Be humble and teachable

A friend of mine got “ratioed” on Twitter for stating an obvious truth: Men should be wise when considering marrying a single mother. Why is she single? As of Wednesday morning, he has nearly 11,000 replies (almost all negative) 818 retweets and 5000 “likes” on the post. In addition to the usual rabble, a number of “blue check” users showed up to scold him and attack his faith.

Two words describe a lot of Michael’s detractors: Not teachable.

Obviously he is right. Men should be wise about marrying a single mother, because that could be an indication of sin that will be a problem for the husband later on. Is this always the case? Nope. Perhaps she sinned in the past, and is a different person now. Perhaps her husband died. Perhaps her husband left her for another woman. The fact that she is a single mother may not be a red flag at all. But it is foolhardy to deny that in many cases a single mother carries sin into a marriage that will cause future problems.

Yes, this also applies to men. A woman should be wary of a man who has been (and continues to be) sexually immoral. A woman should be wary of a man who has no job, has no interest in finding a job and lives with his parents. There are many reasons a woman should be wary of committing herself to specific men, just as men should avoid marriage to specific women. Michael would agree with this and said so publicly on many occasions.

But context matters. Michael runs “It’s Good To Be a Man.” a podcast and website dedicated to helping men reform their lives to follow Biblical manhood and provide for their wives and children. His Twitter feed is part of that teaching ministry. That means his teaching will be directed specifically at men, with wisdom and rebukes for men. It is important to note that “It’s Good To Be a Man” has often rebuked sins that are specific to men. This is not a “red pilled” misogynist ranting on Twitter.

Finally, a bigger lesson is useful here. When we are presented with a rebuke or admonishment that we dislike from a fellow Christian, we always want to rebel against it. We want to point to exceptions to that rule, or explain why we are the exception to this rule. (I saw this repeatedly in the attacks on Michael.) But if we are genuinely the exception, then the admonishment does not apply to us and there is no reason to be offended. So why not just take the wisdom at face value? It is always better to be humble and teachable.