I have to admit, though, that in his most recent post I was more impressed than dismayed by the female preacher he takes aim at (Mary Kassian). Dalrock is concerned by her twisting of certain passages of scripture; he may well be right in this (I usually understand eventually), but I found much of her sermon to be insightful into the particular vulnerabilities or weaknesses of women, and how these might be overcome.
As I've grown older and garnered more experience, I have come to accept that the ancient view was generally correct: that men are more likely than women to use their intellect/reason to govern their emotions/feelings than are women. The problem is not in the having of feelings or emotions, but in how these are ordered morally and rationally.
The issue is a significant one because in the West one part of the stability of marriage and family was due to the Christian understanding of "caritas" - an understanding of love as being a commitment, settled in the will, by which we willed the good of the other person (our spouse). But caritas can only work if a person has the inner capacity to govern their feelings and emotions. Within the secular mainstream, women are now not expected to do this in their relationships - the general understanding amongst women is that family commitments are based purely on feeling, i.e. the decisive question is radically reduced to "how do you feel?"
A community has to decide not only what kind of men it wants, but just as importantly what kind of women. We need to not only challenge men to develop character to rise above their weaknesses, but women as well. And this is part of the thrust of Mary Kassian's advice to her female audience. Early on, for instance, she notes:
These women were weak in a way that diminished them. It was a negative and contemptuous term.
These women were childish and frivolous and silly and immature and wimpy. They deserved the triple W label: weak, wimpy woman. [laughter]
The point is, they ought not to have been. They ought not to have been that.
In the Proverbs 31 description of the godly woman, verse 25 says she is clothed with "strength and dignity."
Mary Kassian lists some of the sins women are particularly prone to if they weakly allow negative emotions to accumulate:
So many of you women in this room are dealing with sins that ... are just piling up. You haven't confessed them. You haven't repented. You think, Well, it's not a big deal. We'll just leave it there.
Critical spirit, bitterness, resentments, unforgiveness, slander, envy, pride.
And she goes on to observe that:
A weak woman is governed by her emotions. She puts her brain in park; puts her emotions in drive; rationalizes her behavior, excuses, and justifications-we've all done it. I've done it.
I know, but...
I know I shouldn't be daydreaming about that guy, but my husband is so unaffectionate.
I know I shouldn't be watching that movie, but I feel starved for romance.
I know. I know I shouldn't be having another drink, but it helps dull the disappointment.
I know I shouldn't flirt with my boss, but it feels good to be noticed.
I know I shouldn't gossip or stretch the truth, but I want people to value me and affirm me.
I know I shouldn't go further into debt, but those fabulous shoes are calling my name. [laughter]
So it's the "I know, but..." and fill in the blank.
I know, da-da-da-da-da, but da-da-da-da-da my emotions are going take me this way because I just feel like it.
Don't be a wimp, ladies. Don't be a wimp. A weak woman lets her emotions drive her mind. A woman of strength makes her mind drive her emotions.
You can choose joy. You can choose peace. You can choose to believe things that are good and right and true and beautiful and excellent and trustworthy. You can choose those things, and if you choose to walk in joy, your emotions are going to follow along behind.
The point to underline is this: "a woman of strength makes her mind drive her emotions". It is difficult to imagine stable, loving family commitments if women lack this strength.
It seems to me, too, that the higher form of love cannot but draw to itself the will and reason as an expression of the whole person, so that if love really does animate us it will not be thought of as an arbitrary force descended upon us, mysteriously to come and go. It will be with us in our heart and mind and will, and bear the stamp of each.