A few recent comments have suggested I’m all about telling men how bad they are, and that I think women are just about perfect.
If someone said, “I’m disappointed you now support abortion” I would say I don’t support abortion, and might provide a link to where I recently said I didn’t. I wouldn’t argue it much beyond that, because if someone doesn’t believe my words, more words won’t change anything. I also wouldn’t worry I might be starting to think abortion is okay; I know my thoughts. However, I might wonder why someone would think I support abortion. I would wonder if I said something to give this impression, or if I’d failed to say I was opposed to abortion when it seemed like a good opportunity to take a stand.
Much of what has been said in the comments is about what I think, which is not a matter of opinion. However, how I come across is a matter of opinion, and I may not be doing the best job communicating what I think. So, a few clarifications:
- When I started TGH almost a dozen years ago, it was simple tips on being more loving and generous. I still do some of those, but I realised years ago I was often offering Band-Aids and aspirin to marriages suffering from deep cuts, malaria, cancer, lost limbs, and other life threatening issues. So yes, I’ve changed what I say, and sometimes my intention is to provoke.
- My theological understanding is all of us are deeply selfish, regardless of whether our gonads are inside or outside our bodies. I don’t know if you or your wife is more selfish, could be either way, but I know both of you have problems that boil down to being selfish. I also know your marriage would benefit from either of you dealing with any of your own issues.
- When I talk about male selfishness and problems, I’m not talking about y’all – I am talking about us. I’ve owned up to plenty of the things I have suggested are evil stupid a bad plan. Some of those I’ve beat, some I have not.
- This blog is aimed at men, so I speak to men about what they might be able to do better. Agreeing with you your wife is horrible will not help you, or her, or your marriage, or your kids. (May God have mercy on the children!)
- Your dad was right – life ain’t fair. Your wife will at least occasionally do things she shouldn’t, and she will at times ignore wise advice. Telling her she’s wrong is almost never a solution, and getting others to tell her she’s wrong is usually even worse. You can work on you or you can work on her, but only the first has any real chance of bringing about change.
- Life ain’t fair #2: Your wife brought a lot of baggage into your marriage, and you’re stuck with the consequences of that stuff. Not being the one who hurt her doesn’t mean you’re immune to the fallout. You can be patient with her, or you can be nasty about it, but again only one of those has any real chance at bringing about positive change.
- I am a pragmatist. As long as it is not immoral or illegal, I’ll gladly do “something I shouldn’t have to do” if it will make my life better. I will also do something “I shouldn’t have to do” if it will make my wife’s life easier. I will do this partly because I know it will ultimately help me, but mostly because I love her.
- There is also the “little matter” of what Jesus thinks I should do. I think most of what Jesus said to us about relationships in general applies to marriage. I have long thought about doing a series on Sermon on the Mount – I think it is time.
By the way, I am happy to hear from any of you about any of this. I think email is a better place for such things, but use the comments if you prefer.