Godly Women · Traditionalist Bird

Mark of a Godly Woman #5: Two Decades of Crappy Attitude

One of the requirements to be a self-appointed godly woman is you have to put some time in having a crappy attitude in your marriage. The more time the better. If you are bitchy for the first five years of your marriage, well that is worth something, but not as much as saying the following:

“My heart is full today, Lori. I’ve been married for 35 years. (The first two decades of that were pretty rotten because of my own attitude.).”

Its like the more time you put in with a past bad attitude, the more godly you are today. This story matches Lori’s and you see it often enough. The narrative is always the same–“I was a bitch till God saved me, now I am an amazing wife and I am going to blog all about my awesomeness”.

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29 thoughts on “Mark of a Godly Woman #5: Two Decades of Crappy Attitude

  1. Maea said:

    “Based on the research I’ve read about remarriage, men are more likely to remarry than women (and remarriages included the divorced and widowed, and therefore I don’t know the exact stats on widows). Who actually wants to do those things as a form of charity?”

    The stats might have been different way back, given that more women were dying young.

    Also, there might be existing friendly relations. For example, my great-grandpa married his deceased wife’s sister very late in life (I think both parties were at least in their 70s at that point). Or see, for example OT levirate marriage or the example of Ruth–it might be regarded in certain cultures as the right thing to do to marry your deceased relative’s widow.

    (Some of this is a bit shocking to the Catholic ear–my husband was very shocked to hear that about great-grandpa–but Protestants wouldn’t find it very shocking.)

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  2. And sometimes “care from the church” was splitting up the family after the husband died. Or a pretty aggressive expectation of remarriage if the widow was as “young” as her 40s or even 50s.

    People tried to split up my mom’s family when her father died during her childhood. Based on the research I’ve read about remarriage, men are more likely to remarry than women (and remarriages included the divorced and widowed, and therefore I don’t know the exact stats on widows). Who actually wants to do those things as a form of charity?

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  3. I can tell you from almost a decades worth of experience that it totally changes the way you view poverty, completely shatters some (not all) of your internal conservative rhetoric, and makes you much more sympathetic and grateful.

    The talk about how easy it is to make if you just [insert platitude here] fails to take into account so many variables that I stopped taking it seriously years ago.

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  4. STMA said:

    “I would be willing to bet that 90% of these oh-so-pious ladies come from a background of WASP privilege.”

    …and/or aren’t very involved with their church’s benevolence programs.

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  5. It’s not even that, it’s just ignoring history. People in ye olde days used to come knock on your door ALL THE TIME scrounging up money for widows and orphans. There was frequent fundraising and trying to find things widows could do to earn money without having to give up care of their kids. And sometimes “care from the church” was splitting up the family after the husband died. Or a pretty aggressive expectation of remarriage if the widow was as “young” as her 40s or even 50s.

    And men did marry widows much more often, including widows with six kids or what have you.

    And the biggest ignoring of all is that *church was never enough* and *private charity was never enough*. The whole push for government-funded aid in various forms from a king’s charity to what we might call social welfare funding was because it turns out relying on individuals was inadequate to the fact that you’ll always have the poor around.

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  6. We have life insurance on both of us also. In my husband’s case it will pay off the mortgage, pay other bills and help us live in reasonable frugal comfort for a little while so that I can find a decent job that will support myself and the children without having to take the very first thing I can get. In my case it will pay for child care if needed and some school tuition because I wouldn’t be around anymore to provide the education. It definitely won’t enable me to lie back on my laurels and soak up the benefits of my husband’s labor. And Maea is exactly right…..I would be willing to bet that 90% of these oh-so-pious ladies come from a background of WASP privilege.

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  7. Maea said:

    “Life insurance isn’t the million-dollar payout I’ve seen a lot of people make it out to be.”

    Well, ours is literally that much, but it costs actual money every month and a million dollars only goes so far. Here’s how far ours would go in the event of my husband’s untimely demise:

    –funeral expenses
    –finish out private school for three children
    –pay off mortgage
    –state college for three children
    –no more than 7 years of living expenses of $50k a year (but the house and tuition would be covered already–which would be a major reduction in expenses for our family)–so mom better get a job of some kind within a year or two!

    We also carry around $200k in term life insurance on me. That would cover:

    –funeral expenses
    –pay off mortgage
    –a year or two of higher childcare expenses/more meals out/etc.

    Add another child or two to the picture, and we’re suddenly terribly uninsured.

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  8. I’m sorry, folks, but this pious nonsense about how the church will somehow step up and deliver handouts to the pious, submissive women who simply trust in God….it doesn’t happen.

    I’ve been saying this for years! The idea of some Medieval-style charity stepping in and helping out is living in the past. What if the woman in question was a widow? Life insurance isn’t the million-dollar payout I’ve seen a lot of people make it out to be. After the final expenses are paid, people still gotta eat.

    I’m from an immigrant community and many, if not all of the mothers worked. They worked because their husbands told them to. It was that, or continue to live in a ghetto apartment complex. None of them worked to “fulfillment,” and working is a means to an end. I find many of the values I was raised with clash with the values of these bloggers. I’m convinced a lot of these things are American middle class status markers, having nothing to do with Christianity.

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  9. One thing I’ll always be grateful for is my kids’ first piano teacher. She knew I couldn’t afford lessons. She gave me two for one discount, and then when we ran so low I had no way to pay her, I did sewing for her as payment. Nothing I can ever do can adequately repay the debt I owe to that wonderful lady. I have two children who are starting to get gigs and are helping their current teachers as student mentors, and it is all due to her that they are able to do this. Now THAT is someone I’ll hold up to my daughters to emulate, NOT the Titus 2 bloggers!

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  10. “Right, how about these godly women get off their blogs and actually help.”

    ‘Cause they are the whited sepulchres like the Pharisees were. It took me a long time to realize that, but that’s precisely what they are.

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  11. “They never really help. They just make excuses and then continue to blame you when the problem either (a) stays the same or (b) gets worse, because they know darn well they aren’t going to lift a finger to help.”

    They have to blame you because godly mentors are never wrong. In their mind they are appointed by God and speaking for God himself. So, if they are wrong then God is wrong and I imagine it causes a whole internal spiritual crisis. When a woman will say to a godly mentor your advice isn’t working, there only reply is something like well “you are just aren’t praying hard enough, “you just aren’t trying hard enough”.

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  12. STMA,
    Great comment.
    “What would be really nice for people to do is offer to watch your kids for free or on the barter system when you have to go out and get that job; unfortunately, you usually have to fork over half your salary for babysitting and therefore have to work twice the hours you’d normally have to work, which some of the self-righteous “Godly” people see as serving you right because you are working outside the home.”

    Right, how about these godly women get off their blogs and actually help. There is so much help that is needed locally. I am not even suggesting that they babysit so a woman can go get the alleged sinful job, but to help so that the Mom can have a second…like how about a moment to actually go give her husband that awesome sex he deserves and they write about so often. For a woman who has no local family or local family that cares, she never gets a break.

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  13. Also, the woman whose husband doesn’t want her to work, but she knows it’s a one-stop to the poorhouse if she doesn’t…..and realizes she is running out of options; it’s either she works or the house is foreclosed. I’m sorry, folks, but this pious nonsense about how the church will somehow step up and deliver handouts to the pious, submissive women who simply trust in God….it doesn’t happen. You either have to apply for some sort of charitable help which is parsimoniously parceled out to pay the overdue electric bill or overdue mortgage or what you will, or end up begging for extensions and mercy from your creditors. And in the end, they will still have to be paid, and guess what….you, dear submissive Godly wife, will need to come up with the money to pay them. And, horror of horrors, this sometimes means getting a job. What would be really nice for people to do is offer to watch your kids for free or on the barter system when you have to go out and get that job; unfortunately, you usually have to fork over half your salary for babysitting and therefore have to work twice the hours you’d normally have to work, which some of the self-righteous “Godly” people see as serving you right because you are working outside the home. It burns me up. All this malarky about how all they want is a career and luxury — sure, and I know a great bridge in New York for sale, too. I have yet to meet ONE woman in my circle who works because she wants to find fulfillment in a career — every single one of them works because they need to keep a roof over their kids’ heads. Talk about a bunch of sanctimonious smart alecks.

    They always piously admonish you about St. Paul and submission, and, as one already so aptly said, beat the stuffing out of you when you already have so much stuffing out of you it just hurts ten times more than it would under more normal circumstances. They never really help. They just make excuses and then continue to blame you when the problem either (a) stays the same or (b) gets worse, because they know darn well they aren’t going to lift a finger to help.

    Then finally one day your older children are old enough to babysit the younger ones, which is a relief….and they take over some of the household chores and see to it that certain schoolwork they can do without you standing over them gets done, and you can finally start seeing a light at the end of the tunnel. And you learn a lesson — don’t ever assume anything about the working mother. The working mother, most of the time, is trying to pay her bills and have a little bit of savings. All those who think otherwise are self-righteous and filled with pride, which, last I knew, was one of the sins God found most abhorrent!

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  14. Yeah what if he is a perfectly, nice, reasonable guy who wants his wife to work. LA says that is a disobedient man. I say that is a man leading his family how he sees fit.

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  15. Yes, I agree with this, very good power trade. The husbands must love and support it too because her turning to blogs gets her off his case as well. The husbands that report their wives have changed (which really aren’t many, generally hear only from wives), etc., has she really or is it she just has redirected her bitchiness to other people. Not something to brag about….
    What is the bible verse about idle women going door to door being busybodies…now its they go from blog to blog…

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  16. I would be more willing to give them the benefit of the doubt, if the new-found “submission” to their husbands wasn’t so inevitably accompanied by an eagerness to beat the stuffing out of other women…As I’ve mentioned before, in a worldly sense, it’s a very good deal to start submitting to one man for a few hours in the evening, in exchange for being able to pummel dozens or hundreds of other women 24/7.

    This! I don’t think that these submission bloggers really want to help anyone. They’ve just stopped being shrews at home (so they claim) and started being shrews online.

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  17. Elspeth said:

    “He would say that you know a tree by its fruit, not by its ability to tell you how much it’s grown.”

    That’s a really good line!

    “I’m willing to give some of these wives the benefit of the doubt and suggest that a desire to do what’s right may be the reason for the change.”

    I would be more willing to give them the benefit of the doubt, if the new-found “submission” to their husbands wasn’t so inevitably accompanied by an eagerness to beat the stuffing out of other women…As I’ve mentioned before, in a worldly sense, it’s a very good deal to start submitting to one man for a few hours in the evening, in exchange for being able to pummel dozens or hundreds of other women 24/7.

    “But those who undermine a husband’s positions with pronouncements from on high about the *only* way to be a good wife, labeling good Christian men disobedient and whatnot? Those I suspect simply traded in one sphere of control for another.”

    Yes. LA frequently steps in it when it turns out that an advice-seeker’s husband doesn’t want what LA wants for that family.

    Also, to paraphrase Stone’s “What if he’s passive and that’s OK?”, I’d say “What if he’s a perfectly nice, reasonable guy and that’s OK?”

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  18. Although, come to think of it, self-abnegation and self-abasement probably don’t combine well with alpha…

    Actually no, it doesn’t. Of the men I have known who live(d) which bear real fruit, the tendency to go on about how bad they used to be is virtually nonexistent. The exception is if said recounting is done for a clear purpose having little to do how anyone viewed them personally.

    It’s a valuable lesson, one I didn’t really grasp until I considered the life of one such man in retrospect. He would say that you know a tree by its fruit, not by its ability to tell you how much it’s grown.

    What these testimonies reveal -mine was nothing like that FWIW- is that submission is something a wife gives which it can’t be gamed or coerced out of her. Not every wife who is submissive from day one is submissive out of love for God (*ahem*) and it is a long journey to get to doing the right thing for the right reasons.

    I’m willing to give some of these wives the benefit of the doubt and suggest that a desire to do what’s right may be the reason for the change. Not only do our children grow up and our looks start to fade with middle age, but we also start to realize -hopefully- which things are important and begin to act accordingly. Hopefully.

    But those who undermine a husband’s positions with pronouncements from on high about the *only* way to be a good wife, labeling good Christian men disobedient and whatnot? Those I suspect simply traded in one sphere of control for another.

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  19. Well shoot, I can top that. I’ve had a bad attitude for about 5 decades now 🙂

    I was saved long ago. Not just saved, but rescued and bailed out more than a few times since. Apparently Christ is fond of fallen women with a bad attitude. By golly, my husband seems to be, too.

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  20. Eavan said:

    “It’s an evangelical thing: you don’t have anything to say unless you have a “testimony” of being a total ass until you were found by Jesus, then you get perfect. The idea of repentance being a long road of different choices is seen as casting aspersions on the power of Christ to effect change.”

    But what about the manosphere guys? Plenty of them are Evangelical, too, but they don’t do the same thing–they might say that they used to be beta but are now alpha, but there isn’t the same self-abnegation and self-abasement going on that you see among the women.

    Although, come to think of it, self-abnegation and self-abasement probably don’t combine well with alpha…

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  21. “There is a really strange sense of “atonement” in the sphere from women about their previous transgressions.”

    It’s an evangelical thing: you don’t have anything to say unless you have a “testimony” of being a total ass until you were found by Jesus, then you get perfect. The idea of repentance being a long road of different choices is seen as casting aspersions on the power of Christ to effect change.

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  22. Maea said:

    “There is a really strange sense of “atonement” in the sphere from women about their previous transgressions. Totally negates the idea of humility and repenting. Why aren’t the men doing this?”

    Right. Why aren’t the guys doing it?

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  23. I don’t think it’s wise at all for these women to be bragging about their previous bitchiness. It’s embarrassing and makes me wonder if they learned anything. Instead, why don’t they teach wives to do their best to have a positive attitude and take life’s challenges in stride?

    There is a really strange sense of “atonement” in the sphere from women about their previous transgressions. Totally negates the idea of humility and repenting. Why aren’t the men doing this?

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  24. Stone said:

    “Its also just so happens to be timed when a woman’s look start to fade, when a husband might have an affair or altogether leave her for a hotter, younger, sweeter woman. They realize better get nice now, I can no longer count on my looks.”

    And perhaps he’d only have a handful of years of child support to cover at that point.

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  25. Its also just so happens to be timed when a woman’s look start to fade, when a husband might have an affair or altogether leave her for a hotter, younger, sweeter woman. They realize better get nice now, I can no longer count on my looks.

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  26. How does the time line work on these?

    If a couple has been married two decades, then presumably the witchiness covers all of their childbearing years and probably all of the early years for the children, even if it’s a biggish family (22 + 20 = 42). If it’s a small family, the youngest kids are almost middle school-aged…

    Is this miraculous era of meekness and submission timed to come right around the time that a husband might reasonably expect a wife to go back to work?

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