Saturday, September 25, 2010

Paul and women, including a digression on men and marriage

"Women are oppressed - no kidding. But we're oppressed mainly by the people we yearn to to have sex and homes and children with, and many of these people try to stay on our good side in order to get the same things. But almost nobody has them in a peaceful state for very long, as if the human family had some sort of factory defect. All of the pain and the conflict between the genders seems to circle around this problem." This insight appears at the beginning of Sarah Ruden's chapter on Paul and women.

Of course, the factory defect to which Ruden refers is not a factory defect at all. It is what we call original sin, which Malcom Muggeridge said was the most empirically verifiable fact in the world. It is probably nowhere more evident than in human relationships, especially the intimate relationships between women and men. Another really great book, which my wife and I and are reading together, is Paul David Tripp's What Did You Expect??: Redeeming the Realities of Marriage. Tripp points out what should be obvious: "Our marriages live in the middle of a world that does not function as God intended. Somehow, someway, your marriage is touched every day by the brokenness of our world." He goes further, when he writes,

"At some point you will be selfish. In some situation you will speak unkindly. There will be moments of jealousy, bitterness, and conflict. You will not avoid this, because you are a sinner married to a sinner. If you minimize the heart struggle that both of you have carried into your marriage, here's what will happen: you will tend to turn moments of ministry into moments of anger. When your ears hear and your eyes see the sin, weakness, or failure of your husband or wife, it is never an accident; it is always grace. God loves your spouse, and he is committed to transforming him or her by his grace, and he has chosen you to be one of his regular tools of change. So, he will cause you to see, hear, and experience your spouse's need for change so that you can be an agent of [God's] rescue."
Our need for change is nothing other than our need for Christ.

The above is true for even for Christians married to non-Christians, as the apostle wrote to the Corinthians: "the unbelieving husband is made holy because of his wife, and the unbelieving wife is made holy because of her husband. ... how do you know, wife, whether you will save your husband? Or how do you know, husband, whether you will save your wife?" (1 Cor. 7:14-15- ESV)

1 comment:

  1. Funny...
    What you wrote is not new to me and yet we quickly forget...
    No, allow me to rephrase that, it's not that we forget, but we grow tired. Call it ego, which feeds off of sin, but every once in a while, as a woman, I WANT my husband to be the one to reach out for me.
    I desire for him to be the one that is Vulnerable and Exposed, putting himself on the line for our Marriage.
    I want to see Who he truly is. I Need to know Him. Otherwise, how can you trust?

    It's funny, you walk in, or as the song says, "Fools Rush In" and get married, blindly. Feeling in Love. But how many of us go in with the Decision to truly Love no matter what?

    Your quote by Tripp is Spot On! Marriages are trying to subsist in a society that does everything in its power to destroy them.

    I must try and remember that every moment is an opportunity to practice all those gifts from the Holy Spirit...An Opportunity to be more Christ-like...

    God Bless You, Dcn. Dodger :)