Game, Attraction, and Morality

Sarah’s Daughter asks of those anti-game Christians:

I’d be interested to know if those who find it somehow not Christian for men to learn and apply techniques that stimulate a woman’s attraction to him find it as non Christian when women learn to do the same. And if not, what makes it different?”

An interesting question. One made even more interesting by her example of making herself more attractive for RLB:

I remember learning that how I wear my hair matters to my husband. I had not thought of it before, I just did my hair the way I liked doing my hair. When we first met, I liked wearing it long, highlighted, sometimes curly, sometimes straight. When RLB told me he wanted me to color my hair platinum and was willing to pay whatever it took to get it that way, it dawned on me that this is something that is important to him. The same is true about my weight, my physical condition, my attitude, and my submission to him.

From this my mind immediately went to a particular Bible verse:

Likewise, wives, be subject to your own husbands, so that even if some do not obey the word, they may be won without a word by the conduct of their wives, when they see your respectful and pure conduct. Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear—but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious. For this is how the holy women who hoped in God used to adorn themselves, by submitting to their own husbands, as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord. And you are her children, if you do good and do not fear anything that is frightening. (1 Peter 3:1-6, ESV)

And to another related verse:

I desire then that in every place the men should pray, lifting holy hands without anger or quarreling; likewise also that women should adorn themselves in respectable apparel, with modesty and self-control, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly attire, but with what is proper for women who profess godliness—with good works. Let a woman learn quietly with all submissiveness. I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet. For Adam was formed first, then Eve; and Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor. Yet she will be saved through childbearing—if they continue in faith and love and holiness, with self-control. (1 Timothy 2:8-15, ESV)

So then, the question becomes is SD’s point the exact opposite of the one she is intending to make? Rather than proving men should learn attraction techniques, is she simply proving that both men and women should avoid attraction techniques?

Is SD sinning by ‘adorning’ her hair in ‘platinum’?

I think that by looking at the morality of girl game, we could probably gain some insight into game.

****

No braids, no gold, no stylish clothes; it seems harsh doesn’t it.

Harlot!

Very few outside the most extreme of fundamentalists forbid women from braids, yet this command is given not just once, but twice, and by both Peter and Paul. This would make it seem to be of some import.

Are almost all Christians sinning in this regard?

If we focus just on clothes for a second: “Do not let your adorning be external…the clothing you wear” and  “not with… costly attire”. An exacting, literal reading of the former would be not to dress, yet that would be obviously incorrect. While the latter would be against any costly clothes, yet in Proverbs 31, the virtuous wife “makes bed coverings for herself; her clothing is fine linen and purple.”

If we look to jewelry, there are a number of times in the old testament where it is spoken of neutrally, even positively.

So, a contradiction? By no means.

As in all Biblical interpretation, context is of the utmost importance.

Reading the verses, the focus is not on the hair, jewelry, or clothes rather the focus is on modesty, respect, submission, self-control, and good works.

The attitude is what is important, the attitude is what should be focused upon.

I think this passage from Isaiah illustrates nicely:

The Lord said:
Because the daughters of Zion are haughty
and walk with outstretched necks,
glancing wantonly with their eyes,
mincing along as they go,
tinkling with their feet,
therefore the Lord will strike with a scab
the heads of the daughters of Zion,
and the Lord will lay bare their secret parts.

In that day the Lord will take away the finery of the anklets, the headbands, and the crescents; the pendants, the bracelets, and the scarves; the headdresses, the armlets, the sashes, the perfume boxes, and the amulets; the signet rings and nose rings; the festal robes, the mantles, the cloaks, and the handbags; the mirrors, the linen garments, the turbans, and the veils.

Instead of perfume there will be rottenness;
and instead of a belt, a rope;
and instead of well-set hair, baldness;
and instead of a rich robe, a skirt of sackcloth;
and branding instead of beauty. (Isaiah 3:16-24, ESV)

The daughters of Zion lived in pride and purposefully incited the lust of man. The finery was not the problem, the finery was a symptom of a malaise among the women.

So to the NT verses. The gold, the braids, the clothes are not the problem, the problem is women focusing on their external appearance, their vanity, their pride, their ability to incite lust, rather than on living modestly and in submission.

That is what women are to avoid.

****

Back to the original question, is SD sinning by ‘adorning’ her hair?

I would say not. She is displaying (on the internet, I can say nothing of her in real life) the attitudes Paul and Peter demand: modesty, a quiet and gentle spirit, submission to her husband, respectfulness, and pure conduct. (Good works can only be judged in person).

She is focusing on the important matters. She is not using her platinum adornment (at least according to herself) to incite lust in men, to draw attention to herself, or as a crutch for vanity. She is doing so in modesty and respectfulness.

So too with girl game.

Is a woman practicing girl game doing so in pure conduct and modesty? Is she developing in herself a submissive and respectful attitude? Does she practice self-control and good works?

Or is she trying to incite the lust of men? Is she seeking attention? Is she girl gaming to satiate her pride? Is she being wanton? Is she causing her brother to stumble?

A woman who develops and practices girl game within the former attitude will will bear good fruit. Her game is pure. Whether she has braids or jewelry is irrelevant; if she wears them, she does so in right heart. If she doesn’t wear them, her attitude and inner beauty* will still attract the right type of man.

A woman of the second type’s game will bear bad fruit. She will attract the lustful (or no one at all). Whether she wears braids or jewelry is irrelevant; her pride is still her undoing and it will be readily apparent, repelling all but the wrong kind of man.

Girl game should be focused on the internals, the attitudes, first and foremost.

****

From this we can analyze game. The tools and techniques of game (posture, social skills, dress, masculine confidence, etc.) are morally irrelevant. Rather, we need to ask from where are these tools gained and to what ends are they used?

Are these tools being used out of rebellion or out of submission to God’s will? Are they developed from the lusts of the flesh or from godly motive?

Is your masculine confidence born of pride or does it come from faith in the Rock?

Are you learning these techniques so you can further the kingdom or so you can engage in sex?

Do you secretly hope young women lust over you or do you wish to promote modesty, pure conduct, and right-thinking among young women?

Does your physical training supercede your spiritual discipline?

Are you learning social skills to manipulate others or to build others up?

Is a woman (or women) your goal or is God your goal?

Do you wish for a wife as a status marker or for selfish reasons, or are you truly looking to devote yourself to developing her and your family spiritually and ministering to them?

Do you wish to lead your wife for her and the family’s benefit and the glory of God or for your own prideful needs?

****

Chad has said repeatedly that game is based in pride. Secular game is run through with pride and the lusts of the flesh. The entirety of secular game is based on pride.

While game itself is not sinful, it is was developed from pride and the flesh, most of the conversation comes from a place of sin.

Some men of strong faith, such as Vox, may be able to learn and practice Christianized game without falling to temptation. Others, such as Keoni, may be struck by the truths found in game, leading them to explore further truths. But for many, the pride and impure motives of most proponents of game will be a stumbling block.

While reading the flurry of activity on this topic the last few weeks, I was convicted. I have found that for myself, my motives for my self-improvement were often misedirected and occasionally sinful. The impure attitudes was seeping into me.

For this reason, I embrace the (re)development of masculine Christianity that the Christian manosphere has embraced.

I hold nothing against those who practice Christianized game and don’t think there is an inherent moral conflict between Christianity and game, but I think a Christian masculinity based explicitly in Christian values will be better than repurposing or Christianizing game, especially for younger and weaker brothers.

But even as we do so, we should avoid sniping each other too much. For all the enemies of Christ, masculinity, tradition, and civilization out there, those of us who support those values should focus on our enemies rather than on our friends with whom we disagree.

****

* The concept of inner beauty exists, yet I use it here not as it is usually used, as it has been much abused. That’s another topic for another time.

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22 responses to “Game, Attraction, and Morality

  • Chad

    I’ve been so focused on Godly Masculinity as it relates to game that I hadn’t thought of Feminine Grace as it relates to game.

    I think I’m on the same page as you. The main concern a wife should have is if what she is doing will lead her husband to God. I think that submission is a key thing here. For some men, they will need their wives to be more modest so as not to excite jealousy in the heart of the man should she get too much attention. Some men will need their wives to be more attractive, so that their own eyes don’t wander to other women. Some men will feel more Pride than is healthy should their woman show off too much, and start to treat her like a bauble or item of treasure, rather than a treasure of God.

    In all these things, her husband’s relationship with God should be the first thing on her mind, and how she can support that. It should -not- be her own vanity or emotions that are the first thing on her mind.

    Godly Masculinity might be complicated, but it seems to be more straightforward once you start to understand it.

    Feminine Grace seems to be easier to understand, but more subtly applied to individual situations.

    Not surprising, given the natures of men and women.

  • Sigyn

    The translation of “plegma”, in the passage you quote, as “braid” is simplistic. It refers to a more “woven” style, often with ornaments added in. “Basketweave” is another legitimate translation, since it is used to refer to baskets as well. So the emphasis is on elaborate, time-consuming adornments.

    If that helps at all.

  • earl

    What you have pointed out is something that came to me.

    Developing and defending your heart to please God and seek the kingdom of Heaven is the most important thing you can do. Once that is done…it’ll show up on the outside and all those worldly things that were weighing you down will start to disappear. If anything that’s all game really is to me…the removal of fear and anxiety. Women have their rules…men have theirs.

    If I have any beef with the seculars and PUAs is that their road takes them to nihilism because of only seeing what the world presents as truth. I want my road to be filled with hope. Purity can certainly help with this as it helps you to see God. In fact I’d call that taking the white pill.

    The red pill is seeking truth and understanding how the world or human nature works…the white pill is still having hope in God that the world won’t take you down.

  • deti

    It is always about the heart and what is in the heart.

  • Sarah's Daughter

    Chad has said repeatedly that game is based in pride. Secular game is run through with pride and the lusts of the flesh. The entirety of secular game is based on pride.

    While game itself is not sinful, it is was developed from pride and the flesh, most of the conversation comes from a place of sin.

    Let me give you an example. When we met and married, I was very insecure. I was so afraid of losing RLB that that fear overwhelmed me (sin). RLB, though a Christian, thought it would be easier to lie to me (sin) so as to protect me (and him) from my fear – that expressed itself in anger and rage (sin).

    Young married wives will ask stupid questions (fitness tests) like: do you think she’s pretty? When I would ask these things, I knew the answer (manipulating sin), anyone who can see would be able to answer affirmatively. What RLB didn’t know is that when he answered “no” (lying – sin), though it wasn’t supposed to incite my insecurity, it did and I knew he was lying.

    He didn’t want to hurt me or anger me yet he believed the lie, a nice guy who wants to keep the peace lies in these situations. What the nice guy doesn’t know is that his insecure wife can get over this insecurity and will cease with these type of nonsense fitness tests when she is told the truth. No matter how brutal it feels at first. (I wonder how many nice guys are being miserable sinners in these situations while PUA’s are acting in accordance with Scripture).

    He learned to recognize fitness tests from the blogs he was reading. He recognized his dishonesty as sin from the Bible. He made the decision that he would no longer be dishonest and would endure whatever the consequences were. What he experienced was nothing like he had feared. He started to respond to my fitness tests with honesty. “Yes, she is pretty.” and would follow it up with, “if you don’t want to hear the answer, don’t ask the question.” “I find many women attractive, I married you.” His fear of my response subsided and my irrational insecurity subsided. I stopped asking stupid questions that I knew the answer to and I became much more attracted to him when I knew he no longer feared me and my reactions. Please remember, this is when I was still in rebellion to God’s call for me in marriage.

    Was he utilizing Game in order to get a different response from me than what he had been getting? Yes. Was that technique in line with Christian masculinity – yes. What has gotten messed up with the secular game teachers is they are saying that a man is making another woman jealous by being honest about how attractive he finds other women. This is silly. It is not the jealousy that makes us more attracted to the man. It is the honesty. And, knowing he isn’t going to lie to protect himself from us (providing evidence that he is weak and fearful). So though secular game teachers and PUA’s may understand the mechanics and the “how to” of getting results, they are sometimes clueless as to the “why” they get the results they do. However gravity is gravity no matter who throws a rock off a building, it will fall to the ground.

    RLB’s motivation to learn of these things came from the emasculating affects of being the nice guy and the evidence he had that being the nice guy, contrary to what he was told, does not make his wife happy. Nor is being a liar being obedient to God.

    Just one of many many anecdotes.

  • Chad

    SD,
    I can’t speak for the other men searching for Godly Masculinity or simply denying game; but I myself have never denied that game works. Nor that some game concepts have the ability to fit within a Christian world.

    The thing is, is that I see those truths as a problem because I see them tempting men to listen to prideful men who’s hearts are ruled by the Dark Triad. The occasional truth and half truths are what make game so easy to see as ‘a toolbox’ that can make a man think he can learn from lustful sinners how to be a holy head of family.

    I know that men like your husband exist, and that they’ve been led to be stronger in Christ because of game. I myself, converted after becoming good at game. But I converted because I saw a black, depressing, lifeless world staring back at me, and it put a fear of God in me. Am I discounting those conversions? Not at all.

    What I say is that we Christians should attempt to raise Christians so that they don’t need to be converted by seeing the death of sin as closely as Game leads you to. We should raise men to have a Godly Masculinity, and we should encourage men already raise to put in the fearsomely hard work of instilling that within themselves, because their parents failed to do so, rather than encourage them to face temptations of pride and lust. Saying that the side of good is weak, and that evil teaches us quiet well is not an excuse to teach evil nor make it stronger; it’s a reason to put in the much harder work of raising up men to be Godly.

    There will always be St Augustine’s of the world that turn away from lives of sin. That does not make every man who turns toward sin into a St Augustine.

  • Sarah's Daughter

    Take a look at CH today. Very practical advice for any young man who is developing a relationship with a woman. We’ll have our son read it later. Now, this is something that RLB does with me. I recently had to fly down to Oklahoma to tie up some loose ends from when we lived there. I wrote several lengthy texts to him telling him what I’d been up to. He responded with “k”.
    I highly doubt he thought to himself, “I’m going to respond to her this way to keep her attraction level toward me high.” But do men naturally know that communicating this way enhances attraction? Probably not. Are there Christian men offering up this kind of practical advice? Not really, in fact RLB likely hasn’t even considered that he should advise his son on how to communicate with girls via texts. Is there anything inherently wrong about this advice? Is it somehow sinful that though I live in obedience to God and am in submission to my husband, I still get giddy when he does something that CH labels “Jerkboy Charisma Game”? Is it sinful that he responded to me in a way that a PUA would label “Jerkboy Charisma Game” even though he hadn’t even considered responding a different way?

  • Chad

    Which is a perfect example of how small parts of Game can fall into Christian teaching, yet Game itself is un-Christian.

    Look, go read my post on the Virtues and Character:

    http://depthstowilderness.com/righteous-actions-and-character-the-virtues/

    God explicitly states that he cares about men’s Character and their Actions. All your argument has focused on is on results. The results are your rationalization for the argument. “Actions _____ results in my husband turning me on and making me obedient. Therefore both the action and any system espousing the action must be able to fit into God’s plan.”

    No, not at all. This is explicitly false. Go read the fall of Saul. You’ll notice that Saul was condemned by God not for doing something God would not enjoy (saving his plunder, loot, and slaves to sacrifice to God) but because he did not do what God desired (destroy everything and burn all the sin out of the land).

    You’re falsely correlating a singular situation to back up entire systems of action where are explicitly rooted in the Dark Triad sins of Pride.

    If a man has Character and Actions that are informed by strengths of the Virtues, he does not need game. He’ll act with confidence because he has put his Faith and Hope in God. He’ll have courage and fortitude because he fears nothing but displeasing God, and certainly does not care to enable the silly emotions of the woman in front of him, but would rather lead her. He has the temperance to deny himself pleasures of the flesh and of the mind so that he can lead her well. He understands that there should be justice at home, but also soothing mercy and compassion.

    And you subscribe to an easy system of Game that destroys and avoids building anything of the sort, because it focuses all on the self.

  • Deep Strength

    @ SD

    What Chad is trying to say is what I was getting at in this post:

    http://deepstrength.wordpress.com/2014/01/30/the-end-of-the-game-debate/

    There’s certainly utility in knowledge of interactions between men and women that can be learned from game.

    But the underlying theme with “game” is “I want my wife/girlfriend/etc. to be more attracted to me.” It’s good to want your wife to be more attracted to you, but the important part here is the “me” — it’s selfish. Christians are called to think of more than just themselves… to love others as Christ has loved us.

    The correct frame of reference Christian men should really be asking themselves is… “How can I act in a way that brings both my wife and I closer together with God and in our relationship?”

    The way you may act and say things as a righteous Christian man in some situations may be the same as you would in game: “Yes, she’s attractive” and “don’t ask that question if you don’t want to hear the answer” is a good example because it is stating the truth. But, on the other hand, if a man is having trouble in his marriage is it a good idea to make his wife jealous by flirting with other women? Surely not. Is it a good idea for him to justify emulating the dark triad traits (narcissism, machiavellianism, psychopathy) because they will make his wife more attracted to him? Surely not.

    The distinction you must make is that of the heart. I want to act righteously, and to act righteously I must consider both the end result and the process it takes to get to the end result. If a Christian man starts using the dark triad traits and the game that comes out of those to make his wife more attracted to him the end result is indeed good — that his wife is more attracted to him. But the process is bad because how you do things does matter to God. The end result isn’t the only thing we should be worried about as the fruit of the Spirit that describe the process are important — joy, peace, humility, kindness, considerate, etc.

  • Sarah's Daughter

    I don’t necessarily disagree with anything either of you have written. It will be between every man and God where his heart is as it always has been.

    Luke 19:40 lets us know that the Truth will always be revealed. If the seeker isn’t learning Truth from churches or parents today the seeker will find a source in which Truth is revealed. For those who have found blogs like this from a path where miserable heathens gather, it should embarrass the church. But the seeker will still rejoice, for Truth has been revealed.

  • Sarah's Daughter

    I take that back, reading it over a few more times I do in fact disagree with a lot of what has been said.

    I can tell you both would disagree that dread should ever be used in marriage. I’m not sure what you would advise for a man dealing with a rebellious wife ready to nuke the marriage but it’s clear it wouldn’t be anything that would elicit dread.

    Though I was a Christian – Jesus is Lord – I was steeped in rebellion. I know RLB doesn’t have a single regret of how he dealt with me. As well we would recommend it to other men looking to wake their wives up to the sin she’s about to commit. Already rebellious, already sinning, I was setting out to leave my husband. I’m a liar if I don’t admit that his letting me know he will not live alone didn’t cause me to stop dead in my tracks. I literally had not thought of it. Having to think of another woman in my home with my children woke me right up.

    I’ve had friends considering divorce come to me for advice. I’ve been the one to instill dread in them saying, “your husband is a very attractive man, he won’t be single long, are you ready to have another woman in your children’s lives?” They have chosen not to divorce their husbands and are still married today.

    Marriages saved. Tell me, what have either of you told men/women that has saved their marriage and prevented her from blowing up the marriage? What is the Christian route to take considering I’m confident neither of you believe the route my husband took or my advice to these women was Christian.

  • Deep Strength

    @ SD

    No, I disagree with a specific forms of “dread” because of certain reasons. I suppose I should be more specific of what type of dread is good and what is bad because I’m always referring to the bad ones.

    For example, I don’t think that flirting with other women or disappearing for hours without explanation of why is being considerate or loving. To say that actions have consequences (aka dread game) you need to inform a wife of her actions and the consequences.

    Alternatively, I would agree with a husband going off for some hours at a time if he said something such as: “You’re nagging and I don’t like being around you when you’re nagging. I’m going to leave for a couple hours.” That’s a good boundary to set and in line with Scriptures, specifically the Proverbs.

    Your counseling women like that I would also agree is in line with Scriptures.

    Point being the end result matters, but the process also matters because that colors people’s perceptions of

    I don’t go up to non-Christians tell them they’re going to hell because they’re sinners even though it’s the truth. It may get the desired result, but it’s more than likely going to offend most people. Instead, I explain to them that God sent Jesus to die for our sins as a free gift of salvation which is also the truth. However, it is more likely to get the desired result and it is done in with love, kindness, and consideration.

  • jack

    There is pretty much one main reason why any younger man would rail against game:

    Because he does not think it would help him with the opposite sex.

    I promise you, you could take the most anti-game guy out there, and if you could teach him a pickup line that would have hot women hanging all over him, he would use it.

    Minor reasons for anti-game are white-knighting by effeminate leftoids or Churchians, and fear by fathers who know all too well that their daughter has probably already sold her virtue to a charming cad for the price of a few smartass comments.

    There is no point in discussing why women would be anti-game.

  • Chad

    “There is pretty much one main reason why any younger man would rail against game:
    Because he does not think it would help him with the opposite sex.”

    Yup. Couldn’t ever, even possibly, be a healthy respect, love, and fear of our Lord…. Nope. Nothing to see here.

    Move along folks, move along.

  • Alan J. Perrick

    “Game” isn’t as the blogger “Sarah’s Daughter” described, as acting:

    …to learn and apply techniques that stimulate a woman’s attraction to him…

    Because it is obviously a lot more, it is blogs, communities, fake names, furry hats, and its worst fault is that it elevates sin… If I were the parent, well, I’d direct the son to a Christian community where the girls are more lady-like and family-material than average, not worry about him finding his way to “Heartiste”…

    “Sarah’s Daughter”, you should come to “Free Northerner”‘s more often so that you start buying what he is selling.

    A.J.P.

  • runsonmagic (@runsonmagic)

    Braids in Biblical times were only worn by prostitutes. As was women who cut their hair short. Wearing your hair in braids was a sign you were slutting it up. The modern version would be avoid tattoos and low-cut tops. Or short hair, still.

  • Robert

    I’m not following – are people saying that trying to make yourself attractive to your husband or wife is somehow ungodly?

  • Will S.

    Must it be an either/or proposition, Free Northerner?

    Can’t we both desire to serve the Lord AND not want to be alone in life, and thus use understanding of psychology of the opposite sex not to manipulate them into evil, but to, shall we say, not inadvertently disqualify oneself, not fail fitness tests, etc.? Remember, it was God who said ‘it is not good that man is alone’, and thus created ‘an help meet’ for Adam, so there needn’t be any contradiction, surely, between pursuing whatever means necessary (within moral constraints) to obtain an help meet, and faithfully serving the Lord, esp. since spouses can help encourage each other in the faith, bearing each other’s burdens, etc.

    And does it matter whether or not one gives it the name ‘Game’ or not?

    Anyway, I do agree we all ought to avoid sniping at each over such matters.

    Cheers.

  • Free Northerner

    @ Sigyn: That’s good to know.

    @ Chad: Yup; it’s a complex topic

    @ SD: I’m not anti-game, per se. I think of it as food sacrificed to idols; a stronger man can partake and not sin, but a weaker brother might not be able to. A developed Christian masculinity would be so much better. Christians should be able to learn masculinity from other Christians rather than from whoremongers.

    @ Robert; No, but pride is.

    @ Will: It’s not either/or. I simply think that developing a theory and practice of attraction based on Godly masculinity would be superior to putting a cross on one based on pride and lust.

  • Will S.

    I agree with you on that – I think we agree more than we disagree – but I think there can be room within Godly masculinity for the component of sexual attraction, without that necessarily entailing lust and/or pride being at work within it.

    Ah well. I wish you well in your endeavour to serve the Lord in that way.

    Cheers.

  • Free Northerner

    Absolutely. Sexual attraction is a gift from God; developing it in a righteous way should be a part of the development of both the theory and practice of both masculine and feminine Christianity.

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