Monthly Archives: July 2019
So the chapter heading for Dare #1 was “Love Is Patient.”
The heading for Dare #2 is “Love Is Kind.”
As is becoming standard (yang, given that we are all the way to Dare #2 and all), the chapter starts simplistically, makes weird leaps of logic, and veers into offensiveness in quick swoops.
Love makes you kind. And kindness makes you likable.
I mean, if you say so, man.
Because kindness “can feel a little generic,” the concept is broken down into “ingredients“:
Initiative: fair enough. Gentleness: also fair enough.
Helpfulness: okay, here’s the veer…
Being kind means you meet the needs of the moment. If it’s housework, you get busy.
How many people think the authors are talking to just one half of the couple here? Everybody? Good. Because they bring it home:
Kindness graces a wife with the ability to serve her husband without worrying about her rights.
Yeah! What good did rights ever do anyone?
Actually, this section made me think of another book we’ve reviewed on this site where a different white man complained about people wanting rights.
Oh, but don’t you worry, men have to be kind, too:
Kindness makes a husband curious to discover what his wife needs, then motivates him to be the one who steps up and ensures those needs are met–even if his are put on hold.
This sentence is so vague that it could honestly mean anything. As Hank agreed when I read it to him:
Me: *reads sentence”
Me: *reads sentence again*
Hank: Yeah, that’s too long and doesn’t make sense.
And putting the laziest spin on it, it could just mean MAN = BREADWINNER, taking any other responsibility off the shoulders of the
non-housekeeper man in the relationship.
Finally, Willingness: which the authors define as being cooperative and flexible. Good qualities for a spouse to have, certainly.
A kind husband ends thousands of potential arguments by his willingness to listen first rather than demand his way.
Why would a husband ever have to demand his way? The wife is already supposed to be constantly serving him with no thought for her own rights. In the ideal RTC marriage, there is no circumstance under which the man doesn’t get his way.
Anyway, it all concludes with, “You will never learn to love until you learn to demonstrate kindness. First.”
Okay, but wait, two pages ago you said, “Love makes you kind.”
So which really comes first, Kendrick Brothers, the love or the kindness???
See what I mean about these entries already starting have the same nonsensical structure?
Anyway, the dare itself is to “do at least one unexpected gesture as an act of kindness.”
Kirk Cameron, you might remember, poured his wife one cup of coffee on this day of the dare for him. And she blew him off!!!
Now, again, I hasten to add that Hank and I are doing this whole Love Dare thing simultaneously, which is probably going against the whole idea of it, from the RTC-Save-Your-Marriage plan. So I did one nice thing for him and he did one nice thing for me.
This is maybe going to sound like a humblebrag, but this dare was oddly difficult for us because it was difficult to gauge…because we’re newlyweds who do nice things for each other all the time. So we both tried–Hank made one of my favorite dinners and I gave his car a clean-out…but these are both things we probably would have done anyway. Hank does 75-80% of the cooking in this family, and I do a lot of the “extra” cleaning chores. So, success? Maybe? I dunno, man, if your marriage is in such a state that making one cup of coffee is an act of great kindness, I guess I am in no position to judge.
Oh well, on to Dare #3!
Okay, Day #1, Dare #1. Love Is Patient.
Right away, and I mean right effing away, we get some good ole RTC gender essentialism:
Love can motivate a man to put away childish things, provide for his family, and take passionate stands for what he believes in–like crossing an ocean to fight for his country. Love can drive a woman to connect emotionally in relationships, comfort the hurting around her, protect her children, and extend her hand in kindness to those in need.
I mean, was this written in the 1950s? The 1850s? It honestly makes my head hurt, this whole men-are-soldiers-women-are-caregivers routine. (I mean, women in this example aren’t even allowed to be nurses or something, helping the hurting–they’re just comforting the hurting.)
Then we get into some…well, just some weird assertions. This book is big on just asserting things, cause and effect, without actual evidence or even reason or excuse. Prime example:
Love inspires you to become a patient person. When you choose to be patient, you respond in a positive way to a negative situation. You are slow to anger.
I mean, maybe? But they’re kinda simultaneously asserting that loving someone makes you patient (you have no choice; it makes you that way), or patience is a choice. Now, me, I think being patient is largely a choice, and that people have a whole spectrum of patience, and it’s something you can work on. But love, awesome though it is, is not a magic potion that just makes you a patient person.
Anyway, all this to say that Dare #1 is about being patient, so you’re supposed to “say nothing negative to your spouse at all,” all day.
Okay, so I will admit that this is an absurdly easy dare for a newlywed couple.
Hank, when the Dare was explained: This one’s stupid. My woman dare not offend me!
He’s going to fit in here at Heathen Critique just fine.
Oh, and since we have a model couple to work from, here is how Caleb and Catherine handle the same Dare in Fireproof. (And yes, the book is exactly the same as in the movie, right down to using the same Bible verses; in this case, James 1:19…”Everyone must be quick to hear, slow to speak, and slow to anger.”)
Stay tuned for Dare #2, because there’s nothing that brings an atheist couple closer together than using a Christian marriage-rescue scheme!
Um…so, miss me?
Sorry, guys, for my unscheduled break. Nothing horrible or intense was going on–just me being busy adjusting to a new house, married life, careers, etc. That is, all joyful stuff. And my poor Heathen Critique went on unexpected hiatus.
But I was reminded recently that now that things are getting settled and our life together is in an awesome place, I should refocus on the unique things in my life that bring me joy (no, I was not reminded just by Marie Kondo!), and so I have brought in a little project my husband, Hank, and I have been working on…
NEW REVISED EDITION!
For those of you unfamiliar with this great work, it’s a marriage-rescue book, perhaps best known for being featured (after a fashion), in Fireproof, in which Kirk Cameron demonstrates to us all that it’s great to manipulate and bully your wife, as long as you’re an RTC while doing it!
It’s hard to believe that I reviewed Fireproof all the way back in 2014. Back in my single days, going on a bunch of internet blind dates and figuring that if I didn’t end up meeting anyone, I’d find a way to have a kid all on my own…
And then, one beautiful evening, one of those internet blind dates turned out to be the love of my life.
So never let it be said that atheists don’t know the meaning of true love…
Yeah, we’re kinda totally April and Andy.
And Anne and Gilbert.
Okay, so as might be apparent, I am pretty much crazy in love. And I just double-checked with Hank this moment:
Me: Are you in love with me?
Hank [playing Fortnite]: Oh, yeah. Lots.
So we might not necessarily be the ideal couple to do The Love Dare (hereinafter TLD), but I admit that back in 2014, I dreamed of having a partner, just so we could do the stupid RTC Love Dare shit together!
And now we can!!!
So, without further ado (yanno, other than the six-month break), on to the Introduction!
Blah blah blah, wax on about love, it’s a “beautiful, precious gift,” “designed and created” by God Himself.
He uses marriage to help us eliminate loneliness, multiply our effectiveness, establish families, raise children, enjoy life, and bless us with relational intimacy.
Oh ho ho, I think I can decipher RTC code. Relational intimacy, indeed.
Then they just lay out the format for the dares:
Part One is where “a unique aspect of love will be discussed.” Spoiler Alert: it is discussed in a very repetitious manner.
Part Two is the dare itself. “Take each dare seriously—”
Okay, another Spoiler Alert: this is actually a very difficult thing to do.
And finally, journal space. Um…that’s what this blog will be for.
So, please join us, dear and loyal and very patient readers, as Hank and Ruby, deliriously in love atheist newlyweds (does over a year still count as newlyweds? I’m saying yes), as we embark upon a journey meant to heal broken RTC marriages!
I suspect hijinks and swearing will be involved.