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Dec 12

Slow Fade

     Over the last weeks I have been hearing of demise of marriages around me.  Some I am witnessing first hand, some from a distance.  The question is how could this be prevented?  It seems that marriages are breaking up for a couple of major reasons.  The first is infidelity of the man.  The second is the wife feeling the relationship being slowly strangled.  The husband continues to separate from his wife emotionally till they end up like two strangers living in the same house.  Thats not what we get married for.  We want someone to share our life with.  Someone who will know all our warts and pimples and yet still love us, someone we can talk about anything with.  But both of these scenarios have a same root cause.  A disregard of relationship.  In the first case the husband thumbs his nose at the marriage relationship by thinking that he can have this little tryst and everything else will remain the same.  Isn’t that the tactic of the enemy, telling us that yes we can have it all.  The second scenario really has the same roots just not as overt.  Women are more relational and value emotional intimacy, they are often starved out of the relationship.  Once married we as men feel that we have conquered the task of finding a wife,  we lay off all the nice romantic relational things we did during our courtship.  We now repoint our energies toward the next great thing that needs to be conquered.  We forget about keeping the spark.  We say things like "Of course I love you, I go to work every day don’t I",  "I’ve told you I love you and when it changes I’ll let you know".  We may start to spend our affections on hobbies, or other things.  My wife has told me on more than one occasion that she wishes I got as excited about spending time with her as I do with my hobbies.  I can say in the words of the apostle Paul "My brothers this should not be".

     It seems that the women get the short end of the stick in either scenario.  A wife may be asked to bear with her husband to make the relationship work, if he has been unfaithful.  If he is starving his wife emotionally and she can’t take it anymore, she will be accused of being the one who broke the marriage, the husband is now the victim.  He can tell others I didn’t want to get a divorce she is the one who filed.  You see we as men can hold our emotional breath a lot longer than our wives.  We can literally starve them to death emotionally.   The wife gets to the point of desperation and can’t live with the situation anymore she needs to get out to keep her head above water.  It is the wife we talk with.  We ask her to give him one more chance, or he’s not so bad, he’s a good provider.  If you give him more sex, respect him more maybe he will come around.  (Most probably he won’t)

     Why don’t we put the responsibility at the feet of the man?  Isn’t he supposed to be the spiritual leader of the home?  If he is the spiritual leader isn’t he responsible for the spirits in his charge?  Why don’t we talk with the man and find out what more he can give to his wife to make the relationship better?  If there is a marriage problem why don’t we examine the men to see where the issue is.  The truth of the matter is that men will be content to walk in a marriage relationship where the wife gives him sex, cooks his meals and washes his clothes, and think that there is nothing more.  If the wife doesn’t speak up he will think everything is fine.  Because we are the less relational of the sexes this arrangement seems just fine to us.  Is it possible that there is more to a relationship than this and our wives can help us understand and enter into that fullness.

    I haven’t seen any marriages where the husband worked hard at cultivating a relationship, where the wife was unhappy.  Women by nature want the relationships to work.  They don’t want to ditch him for another one.  They simply want to be valued in the relationship, treated as precious, a gift from God, a valuable asset.  I have heard Ken Nair (author of "Discovering the Mind of a Women"), ask people "If Jesus lived with your wife do you think he would find it impossible to live with her?",  "Do you think he would give up on the relationship?".  Aren’t we commanded in scripture to "Love our wives as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her".  What are we doing as men that is giving ourselves up for our wives?  To often we want to do our own thing, and have our wives be happy about it.  But Christ’s example says that "he who looses his life will find it".  Are you loosing yourself in your marriage relationship?

    The old myth that marriage is 50/50 is bunk.  That only gives me an excuse to point my finger at my wife.  When there are issues, I can say she needs to hold up her end of the bargin.  (Men sometimes see marriage as a bargin, contract, not as a covenant)  I believe that the Gospel of Jesus says only this, we can’t control the actions and behaviors of others, therefore we are only responsible for our actions.  We need to work hard to make sure our actions and motives are right.  We need to get the log our of our own eye before pulling the splinter out of our wives eye.  Could we take the next step and actually say that the way our wives respond to us reflects where we are spiritually.  If there is a bad response could it be something in me?

     Recently the group Casting Crowns has come out with a song called  "Slow Fade"  that describes the process of how our hearts can be captured a little bit at a time.  How we are drawn into things slowly.  Often the things that cause the demise of a relationship happen over a period of years.  The lyrics below are worth a close read.

 

 

Be careful little eyes what you see
It’s the second glance that ties your hands as darkness pulls the strings
Be careful little feet where you go
For it’s the little feet behind you that are sure to follow

It’s a slow fade when you give yourself away
It’s a slow fade when black and white have turned to gray
Thoughts invade, choices are made, a price will be paid
When you give yourself away
People never crumble in a day
It’s a slow fade, it’s a slow fade

Be careful little ears what you hear
When flattery leads to compromise, the end is always near
Be careful little lips what you say
For empty words and promises lead broken hearts astray

It’s a slow fade when you give yourself away
It’s a slow fade when black and white have turned to gray
Thoughts invade, choices are made, a price will be paid
When you give yourself away
People never crumble in a day

The journey from your mind to your hands
Is shorter than you’re thinking
Be careful if you think you stand
You just might be sinking

It’s a slow fade when you give yourself away
It’s a slow fade when black and white have turned to gray
Thoughts invade, choices are made, a price will be paid
When you give yourself away
People never crumble in a day
Daddies never crumble in a day
Families never crumble in a day

Oh be careful little eyes what see
Oh be careful little eyes what you see
For the Father up above is looking down in love
Oh be careful little eyes what you see

1 comment

  1. ron

    I followed the link to the music video. I found this awesome teaching clip about the song “Slow Fade”. You need to check it out.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N9JgrJjyNzg&feature=channel

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