Complementarian Marriage and the Lies They Tell Themselves Part 11

Complementarian Marriage and the Lies They Tell Themselves Part 11 July 26, 2020

We’re almost completely done with that male cultural enforcer’s palid musings on the natural of marriage and his own personal marriage boondoggle of a frustrated, critical, unhappy wife and his need to be harshly critical. Last week was pretty ridiculous. He almost admitted that marriage between equals can be happy.

Today we’re trying to finish up.

“After all, the pursuit of happiness is a selfish endeavor, but the pursuit of joyfully pleasing our God by pleasing our spouse is an outside the box activity that leads to all the good things in life, and in turn happiness and joy. For happiness comes from living out ones values.

Pleasing other people, or just helping others out as best one can is not gendered, or related to marriage. It’s called simply being a decent human being. Helping others, putting others needs first can lead to a richer, more meaningful, happy life. I just do not understand why the whole notion of being nice to the person you are married to is such a revolutionary idea instead of a bedrock value.

“The question is do you and your spouse really want joy, or do you get a bigger thrill from punishing each other with unkind words, upsets, moods, and anger? After all, he/she deserves it.”

That is what immature folks and abusers do, not rational adults!

“Stop assigning blame and instead blame yourself and look at what you can do differently. If your spouse fails, stop trying to punish them, but volunteer to take their punishment for them, just as Christ did on the cross. Set up consequences for your sins. If Jesus says, “If your eye offends you, pluck it out!” and Paul says, “I beat and bruise my body and make it my slave” then be hard on your own flesh and sins, instead of self-justification. Treat the old self harshly when old habits start in again that have no place in a resurrected life wrapped up in Christ Jesus.”

Just going to state one more time: punishing others is what immature folks do. Taking responsibility is what you should be doing. But this beat yourself up over this is also very counter productive. The theology of the fundagelicals is filled with heaping helpings of self-shaming that does not produce real change, it brings only massive amounts of guilt.

Deciding to change, and reminding yourself when you screw up to apologize, make amends and make the appropriate changes in your behavior is a much better way to effect permanent change. Certainly better than this scene chewing chest beating crapola!

“If you will not see change as necessary for your God, or your husband or wife, then seek to love your children enough to show them what a life looks like when one lives out their vales and seeks to treat others with common human decency and love.”

Good idea, except you should have been seeking to model right behavior for your kids all of the time anyway. Kids easily pick up on hypocritical people, and the whole ‘Do as I say, not as I do’ thing. Better to be what you seek to grow in the kids.

“Now that you know better, begin to look at each and every criticism as a gift that is making you aware of something you need to change or an area you need to grow in. No one is saying you have to, or even can change it immediately. I used to say to Wife, “I know I need to change that but I am not ready to do it now.” Just inviting awareness from her on the subject allowed my mind, aligned with God’s mind, to begin to process the truth of what was being told to me, and to uproot the lies Satan and past experiences had planted in my mind.”

Oh man! Here’s the thing, not every criticism is helpful, or a gift. Example? Some plague rat snarling at you for wearing a mask in the grocery store is not a gift and not helpful. Someone telling you that your shoelaces are too long and you are in danger of tripping might be. All of this depends on context. Even your spouse. Yesterday morning I awoke to someone blasting the music of Blood, Sweat and Tears and yakking loudly with a visiting friend. I awoke with about as much happiness as Scooby Doo’s Fred listening to the music of Kiss:

Screen cap from YouTube

I might have shouted “Turn that racket DOWN!” in that moment, not a very valid criticism at all, just an all too human explosion of being woken up by rock n roll. I didn’t, I went and made coffee out of the noise cone and said nothing until later. After coffee in the kitchen far away from the noise I would have been more rational. This is why I think you cannot take every single critical or correction, or complaint that comes your way  as valid because it might just not really have anything to do with you, but with the other person. Better to consider context, the person and grant grace for the ones you know are not valid.

This is all followed by a lot of word salad babbling about how we are to be carbon copies of Jesus, but sounds like he has no real idea what the Bible says, or what Jesus was really like if he has to spend roughly 18 pages saying simply to treat your spouse like a human being. Some of this spiel has been cribbed from a book titled “Leadership and Self-Deception” from the Arbinger Institution.  I have read the book and although it makes a lot of good points, this screed does not carry those out. There is nothing in this man’s writings that deals with a significant problem in people: self-deception.

I leave you with this and we are DONE-ZOS with this detritus:

“Begin with a commitment that you will ALWAYS treat your spouse with “common human decency” and your journey a joyful and transformed life will have begun.”

Actually that is only the beginning of being a good person, with or without Jesus, not the be all and end all. It’s the least you should be doing.


Part 1 ~ Part 2 ~ Part 3 ~ Part 4 ~ Part 5


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About Suzanne Titkemeyer
Suzanne Titkemeyer went from a childhood in Louisiana to a life lived in the shadow of Washington D.C. For many years she worked in the field of social work, from national licensure to working hands on in a children's residential treatment center. Suzanne has been involved with helping the plights of women and children' in religious bondage. She is a ordained Stephen's Minister with many years of counseling experience. Now she's retired to be a full time beach bum in Tamarindo, Costa Rica with the monkeys and iguanas. She is also a thalassophile. She also left behind years in a Quiverfull church and loves to chronicle the worst abuses of that particular theology. She has been happily married to her best friend for the last 34 years You can read more about the author here.
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