In 1 Sam 22,Saul orders his guards to kill the priests. The guards won’t do it, but neither do they protect the priests when Saul asks a single man to do the killing. I think the following covers the situation very well:
Perpetrators, collaborators, bystanders, victims: we can be clear about three of these categories. The bystander, however, is the fulcrum. If there are enough notable exceptions, then protest reaches a critical mass. But, as English philosopher Edmund Burke said, ‘The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.’ [Quote attributed to The Henrik Hudson School District Library Media Center, but cannot be confirmed]
The guards refused to be perpetrators or collaborators, and risked becoming victims by refusing to obey an angry king – however, these men ended up being bystanders – watching what they knew to be wrong but doing nothing to stop it.
Certainly, I could discuss the applications of this in many ways, but how does it apply to marriage? Have you ever chosen the role of bystander while you bride was being wronged? Maybe it was a member of her family – or of your family? Maybe it was one of your children. Alternatively, perhaps you played bystander while your bride was too harsh with one of your children.
Regardless of the people and the circumstances, is ignoring a wrong ever justified?
Links to blog posts that stood out to me this last week:
What 39 years have taught me about life and marriage: As Cory of Simple Marriage turns 39, he shares the marriage wisdom he has acquired over his years. Cory is very smart for such a young guy!
Nice Things To Say When The Step-kids Are Being Mean: Simple Marriage also has a great guest post about dealing with step kids.
Love is Not Arrogant: Kudos to Debi Walter of The Romantic Vineyard for allowing her past errors to help others.
Play On…: You may have read about the free subway concert Joshua Bell. The Romantic Vineyard tells the story, and challenges us not to miss the beautiful things in our marriages.
5 Must Read Marriage Books for your Summer Reading List: I don’t know why Cory things I have time to read this summer, but The Marry Blogger‘s marriage reading list is a good one.
Men and Women Are Different #31: The Marry Blogger does a good job with a common gender issue, although I am an outlier on this one. What are you thinking about?
Why Do Christians Make Such a Big Deal Out of Sex? and The Sanctity of Sex: An Illustration from C. S. Lewis: Kathleen Quiring has two good posts about Christians and sex on Project M
Five Common Facebooking Issues Creating Marital Strife: I’m a n00b on Facebook, but I can see how it could deeply harm a marriage. If you or your bride FB, please read what Marriage Junkie has to say about this.
10 Easy Romantic Ideas to Spice Up Your Busy Marriage: Engaged Marriage has a guest post with some great romantic ideas.
You Are Not Being Punished for Your Past Promiscuity: Julie over at Intimacy in Marriage has a very good post about past sexual sin. Read and apply as needed, and ask your bride to do the same. Oh, and be sure that you are not punishing yourself of your bride for past sexual sins.