food by refusing a request for Cheetos.

Deprive implies that there is a level of sexual activity that is necessary for a healthy marriage.

What Does 1 Corinthians 7:5–Do Not Deprive Each Other–Really Mean? [https://tolovehonorandvacuum.com/2012/10/what-does-1-corinthians-7-do-not-deprive-each-other-really-mean/]

More recently, this year in her new book The Great Sex Rescue, Sheila repeated this same assertion.

A Closer Look at “Do Not Deprive”

Let’s take a step back and ask, What is God really asking of us in 1 Corinthians 7:3-5?(…)what does it mean not to deprive, and what is it that we’re being asked not to deprive our spouse of?

Saying “Do not deprive” is not the equivalent of saying “Do not refuse.” When we say “Do not deprive,” we’re saying, “Someone has a need that has to be fulfilled.” But this is not the same thing as saying, “A person gets to have whatever they want.” God made us with a need for food. If your child asks, “Can I have Cheetos?” and you refuse because lunch is in an hour, you are not depriving her of food. The child’s need is for a healthy, balanced diet, not to eat anything she wants, any time she wants.

Likewise, the sexual need that God created us with is not for intercourse whenever we want or however we want. It’s for a healthy, mutual, fulfilling sex life, and sometimes that means saying no for a variety of reasons.

The Great Sex Rescue, 2021, Pages 173-174

As you can see, Sheila is quite attached to this assertion, but it remains just that. An assertion. Notice I did not call it an “argument”, and that’s because she argued for nothing. She claims that “Do not deprive” is not the equivalent of saying “Do not refuse,” but she never proves that. While we frequently use these two words interchangeably, Sheila insists they mean distinctly different things. Yet if one simply examines the word “deprive” in the dictionary, what do you find?

deprive [ dih-prahyv ]
verb (used with object), de·prived, de·priv·ing.
to remove or withhold something from the enjoyment or possession of (a person or persons): to deprive a man of life; to deprive a baby of candy.

https://www.dictionary.com/browse/deprive#

Dictionary.com explicitly refutes Sheila’s definition of ‘deprive’. Even her ludicrous comparison between a husband’s sexual desires and a child’s desire for Cheetos is debunked by this definition: “to deprive a baby of candy.” Clearly babies do not need candy, they merely want candy. And yet, to remove/withhold candy from a baby is still an act of deprivation. The word can be used either way, as can the word ‘refuse’.

In light of this, when we see 1 Corinthians 7:5 say, “Do not deprive one another,” its meaning is clear. Neither spouse in a marriage is permitted to refuse sex to the other. This interpretation doesn’t simply rest on the use of the word deprive, of course. Verses 1-5 flow together in an unbroken line of thought. Men and women are commanded to marry because of temptation to sexual sin in verses 1-2. Verse 3 follows up by describing access to your spouse’s body for sexual intercourse as a conjugal “right”. Not a reward or something you must first earn- it is a right, I.E. something each spouse is entitled to receive from the other. Verse 4 fortifies this by saying that both the husband and wife must have sex with each other because they don’t have authority over their own body, but their spouse does. Verse 5’s condemnation of depriving your spouse of sex except in highly exceptional circumstances is the final nail in the coffin.

That is how we can know how the word “deprive” is being used. The word in itself does not carry some special meaning that redefines what came before it. On the contrary, what came before it defines the meaning of that word. Sheila’s bare assertion ignores Paul’s flow of thought, ignores the interchangeable meanings of “deprive” and “refuse”, ignores how the words are defined in the dictionary, and hence, she doesn’t have a single leg to stand on.

Then again, why worry about such things when you think you know better than the Bible anyway? (From pages 177-178)

Rescuing and Reframing

  • Instead of saying, “Do not deprive your husband,” say, “Sex is a vital part of a healthy marriage relationship that you are both meant to enjoy.”(…)
  • Instead of saying, “You do not have authority over your body; your spouse does,” say, “God wants sex to be a mutual, loving experience.”
  • Instead of saying, “The only activity that is to break regular sexual relations is prayer and fasting for some specific cause, and this to be only by mutual consent for a very limited time,” say, “Our sexual needs are very important ones, but they are not the only ones. Show love to your spouse by caring for all of their needs.”

Interesting approach from a woman who wrote a book with the subtitle, “…How to Recover What God Intended” by telling people not to say what God himself said.

Discouraging Husbands From Reading The Bible

Mike Winger runs the Bible Thinker ministry. In their very brief About Us section, they say,

BibleThinker is a ministry dedicated to helping you learn to think biblically about everything.

This title is very ironic considering how Mike has chosen to preach on marriage. In his Bible study titled “How To Be A Husband” – The LOST art of biblical manliness!, Mike does what most preachers today are want to do. This is a sermon absolutely swarming with insufferable “cute” moments wherein Mike tells an unfunny self-deprecating story, mocks men in general, sucks up to women, the usual fare. He does at least pretend to be preaching from the Scripture, but then dropped this little gem at 28:45:

This video was uploaded on December 10th, 2015.

But, this is our calling: To nourish and to cherish her, so I, I tried to remind myself of these words, and I encourage husbands to do the same. To learn and study Ephesians, ignoring the part about what your wife is supposed to do, and focusing on the part about what we’re supposed to do. Because, I can’t be the evaluator of her, it’s- her is unto the Lord. I’m not her evaluator, I’m not her boss, I’m not that. I’m an authority in the marriage, but I’m not, I’m not, the boss. That’s, gosh, if your boss followed you home, *laughs* and tried to be the boss of everything you did, you wouldn’t have a good relationship with him. *laughs*

I can imagine one of Mike’s peers scolding him: “Mike! Dude, you’re not supposed to tell them that!” Talk about letting the mask slip!

Telling men to mind their own business about wifely submission is mainstream in Christian churches, but Mike has taken it to a whole new level. This is a man whose ministry motto is to help people think biblically, and as part of his strategy, he is straight up telling husbands to ignore what the Bible says. He’s afraid that if husbands were to start reading those dreaded passages about wifely submission, they might commit the dreaded sin of quoting those passages to their wives, and that’s ABUSE. I’m not joking in the slightest:

This video was uploaded on December 5th, 2015.

I memorize the Scriptures to the husband, I don’t memorize the ones to my wife because that wouldn’t be healthy for me. *laughs* It’s not about me making sure, you know, in fact, I’ve never opened the Bible, went to my wife, and said, “You know, it says, here you’re supposed to submit.” I’ve never done that cuz I do consider that to be abuse. I don’t think that that’s, um, I don’t think that’s what I’m called to do. I’m not saying there’s never any scenario where you could do that, but I haven’t found one yet, um, where I’ve done that to my bride. Um, even, even if I felt she was not in submission to me in some way I just was like, it’s not my job. She’s not my child, she’s my bride.

Because of statements like this, these videos are intensely difficult to listen to, so I haven’t listened to them from beginning to end. It’s likely Mike examined Ephesians 5:25-27 at some point, but whether he did or not, we need to recognize that there is a mandate here that commands husbands to teach their wives what the Bible says.

Ephesians 5:25 Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, 26 that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, 27 so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish.

By Mike Winger’s definition of abuse, God himself was commanding husbands to abuse their wives. This is complementarian hatred for husbands epitomized. What may shock you even more, however, is that as recently as September of this year, Mike Winger revealed that he still hasn’t even got out of the infancy stages of his studies of the subject.

Streamed live on September 24th, 2021

What are some good books for important topics like systematic theology, hermeneutics, complementarianism? Well, complementarianism, I’m just gonna have to say, I’m working on it. *laughs* Let me, lemme, I’ll make some book recommendations on that one when I teach on that in, however long it’s gonna take. I’m still in the beginning stages of the research there.

Complementarian hatred for the authority of the husband is so widespread that even Christian pastors like Mike Winger can harbor it without even being aware that his mentality has a doctrinal name. He won’t need to read many books written by complementarians before he discovers they’re his allies in his feminist crusade. The primary difference between them and Mike is that none of the best complementarians would be caught dead telling husbands to ignore what the Bible says. They may agree with just about everything else he says, but even for them, that’s going too far.

Proud of Violating Isaiah 3:12

Tom Buck is behaving like a standard complementarian Christian. He sees no problem with a woman being made a ruler even though the Bible explicitly forbids this.

Isaiah 3:12 My people—infants are their oppressors, and women rule over them. O my people, your guides mislead you and they have swallowed up the course of your paths.

Winsome Sears is violating this basic rule from Scripture, and Tom Buck is saying this is such a good thing that he wants Sears to motivate other Christian women to become like her. She’s a worthy/perfect role model, supposedly. This isn’t true, of course, but let’s lay it out in more detail. Let’s make some notes of what happens in the video that show that this isn’t some wonderful thing to celebrate.

i.) The first thing to notice is how uncomfortable Sears’s family looks. They’re forcing almost every smile. Most of the time they’re looking around like they don’t want to be there. They can’t even hide their boredom and disinterest. If they can’t be bothered to appreciate what just happened, then why should we?

ii.) Sears entered the marine corps. This is a clear act of cross-dressing, and is an abomination to God.

Deuteronomy 22:5 “A woman shall not wear a man’s garment, nor shall a man put on a woman’s cloak, for whoever does these things is an abomination to the Lord your God.

iii.) Being a politician or any rule for that matter, requires a very strong, defiant, combative personality. I just addressed this three days ago in How God Views Boisterous, Argumentative, or “Outgoing/Passionate” Women. On that matter alone, women are forbidden from becoming political leaders, but it’s more than that. Scripture declares such a woman is impossible to deal with and a constant source of misery to her husband. No Pastor should ever think, let alone say, that he wishes his daughters to become like that.

Tragically, this reveals one of the other reasons Christian women aren’t satisfied with being keepers of the home. Our own pastors are telling these Christian women that they ought to aspire to be more than that. And worst of all, they’re encouraging women to violate their basic femininity by becoming more like men.

Hmmm… I wonder why even the more conservative evangelical Christians have become susceptible to social justice influence. However did that happen?

How God Views Boisterous, Argumentative, or “Outgoing/Passionate” Women

In The sound of a rebellious woman, Dalrock covered a moment when Mark Driscoll and his wife received an audience question asking if boisterous women can have a quiet spirit. A person asked if an outgoing/boisterous wife can also have a quiet spirit as 1 Peter 3:3-4 says. Long story short, Driscoll’s wife answered yes, but never explained how that’s possible. Being gentle and quiet are the opposite of boisterous, yet she never even tried to explain how a woman can be both.

The Bible happens to mention this topic a great deal, however. God didn’t simply reveal to us that gentleness and quietness are beautiful attributes of a Godly wife. He also revealed how abhorrent women are who behave in the opposite manner. For example, did you know that Proverbs 21:9 & 25:24 are translated word-for-word exactly the same in the ESV?*

Proverbs 21:9 & 25:24 It is better to live in a corner of the housetop than in a house shared with a quarrelsome wife.

Proverbs has more to say about quarrelsome wives:

Prov. 21:9 It is better to live in a desert land than with a quarrelsome and fretful woman.

Prov. 27:15 A continual dripping on a rainy day and a quarrelsome wife are alike; 16 to restrain her is to restrain the wind or to grasp oil in one’s right hand.

Let’s take account of what we have here. In four distinct places in the book of Proverbs, it is made clear that quarrelsome women are an absolute pain in the neck to live with. Being argumentative, assertive, contradictory, and constantly ready for a verbal altercation, are a bane to a man’s existence. And since this book was written under the inspiration of The Holy Spirit, then what does that mean? It means that God himself though it extremely important to let us know just how awful such women are. They aren’t cute, they’re not “fiesty”, and they are not simply “opinionated”. Proverbs 27:16 actually hones in on this particular point, as such women who are prone to behave in this manner are practically impossible to deal with.

There is no neutral ground here. Women who refuse to adopt a gentle and quiet spirit are in sin and must be exhorted to repent.

This would be incredibly difficult for pastors to preach. Nevermind the fallout from secular feminists, but think of the Christian women in the pews who have made it a habit to behave in this manner in general. They whine and complain over minutia at the checkout registers. They argue constantly with people on the Internet. They have made career choices which require and encourage them to be brash, domineering, and argumentative (Nurses, police-work, armed forces, etc.). A pastor could throw this single pebble into that pack of wolves and hear every one of them yelp in pain.

The fear is very real, and understandable. However, we ought to be more afraid of offending God by not telling such women the truth. Most Christian women have been deceived into thinking that God sees their acerbic behavior as quaint or admirable. It’s not. But, if we won’t tell them, who will?

*In fact, the NIV, the HCSB & CSB, the 1599 Geneva Bible (and I’m sure the list goes on, but I didn’t bother to check more) all happen to translate these verses so that they both say the exact same thing, albeit with slightly different wording than the ESV.

Faux Displays of Masculinity

A small group of dads prove for the 986,275,234th time that Dad’s are a critical necessity to a happy, functioning society. You can watch the video here, or read the summary here:

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/dads-louisiana-high-school-student-violence/

In a nutshell, horrible violence broke out at a public school, and a bunch of dads decided to form their own unofficial militia of dads at the school. Needless to say, the kids immediately started behaving themselves. They’re happier, not getting into huge fights, going to class, etc. Color me unsurprised.

But this is not what a smart, masculine Christian man should be doing. These Dads have curbed the violence and improved the overall mood of the school, but those kids are still in a public school. Public schools are dens of iniquity, with or without fights that require police intervention. Let’s do a list of some of the things you can expect from making your kid attend a public school:

-Bullying from students. Physical and verbal bullying, when your child is at his most vulnerable, both physically and psychologically. Not to mention the bullying that never gets police intervention. How many young boys got their heads shoved in a toilet in this school? Where were these brave bold dads or the boys in blue when the kids needed them then?

-Mistreatment from teachers, most of whom are fat, irritable women. (Ever wondered why the kids from public schools are so dumb?) Female teachers will give boys lower grades than they deserve, and for stupid reasons. This was discussed in the book The War Against Boys.

-Early exposure to the most foul/vulgar language on the planet. Ephesians 5:3-4 happens to be in our Bibles, and clearly condemns this behavior. It should not even be named among Christians.

-Early exposure to sexual debauchery in all its forms. This was true years ago, and it’s only more true with the advent of computers with Internet access and smartphones. I don’t think more needs to be said on the topic.

-Brainwashing of children to believe in anti-Christian leftists social and political theories, garbage so-called scientific theories like evolution, feminism, and the list could go on. Again, this is all when your child is at his most vulnerable, both physically and mentally.

-Exposure to the consumption of various substances they shouldn’t be touching at a young age, if at all. I don’t simply mean illegal drugs, but drinking and smoking.

Public schools are societal cesspools. And yet even people who call themselves Christians regularly make their kids go there. To even suggest that this might be a very bad idea will be met with confusion, as if none of these things are that big of a deal.

The truly bold, masculine, God-honoring response to all of this is to GET YOUR KIDS OUT OF PUBLIC SCHOOL. Don’t keep sending your kids to public school and pat yourself on the back. GET THEM OUT. Don’t even send them to private school. Educate your kids your own darn self. It is easier to do that now than it has ever been. No one who names the name of Christ has a legitimate excuse to throw up their hands in defeat and let our evil society ravage your little ones.

That’s why the Dads on Duty are, in reality, nothing more than a glorified band-aid on society’s problems. This is not bold, brave, masculinity we’re seeing on display. Don’t call yourself a hero if you’re still throwing your kids to the wolves. Be a good parent, for God’s sake.

Wilson’s Quadruple-Speak: To Doug Wilson’s Defenders

The greatest difficulty in demonstrating the dishonesty of Doug Wilson lies in the very thing he does so well- speaking out of both sides of his mouth. On one hand he teaches plenty of things that tickle the ears of right-wing Christians. Fathers rule the home, and their wives should submit. That all sounds Godly and Biblical because it is. So, when someone comes along to appropriately point out how he undermines those things on a regular basis like some feminist-Christian, the typical reaction is disbelief or automatic dismissal. This article should hopefully lay it out for his readers as to why people like myself see him that way.

Continue reading

My Favorite “Iron Rule”

Iron Rule of Tomassi #9
Never Self-Deprecate under any circumstance.

The Iron Rules is the chapter I will recommend people start with when I recommend The Rational Male to their reading. Most people are reluctant to read a book in the first place, so I say if you can’t make yourself read any other part of the book, at least read through The Iron Rules. The ninth rule listed above is easily my favorite, and I want to explain why.

Christian men always self-deprecate. From the pulpit, of course, but in day-to-day interactions too. We act like it’s an indication of virtue on the part of the men who do it. One easy example is a pastor in the pulpit making some unfunny joke about his wife’s only imperfection being her taste in men. That’s a common phenomena, but I see it as even more pervasive than that. Men in the exclusive company of other men routinely cut themselves down. Someone mentions working out, and another man pipes up to inform the group that he would go to the gym, but the boss-man (his wife) won’t let him. Some guy talks about his hobby, and makes sure to tell everyone that his wife loathed it so much he had to make a “man-cave” to pursue his interests. This is typical, unsolicited self-deprecation committed voluntarily by Christian men all the time.

This behavior goes beyond men-bad, women-good, of course. For example, some guy talks about working out, and another man, likely obese and generally unattractive, self-deprecates without even mentioning his wife. “Man, I would work out, but I’m just too lazy, and I just love pizza and ice cream too much! Lol!”

Clearly Christian men don’t think it’s inappropriate to joke about their personal failures in this way. That’s why I think Iron Rule #9 is my personal favorite, because making the conscious decision to live by it gives you light-bulb moment after light-bulb moment in your day-to-day interactions. I can personally attest to this, having been trained for most of my life to see self-deprecation as a good thing. In The Rational Male on page 234, Rollo wrote a couple sentences that make this point especially clear:

The message is ‘women love men who laugh at Men’. Thus, you have to be hyper-aware of it and unlearn it. You have to catch yourself in mid-sentence so to speak. Women operate in the sub-communications and when you overtly admit to a lack of confidence in yourself or your collective gender you may as well just LFBJ yourself.

Page 234 of The Rational Male by Rollo Tomassi

Rollo was talking mostly about women in this particular paragraph, but I would extend this to interactions where men are your primary or only audience. You do have to be hyper-aware of it, because catching yourself before you open your mouth takes a conscious, focused act of the will. The action itself is simple; It’s just keeping your mouth shut, basically. But, when you do stop yourself from self-deprecating, you will immediately feel a strong desire being denied its usual satisfaction. You want to make yourself look bad. It’s uncomfortable to not do it. But, it’s an eye-opening moment, because now you’re starting to see your self-deprecation for what it really is. Before you thought it was no big deal, but then you actually implemented the rule, and now it’s clear that it is a very big deal indeed. You really wanted to cut yourself down in front of your friends and family.

Stopping yourself before self-deprecation is good for you. The more you do it, the more your realize how pathetic it was all along. You enjoyed taking the opportunity to advertise what a loser you are. Heck, it gets you cheap laughs, doesn’t it? Relieves a little anxiety, right? Keeps everyone’s expectations low, and you can take comfort in embracing the truth that you’re just a lame, unexceptional dude among many. Stopping and recognizing your insecure behavior for what it really is will only reinforce your desire to keep it to yourself.

To my readers, if this is a lesson you haven’t learned yet, I highly recommend it. Implementing rule #9 yields immediate results. You don’t have to be in denial about your negative self image, but for God’s sake and your own, keep it to yourself! You will instantly see why once you take that simple step. Just because you have a character flaw relevant to the topic of conversation does not mean you should tell everyone about it. Stifle that desire to expose your failings! Your friends and family won’t even know to think less of you if you don’t tell them about it in the first place, so stop being your own worst enemy. You want to know a basic, simply way to improve your own confidence and self-esteem in general? This is the way to go.