We have to talk about Larry Solomon of Biblical Gender Roles, the Hairy Man, yet again unfortunately. Why? Because Larry is answering another of those likely to be catfishing letters he gets. This one was extra special, it involved a woman talking about her husband, her supposedly grown up husband, using a very childish form of manipulation to punish her. Larry takes the ball and runs with it, claiming only men can use ‘The Silent Treatment’
What are we? Like five years old, stomping our feet because Mommy said no more cookies before dinner? Seriously, the silent treatment is something very juvenile and childish. This is not how grown people who are mature and married should ever do things.
The letter describes a man so petty that he stomps off to sleep on the sofa in his ‘man cave’ until the wife apologizes. She states that she sometimes just leaves him to sleep in the man cave for a week or so until he gets over whatever he was angry about.
I think her solution of letting him stew until he gets over it is the correct one in marriage. The problem being that is sounds like from her letter that this is his big default go to if she denies him sex, or does not agree with him 100% of the time. That’s just not healthy.
Marriage does not mean you’re joined at the hip, are always going to view anything the same way, or that you must agree. Mature people can handle a little pushback and disagreement in their lives. Agree to disagree and leave it at that. It’s really not worth stomping about manipulating others like a giant toddler.
And that’s what the silent treatment is, an immature manipulation of others. Doesn’t matter if you’re five or fifty five, it’s still silly.
But that is not where Larry takes it. He starts out babbling about situational ethics and killing people before making it a sin for everyone but men. Larry goes on to claim that if women or children use the silent treatment towards a man it’s sinful and manipulative:
And of course, if a child engages in the silent treatment toward their parents until the parents give in and give them what they want this would be a classic form of manipulation and is absolutely wrong from a Biblical perspective as children are commanded to obey their parents.
And that would be why when a kid gives you the silent treatment you just carry on like they aren’t. To give them any extra attention just validates their silent tantrum. These are kids we are talking about, with imperfect control and growing brains. Don’t make a big deal about it. But then he adds women to the mix:
In the same way if a wife were to give her husband the silent treatment until he gave her what she wanted, whether it is agreeing to her position from an argument they had or just giving her an apology such behavior toward her husband would also be a form of manipulation toward her husband and is condemned by the Scriptures.
So far I agree in that no one should be giving anyone else the silent treatment. But let’s keep in mind that Larry’s letter writer never mentioned that she gave her husband the silent treatment, just that her husband did it oh so poutily at the drop of a hat.
If a husband’s silent treatment toward his wife comes from a place of bitterness toward her then his silent treatment toward her is wrong.
However, the Bible show us that God as a husband to Israel used the silent treatment as one of his methods of discipline toward his wife
There’s that word again that Christians misuse all the time to harm others ‘bitterness’ So according to Larry if you are using it to discipline your wife it’s a-okay to use the silent treatment.
So even if our wife does not apologize, we need to let our anger go. However that does not mean our wife is free from the consequences of her actions. We as husbands can continue disciplinary action whatever that may be long after our anger has subsided.
But we must also show our wives that while we may sleep in another room for a few nights that we will never forsake them just as Christ will never forsake his church.
Spank, but don’t spank in anger. Alright, I’ve got it, Larry. Motives of the heart make it fine for a man to act like a weak little toddler towards their wives instead of, oh I don’t know, actually behaving like an adult and communicating with the partner to try and resolve their problems.
Don’t do this! And if someone does it to you simply laugh and tell them you were tired of hearing their voice anyway, so this is a treat, a vacation from nagging. They give up quickly when you do that.
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