I can take trite, I will not take treachery

The church I attend has a men’s ministry group that meets a couple times a month. My work schedule often interferes, but I go when I can. It is full of self-immolation and father-blaming, and I take a firm stand against that when I am there. A couple of men have come to me privately and asked me to please come more often, because there is no one to oppose these things when I am absent. I hope to inspire these men to stand up for truth and righteousness themselves. Anyhow, that’s not my point today. This group has an email mailing list, and sends out a morning devotional, which is usually some trite fluff copied from a website. Here is this morning’s email:

This isn’t like the normal devotions we send out, but I thought its message was equally important.  This is an actual letter sent to a father and it’s a real eye opener.  The one thing we MUST understand is that we can overcome ANY addiction with the right help and it all begins with Christ.

Have a great and blessed week,
(redacted)

Dear Dad:

I want to let you know first of all that I love you and forgive you for what this has done in my life. I also wanted to let you know exactly what your porn use has done to my life. You may think that this effects only you, or even your and mom’s relationships. But it has had a profound impact on me and all of my siblings as well.

I found your porn on the computer somewhere around the age of 12 or so, just when I was starting to become a young woman. First of all, it seemed very hypocritical to me that you were trying to teach me the value of what to let into my mind in terms of movies, yet here you were entertaining your mind with this junk on a regular basis. Your talks to me about being careful with what I watched meant virtually nothing.

Because of pornography, I was aware that mom was not the only woman you were looking at. I became acutely aware of your wandering eye when we were out and about. This taught me that all men have a wandering eye and can’t be trusted. I learned to distrust and even dislike men for the way they perceived women in this way.

As far as modesty goes, you tried to talk with me about how my dress affects those around me and how I should value myself for what I am on the inside. Your actions however told me that I would only ever truly be beautiful and accepted if I looked like the women on magazine covers or in porn. Your talks with me meant nothing and in fact, just made me angry.

As I grew older, I only had this message reinforced by the culture we live in. That beauty is something that can only be achieved if you look like “them”. I also learned to trust you less and less as what you told me didn’t line up with what you did. I wondered more and more if I would ever find a man who would accept me and love me for me and not just a pretty face.

When I had friends over, I wondered how you perceived them. Did you see them as my friends, or did you see them as a pretty face in one of your fantasies? No girl should ever have to wonder that about the man who is supposed to be protecting her and other women in her life.

I did meet a man. One of the first things I asked him about was his struggle with pornography. I’m thankful to God that it is something that hasn’t had a grip on his life. We still have had struggles because of the deep-rooted distrust in my heart for men. Yes, your porn watching has affected my relationship with my husband years later.

If I could tell you one thing, it would be this: Porn didn’t just affect your life; it affected everyone around you in ways I don’t think you can ever realize. It still affects me to this day as I realize the hold that it has on our society. I dread the day when I have to talk with my sweet little boy about pornography and its far-reaching greedy hands. When I tell him about how pornography, like most sins, affects far more than just us.

Like, I said, I have forgiven you. I am so thankful for the work that God has done in my life in this area. It is an area that I still struggle with from time to time, but I am thankful for God’s grace and also my husband’s. I do pray that you are past this and that the many men who struggle with this will have their eyes opened.

Love, Your Daughter

*This has been posted anonymously due to the nature of the topic.*

Copied from faith.com

I have a few comments. First, this is obviously fake. There is a 0% chance that this is an honest letter sent by a happily married woman to her father. Yet a reasonably intelligent man sent it to the entire men’s group as if it was genuine. Not even the miraculously-not-interested-in-hot-naked-women-and-never-was-but-totally-not-gay husband raised an eyebrow. Why? Because it fits the narrative. This group has become so used to attacks on fathers that now all such attacks are simply accepted as true.

I’ve seen these men beat themselves up, not over viewing porn, but over having a desire to look at porn.

Yet when I point out Paul’s prescription against sexual immorality, they insist that the solution is not the lawful satiation of desire in the manner God intended, but rather the utter annihilation of the desire itself. It’s as if modern Christianity has convinced men that the greatest good they can desire is eunuchhood.  And while Christ did say that there are some who make themselves eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven, it is clear that this not a burden laid on all men, and indeed, eunuchs are prohibited from the assembly of the Lord.

I wasn’t sure how to respond to this, but felt the need to put myself publicly on record with all the fathers in the group who were hammered over the head with this email this morning. Here is what I eventually sent on “reply all.”

This “letter” is obviously fabricated, and violates numerous scriptural principles. As a Christian men’s group, it is our duty to call out, rather than spread, falsehoods. This fake letter is also obviously designed to undermine fathers by suggesting to wives and children that fathers are not worthy of the leadership role given them by God, and that it is unsafe to submit to fathers as commanded by God. Furthermore, it completely ignores the scriptural answer to temptation to sexual immorality, which is not annihilation of desire, but rather lawful satiation of it. Such a confused and contrived piece of anti-biblical and anti-father propaganda has no place in a group dedicated to helping men fulfill their Biblical role.

Maybe I’ll get through, maybe I won’t. At least I’ll know that I was not silent. For more on a related note by a better author, head over to this article.

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10 thoughts on “I can take trite, I will not take treachery

  1. I can speak from personal experience here – my wife stumbled on her father’s girlie magazines when she was a young teen. And confronted him about it, so this isn’t an impossibility.

    It also has had a huge impact on her view of sex and her view of porn. I’m still dealing with it after over 25 years of marriage.

    It can indeed cause rippling issues in one’s sex life that last for a very long time, including how one views her husband. We never discussed porn before marriage. We were both “technical” virgins when we were married, though our hands wandered where they shouldn’t have. I know she CAN have a sexual response, but I haven’t seen it in years.

    My first exposure to porn was in the 2nd grade and was it was pretty constant through my formative years. More of a “lure of the forbidden” thing than a sexual thing. As an adult, I was not a consumer, unless I stumbled on it somewhere. Then came marriage, along with a wife who had serious sexual hangups (did not consummate until 2 weeks after the wedding). No porn. I felt lonely, rejected, and she closed off to me sexually.

    Then came the Internet. Bam! Porn availability 24 hours a day.

    She says my (very occasional) slips into porn are why she does not pursue sex. She cannot answer why she did not pursue sex in our marriage before porn. She will leave me high and dry for months at a time (2 years dry spell is the record) and then complain that I stumbled. When she asks about porn, I’ve learned to say, “I don’t talk about porn with you.” And she begs me to find an “accountability partner,” even though I can go for years without falling into this sin.

    My wife proves the “splinter in your brother’s eye, plank in your own,” situation. She has the ability to remove the splinter from my eye permanently, as I read the Scriptures, yet does not.

    For all its faults, my discovery of the Manosphere during the last year has allowed me to understand things in a way I could not before. I am working to change things. I regret that I have spent, literally half my life miserable. But that, as they say, is my own fault for believing the feminized church. “Just serve her and she’ll want you!”

    Thanks to God for grace and mercy, for both me and my wife.

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  2. @KingProphetPriest:

    It is because of men in situations such as you describe that I had to reply to this email. I will agree with you that it is possible that a girl might find porn and confront her father about it. It is even possible that she might do so through a letter. But that is not what this is. Read it again, and you will see that it is not a letter to a father, but rather a letter about a father to the world at large. This is a crucial distinction.

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  3. I didn’t miss the distinction – I don’t think it is a real letter from a woman to her father.

    What struck me was how much she assumed based on what she saw – not a man struggling with a sin, but something entirely different. If the underlying story of her finding porn is true, it’s not that event that messed her up, rather, it was her imaginings of what she did not know, could not know and what she presumed her father might be doing, thinking or living.

    When she stated, “I forgive you,” I got a little angry, because she was not the one sinned against. All of the troubles she has experienced are rooted in her own sins of presumption, judgements, bitterness and lack of love. Even her accusations show she has listened far more to the world than she has to the Scriptures. That’s the “splinter/beam” issue I have experienced with my own wife.

    I noted in her closing: “I am thankful for God’s grace and also my husband’s.”

    I would lay odds that she is married to a very unhappy man.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. This letter seems like it was written by someone imagining a situation and then creating a work of fiction. All done with the best of intentions, you see. 😉

    Bleh. What’s the point of the letter even if it was true? SHAME ON YOU! BAD DADDY!

    Like a dude in a men’s Bible study needs someone to tell him porn is sinful.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. What dad is unaware that his daughter has gotten married? I would agree that girls are aware of their fathers’ visual stimuli and can be harmed by that, but something there is odd.

    On another note, it strikes me that anyone working against porn ought to define it. As far as I can tell, a lot of people working against porn pretty much define it as anything between looking at a girl wearing jeggings or a low cut top all the way to the images of various kinds of sex being performed–and I’d have to guess that Bob whose gaze lingers too long at a leggy girl in jeggings has a somewhat different problem than does Pee-Wee watching Ron Jeremy.

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  6. Pingback: In hoc signo vinces… nihilo | Moose Norseman

  7. Pingback: The demonization of masculinity | Reflections on Christianity and the manosphere

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