Covenant eyes, a resource for those struggling with porn and other sexual sins, has an interesting article entitled Two Ways Christian Accountability Goes Bad. The two ways they give are “legalistic drift” and “looseness drift”. I mention this because I see the same two problems in marriages, and particularly in the way husbands lead – or don’t lead- in their marriages.
The legalistic husband has written a rulebook and carries a magnifying glass. Any missing of the way he sees the world designated mark, by any amount, is going to be seen and punished dealt with. There’s no grace, and there’s no allowances for things that make it difficult or impossible to meet the demanded expected goals. Of course, these men are impossible to please, and over time, their brides tune out, lash out, run out, or quietly fall into depression and obscurity.
The loose husband is afraid of making waves. He does not offer an opinion or express any expectations lest he offend or upset his bride. If she is too hard on the kids, he excuses it. If she is mean to people, he assumes they deserve it. If she lies, he looks the other way – or even covers for her. While these men seem easy to get along with, over time their brides may lose all respect for them. Without the support a husband is supposed to provide, women married to men like this are at a greater risk of driving off friends, making a mess of their children, moving into questionable doctrine, and following after things that are destructive to their marriage. At best, she falls well short of what she could be.
Somewhere between controlling ogre and irrelevant pushover is the husband every woman needs. A man who understands both grace and the danger of sin. A man who can express his feelings, desires, and what he thinks is right without making his bride feel verbally beaten. A man who can love his wife, in a way she can feel, even when he says she has crossed a line. It’s not easy to be that man, and she won’t always be happy with you in the moment, but over the long run you, your marriage, your bride, and your children will all be better than if you lean too far towards legalism or looseness.
Links to blog posts that stood out to me this last week:
Better Husbands and Fathers
Spritual Thought: To visit the Fatherless and Widows…: Great thoghts. What are YOU doing for the widows and orphans? (BTW, I would put kids living with single mum in that category no matter why – and by extension, their mothers.)
Black and Married with Kids
Thriving in Marriage During A Recession: Financial stress can kill a marriage, but you can choose to not go that way.
Couple Things Blog
The Element of Not Knowing: Interesting idea -what do you think?
Disengaging from the Cell Phone to Re-Engage Your Family: HANG UP and be a husband and father!
God Centered Marriage
//it’s all about ATTITUDE//: Great post. How did this young lady get so wise?
Happily Married After
80/20 Rule: The moral of this post is that we can only understand what we don’t have in the context of what we do have.
Intimacy in Marriage
Safe Sex: What Some Burglars Taught Me: A perfect example of what I said in my Saturday tip – thanks Julie!
Journey to Surrender
Pretty Amazing!: A great post about the way our culture of beauty beats women up.
What Men and Women Always Need More of in Relationships: Calling this one a MUST READ!
6 Tips to Make Romance Easy/Automatic: Great ideas – use this to help you come up with other ways to remember to do loving things for your bride.
One Flesh Marriage
BE the CHANGE you want to SEE in your MARRIAGE!: While this is aimed at women, the ideas cross gender lines. This post might also give you a window into your bride’s mind – which is always a good thing!
3 Reasons to Cage the Husband Tornado: Brad has some good words here that most don’t want to hear, but NEED to hear.
The Romantic Vineyard
“He Did!”: Do you know your bride as well as Tom knows his? It;’s not easy, but it’s certainly well worth the effort.
Come Away With Me: A happy 32nd anniversary to Tom and Debi! Your time alone plan is something every couple should do.