The “one sidedness” of it is exactly the point he is making.
Society holds women to a different standard than it does men. Society expects things of men that it does not hold women accountable to.
Love and respect are two of those things.
Take for example someone at church. Let’s say Kevin. God commands us to “love one another in the same way that I have loved you.” This creates a right – an absolute, entitled right for Kevin to my love and care. He has a right to my love because God commands me to love him. And likewise, I have a right to expect Kevin’s love and care. If God commands me to do something, then there is no condition or circumstance that justifies me failing to “love Kevin in the same way that Christ has loved me.” Kevin is entitled to my love because it is God that requires it of me, and that creates an obligation, a debt, a due, on me.
This is something that Steve and I disagree on. And Tom too. Steve will only say that I owe Kevin my love, but that it does not create a right to that love for Kevin. Tom qualifies it a bit differently. He holds that I am not obligated to love someone who has consistently demonstrated that they do not, and have no intention of loving me. (Tom has been on this track for the past 15 years). He qualifies it a bit like Steve does, admitting that I owe Kevin my love, but that is as far as it goes. Tom will say that he can love someone “sacrificially” but that doesn’t mean that he has to invite them over for lunch. He can love someone, and yet not have anything to do with them. In that regard, both Steve and Tom agree. I would wiggle a bit by saying that maybe they do not have a right to my love, but they should have the right to expect my love. Steve does not agree with that, either, saying only that I owe Kevin my love as a debt to God, and that’s the extent of it. Steve does not agree even to that. Tom does. Tom insists that it must be mutual love before he is obligated to love. “I love them only if they love me back.” I disagree with that.
Matt Walsh is somewhere in that mash. He is very similar to me, Steve and Tom by saying that “We are owed something, and that means someone else is obligated to provide it.” But that doesn’t mean we have a right to it. Steve asks,
“What in life ARE you entitled to?”
They will say only that Kevin can point out – and should point out – that I am failing to love him, but that is as far as it goes. He has no right. I still think that he does. A debt incurs a right to collect on that debt. If I owe Kevin a debt, he has a right to collect on it. He cannot MAKE me pay what I owe, but he can expect me to pay it. And God is on his side in that case, confirming the debt owed.
Matt seems to come perilously close to justifying the sin of the man based on the actions of the wife. I know he’s not doing that, but he’s coming real close. “A man in this situation is called… never to be unfaithful to his wife or leave her. But if he does wander, it should be noted that he is not the only traitor in the marriage. She betrayed him.”
That sounds almost like a justification, when there is in fact no justification for it at all. Maybe he just mean that it explains it.
But the point of the article is society’s expectations of men is different from that of women. Like he pointed out, if a man gave his wife a list of things SHE was expected to do before he would love her, we would consider that man a tyrant. But women do exactly that to men all the time, and they use love and respect as a reward system to accomplish that. And the world completely supports and rewards them in this.
As he says, “We all expect love to be unconditional“. But we do not think the same thing about respect. He stated in the article that mean deeply desire respect. I can’t say that that is true. I don’t feel that way. But I can say that a lot of men DO think that way. And I can admit that he’s probably right that in such a condition, we can expect men to be withdrawn, and a gulf appear in the relationship.
And I can say that I agree wholeheartedly with some of his other claims. We don’t enter a marriage to give each other what they deserve. We enter marriage to give them what we promised. We don’t “bait-n-switch” each other. We don’t love and respect someone when we think they have done enough to earn and deserve it.
I would tend to disagree with the “loss of masculine purpose that his family life ought to afford him.” My masculinity is not based on whether or not my family life affords me anything. My masculine purpose is created by God, and exists whether I succeed or fail in anything. I can succeed in masculine ways, and I can fail in masculine ways. But masculinity is defined, primarily as “accountability” and “responsibility”. Men are called by God to at least two very specific things: provide for a family, and protect a family. This can mean physically, even to the point of dying (“as Christ loved and gave his life for her…“). Women are never called to these two offices. That doesn’t mean that some women, out of necessity have not done these things, but God has never actually called them specifically to that office. They are not “tasked” with it. It is not something they are specifically commanded to do. Providing and protecting are tasks God has specifically commanded men to do. What is done out of necessity does not constitute a responsibility or a calling.
There are lots of women in the Bible who have done things out of necessity, but necessity to kill only arises because of sin, not calling. Tamar (was it? I forget her name) killed the king pursing David when he passed out drunk in her tent so as to avoid being killed herself. Was that necessary? Probably. Did God call her to do that? No. Will she be held responsible for it? No. God holds the men accountable. When Eve sinned, God’s first call was “Where is Adam?” And he held Adam responsible for the entire mess. That is why God says that “in Adam, all men die.”
Anyway, I am starting to ramble, now, so I’m just gonna stop. I agreed with most of the article, but it sounded to me like someone who was just a bit butthurt about not getting what he wanted, whether he had someone else in mind, or himself. And that’s not a “masculine” thing to do. That is something that every man has to face down and take control over.