Missouri Linemen Demonstrate Christian Responsibility on Field

About a year ago I wrote a brief post on how modesty and, of all things, violence fit together nicely in the Christian world. In it I stated that Christian men must become “modest avengers”.

The bizarre culture of manhood America displays is not the product of too much or too little violence. It is the product of a false choice. Men are told that they must put violence aside at all costs or become monsters. Most men choose the first. A few choose the second, and prey on the first.Christian men must pick violence up. They have no choice. Although violence is a fruit of evil doing, it is not in itself evil. Satan was violently thrown down from Heaven when he tried to violently overthrow the Right Throne. Evil violence is the imposition of the will of the stronger over the will of the weak, to the detriment of the weak. Good violence, proper violence, is the preservation of the will of the weak against the will of the strong, to the benefit of the weak.* This is why judges must be vindicators and avengers. That sounds more personal and violent than Americans would like, but that is their calling. They are there to save the widow from the ruthless man.

Good, evil, and violence are complicated things. Any ethic of violence is bound to be complicated, and bound to dwell in gray areas where questions of authority haunt every decision. But the Christian man must be willing to use violence…he has his wife, his children, and his neighbors to consider. Every Christian man is in some small, limited way, an avenger and a vindicator. He must be a modest avenger.

When I teach my kids about fighting and violence, I try to be as clear as possible. You may not use violence to defend yourself or your own dignity. But you may use violence to defend others, and that not just from physical threats. If some boys are insulting your sister, have at ’em.

Some Christians have difficulty with that concept. Vengeance is mine, sayeth the Lord, etcetera. But they forget a few things. Like the preliminary to that command, which is “avenge not yourselves”. And when the Almighty says “to me belongeth vengeance and recompence”, he then goes on to describe the vengeance that will fall on the enemies of God’s people “in due time”: that vengeance involves his “swords” and “arrows”, with which he’ll draw blood and take captives. As the rest of Moses’ books show, and as a search for the word “avenge” will also show, it is the armies of God’s people which he uses to avenge God’s people.

The books of Moses deal with vengeance. Vengeance is said to be the Lord’s. Sanctuary cities are set up where manslayers can hide from bloodguilt, clans, and vendettas. Personal vengeance leads only to a cycle of violence. But sometimes, it’s just your job as a Christian to be an avenger. A ruler is to be an avenger. A judge is to be an avenger. One of the reasons the fatherless and widows are so vulnerable is that they have no one to protect them, to avenge them.

The crisis comes when the Christian lives in a land where there is no justice, where rulers are not avengers of the innocent.

What is a Christian to do then? Some say, we simply suffer and wait. Others say, we’ll become Knights Templar.

Often Christians are called to suffer and wait; often they are powerless, dragged away in chains. Christians remember that part of Israel’s history. What they forget are the mighty men who fought against the enemies of God’s people.

As long as there is a mighty man around to do the protecting and avenging when God’s enemies are around, that is what they must do.

_________________________________________________________________

Which brings me, at long last, to SEC football.

This past Saturday we saw an episode in which some football players had to take justice into their own hands. Some would object to it, saying that it amounts to a sports version of vigilante-ism. But I believe that it was their job. It only ended up falling to them because there was no just king in the land, but there it is. That’s how it happens for Christians all the time.

Alabama linebacker LaMichael Fanning picked up Missouri running back Russell Hansbrough and suplexed him WWE style, throwing him on his head. When you see the video you will see how brutal and vicious a play it was.

15 yard penalty. What?!

Yes, Fanning will probably be suspended. After the game. The refs didn’t expel Fanning from the game. And Nick Saban, Alabama’s head coach, lacked the class to sub him out for the next play and chew him out. Most coaches would have done exactly that, dressing the player down on national TV to send the message that this is the sort of thing their football program won’t allow. Unfortunately, Saban is a bully. Fanning was left in for the next two plays, and did not come off the field until fourth down/his helmet had come off.

Why did Fanning’s helmet come off? Because Hansbrough’s linemen were reduced to having to take vengeance into their own hands. And it was the right thing to do. First, the job had fallen to the judges; alas that the refs declined to expel Fanning. Then the job had fallen to the king; alas the Saban is an unjust king. The job of those linemen is to protect the running back.

So they went after Fanning. They, I would contend, were delivering the spoiled out of the hand of the oppressor. Keeping it from happening again.

Did it work? Maybe. The fool only rages and laughs. Fanning kind of grins at his sideline as he runs back, full of arrogance. See the video below.

But that doesn’t matter. Those linemen had to show that they stood between their guy and wicked violence. And that’s how it ought to be in sports; it’s one of the ways you can tell good teams. Even when there’s just a scuffle, not an all-out bit of thuggery like Fannings, you can tell the good teams. Those are the ones where the offended party turns his back and walks away while three teammates step in to the gap.

By the way, don’t email me defending Saban. I don’t know what Saban did or said post-facto, and I don’t care. He sent all the message he needed to by leaving Fanning in the game.

_________________________________________________________________
Am I overreacting? Probably. I hope the Gators get to the SEC championship game, and that Alabama’s there waiting for us.

3 Mistakes Women Make in the Bedroom

Instead of posting on this blog the past couple of weeks, I’ve been cruising the back alleys of the internet. There I stumbled across galtime.com, a website like many others, serving the needs of women in love and life 24 hours a day.

I read about the 3 Mistakes Women Make in the Bedroom that Dr. Jane Greer is most concerned about. There are, of course, many other mistakes women are prone to make, the silly little things, but these three are of a more pressing urgency than the others. Not that the others aren’t important! You should still read 6 Things Women Do That Scare Men Off, 7 Reasons Why You Don’t Want Sex, and 5 Ways to Be a Better Lover. Not to mention 5 Tips For Getting In “The Mood”. Because if you can’t figure that one out, your man’s going to leave you this very week.

Anyway, back to the urgent 3 Mistakes. Here’s a quote:

Mistake #1: Comfy Clothes
I know, ladies, that you want to be in those those comfortable nightgowns, those comfortable jammies, that you wear. But, honestly, the quickest turn-off to your partner or spouse are your comfy clothes. So, if you want to spice things up in your love life, shed those comfy clothes and find a ice, hot bra or a nice nighty, something you can be slinky, sexy and comfortable in that will be a TURN-ON to your partner.

Mistake #2: NOT Taking the Lead
Don’t wait to get asked to dance, meaning you’ve got to take the lead. You don’t have to wait for your partner to ask you to have sex or make love with them. Get involved, get into bed, take the lead and get your partner into bed with you. You’ll both have a lot of fun and enjoy yourselves.

Mistake #3: Criticism
It’s to be avoided at all costs. Nothing will turn off your partner faster than you telling him what you DON’T like and what you don’t want taking place. On the other hand, what will be a complete arousal and turn-on is letting him know what he CAN do to please you and what will excite you if he does it.

So, tell him what you like, wear those sexy clothes and, most importantly of all, take the lead so that you can have the fun you’re looking for!

Remember, ladies, the good doctor tells us that these are mistakes to be avoided AT ALL COSTS! Nothing ought to stand in the way of you keeping your man happy with what, let’s face it, has been pretty mediocre service. This is all good advice, but at the end of the day, Dr. Greer is a woman. If you ladies want a man’s take on these 3 Mistakes, The Giant is here for you. You can read my take, you can watch the video at the end of this post, or you can do both.

Giant Take on Mistake #1: Comfy Clothes

It is well known that husbands do not think it’s sexy when their wives wear hubby’s t-shirts. Wait. What?! Of course they do! And what about the sweet way some flannel pajama pants accentuate the plump shapeliness of the derriere? Or is that just me?

Even if it is just me…come on! Women, are you really going to wear black lacy panties all day every day? Or sneak off to change if there’s a chance of “intimacy”? Or wake up before your husband so you can put make-up on?

The real problem, of course, as it is with the other two “mistakes”, is men and husbands. If it is true that “the quickest turn-off to your partner or spouse are your comfy clothes”, then men are all evil assholes. Husbands, if comfy clothes are a turn-off, learn to look at your wife through new eyes. Because the ones you’re using now aren’t working.

It isn’t they who woo us. It is we who woo them. That means we come to them as they are, and we entreat their affection.

Giant Take on Mistake #2: NOT Taking the Lead

I’m not sure why “not” is all in caps.

Wives apparently mess up by NOT taking the lead.

I’m sure most husbands would be glad to have a wife who did their work for them. Wait a second…that’s already a thing! A few years into my marriage I suggested to my wife that it might be nice if she were a little more assertive, if she went after me once in a while.

Know what she did? She laughed at me and told me to be a man. Seriously. Those were her very words.

And that’s sexy.

Nothing wrong with wifey taking the lead. But husbands, you are men. You’re the hunter, you’re the wooer. And your biology backs that up. You’re always going to be going after her; if she came after you, it would only be for variety’s sake, because she will never come after you the way you go after her (although later on it will be okay if she comes after you). So be content with that. That’s your role. You’re the pursuer. Don’t pout and make her chase you; that’s at least as harmful to the female mind as an unresponsive and arbitrary woman is to her man’s wee little psyche.

Giant Take on Mistake #3: Criticism

When I initially read Dr. Greer’s blurb, I was reading for a laugh. Then I hit this one and I stopped laughing. It hit home a little more. I’ve had this exact conversation with my wife. The point made is not so much that women are always nagging and criticizing their men; it’s that women shouldn’t frame things negatively in bed. Less “don’t do that” and more “yes, do that”.

Great point for both sexes. But in sex, the man is usually the performer. He is the one who is doing it to her. He is more vulnerable to criticism because he is initiating and following through. Fair enough. Women should be considerate of that.

But the underlying assumption is the same stupid thing. That the problems in the bedroom are the woman’s fault. Nothing wrong with asking wifey to frame things more positively. But husbands ought to stop being whiney and susceptible and start being doers. You make it so that your wife feels comfy wearing comfy clothes. You make it so that your wife doesn’t have to take the lead when you’re actually the one who wants to have sex all the time. You be the one to set a positive atmosphere, to praise her beauty and her skill.

Stop whining. Maybe then your wives will stop being so insecure. If you want to be built up, build her up. If you tear her down, you’ll go down with her.

Anyone for a closing pun?

5 Songs About Sex Christian Couples Should Listen To

Ah, Christian husbands. Sweet, sweet Christian husbands. Caught up in the carnival of oversexualization and shame that is our society, trying to navigate your marriages, your wives, your sexual sins and hangups, and your immense horndogginess, all at once.

That’s awkward. Also, I feel awkward about using the word “immense” just now.

May I suggest that your marriage could use a little more rock n’ roll? You know, from a Biblical perspective. And make that rock hard. Make that roll smooth.

Each of these songs can be your guide through different times and phases of your walk with wifey. Share these with her. These are for couples. Some are more directed toward husbands, some more toward wives. As always, there are no accusations, but mutual support and encouragement.

1. Keep Your Hands To Yourself, Georgia Satellites

During certain times you might want to keep your hands to yourself. For example, during the gentle phase many call “courtship”, and the less pious call “dating”, during which this song is clearly set.

No hugging, no kissing until you make her your wife.

Once she is your wife, this song can also be helpful during your brief times of mutual sexual abstention, as prescribed in 1 Corinthians 7:5, for devotion to prayer. Always remember, however, St. Paul’s admonition that this should only be for a brief time. It is always good to “come together again”. And I think you know what I mean.

Please don’t nag your woman. Men are always in peril of being sexual “drippers“, all the while believing that their wives are the only nag in the marriage. If you’ve memorized the “Can We ______?” in Mark Driscoll’s sex book, you might be in danger of being a dripper. Consider keeping your hands to yourself for a time.

 

2. Abracadabra, Steve Miller Band

Husband, let your woman know a) that you want her, b) that her deeds in the bedroom are appreciated, and that c) her deeds in the bedroom are effective.

Your wife should know that you want to reach out and grab her. Every wife wants that from her husband all the time. Obviously you both have other things to do besides grab each other, but a standard part of the Christian marriage package that a husband should give his wife is the confidence that he desires her. You know, like a burning flame full of desire. Appreciation and gratitude to God and wife are the order of the day if one wishes to let the fire get higher.

Once the wife knows she is wanted and appreciated, she is better able to make the husband say “you make me hot, you make me sigh. Keep me burning for your love…” Because it’s not about some sort of technique or ancient Eastern secret. It’s about love and enthusiasm. It’s about kindness and consideration. You know, mature married stuff.

 

3. I Want A Little Sugar In My Bowl, Nina Simone

Okay, this isn’t really rock n’ roll. But it belongs here anyway.

O husbands, have you complaints about the wife of your youth? Pray to God for mercy and realize that everything is your responsibility. Yours. You aren’t to be your wife’s accuser before God; you’re to be her advocate. You can’t worry if she’s taking care of her end or looking after your “needs”. So…you better start giving.

Give her some sugar in her bowl. Give her some honey deep in her soul.

What’s the matter, daddy? Come on, save her soul. I ain’t fooling. Now that’s a theologically profound idea. It might even provide an insight into the always difficult 1 Timothy 2:15.

In your entire marriage, and in your chambers, o husband, you be the generous one. Give her some sugar. Right in her bowl.

 

4. Afternoon Delight, Starland Vocal Band

Why wait until the middle of the cold dark night?

Everything’s a little clearer in the light of day. Be open, be communicative, and make love all day. And those of you who know me know that I cannot have used the phrase “make love” casually, since I view its use as a euphemism as deplorable. “Make love” is still listed in Merriam-Webster as to “woo or court” before it’s listed as to “neck, pet, engage in sexual intercourse”.

So make love to your wife all day, send her texts, make phone calls, do favors, speak sweet nothings, whatever. Consider yourself to be in a never-ending state of wooing; win your wife every day.

Do this, and your sky rocket might be in flight afternoon, evening, and night. Maybe even in the morning, before you’ve had your coffee, which is difficult but worth doing.

 

5. Squeeze Box, The Who

There are principally two things that Christians can learn from this tune (I say “principally” because the rich lessons that can be extracted from this subtle work are surely myriad).

First, regularity and frequency must be an important part of any marriage. For the mommy and daddy in this song, that meant all night, every night. That, it seems, was what their marriage required to be healthy. That might not be the way for all couples, but each should find their own rhythm. Where Afternoon Delight reminded us that hubby should always be in woo mode, Squeeze Box might serve to remind wives not to make their husbands work too hard.

Second, in a non-creepy way, it’s a family affair. Squeeze Box is about a mommy and a daddy. I’m not saying that you should make it so that the kids can’t sleep or that the neighbors are kept awake by the “music”. Modesty is meet and right.

But modesty is a glorious and strong thing, very different from shame. Marriage is fundamentally a sexual relationship. That is what it is. It is the only Biblical sexual relationship (depending on how one uses the word “sexual” I here add distractingly). Your neighbors should know that you’re married. Your kids should be confident that mommy and daddy love each other. They may not understand it now, but when they’re older and trying to figure out how to play the squeeze box in their own marriages, they’ll look back and see how you made music, and whether or not you loved it. You’re teaching your kids about music right now, whether they hear you occasionally from the other side of the house or not.

So if nothing else, do it for the kids.

I Can’t Tell Fat Women From Pregnant Women When I’m On The Subway

This is rather an old article, but since I’ve posted on the topic before, I thought this might be of interest to readers.

According to The Telegraph, weaselly English commuters responded to weaselly queries from two weaselly surveys asking why pregnant women were so seldom given seats in public transportation. These surveys were taken in response to a website’s claim that 4 out of 5 women they had questioned had been left standing while in their third trimester.

Third trimester. That is, visibly pregnant.

The weaselly response to these secondary surveys? That “the majority of expectant mothers cannot find a seat on buses and trains because their fellow passengers cannot distinguish between a pregnant woman’s bump and the figure of an obese woman”.

I have no idea how these two surveys were conducted, but it cannot have been professionally, because that’s just a lie. Or maybe the majority of us prefer to lie to ourselves. Rarely, very rarely, there might be some question, but women in their third trimester are almost always obviously pregnant.

But we grant that you can’t tell. You have some sort of pregnancy blindness. The solution?

What you should be doing all along, as awkward as it might seem. Give up your seat to every woman. Everyday fat women get tired too. Done. You don’t even have to make a big deal out of it.

Here is another article in the N.Y. Times on the no-giving-up-seat-to-pregnant-women phenomenon. In this one the woman says she’s much more likely to be given a seat when inconvenienced by strollers, children, or groceries. Just not when she’s pregnant. There’s some sort of strange fear at play here, and I must meditate further to determine what it is. “Everyone’s an asshole” seems too simplistic.

From the Times article:

If anyone did give up a seat — which, O.K., did happen, on days when there was a partial eclipse, a unicorn sighting and alternate-side parking suspended, or when I finally started asking for one — the donors appeared in this order of likelihood: (1) older woman, (2) younger woman, (3) minority man.

A white man? Not on the list. Didn’t happen. Not once. Oh wait, once. That guy with a Playbill from “Jersey Boys.” Not a local.

My friends had the same experience.

One recalled, “Even at 32 weeks, I had young, suited, hearty-looking, Wall Street Journal-reading men outsprint me for a seat.”

Another said, “The first person who offered me a seat was an old Chinese woman with a lot of bags who looked so frail that I insisted she sit back down.”

I am at a loss to explain this. My husband, a white guy, would offer his seat to just about anyone. Why are the pregsters never on his train?

Perhaps you think people don’t offer women seats because they don’t want to make the faux pas of mistaking pregnant for fat. Fine. But then explain why would we be fat below ground but pregnant above? You see, for everyone who failed me on the subway, there was someone on the street who held a door or let me cut the bathroom line at Starbucks.

 

His Love Is Serious

I would not have expected Sinead O’Connor to write one of the sexiest songs in the universe, but it seems she has. For over ten years now she has been very, how to put it, spiritually active in some fringe groups of the Roman Catholic church, but I haven’t really kept track of her. I would guess that she’s a big fan of the mystics, and if she is, she seems to have taken the “all shall be well and all shall be well and all manner of things shall be well” lesson to heart.

If there’s one thing that permeates this tune besides sexiness it’s contentment. And that’s how I like my sexiness, thank you very much. A definitive love song about romance, domesticity, and fruitfulness. With just a touch of sexual innuendo. I’m going to have to get home quick so I can give wifey a buggy ride of her own.

(There’s more to this post below the video.)

The song is 4th and Vine from the 2012 album How About I Be Me (And You Be You)? It is interesting to note, as an aside, that a Catholic church on 4th and Vine in Philadelphia was burnt down by rioters in the 1840s.

Why do I like this song so much? Because it’s perfectly feminine, in praise and in love with the perfectly masculine.

This from the woman who ten years ago declared herself a lesbian, then married a man less than a year later. The contentment part doesn’t seem to have quite settled in with the artist (she’s been married three times since she was ordained as a priestess in a break-away Roman Catholic group). So I’m not saying she’s a model, but the song certainly is.

She makes herself pretty, she knows it will “look real nice” for her man, who is sweet, gentle, kind, and “no wuss”. They’re going to live happily ever after, so they go down to the church and get married. They’re going to have six kids, who will sing all the time because “their mama and their pa a-love them so right”. And it makes her warm inside when he takes her for a buggy ride.

Aw yeah.

Good To Be Bawdy

Readers of this blog know I’m on the earthier side of the behavioral spectrum. So you will surely not be surprised to find a defence of bawdiness here. Let us define our terms, figure out how much wiggle this thing has, and preserve our modesty as a precious thing all the while.

I begin by telling you now, and explaining to you later, that I despise all things indecent, nasty, unclean, abusive, and immodest.

The concept of obscenity is a good bellwether for us to talk about how to be bawdy. Something is obscene if it ought to be off the scene, but isn’t. There are some things that ought not to be scene by certain people (i.e. sex between a husband and wife ought not to be scene by the entire rest of the world’s population). But obscenity is not defined by the act; it’s defined by its appropriateness.

I won’t ever be obscene (put better, if I do, I do ill), but I’ll certainly be bawdy in the right circumstances. Which come around more often than you’d think.

The following comes from a Ship of Fools article.

[C. S.] Lewis virtually chain-smoked throughout the day and night, both cigarettes and pipe, enjoyed bawdy humour with his beer, and was very loud and cheery – not at all retiring in manner or pious in outward behaviour.

According to Terry Lindvall in Surprised by Laughter: The Comic World of C. S. Lewis, Lewis loved bawdiness and jokes about sex, but despised dirty stories containing smut or blasphemy, which when “told in his presence, he did not disguise his annoyance.”

So then he said, "A fresh bar of soap, sir."

There is a difference between people who joke about sex as an appreciation for the way God made us and the world, and those who joke about sex as a way of “dabbling in their lusts.” But people who do the latter aren’t being bawdy; they’re being obscene. How do you know if you’re being obscene? If what you’re saying is cruel, if it would embarrass, compromise, or shame someone, if it’s contemptuous (particularly of women), if it’s not something your wife could hear, it’s obscene.

It’s bawdy if it’s hilarious.

And I don’t mean hilarious “I laughed a lot”. You might be laughing at something nasty. I mean causing delight and joy and hilarity. Something your mother, if she’s not overly prudish, would be amused by.

Something your wife would only minimally roll her eyes at.

I’ve brought up women a couple of times here. Women are as bawdy as men are. But I write for men, so let’s talk about bawdiness around females.

It’s fine.

No, really.

Bawdiness is for friends. If you’re in a mixed group of friends, there’s nothing wrong with being bawdy, as long as we remember that part of how we defined bawdy earlier is appropriateness. (Yes, it’s one of those things you’ll have to figure out!) Be bawdy around the right people. Sweet, sweet, much-loved Modesty, which I treasure as a rich thing, loves to dance with Bawdiness. It seems like half the women in our church are either midwives, midwife apprentices, or doulas. As you might imagine, these women can handle themselves in the bawdy arena.

(It is very possible to become tiresome in one’s bawdiness, I often run that danger. The problem is not the bawdiness; the problem is being tiresome. Don’t be a bore, darling.)

Then there’s bawdiness around the wife. Be kind to her. If she was brought up prudishly, don’t be an ass and start pushing things. You probably have bigger fish to fry anyway; joyfully take care of those first. Which leads into a pretty big idea:

Bawdiness is a sign of a healthy perception of sex. According to Lewis, it can break the bonds of obsession, the “erotic enchantment”. This whole thing we do, and the way we do it, is awe-inspiring. It’s amazing to think that God made it for us, not just for the pleasure of it, but for how it brings a husband and wife together. But it’s also hilarious to think that God made it the way he made it; admit it, it’s kind of funny. Which means its kind of fun.

Sex is more about fun than it is about pleasure or release. So stop obsessing about it and start laughing about it.