Michaelmas 2020 Edition
The Quarterly Newsletter of Wittenberg Academy
The Ninety-Sixth Thesis
Chaplain's Corner- p. 6
How Young Men Can Serve the Church
Rev. Larry Beane
Forming Men: A Mother's Role in her Son's Upbringing
Featured Teacher -P. 24
From our Teachers and Faculty- P. 11-22
Ten Books Boys Should Read Before they turn 21
Being a Man in a Feminized World
Husbands, Love Your Wives
“Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife.” ~ Genesis 2:24, Matthew 19:5, Mark 10:7, and Ephesians 5:31
The journey from boyhood to manhood is fraught with trial and tribulation and well should it be. It is a struggle to leave behind childish ways and take on the mantle of manhood. This is the normal struggle that has engaged all boys for all time in their process of becoming men, but for boys today, there is the added struggle of becoming men in a feminized world. In this feminized world, men are told to apologize for being men: for protecting and providing, for putting others above themselves and showing consideration, for sacrificing and giving of themselves.
Achilles, of Iliad fame, was a great warrior. By all appearances, he was a man: strong, worthy in battle, and a leader to those who followed. Yet, when on the occasion he did not get what he wanted, he threw a tantrum of epic proportion and abdicated any semblance of manhood. Now, this is not to say that men do not sometimes abdicate their role as men and still remain men, but the question for this writing is not what makes a man a man, but the place of mothers in the process of boys becoming men.
Anthony Esolen writes in an article excerpted from his book Defending Boyhood:
There are certain lessons that are crucial for a boy’s healthy development into a man destined to love a woman—to be a husband and father. Though his mother can provide some of them, there are others that will be provided by a man, or not at all. What might they be?
One of them is to learn how to command and obey. I think here of Kipling’s Captains Courageous. The boy Harvey, a mama’s boy, a spoiled rich brat, is swept off the deck of a cruise ship one rough night while he is retching over the side, and is picked up by a Portuguese fisherman and taken back to a schooner. His first real lesson in manhood comes when the skipper, a good-hearted American named Disko Troop—who has his own son aboard, a son who admires his father to no end and who warns Harvey that he had better obey— knocks him to the deck after one expression of his smart mouth too many. In the ensuing months, for this was back in the day before cell phones, Harvey “learns the ropes,” that is, he learns all that a ship’s boy needs to know about sails and rigging, about gutting fish for twenty hours continuously, about how to get along with other men who are similarly under authority, how to fish, how to have a real and masculine friend in the other lad and in the Portuguese fisherman, Manuel, who saved him, and how to stand straight and tall, to take severe criticism as you take a dose of pungent and cleansing medicine, to admit a mistake like a man, to shoulder your share of the work without grudging, and to do dangerous and exciting and head-clearing things with other men. His mother could not teach him those things. (You can read the full article here.)
Think back to Achilles in light of Esolen’s article. Is Achilles so emotive because he is a mama’s boy? Knowing Thetis, Achilles’ mother, and what she did for him, we could perhaps make that case. Did she ever let him leave? Did she let him fight his own battles and learn to stand straight and tall on his own? Did she let him admit a mistake like a man, shoulder his share of work without grudging, or do dangerous, exciting, and head-clearing things with other men? Consider the other men of The Iliad. Who are the most stable and reliable men? Hector? Nestor? Menelaus? What sets these men apart from Achilles?
Perhaps the most difficult thing for a mother is the leaving of her children. She was made to nurture and care for them and a crisis of sorts emerges when nurturing and caring begin to look different. But even in that, the leaving of daughters is different than the leaving of sons. It is one thing for a son to leave, but it is another thing to let him leave. That letting go can be a painful process for mothers, especially as she sees the battle being waged against him in the journey to become a man. She wants to protect him from
pain- on some level, she still sees him as the little boy with scraped knees. She wants to hold on to him and make everything okay. Yet, it cannot be okay. Okay keeps him a boy. The battle makes him a man.
Fortunately for mothers, the process of a man leaving his father and mother is just that- a process. She can let go in increments, just as her boy becomes a man incrementally. Think of Mary, the mother of Jesus. Her motherhood was full of letting go, yet even she did so incrementally throughout the life of her son. When did the process begin? The Annunciation? The Circumcision? When Jesus was found among the teachers at the Temple?
The world is a dangerous place and it is hard to let a son go. The first time he goes down the stairs by himself can be a nail biter. The first time he rides his bike out of a mother’s sight can leave her cringing. The first time he goes to the park with friends or siblings and without an adult can leave a mother wondering if he will ever return. These all bolster a mother for the eventual letting go and letting a son become a man, but if he does not have these or similar experiences, he will always look to his mother and will be incapable of someday being the head of his own family.
While only one mother, the mother of Our Lord, had to let her son go so that He could redeem the world, mothers throughout time have had to let their sons go so that they might lead their own families and give of themselves sacrificially. Does this mean that sons are abandoning their mothers? Certainly not. Even as Jesus was dying on the Cross he made sure His mother would be cared for by John. A man protects those around him and that certainly includes his mother, but if his mother never stops protecting her boy, he can never become a man and protect her.
On the Road with Wittenberg Academy- p. 25
From the Head Teacher's Desk- p. 3
Forming Men: A Mother's Role in her Son's Upbringing
Mrs. Jocelyn C. Benson
2019 Wittenberg Academy Family Retreat Memories
and 2021 Family Retreat Information- P. 32-33
What We're Reading- P. 30
Mrs. Jocelyn C. Benson serves as Wittenberg Academy's Head Teacher.
How Young Men Can Serve the Church
In years and cultures past, society valued young men. There was a common-sense realization that strong men meant a strong fabric of society. Christianity recognized the divinely-ordered family structure of the godly leadership of husbands and fathers, as well as masculine leadership in society. Indeed, God, speaking through the prophet Isaiah, describes the leadership of women and children as a curse (Chapter 3).
Even unbelievers recognized the natural order of male leadership, grounded in the physical strength of men and in the psychological make-up of men and boys as leaders of tribe and nation. This is most apparent in times of war. It was also obvious when tilling the land by physical brawn that the men were the ones, like Adam, to compel the stubborn earth to yield its fruits “by the sweat of [his] face” (Gen 3:19).
This is not to deny that women had to step up in dire circumstances. But it was always to the horror of the men, who saw their role as protector of – and provider for – women and children.
But in our day and age, girls are taught from a very young age to reject the obvious, to boss men and boys around, and to disrespect their fathers. Boys and girls alike are shown images, year after year, – in movies, TV, video games, graphic novels, even in school and extracurricular materials – whereby the physical differences between the sexes is set aside, and we are asked to suspend our disbelief, as “strong female characters” take charge over the men, outfight the men and boys, and become the protectors of society. Moreover, this issue over sex roles has metastasized into confusion over sex and gender, as the very concepts of “male” and “female” are called into question. And like unto the story of the naked emperor, those who point out the obvious are subject to ridicule.
And hence the conundrum facing young men today.
They are told that their very existence is “toxic.” Every interaction they have with the fairer sex is considered a prelude to rape. They are told to stand down, shut up, and step aside. They are made to stifle their natural competitiveness and physical prowess. They are cajoled and drugged in government schools to force them to sit quietly and color within the lines. They are given propaganda to read.
It’s little wonder that we are seeing the phenomenon of the “soy boy” – emasculated young men who are physically, psychologically, and spiritually soft.
So what about Christian young men? How can they serve the church?
Be manly. Reject the propaganda and norms. Stand up to the social engineering bullies who seek to turn the created order on its head. Recognize this toxic feminism for what it is: Luciferianism.
Don’t apologize for being made by God as you were. Both men and women have crucial and God-pleasing vocations in church and society. Understand that God made you masculine, and your masculinity is not toxic. Use your manliness for good. Be chivalrous. Be gentle with children and respectful of women. Watch your language in front of ladies. Hold the door open. Volunteer to do the heavy lifting for ladies of every age. See yourself as their protector – for you are. Young men need to cultivate this ethos in a challenging age in which women are trained to reject chivalry and to be insulted if you open a door for them. But deep down inside, every woman really appreciates being served in this way. For that is what chivalry is: service. It is the servant leadership of our Lord, whose masculine impulse to service meant cleaning the feet of His disciples in humility.
Masculinity does not mean being bossy, overbearing, or relying on your physical strength to assert your position in the divine order. The authority of men is not a matter of bluster and threats, but of simply doing what needs to be done, calmly and without complaint.
Sadly, in the church of the west, there has been a tendency toward feminization and emasculation. This did not start with modern feminism. This has actually been a long cultural process that has occurred over a thousand years, as LCMS scholar the Rev. Dr. Stephen Hein has shown (you can find his presentation at http://fatherhollywood.blogspot.com/2018/01/feminization-of-church.html). This is an additional challenge that men of every age face in becoming active in the church. Many of our hymns are written to appeal to women. Women have assumed most of the leadership roles in the church – with the exception of the pastoral office. One of the unintended consequences of lay readers has been the fact that often women are the ones who want to do it. Churches have gone to having female acolytes because the boys don’t want to sit next to girls who are wearing what looks like a dress.
So what should we do to re-engage men – especially young men?
Pastors need to reach out to young men and recruit them to be acolytes. This needs to be restored to a masculine role. For centuries, the acolyte was the first exposure of young men to the masculine role of leading worship, an opportunity to serve with the pastor and the other men (deacons, elders) by being vested, by praying, and by visibly leading the Divine Service. Serving as an acolyte gave young men the opportunity to consider the pastoral office as a possible vocation. I believe it was a grave error to recruit girls to serve in this capacity – especially vesting them in albs. The alb is a masculine, pastoral, Eucharistic vestment. It is not a “robe.” Satan is clever, and has gotten us used to seeing the alb and cincture as a unisex garment, so that it isn’t as shocking to see a woman “pastor” vested the same way.
Young men of the church, if you don’t serve – whether as acolytes, volunteering to help maintain the campus of the church through yard work or helping with repairs, or stepping up in other ways to grow into the role of masculine servant leadership – you are shirking your duty! Ask the pastor and the elders and the officers of your congregation what you can do. Our men have dropped the ball by leaving the women with no choice but to step up, because we are acting like little boys and playing around instead of taking charge. Young men, it is up to you to right the ship and to turn it around. It won’t be done overnight. It will be a generational change.
Most importantly of all, we need men in church! It is almost a universal phenomenon that women outnumber men in our pews. Mothers are bringing the children to church, often while dad sits at home. This is a disgrace, both as Christians and as men! Husbands and fathers, it is your job to lead your wife and children to the church, in the church, and through the church. It is your job to teach your children the faith and lead the family in prayer. Young men, you should establish this habitus now. Be the man, even if your fathers and grandfathers have dropped the ball. Before you know it, they will be gone, and you will be the leaders. Don’t be the guy who sits at home playing video games or watching ESPN while your wife takes spiritual headship of the family.
So young men, make a commitment now that you will attend every Divine Service – unless you are sick, away, or physically unable. Man up. Don’t allow yourself the luxury to be soft or to force the women to lead your church. Just do it. And attend Bible Class – with the adults if you are able. Set the example for manhood and grow into manly leadership. This is what you were designed to do, and no-one will do it for you. Seek out male leadership in the church and look to these men as mentors. They will be thrilled to see young people, young men and young women, training themselves to be the next generation of the church’s servants – especially within the godly vocations of men and women.
Be a rebel. You don’t have to accept society’s norms – and especially not in the church where we all confess the Scriptures and the natural law of God’s created order. Don’t wait for an invitation. Or consider this your invitation. We need you! Your mothers and sisters and grandmothers and future daughters and granddaughters need you. Your fathers and brothers and grandfathers and future sons and grandsons need you. Your brothers and sisters in Christ need you. Don’t think that you are too young to start. A year from now, you will be a year older. What you do in the interim matters. Rejoice in your masculinity and cultivate it. You are not toxic. You are here for a reason. By God’s grace, you will be up to the challenge.
Look to the Scriptures, young men! Let the Word guide you in your manly service of the Lord and your neighbor. As we pray in Psalm 119:9-16:
How can a young man keep his way pure?
By guarding it according to Your word.
With my whole heart I seek You;
let me not wander from Your commandments!
I have stored up Your word in my heart,
that I might not sin against You.
Blessed are You, O Lord;
teach me Your statutes!
With my lips I declare
all the rules of Your mouth.
In the way of Your testimonies I delight
as much as in all riches.
I will meditate on Your precepts
and fix my eyes on Your ways.
I will delight in Your statutes;
I will not forget Your word. +LLB
Pastor Larry Beane serves as Chaplain and Paideia IV instructor for Wittenberg Academy.
Throughout the transition from college life into everyday adult life, I’ve had a great deal of deep conversations with my fellow twenty-somethings about living a godly, virtuous, and well-rounded life. One of the topics that most frequent our ongoing discussion is the concept of maturity and of adulthood- how does one mature well? What does it take to go from being a boy to being a man? What does it look like to be virtuous, and to serve others above yourself? In these conversations, I often turn to literature as an illustration and a guide- in literature you find examples both of what to do and what not to do. Moreover, it teaches you to discern wisdom from folly, and compares self-serving and sinful deeds with selfless and sacrificial ones. With this in mind, I’ve compiled a list of books I personally believe teach virtue, wisdom, and true manliness, thereby providing invaluable support to boys as they attempt to grow into men.
1. Rudyard Kipling’s Just So Stories. One of the most obvious traits in little boys is their insatiable curiosity- Kipling’s Just So Stories take a child’s curiosity about the nature of the world and answers him with humor, wonder, and delight, while also teaching him about the consequences of his actions. These stories are also great fun to read aloud, and encourage children to imagine their own explanations for the curiosities of the world around them.
2. J. M. Barrie’s Peter Pan. Although this is certainly a well beloved and widely known story, Barrie’s book itself is often overlooked for its film and stage adaptions. Peter Pan is a great example to boys of enthusiasm, curiosity, and leadership, while also being a great warning against pride and immaturity. Although most of its adaptions romanticize youth, Barrie’s original work teaches children that Peter’s greatest fault is his desire not to grow up, even if it is also his greatest charm.
3. Lloyd Alexander’s The Chronicles of Prydain. When it comes to fantasy series, there is none more suited for young boys in particular than Prydain. As it leads readers through the adventures of the kingdom of Prydain, boys wrestle with the responsibilities, temptations, and desires of maturity along with its main characters. Alexander’s rich characters uplift chivalry and bravery but also compassion and self-sacrifice, while being awe inspiring and infectiously entertaining throughout.
4. Mark Twain’s Tom Sawyer & The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Twain’s two novels of adventure and mischief are humorous stories that encourage and showcase the natural curiosity and gallantry of young boys. Even more fantastically, these books wrestle with responsibility: their title characters are constantly asking themselves three questions- What do I want? What do other people want of me? What is the right thing to do? – all while attempting to reconcile the corresponding answers.
5. Homer’s Iliad. This book, in my mind, needs no explanation- the honor, valor, and strategy depicted in this book knows no match. It not only teaches men what it means to be a loyal soldier, a valiant warrior, and a great leader, but also portrays the downfalls of lust, anger, and betrayal. There is also no book written that details war and its maneuvers quite as magnificently and thoroughly as the Iliad.
6. Virgil’s Aeneid. Immediately following its predecessor, the Aeneid promotes duty and vocation above personal comforts and desires. It also centers around the Ancient Roman emphasis on piety- the idea of acting with honor, out of reverence toward your lineage and respect for your vocation. It also portrays the intense hardships of living in the hope of a promised world you have not yet reached, yet having faith it will be reached nonetheless.
7. St. Augustine’s Confessions. One of the most profound accounts of a young man’s growth into adulthood, Augustine’s Confessions is a perfect example of sin, repentance, and forgiveness. Its intensely personal account of temptation, sin, and its consequences acts as a great warning to the temptations of youth, while its account of absolution and new life in faith provide great comfort and hope to its readers.
8. Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. There are very few authors who can compare to Austen when it comes to portraying lifelike characters, and Pride and Prejudice is certainly the most obvious example of this. Its characters are three dimensional; they fall prey to many of the same temptations young men and women encounter today, from gossip and pride to hasty judgment and lack of social awareness. Austen ingeniously introduces her reader to admirable men, pretentious men, silly men, and dishonorable men, while simultaneously depicting what to look for in a woman and what to avoid at all costs.
9. Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe’s The Sorrows of Young Werther. Goethe’s novella about a romantic youth down on his luck serves as a potent reminder to young men of the dangers of all forms of idolatry-whether it be love, nature, or one’s own ambition. Throughout, Werther’s persistent demise is entirely his own fault, due to self-pity and disappointed hopes. Its abrupt ending serves as a reminder that there is no merit in isolation or in self-service.
10. Khaled Hosseini’s The Kite Runner. This book requires the disclaimer that it contains very mature content (in the form of a young boy being raped) and therefore should be read when parents deem the reader mature enough to handle the content. However, there is not a book I have read that better portrays friendship and forgiveness than The Kite Runner, which masterfully explores the innate complexity of male relationships- of friend to friend, of father to son, and of son to father. Tracing these relationships through childhood to adulthood, while wrestling with guilt, the consequences of sin, and the need for compassion and trust, Hosseini contrasts forgiveness with might and loyalty with glory.
Although by no means exhaustive, this list is one I constantly return to as I consider with my friends what it means to be mature, virtuous, and god-fearing. As boys grow to be men, these works ask many of the same questions and face many of the same challenges as they do, and therefore may provide great counsel and comfort to our boys who want to become men.
Why did God create the animals? I suppose you may reply: “because they are tasty.” But you must recall that from the time of Eden down to the time of Noah, meat was not on the menu of humanity. So there must be at least some other reason: because God likes beauty, and order, and teeming life. But your initial instinct regarding the tastiness of animals hit on an important factor: animals were created for the good of mankind. The creation narrative in Genesis 1 and 2 makes it clear that all the earth was created for the benefit of mankind: the whole story leads up to the creation of man and the injunction for him to hold dominion.
So how did animals benefit mankind before the time of Noah and the first ribeye steak? Wool for clothing; dogs and cats for companionship; the birds of the air for splendor: all true. But there is something more. Over and over again the Bible uses the animals as a mirror for mankind: “Behold the birds of the air: they neither sow now reap...” “Even the jackass knows her stall….” “Go to the ant, o sluggard, and consider her ways.”
The topic I have been assigned is: “being a man in a feminized world.” And for this we turn to the animal kingdom. If you would like to know what it is like to be a man (or a woman) in a fully feminized world, then I invite you to consider the naked mole-rat (Heterocephalus glaber). Deep in the sandy soil of the Horn of Africa, the Lord has given us a living picture of what life would be for mammals if the order of male and female were broken down to the level of ants, bees, and wasps. Among the naked mole-rats there is no marriage, no nuclear families, no patriarchy. One queen is ascendant and she favors two or three males for reproductive purposes. The rest of society is reduced to sexless (dare we say transgendered?) drones.
If you want to ponder a sexless society of mammals ruled over by an all powerful female-led governance where everyone else is equal, you can take up a degree in Women’s Studies at any four year college in the land – or save yourself the time and just read the Wikipedia article on Heterocephalus glaber.
On the other hand, if you’d like to ponder a well-ordered human society created in the image of Christ and His Bride the Church, you could read the Household Codes of the New Testament (Ephesians 5 and Colossians 3 and I Peter 3). Mankind was not created to live in a teeming hive of indistinguishable drones. “Male and female He created him.” “And for this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be united to his wife and the two shall become one flesh.”
Households, not hives. Real men: husbands and fathers who love their wives as Christ does the Church, not drones or slaves. Real women: wives and mothers who honor and submit to their husbands as the Church does to Christ, not queen bees or unsexed robots of flesh and blood.
The distinction between male and female is at the heart of what it means to be human. The union of man and wife and the creation of a family is the source and pillar of human society and well being. And therefore it is no wonder that the devil continues to try to poison this source and tear down this pillar. Young men, as those destined to one day be husbands and fathers, are especially in need of preparation for resisting the devils attacks on the family, patriarchy, and God’s design for male and female. So I hope more of you will join me for our class at Wittenberg Academy that explores these topics (with a cameo from the naked mole-rat) in greater detail: Citizenship, Fitness, & Strength Training.
Ten Books Boys Should Read Before they Turn 21
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Miss Eleonore Mumme serves as Tragedy and Art and History of Composition instructor for Wittenberg Academy.
Visit the Class Links below to hear about the classes Wittenberg Academy offers from The Wittenberg Academy Teachers themselves!
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Anatomy and Kinesiology
Art and History of Composition I
Citizenship, Fitness, and Strength Training
Faith and Science
Being a Man in A Feminized World
Rev. Heath Curtis serves as Latin, Greek, Citizenship, Fitness, and Strength Training, and Outdoorsmanship and Hunter Education instructor for Wittenberg Academy.
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Husbands, Love Your Wives
The Commandments charge all of us to dwell on Christ and on our neighbor rather than ourselves. Husbands in particular are called to put a very specific person’s needs and well being above their own. Saint Paul admonishes in Ephesians 5:25-30 “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her, so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy and blameless. So husbands ought also to love their own wives as their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself; for no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ also does the church, because we are members of His body.” (NASB translation) This passage, similar to many others within the Bible, clearly presents the relationship of Christ and His church as that of a bridegroom and his bride. All of us who are Christian husbands are no doubt keenly aware that we fall far short of carrying out St. Paul’s instructions. Despite all of our failings as sinful human beings, it is clear that our aspiration as husbands should be to serve as a type of Christ within our own households by caring for them as Christ cares for His church.
Christ, the ultimate bridegroom, cares for His bride perfectly in every way. He provides us with our daily bread and all that is needful to support our bodies in this life on earth. Even more significantly, He provides us with His Word and Sacraments to grow and sustain our faith so we might have eternal life in and with Him in heaven once our pilgrimage in this world is done. As broken human beings in desperate need of Christ’s gifts and compassion ourselves, husbands are not able to meet the physical and spiritual needs of their wives the way Christ does, but for those members of the church that God has given a husband, it is through those husbands that Christ provides many of His gracious gifts to care for them in both body and soul.
In the verses of Ephesians immediately preceding those quoted above, St. Paul charges wives to submit themselves to their husbands as their head just as Christ is the head of the church. This characterization of the dynamic between husband and wife grates against modern views on the roles and relationships of men and women within families, workplaces, and our larger communities as a whole. This is understandable to the extent that headship is understood to be like the role of an employer, a manager, or even a king rather than viewed as the relationship between Christ and His church. While we as members of the church are subject to the authority of Christ and live under the good Law of God, the way Christ cares for us is not domineering, controlling, or manipulative. Instead, Christ serves as a protector and a provider that clothes us in the beauty of His righteousness. It is in this way that husbands should function as the heads of their household. Just as Christ laid down his life and suffered greatly for the sake of His church that she might be forgiven of her sins and be freed to serve God and neighbor in peace, a husband’s responsibility as the head of his household is to daily make sacrifices of himself to support and defend his wife and family so they are free to use their own God given gifts and talents in service of their family, church, and neighbors.
One of the most traditionally recognized and easily understood ways a husband makes sacrifices for his bride is by earning a wage with which to provide for her bodily needs. While it is far more common today to find two income households or households where the wife is the chief breadwinner, that responsibility has historically fallen to the husband, and it is ultimately his responsibility to ensure that the household’s needs are met. Wage-earning labor is usually difficult, sometimes painful, and rarely something we would do if it was not necessary for our survival. The husband who sacrifices his time and his freedom so he can apply himself to providing food, shelter, and clothing to his wife does so as a form of Christ-like sacrificial love. It is never with the same level of grace or selflessness as Christ’s giving for His Bride, but it is still a daily laying down of one’s own life for the sake of others. A wife who is freed from the need to financially support the household is better able to use her other talents to turn a house into a home, to nurture children, to serve her church, and/or to care for neighbors in need. This is not to say it is wrong for wives to work, as every married couple finds themselves in different situations with their own unique challenges and talents. Regardless of the financial arrangements a family has, however, husbands should understand that inherent to their role as a husband is the responsibility to see to it that his bride is fed, clothed, and sheltered even if it comes at the cost of his own comforts, convenience, and interests.
Similarly, husbands (and men in general) have always been understood, at least within the Church, to bear the responsibility of literally laying down their lives for the protection of women, children, and the elderly in times of conflict. The portrayal of men as physical protectors or guardians is not particularly popular in the modern day, but it is a good one when understood rightly. If they take care of themselves and their own bodies, men are, in general, much stronger and much more capable of taking repeated physical abuse than women, and their bodies are incapable of carrying and protecting new life within them. Consequently, when lives are threatened by hostile forces or natural disasters and it is all but certain that lives will be lost, a good man does everything within his power to ensure that his life is the one taken before that of those around him. This is especially true for a husband who has been given the specific responsibility of protecting his wife, and possibly also children, against threats to their bodies. As such, a husband should be ready if called upon to put his life in the line of fire to protect his household from bodily harm.
Such sacrifice certainly can take the form of dying in battle or a daring rescue attempt, and many men throughout history have died nobly for the sake of defending others. It is more common, however, for husbands to be faced with far less glamorous opportunities to suffer physical hardship as a means of protecting their wives from the same hardship. Whether it is mowing the lawn, shoveling the sidewalk, or building a new addition to the home, the most physically demanding and unpleasant responsibilities of daily living most naturally fall to the husband. This is not to say that women are incapable of performing strenuous tasks or that it is wrong for them to ever undertake them. However, a husband who understands that his calling is to give of himself so as to present his bride in all her glory as Christ gives of Himself for His church is going to see that the pain of physical labor or the sacrifice of one’s life when needed is part of the mantle he donned when he married his wife.
An aspect of fulfilling the husband’s role that is not as natural or instinctive for most men is the responsibility to care for his wife’s emotional well-being. Most men are “doers” who seek to resolve conflict with action, and in many cases that is a good thing, aligned with their God-given responsibility to protect and defend the weak. However, men are often not as comfortable with handling emotionally sensitive issues or problems that can’t be resolved through action and/or confrontation. When looking for positive ways of working through their own emotions, men often turn to physically strenuous activities, like exercise, or physical activities that require a great deal of mechanical skill, like construction projects. Physical action becomes their emotional outlet. When it comes to supporting their wives, however, men cannot fall back on the tools and processes that are most familiar and comfortable for them. They are more often than not forced outside of their comfort zone and left unsure of what they should be doing when their wives are distraught. Even so, part of being a husband is caring for your wife’s emotional well-being. Whether it is frustration and conflict with friends, families, and neighbors or grappling with grief in the face of a great loss, husbands are the most prominent source of support and comfort God has given wives. In emotionally draining times, husbands are again called upon to lay down their own lives and self-interests to be a source of comfort and dependability for their wife. They should be the one the wife can count on to keep her steady and grounded regardless of what trials and frustrations she may be grappling with. This does not always mean finding a way to “fix” the problem or calling the wife to “see reason” and “calm down” but comforting the wife with the knowledge that she has someone who cares about her and the difficulties she faces and who she can trust absolutely regardless of what happens.
For the husband, this does not mean that men must always agree with their wives or prioritize their happiness above everything else. Just like husbands, wives make mistakes and sometimes they get upset or hold grudges for unjust reasons. In such situations, a husband should not add fuel to the fire by encouraging a wife in her injustice, but instead remain a source of dependable calm that puts her genuine best interest first. It means being honest and open. It means being attentive and present. Sometimes it means speaking words of comfort and reason, and sometimes it means simply listening. Even in a situation where a husband may need to point out an unjustness in his wife’s approach to dealing with something, his words should be spoken out of love for his wife and whomever she may be at odds with, and they should be spoken with respect toward the feelings of his wife.
During times of great tragedy such as infertility or the death of a family member, the husband might also be struggling with significant grief and loss and may be in need of support himself. But in those situations, perhaps especially in those situations, the husband is called upon to care for his wife by being a source of stable and dependable comfort. As the head of his household, it is important for a husband to remain grounded and stable himself, and at times that may mean reaching out to his pastor, close friends, or his father. Grief is certainly an emotion men experience as well as women, and it is important for all people regardless of their marital status to seek out the support they need to process their grief in a healthy way. In his interactions with his wife specifically, though, a husband should be the one giving her a safe place to grieve in the comfort of his loving care. This is a far more challenging and daunting task than the call to use his physical prowess for the support or protection of his wife, and it does not carry the same kind of glamour, but it still crucial part of the way husbands are to sacrifice of themselves for their wives as Christ gives of himself for His church.
Above and beyond the greatest earthly needs a husband is called upon to provide for his wife, the most important responsibility he has as the head of his household and the one most Christ-like, is the teaching of God’s Word. A husband is to ensure that regular and frequent church going is chief among the family’s priorities and that the church they attend is one that faithfully preaches the Law and Gospel and faithfully administers the Sacraments. It is paramount that husbands see to it that their household seek out those perfect gifts provided by God; perfect gifts they can find nowhere else.
Outside of regular church attendance, husbands also bear the responsibility of ensuring that their home is filled with prayer and catechesis. This is especially important when the role of husband overlaps with the role of father. As immeasurably important as attending church is, the majority of a family’s time is spent elsewhere and it falls to the husband to make sure that even when they are apart from the gathering of the church, they continue to keep His Word at the center of their daily living. At all times and in all that he does, the husband is called to point his family toward Christ. In all respects, husbands will fall short of their duties to their wives due to the fact that they are imperfect, fallen beings. It is through Christ, though, that we are all made perfect and blameless in the eyes of God, and so when a husband prioritizes worship and prayer as a family and with the larger Body of Christ, whatever faults and failings he might have are covered up, forgiven, and overruled by the loving grace of God. It is often before the altar that a man becomes a husband, and it is by regularly returning to the Lord’s altar with his bride at his side that a husband best fulfills his role as they bind themselves to the bride of the greatest and most perfect husband. +NS
Mr. Nicholai Stuckwisch serves as Treasurer for Wittenberg Academy.
A Statement from Our
Board of Directors
At Wittenberg Academy, we pursue the good, the true, and the beautiful because we value those things which endure. In keeping with this philosophy, we highly recommend that students use printed books and readings as much as possible. Our instructors supply information so that families may purchase necessary books or print off copies of readings. At the same time, we recognize the financial sacrifices that many families already make to provide an excellent education for their children. For this reason, we also offer options for using web or other electronic copies of readings, most of which are available free of charge. Since the choice to use print, electronic, or combined means for readings will not limit a student’s participation in classes, each family may utilize the option deemed best-suited for them.
Hebrew and Paideia I Theology
Rev. Brian Kachelmeier
On the Road with Wittenberg Academy
Conferences this Michaelmas term
No Upcoming Conferences
Rev. Brian L. Kachelmeier received his B. A. in Religious Studies from the University of New Mexico in 1995. He received his M. Div. from Concordia Theological Seminary in 2005. On June 26, 2005, he was ordained into the Office of Holy Ministry at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Santa Fe, New Mexico. He served as the Associate Pastor of Immanuel Lutheran Church and Mission Planter in Los Alamos. In 2008, the mission in Los Alamos became a sister congregation of the LCMS. At that point, he was called to serve as the first pastor of Redeemer Evangelical Lutheran Church in Los Alamos, NM. He is a frequent guest on Issues, Etc. and author of the book Reading Isaiah with Luther.
Click here to Learn about Rev. Kachelmeier's Classes!
My God, I heard this day,
That none doth build a stately habitation,
But he that means to dwell therein.
What house more stately hath there been,
Or can be, than is Man? to whose creation
All things are in decay.
For Man is ev'ry thing,
He is a tree, yet bears no fruit;
A beast, yet is, or should be more:
Reason and speech we only bring.
Parrots may thank us, if they are not mute,
They go upon the score.
Man is all symmetry,
Full of proportions, one limb to another,
And all to all the world besides:
Each part may call the farthest brother:
For head with foot hath private amity,
And both with moons and tides.
Nothing hath got so far,
But Man hath caught and kept it, as his prey.
His eyes dismount the highest star:
He is in little all the sphere.
Herbs gladly cure our flesh; because that they
Find their acquaintance there.
For us the winds do blow,
The earth doth rest, heav'n move, and fountains flow.
Nothing we see, but means our good,
As our delight, or as our treasure:
The whole is, either our cupboard of food,
Or cabinet of pleasure
The stars have us to bed;
Night draws the curtain, which the sun withdraws;
Music and light attend our head.
All things unto our flesh are kind
In their descent and being; to our mind
In their ascent and cause.
Each thing is full of duty:
Waters united are our navigation;
Distinguished, our habitation;
Below, our drink; above, our meat;
Both are our cleanliness.
Hath one such beauty?
Then how are all things neat?
More servants wait on Man,
Than he'll take notice of: in ev'ry path
He treads down that which doth befriend him,
When sickness makes him pale and wan.
Oh mighty love! Man is one world, and hath
Another to attend him.
Since then, my God, thou hast
So brave a palace built; O dwell in it,
That it may dwell with thee at last!
Till then, afford us so much wit;
That, as the world serves us, we may serve thee,
And both thy servants be.
Registration is Open
for the 2020 Christmas Term!
by George Herbert
our website here
Christmas Term Begins on November 30, 2020!
Students are welcome to pursue a Wittenberg Academy Diploma or take classes à la carte.
"Wittenberg Academy combines the best of a physical school education with the best of homeschooling. You will meet people from across the country (and even the world). You can easily discuss questions, ideas, or perceived problems in your topic of study with other students and your teacher. Yet at the same time, you have the freedom to pursue personal interests and engage in activities for which most students don’t have the time. Finally, you will learn much more than many students, while having a lot of fun along the way."
~ WA Student on why others should Attend WA
If you are already registered and would like to add more classes to your registration please email Wittenberg Academy's Head Teacher, Mrs. Benson, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Would you like to purchase holiday gifts and support Wittenberg Academy at the same time?
Do you need to restock your WA Wardrobe?
If so, we have great news for you!
You can purchase Wittenberg Academy t-shirts year round online!
A point of confession
Wittenberg Academy Gear and Gifts
2020-21 Academic Year Dates
Michaelmas: September 8-November 25
Christmas: November 30- February 28
Easter: March 2- May 22
Trinity: June 1- August 21
"For if we wish to have excellent and able persons both for civil and Church leadership. we must spare no diligence, time, or cost in teaching and education our children, so that they may serve God and the world. We must not think only about how we may amass money and possessions for them. God can indeed support and make them rich without us, as He daily does. But for this purpose He has given us children and issued ths command: we should train and govern them according to His will. Otherwise, He would have no purpose for a father and a mother.Therefore, let everyone know that it is his duty, on peril of losing the divine favor, to bring up his children in the fear and knowledge of God above all things (Proverbs 1:7). And if the children are talented, have them learn and study something. Then they ma be hired for whatever need there is."
~ The Large Catechism, Part I: The Fourth Commandment, 172-174
There are legion podcasts out there, why is Wittenberg Academy joining the ranks of podcasters? There are questions out there worth asking, and we want to ask them!
Welcome to the Wittenberg hour, where we explore big questions and discuss that which endures, by means of that which has endured, so that scholars may endure.
Join us in exploring big questions! You can listen to our podcasts on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, Google Podcasts, and many other podcast providers. Just search for The Wittenberg Hour!
Welcome to the Wittenberg hour!
"Most friendship is faining, most loving mere folly: Then, heigh-ho, the holly. This life is most jolly!"
-As You Like It
As You Like It by William Shakespeare
The Princess Bride by William Goldman
The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis
David Copperfield by Charles Dickens
The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
The Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien
Till We have Faces by C.S. Lewis
What We're Reading
Wittenberg Academy Book Club
(Below are the books that WABC will be reading and discussing
as a group this Year)
Wittenberg Academy's 4th Annual Family Retreat
Wittenberg Academy held their 4th Annual Family Retreat on April 25-27, 2019. The Rev. Dr. Thomas Korcok spoke on the liberal arts. We were blessed to have many families that enjoyed three days of fun, fellowship, and worship. We hope to see everyone again next year!
Next year's Retreat will be held on April 22-24, 2021.
Click here to register for Wittenberg Academy's 2021 Family Retreat
Where: Camp Okoboji
When: April 22-24, 2021
Who: Rev. Dr. Gregory P. Schulz will be our plenary speaker in 2021 discussing the Word.
Registration closes April 9, 2021
Visit our website here for more information and click the button below to register!
Registration for our 2021
Family Retreat is now open!
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