Tuesday, August 14, 2012


Two weeks ago I wrote a blog about male/female relationships in our modern culture. I posted it here and on Ignitumtoday.com, and it generated more than a little controversy on IT. One of the most widespread criticisms was on my view of vocations, so I would like to quote the clearest and most cogent question I received about it, and answer it here.

I am a bit confused when you say “A true GCM will not belong entirely to his wife, he will have another life outside, this will be his life’s work.” If you mean that a man or woman should have as his or her primary vocation, loving God above all things (even his or her spouse) with his or her whole heart, mind, body, and soul…then okay I wholeheartedly agree. But how I understand your statement is that you think in the case of a man he will have other priorities that come before his role as a husband and father that will have a greater claim on his attention, and which he will not share with his little wife at home…this is where I do not agree. ..... If a man or woman is living the vocation of spouse & parent, then I think that vocation would be the primary focus, and would require the greatest claim on their time, and attention. This would of course necessitate them being a true man or woman in their own right. Which would be living fully as God created them to be, however in living as husband and wife, they would look to share everything they could to compliment the other, not seek to keep separate from their family qualities and gifts they are given.

Sorry it took so long to reply, I had to give it some thought and I have been busy. First of all you have to understand that that remark is colored by my experience in the military. I have seen too many women marry military men because they were attracted to their courage and dedication. Then within a few years they came to hate the military for the amount of time and energy it demanded from their men. Or worse, they came to hate their husbands for those very same qualities that they originally were attracted to. This goes back to Genesis when God said to the woman, "Your desire will be for your husband, but he will rule over you." When women fall in love they do so with a completeness that is beautiful but frightening. There is (it seems to me) always a temptation for her to want her man to belong to her as totally as she belongs to him, but that cannot always be. Some men work at their jobs for only one purpose, to support their wife and family. Other men, in my view the happiest and most fulfilled men, work at their jobs because they love them, or because they feel called to that particular mission. That mission will necessarily take time that a woman might want him to spend with her. In the case of some dangerous mission, like military, police, firefighters, deep sea fishers, miners, lumberjacks, farmers, etc. there is the added pressure of the knowledge that this job (this passion if it is a passion) could take her man away from her forever.

In such cases there is always a temptation to want the man to take the easy way out, let go of that mission, and just get a job as a plumber or a mailman, something that will get him home, unshot, at regular hours. A woman who enters into a relationship with a man on a mission, especially a dangerous one, is fooling herself if she does not take that into account.

However you should not take from that statement the notion that this mission is more important than his wife and children. It  is not. If a man gets married that becomes his number one responsibility, period. My point was that it will not be his only responsibility, and ultimately the choice of how to balance the various responsibilities in his life is his (just like the woman's choice of priorities, ultimately, is hers and no other's.)

Somehow or other she will have to deal with the fact that he has other priorities, which are not more important than her, but are not unimportant either. When I say she must "deal with it" I don't want you to think that I mean she must just get used to it and learn to go on living when her man isn't around. I mean that literally she must deal with it. It is a factor that she must take into account and find a way of working with. Some women I have met do this by cutting their men down in public, doscouraging them from their jobs, breaking down their self-esteem, all in an effort to bring them to heel where they will be safe. Wiser women simply accept that this is something their man needs and let him do what he needs to do, knowing that when he is done he will come back to her, because he needs her even more deeply. However there is another way still. It is rare, dangerous and very, very difficult, but it is beautiful and noble. She might embrace his mission, make it her own, and make his sacrifice her sacrifice (which includes many sacrifices he will never be able to make.) However, since I have already written about that, I will not make this reply any longer. You can read about my view of that way here.


  1. Hello there! I know this doesn't have to do with this post, but I would like to say thank you. Thank you for writing your book,"My Dearest Sisters..". It has been like finding a pearl because I happend to find out about it in a magazine. I love what you share and know it is so important that young woman hear this from another brother in Christ. I will be sharing it with many.

    God bless

    1. Thanks so much for this comment. It is always great to hear that what I wrote has touched someone. God Bless,

    2. You're very welcome. Is this website only way of purchasing the book? Can one purchase in bulk? Showed couple of friends and I know some others that could really be blessed by this book. Thanks!

    3. Thank you for the interest. If you email themanwhowouldbeknight@gmail.com directly you can talk with my Mom (she handles sales and filling orders.) I'll let her know and she can give you a bulk discount, depending on how many you want to buy. Just let her know. The downside is you will have to mail payment directly, as I have no idea how to make Paypal do bulk discounts. I regret I will not have time to figure it out right away, but I will look into it as I can. Thank you again for your interest.

    4. Thanks for details. I will email her when I get an idea of how many to order. I am so excited to share it with others. I've never read a book by an author that has been a young adult male, usually they are older and married. Which that's great too but I think it confirms certain points when written by a young adult author, especially male. Thanks!

    5. You can have her email me at natalieLrodriguez@yahoo.com with details.

  2. I would contend that even if a man isn't on a dangerous mission like the ones you listed, he should always be on one for the Gospel. Each day man and woman go out and spread the Gospel, and, at times, this can be the most dangerous mission. This is yet another reason why a GCM will not entirely belong to his wife because the mission of the Gospel is primary. Furthermore, this Gospel mission is something that the woman should also make her mission, making his sacrifice her sacrifice. Dangerous, difficult, but beautiful and noble indeed.

  3. Good Morning Ryan,

    Thank you for taking the time to answer my question. I enjoyed reading your thoughts on this. I now understand what you are saying. I myself come from a military family and my mother was/is a beautiful example of what it means to embrace the mission of my father. It is sadly very true what you say, a spouse’s support & love are greatly needed to foster the happiness & holiness of the other, and so many times it is not given, but selfishly withheld.
    It is very hard for a woman to accept that her man may not come home. I think one of a woman’s greatest fears is to be left alone. It is this fear that causes her to be selfish, to seek attention, to cling,& to desire her beloved to be close to her always. I don’t believe this is necessarily wrong, as it is an invitation to her heart to embrace sacrifice. As in all things this desire for love and support must be ordered properly to the One who can truly give the love, attention, and support she needs, Our Lord. When a person is able to place all that they have, desire, need, in the Heart of Christ everything comes into line. We cannot know how to sacrifice selflessly unless we have first learned this from Christ. I believe in order to truly live a life of self-giving in a vocation it requires the soul to become totally God’s child. In being totally and completely for God, it creates a freedom in the soul to truly love & give oneself to those around them. In loving God above all created things, the soul no longer gives love in order to receive it back from the people that surround him or her. Rather, the soul then gives freely without price the love it has received from God. As a woman I know that I must be dependent on my Lord to fulfill this need of being cared for, loved, and desired. I know He is the one who will never fail me, and will always be present to me. I think the solution to the problem you present is found ultimately in this abandonment of both husband and wife to God, in doing so they can accept, love and embrace the work God calls them to accomplish together.

    I hope your have a great day.
    In Christ,