Debi Pearl of No Greater Joy is under the writing gun making up content to cover where Michael didn’t write this month. So she overreaches, sharing a tale about an older lady just realizing that she was ‘too tough’ on her brother who rubbed her the wrong way. Debi uses this to springboard into never take offense at any stupid thing your man does.
I believe this is traditionally called granting someone mercy, and it cuts all ways. A mother might be merciful to a child having a meltdown. Or a husband towards a harried wife. Usually mercy is extended off and on to just about everyone. We’re all human. But in Debi’s tiny corner of the rural world it’s all the wife’s fault anyway.
Her revelation is one many wives need to experience. Almost every woman has this built-in expectation that her man must be what she thinks he should be, and when he is not she is hurt, irritated, frustrated, or annoyed. But men are who they are, and no amount of hurt will make them a different man.
We’ve talked about holding big expectations here before. It’s fine to have some regular decent ones, like he will not beat you, or will help around the house, or not sleep with the babysitter, holding unrealistic expectations is a mugs game.
But I don’t think that’s what Debi is talking about, even if she makes that claim. I think it’s the more the day to day, like how I get irritated, frustrated or annoyed when my husband neglects to remember where I keep the extra toilet paper and continually overlooks it, expecting me to rush some to him. If it had been a snake it would have bit his naughty parts off.
I keep telling him where it is, not enabling him by continually playing step and fetch it because he does not remember. Having him rely on me for every single simple task isn’t helping either of us. I do still pull up his pants and latch his seatbelt, both tasks he can no longer do post shoulder surgery and broken shoulder. That is mercy.
Debi goes on to state that it is your job as a wife to do things the way he wants no matter what you think about it. Okkkkkay, that can be a type of mercy, but quite frankly if you are waiting on him hand and foot per Debi you’re not doing him any favors either. You are a wife, not a bound slave.
This is all followed by another Debi tale. This time of church and someone’s feelings being hurt by the pastor, gossip, gossip, whine, whine and BITTER!! That negative buzzword that Evangelicals throw out whenever you say as a woman ‘Hey wait a minute, what about my feelings?’ instead of ‘Coming right up sir!’ If I could remove any word from the Evangelical lexicon for misuse it would be bitter. It is used only to make people feel guilty and to control them.
Having unmet needs, disappointments, heartache and other negative emotions is anything but bitter. Someone passing out from over use, over sex and over cooking with no sleep during their honeymoon might be momentarily bitter. But it is understandable. Having any emotion but joy is not bitterness.
Now, Wife, back to you: Who then is the greater sinner?
Giving slack is just acknowledging that he deserves to be allowed to be who he is. And in doing so, you will have a much happier life as you appreciate his good points. It is also helpful if we first take the beam out of our own eye before we start digging into his eye…we see clearer when we do.
We’re back to that cutting of slack that is actually showing mercy. Yes, it is an important concept, just not in the Pearl world is it ever shown to women. It is an exclusivity for men.
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