13 December 2021
One of the most endearing traits is consistent and persistent devotion to another's welfare. Of course, devotion to welfare is the proper definition of "love". This explains why people cannot resist affectionate animals, for example.
Devotion and trust is an aphrodisiac in effect. This is why marriages involving people utterly lacking in physical charisma can turn out to be so strong and stable. Conversely, the lack of devotion and trust explains why the most beautiful people in the world have such chaotic and destructive relationships. This is something that most Men's Red Pill chatter misses. They get the destructive part, but they refuse to understand that the very best hope we all have for a solid and satisfying marriage has little to do with physical attraction, and everything to do with good moral character.
There's an old principle that if you hang out with someone long enough, voluntarily or otherwise, you will come to love them. As long as things are tolerable between two or more people, they will develop a strong affection over a period of time. And if it happens that the people you hang out with are friendly, and they happen to possess traits that you find sexually attractive, it's hard to keep your hands to yourself. Welcome to the human race.
This can work for the good, of course. If you pair up couples based on a good knowledge of their character traits and tastes, it won't matter if there is no initial attraction. Give it time; they'll fall in love. With a strong community support, they'll stay in love for life.
But it tends to work for the bad when the nature of their organization and proximity makes pairing a problem. And it easily explains the troubles of one-sided attractions in those organizations.
Have you noticed that the Bible encourages not mixing the sexes publicly? It's the assumption behind all the Old Testament customs. Bathsheba was not innocent; she knew the requirement to use a covered, or at least latticed, bathing space up on the roof of her home. Most women would have been deeply embarrassed at the thought of such exhibitionism. Most men would have known to turn away. Good moral men are embarrassed by such displays. There were two fools on the roofs that night.
But the assumptions of the biblical customs and laws suggest that women are more fickle than men (a trait called "hypergammy" -- seeking to trade up), and so the emphasis is on isolating women in ways that prevent them having any chance of straying. This appears unfair to Western eyes, but it's based on a very real and wise assessment of fallen human nature. Our Western social culture and mythology is a fat layer of deception that obscures what is really going on.
We are forced to live in a world where truth is called a lie, and vice versa. What's left is the art of balancing our conduct between what we know is right and what our society demands. It's exceedingly difficult to make rules about this that will fit even a majority of situations we are likely to encounter. I can't make them for you, only for myself.
I refuse to swim where nearly naked women are present. I won't go to a mixed gender gym. I actually do turn away when women show too much flesh; it's very uncomfortable for me. It's a reflex to avoid places where I'm likely to run into much of that. I personally encourage gender separation for education and work, including anything labeled "Sunday school". I strongly believe in women teaching women. If I were in charge of a public worship setting, I would restore the New Testament practice of seating men separately from women and children. I'm convinced the ancient Hebrew social practices were based on divine revelation about what's real, and what supports holiness.
I won't meet privately with women, children or effeminate men. Even when counseling, there needs to be chaperon. If it really must be a private conversation, it needs to be an open space with someone observing from a distance. The only exception is with close family members.
If we all lived in a different society than the one we have now, I would adjust those rules. But these are part of my answer to the flaws and temptations of America today. You'll need to come up with your own; this blog is not pastoral in nature. Rather, the commission of God for this blog is to sound a prophetic warning about the wrath to come. If you sense a need for a shepherd's covering, see the Radix Fidem forum.
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