#40 IN MY SERIES OF POSTINGS DEDICATED TO SUMMARIZING A WONDERFUL BOOK ENTITLED “THE DUDE’S GUIDE TO MARRIAGE: TEN SKILLS EVERY HUSBAND MUST DEVELOP TO LOVE HIS WIFE WELL” BY DARRIN & AMIE PATRICK.
Do We See Our Wive’s Strengths?
My wife is better at a lot of things than I am. That is one reason I married her. I wanted to be challenged. I wanted to learn. I wanted to grow. I wanted a woman, not a robot. I got what I wanted and more. Amie is very smart. Her IQ is higher than mine. Her EI (emotional intelligence) is definitely higher than mine. I married up. I out-punted my coverage.
Not every man wants a wife like mine. Steve, the dad of one of my high school friends, said he intentionally married beneath himself so he could do “what he darned well please.” His wife’s chief virtue was kindness, not confidence. She lacked the verbal skill to stand up to her husband, so he dominated her, just as he wanted to do.
“My Way Or The Highway”
Steve couldn’t stand not being in control. At his job, he demanded that employees comply with his orders and carry them out exactly as he wanted. In his parenting, he berated his children with an angry cliche`: “My way or the highway.” My friend often opted for the highway (also known as my couch).
Most of us immediately cringe when we think about that dad. There’s no gentleness, no tenderness. As Westerners living in the twenty-first century, we can easily recognize deficiencies in his character. A couple of millennia ago, those defects would not have been so apparent. Many of our contemporary assumption about character are rooted in classical society. But, none of the ancient philosophers, such as Plato and Aristotle, spoke of humility or gentleness as marks of good character. Submission was not a virtue in the Greco-Roman world. A willingness to yield, to defer to another, was considered slave behavior.
Jesus Flipped The Script
The early Christians honored submission as a cultural value. You may have heard this famous line uttered from Jesus’ lips: “The last will be first, and the first will be last.” (Matthew 20:16). That was such a revolutionary idea that even the disciples who were with him the most didn’t get it. The mom of two of them, James and John, asked Jesus if her sons could sit on either side of his throne. The other ten overheard the conversation and became indignant.
Jesus ended the bickering not by softening his stance but by making it even more difficult to accept. “Whoever would be great among you must be your servant,” he said, “and whoever would be first among you must be your slave” (Matthew 20:26-27). Jesus entirely reframed the rules of their competition. He exposed their conflict for what it was — pride.
Jesus handpicked these guys. He gave more of his time and teaching to them than to others. Yet the thought of others enjoying more access than they had made them livid. And that’s really the root of pride: being offended at the mere thought of someone else having more power and control. Few have articulated this idea better than C.S. Lewis, who wrote, “Pride gets no pleasure out of having something, only out of having more of it than the next person.” You may think you’re proud of being successful, intelligent, or good-looking. But when you are surrounded by those who are equal or better than you in these things, you lose all pleasure. “It is the comparison that makes you proud: the pleasure of being above the rest.”
I’LL CONTINUE THIS TOPIC IN MY NEXT POSTING
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