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October 1, 2006

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Q/A Topics:
Lying-Deceitful men?

The subject field of the email asks:
"Is a lying, deceiving male acting effeminately?"

READER QUESTION:
I noticed that deception and lying are spoken of as behavior of a wicked woman. So, do you think that men who use these tactics are acting like women? I've seen so much more of this, rather than demanding his own way - a man uses deception to get his own way. Is this a sign of the times?

I won't go into all the recent experiences I've had, but it appears that many men no longer want to take the flack that comes with being honest, or accept that others may not go along if they simply make a request.

I tend to be open, honest and perhaps not as tactful as I could be. I find that people don't mind if someone lies to them or manipulates them, but honesty is socially unnacceptable, especially among women.

Feminists argue that women have lacked power, so they have needed to use deceit and manipulation to survive. Just recently, it has become real to me, that all power and provision is not in the hands of people, but in the almighty. He is our source, not people.

My teenage son told me he is, "BS Intolerant." I guess he has inherited his mom's distaste for deceit and manipulation.

VW ANSWER:
I'm not sure if this question is in response to the week-end mailing on "the Strange Woman" Of course, we have had four in-a-row on the same related topic recently, because that's where we are as we progress (slowly) through Proverbs.

Just because we observe that Solomon could not find a trustworthy woman (Ec7:28), notice that he also went through "a thousand" to find a trustworthy -man-. That's not really all that much better, is it.

Recently I was talking with a person, with whom I have periodic conversations: there are problems in the family, a relative (female) that is always whining to everybody whose ear she can bend, putting blame for this, that and the other thing on various people whose fault it is NOT, but are problems of her own making. This female has also bent my ear a time or two (or dozens). As lies are told, after a period of time, as evidence makes its way to the surface for all to see, those who hear the lies finally come to understand/recognize what the actual 'truth' is. So, her family finally confronts her, point blank, telling her that she is -LYING-.

"No, I'm just talking around the truth."

What -is- "lying", if not dancing "around" the truth?

My own personal biggest gripe about liars is the walking door-to-door salesmen who come through my front door at the store, even though I have placed a sign on the door in plain sight, "No Solicitors"

  • "We're -back- in the area, and..." It's a total stranger I've not seen before: "When were you here before?" "Uh, uh...sputter, sputter..."

  • "Did you not see the No Soliciting sign?" -- "I can't read...Ha! Ha! Ha!"

  • "Did you not see the No Soliciting sign?" -- "We're not soliciting, we just want to 'show' you this 'opportunity'...blah, blah"

  • "Did you not see the No Soliciting sign?" -- "I have a PhD in reading...usually those signs don't apply to us, so JUST IN CASE, I wanted to provide you this 'opportunity'."
I have even sometimes engaged some of these in a short dialogue, trying to reason with them how they -are-, in fact, soliciting; despite their claims to wanting, merely, to "show" something...is not their intended final outcome that I will be "interested" enough to make a purchase? Thus, are they not "soliciting"...by definition? And they will continue to spin words around.

Most of these are 'male'.

There is a series that has been running on NBC, I forget now its title. But they have undercover 'agents' pose on chatrooms, pretending to be underaged children, luring adult predators to alleged secret rendezvous for sexual escapades. Only trouble is, when they arrive, they find themselves faced with TV cameras, interviews and arrest by the police. I have not been watching the series...it is much too disgusting, there is only 'so much' evil I can stomach at a time! But I have seen enough 'snips' here and there, while flipping channels, to catch bits and pieces here and there...how these men, when caught, try to wriggle their way out of the deep doodoo they find themselves in. They arrive with condoms in their pockets (evidence), but claim their only reason for coming was to "visit" or "counsel" the youngster, just be friends, or what-have-you. The evidence in their pockets, and their explicite e-mails staring them in the face, they still try to lie, hoping it will be believed. (Some that I've seen have even been rabbis, fire fighters, counselors, school teachers, etc...those whom society trusts, due to the nature of their positions)

Like the little child, face and hands all covered in chocolate: Have you been eating that chocolate cake? (Whinily) Noooo! Are you Sure? (wide-eyed) Nod of the head. But the 'evidence' is all over their face and hands.

Lying is a -human- condition in sin. Yes, the female might 'lure' the male; but the male is nearly as adroit when in pursuit of the female.

The male is not acting like the woman (being effeminate), as much as they -both- are acting like the serpent. "..the serpent was more cunning than any living thing.." (Gen3:1) That's because satan had taken over that particular beast that day, thus the imagery, "that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who leads the whole world astray" (Rev12:9) Jesus calls satan the "father" of lies. (Jn8:44) And in listing those whose part is in the Lake of Fire, what sums up the list is "and all LIARS" (Rev21:8) As sinners we are told, "The heart is deceitful (lying) above all things, and desperately wicked" (Jer17:9)

That phrase "above all things" defines the word "deceitful". Deceit being a definition of 'lying'. Lying is the characteristic of the sinful heart, above all other sins. It is the worst sin, and it is the sin we are most plagued with. It is the very antithesis of Jesus Christ who -IS- the "truth". (Jn14:6) Jesus is the "way, truth, life" John proclaimed that "grace and truth" come through Jesus Christ. (Jn1:14,17) God is "without lie" (Tit1:2) And "grace" is that by which He saves the sinner.

We are exhorted, "Therefore, putting away lying, let each one of you speak truth with his neighbor" (Eph4:25)

Yes, I, too, am "?? intolerant" And after I have sometimes given these sales people a hard time about their lying (I have sometimes said to them, point blank, "You're a liar!", as I'm asking them to leave), and they meet up with their buddies outside, they often walk by, talking to each other, smirking and providing visual hand 'gestures' to me through the window.

The former "prevaricator-in-chief", while under oath, argued what the meaning of "is" is. I suspect he felt the need to do that, because "is" is the very essence of 'truth'. And since he lies about most everything, at the drop of a hat, even in that recent famous 'outburst' against Chris Wallace (regarding 9/11 and Bin Laden) he was lying through his teeth about most of the issues. Thus, is it any wonder that he would try to wriggle his way "around the truth" in hearings, by even debating -what- "truth" is. That which "is".

See why the very definition of God's name -is- a description of His essence. "Jehovah", the existing one, the One who "is", is "truth".

Who said this: That which is, is; that which is not, is not.

You speak of how honesty is not "socially acceptable". Indeed... I don't know how many have experienced what I have sometimes. I'm often 'blunt'. With me, what you see is what you get. If I say something, that's what's on my mind. But how often does it happen where, if you speak the truth, people get offended; not because of the truth you spoke; but because of what they assume is the -real- 'truth' -behind- what you said. Since they are always busy dancing -around- the 'truth', and they learn to figure each other out that way...they figure: He's saying 'this', but he really means 'that' (because that's what they do). So they are offended for what you did not, actually, say...but they assumed you 'meant', once they got done twisting your words around from what you -said-, to what they assumed you meant.

Phew! That last sentence even confused me! Wouldn't it be so much easier if everybody was just, plain, honest???

Years ago I severed a 'friendship' with somebody claiming to be a "christian", who around the context of when my ex left, claimed to be -my- friend, and of being 'honest' with me about certain pertinent things. After the course of a couple months, I happened to be talking with a neighbor of this person, whose children would sometimes be in this person's house, being 'babysat'. That neighbor said some things one day that, the nature of what was said, even though they had no clue as to its significance, just speaking it in their innocence, I knew 'where' it had originated, relayed unwittingly by the children (you know: the "bird of the air" Ec10:20), having been heard in the friend's house; and concluded that the one claiming to be my 'friend' was lying; actually being a -spy- 'agent' for the ex. When I confronted the person about their 'lies' (but not telling them 'what' the lies were, to keep them from compounding upon the former lies, and "explaining" them away with more lies...nor telling them 'how' I knew what I knew), they were shocked and distressed, asking,

"What lies? What did I say?"

It's like that little tidbit a customer mentioned one day, when we were chatting about this generic topic, a saying from his uncle, or whoever:

"If you always tell the truth, you won't ever have any trouble remembering what you've said."

Next week's Q/A is about "Carnal Christians"...but Paul speaks of this when confronting carnal Corinth: "Therefore, when I was planning this, did I do it lightly? Or the things I plan, do I plan according to the flesh, that with me there should be Yes, Yes, and No, No? But as God is faithful, our word to you was not Yes and No. For the Son of God, Jesus Christ, who was preached among you through us; through me, Silvanus, and Timothy; was not Yes and No, but in Him was Yes. For as many promises as are of God, in Him are Yes, and in Him Amen, unto the glory of God through us." (2Co1:17-20)

Amen!

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Was Abigail submissive? (re: Strange Woman)

READER QUESTION:
I am trying to understand if Abigail was exercising 'submissiveness' to her [unbelieving] husband, Nabal, when she stepped in and circumvented the trouble Nabal caused David's young men without her husband's knowledge or permission.

    Now when Abigail saw David, she hastened to dismount from the donkey, fell on her face before David, and prostrated to the ground. And she fell at his feet and said: On me, my lord, on me be this iniquity! And please let your handmaid speak in your ears, and hear the words of your handmaid. Please, let not my lord set his heart on this man of worthlessness, Nabal. For as his name is, so is he: Nabal is his name, and folly is with him. But I, your handmaid, did not see the young men of my lord whom you sent. Now therefore, my lord, as Jehovah lives and as your soul lives, since Jehovah has held you back from coming to blood and from delivering yourself with your own hand, now then, let your enemies and those who seek evil upon my lord be as Nabal. And now this blessing which your handmaid has brought to my lord, let it be given to the young men who travel on foot with my lord. (1Sa25:23-27)
Using this story as a parallel, is it possible for -today's- Godly wife to do Godly acts of charity without her [unbelieving] husband's knowledge or permission? I am sure there are many husbands of worthlessness and folly, self consumed with [their] lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life (I John 2:16). In these cases, serving the Lord can become downright -dangerous- for the Godly wife, so these acts of charity must be done without her husband's knowledge or permission.

I would appreciate your Bible-based thoughts on this subject because I know you walk closely with our Lord and you have a double portion of His Holy Spirit upon your life.

VW ANSWER:
Well...I think what Abigail did was slightly different than -generic- "acts of charity".

She wasn't so much doing a charitable deed (feeding David and his company), although she was doing that....as much as she was 'saving' the life of her husband from the hands of David and his men. And also, in her wisdom, she also calms David's wrath and keeps him from avenging himself....leaving that to what God did to Nabal 10 days later. (vs38) Would it not be safe to assume that "saving the life" of one's husband, at the potential risk of one's own life (in that culture she had no way of knowing but what David would 'off' with her head; in those days vengeance could often include the offending person's entire family), is the ultimate act of submission, especially when he's a real scoundrel?

But in terms of generic acts of charity, would that not depend on each marriage, and the 'rules' of the relationship? Some husbands have stricter rules, and others give their wives more freedom. In some cases, if a wife wants to do this or that, the husband says, "Do whatever you want." Some couples are like "peas in a pod" where they discuss each and every thing with each other. Others tend to do things more independently of each other. Neither of these extremes is neither better or worse than the other. God has made all sorts of personalities, and different people interact with each other differently. Some say that the -man- is "in charge" of various things, including finances. In other cases, the man is just as happy having his wife keep the checkbook and manage things. After all, Pr31:10-31 is about the industrious woman who is commended because her husband "trusts safely in her" (vs11) And Paul exhorts the young women to get married, raise families and manage the home. (1Tim5:14) But if the couple is of such a relationship that the husband is comfortable with his talented wife having the career, and he is the "house husband", it makes it easier for him, then, to be more involved in "nurturing" the children. (Eph6:4) And some families do this. Some men are more suited to being the housekeeper...and there is nothing "gay" about it. There is nothing in Scripture that says the husband "has to be" the "breadwinner", and the wife "has to be" a "stay-at-home-mom". There is nothing at all wrong with the man cleaning the house and sending the kids off to school, etc. History has had women who were good at what they did, like Golda Meier or Margaret Thatcher, etc.

But if the wife is "sneaking" off, because she is pretty sure her husband would not approve, to do things that might otherwise -seem- to be 'good'.... is not such 'sneaking' the same as -lying-? And if she knows her husband would not approve, it is also not being submissive.

And actually....I suspect in most cases, considering how so many wives -are- sneaky and conniving, if they were to change their ways and become openly honest with their husbands in all things....if they then wanted to do some 'good' thing, and with their background of trustworthiness approached the husband with their desire, presenting it 'honestly', I would suspect that a lot of husbands would give their permission, where otherwise they might not have. One reason a lot of husbands disapprove of their wives' activities, is because those things are shrouded in 'secrecy' (dishonesty). The husband is not 'trusting' his wife, because she is behaving UN-trustworthily.

Sorta like that one commercial that runs locally for some retirement community, or whatever: the camera pans to various residents and their comments about the place, and this one old biddy says, in secretive (hush-hush) tones, "We even get to go shopping!" Everytime I hear her saying those words, with the tone of voice she does so, my immediate reaction is to add to her words, what she didn't say, but what her hush-hush tones suggest: "Because my husband used to never let me...but now I can because I don't have to worry about what he says" Because in truth, there -are- 'many' women who are like this, and in certain situations actually say as much.

However, supposing a Christian wife is married to an unbeliever, 1Pet3:1-6 is the rule. If that means -NOT- doing charitable deeds, submission to the husband comes before other 'good' things that one -might- do. We can learn this principle from Saul...

God had told Saul to "strike Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have" (1Sa15:3) And when Saul saved the 'good' things, there is a conversation between Saul and Samuel, and when Samuel asks Saul why he hasn't obeyed, he whines back "the people took of the plunder" .. "to sacrifice unto Jehovah your God" (vs21) And Samuel replies...

"Has Jehovah as great a delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in to obey the voice of Jehovah? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed than the fat of rams" (vs22)

Thus...when some (theoretical) -generic- "charitable deed" is on the balance, weighed against an unsaved husband's wish for the wife to -NOT- do it... 'obedience' to the husband, and to God's command to obey the husband (Eph5:22, Col3:18), takes precedence over the charitable deed, no matter how good or noble the deed might be.

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