I Need Her To Challenge Me
Sometimes we men can drag our butts. We can get stale and indifferent, or we lose sight of the noble goal. If left to ourselves, we could just drift into territory that makes us hard to recover. We can get, as the country mamas say, “wrong-headed,” which is wrong hearted, wrong attitude, wrong battle fought with the wrong people-just plain wrong. Let’s face it, when we take a survey of the people we know and the population in general, we are forced to admit that most men are a wrong a good portion of the time. We need an early warning system, and they call it WIFE.
Oh lovely. Besides being a computer program patch, a Chinese made car, and a female creature, women are also early warning systems designed to keep men from stagnating. Once again, I’m confused. Debi’s book advocates never talking about anything negative with your husband. So how is a wife supposed to broach the topic of her husband being “wrong, just wrong”? I feel there’s a huge disconnect between what Debi’s book says and what Michael’s book says.
Now, a wife can be just as wrong-headed as her husband. She can lead him in the wrong direction like Job’s wife, who actually tried to discourage him! But just because the little woman can be wrong doesn’t change the fact that sometimes she can be right as well, and we still need a helper to challenge us. The beauty of it is that two very different sources (male and female) provide a broader perspective on the same thing. So it is quite common for the woman to see more clearly in those areas where the man is limited, the reverse also being true. Where the woman’s nature prevents her from seeing clearly, the man is more likely to be constitutionally endowed with the mental and emotional tools to make wise decisions. If a man shuts his wife out in the process, he is denying himself the benefit of her more informed insights in areas where he is deficient. Likewise, if a man leaves the decision making to his domineering wife, it may bring him temporary peace, but he can be certain that she is not innately equipped to make the correct decisions in many cases.
First, I hate the term “little woman”. I think it’s demeaning and rude. Second, claps for Michael for admitting that women can be right (sometimes). I’m a bit peeved that he barely touches on where the woman can be right, but makes sure to specify where the woman’s “nature” prevents her from seeing, men are endowed (constitutionally and emotionally!) to figure it out. Third, I am getting annoyed at Michael because of his insistence that by hurting his wife, he hurts himself a lot more. Are the men this book is geared to that selfish that they refused to do anything to help their wives without something in it for them? And finally, of course he had to add “Don’t let your domineering wife rule your house”. Because of course she’s not equipped to make correct decisions. Of course. Sigh.
It is terribly counterproductive for the duo to be mistrusting of each other. The solution is for the man and woman to learn to see things from the other’s perspective before jumping to conclusions. My wife and I sometimes “argue” (classic point and counterpoint) our perspectives until we have aired our views and understand each other. It is rare that we do not come to a consensus When we fail to agree, I-the man, the head of the household-reluctantly do what I think is best. If I make the wrong decision after hearing her out, she is compassionate with my error, knowing my attitude was not haughty, and it should result in me being more humble. I am not sure if it has ever worked out this way, but it should.
Again, I’m completely confused. Debi’s book specifically says “When you develop an adversarial relationship with your husband, you do so on the premise that you are right and he is wrong. You also assume that you have the duty to resist, confront, or challenge him. In thinking he is wrong and you are right, you declare yourself wiser than he, more spiritual, more discerning, more sacrificial, etc. All this adds up to the obvious conclusion that you have assumed the role of leadership, teacher and judge. This is sinful and odious, and displeases God greatly.” Point/counterpoint arguing sounds a lot like adversarial relationship. Why is it OK in Michael’s book, but not Debi’s? Also note that the title of this section is “I Need a Wife to Challenge Me” and Debi says that challenging your husband ticks God off. Again with the disconnect. I think it’s amusing how Michael “reluctantly” makes the decision (without haughtiness!) I really just don’t see that being true. I’m also amused that his errors never make him more humble.