Monthly Archives: July 2011

Wives: 10 Reasons to Forgive Him

A Read For Every Married Woman

My grandparents were married for 50+ years. I once asked my grandmother how she stayed married to my grandfather all that time, she said very plainly, “Divorce was never an option.”

I always felt bad for her. I took her statement to mean that she was trapped inside an institution in a cultural time where divorce just wasn’t accepted. I thought she was avoiding the social or public ridicule she would endure and so she just chose the more socially acceptable alternative; be married and miserable. Then I got married myself and have been for 14 years. I know that seriously making the decision to be committed to one person the rest of your life is really huge and not taken lightly (All Las Vegas weddings done by Elvis impersonators aside)

So what’s the one thing, whether you are culturally compelled or personally convicted, that keeps a marriage charging along? It cannot be fear or social pressure. When the options are all taken away by choice or expectation, you have to find some other way to make it all work. In my experience, the best way is forgiveness. Why? Because my marriage wouldn’t be together, let alone happy if my wife hadn’t forgiven me multiple times for minorly and monumentally stupid things I have done. Wives, Here’s ten reasons to forgive your husband:

  1. Men are not stereotypically insensitive, we just don’t seem to always care about the things you care about. For that we are sorry.

  2. We have this problem with needing to feel accepted, so your little “suggestions” are sometimes taken as critiques and rejections of our competence.

  3. Most men are territorial, it helps us with the basic ways we love. So the guy who crosses a line you don’t see is not welcome because we know he knows better.

  4. Being able to provide for our families is a big deal for most men. So if you make more money, work more outside the home and we are okay with it, that’s a sign that we respect and value what you do.

  5. Statistics say that one of the reasons men get married is for guaranteed access to physical intimacy. Forgive us for this expectation, but understand we chose you to have this close relationship with FOR-EV-ER.

  6. Men’s minds are really a fantastically organized computing machines, always thinking, very rarely at rest, just like yours. Sometimes our minds are working louder than your voice. Sorry.

  7. When we see something/someone that we deem beautiful, WE CAN’T NOT LOOK. Granted we don’t have to visually dwell, but we have to glance. Why do you think he stares at you all the time?

  8. (Along with #7) Men’s minds are typically visual hard drives for images we dwell upon. So the more we dwell visually upon you, the more hard drive space you get.

  9. Men equate respect and love. In fact, statistics say that if we had to choose we would rather feel respected than loved. So while disrespecting us definitely gets a reaction, it increases our emotional distance from you.

  10. However it looks. Whatever we did. Whenever it happens. We didn’t do it intentionally and most likely didn’t mean to hurt you. We need a pass. Actually lots of them. Read the rest of this entry

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Saving Joshua from “The Gates of Hell’

I love the History Channel. In no way is this post an appraisal of their content.

My son Joshua (9 years old)  and I were watching t.v. the other day and the ” The Gates of Hell” was broadcast. It is a History Channel show on cultural understandings of hell. This trailer will give you an idea of its content.

Joshua has been in church all of his life, professes a belief in Christ and has absorbed about every Christian “cultural” understanding of hell there is. He knows how the Christian community is thought to view hell. This documentary shows animated versions of classic artistic depictions of hell like people in a fiery pit being tortured and being condemned by demonic beings. It also shows things like lava pits, deep dark caves, satanic images all in reference to how different cultures understand hell. It was pretty intense, but I hesitantly kept watching it with him. I thought it might have some educational value for him. Consequently, it did.

Josh and I watched for a while. When the show went to commercial Josh looked up at from his position laying on the couch.

He said, “Dad, if I believe in Jesus, I won’t go down there, will I?” I looked at him. His eyebrows were raised as if he was waiting for me to alleviate an anxious thought he was having. He was looking for reassurance. Initially I didn’t know what to say.

Frankly, the images of hell the show depicted were mostly Biblically inaccurate. The images of fire, destruction and separation is Biblical, the understanding of hell being “down” is loosely translated from the word “Sheol” or underworld in the Old Testament. Most of the imagery the television show focused on for Christian depictions of hell were from Dante’s Inferno and The Divine Comedy which were from the 12th Century, way after the Bible was written. Actually the show was pretty true to its point. It was a show on cultural understandings of hell, not Biblical understandings. But the question from Josh still lingered.

The modern “parental” thing to do was to comfort him from all fear and reassure him that God is good and would never send him to hell. But that wasn’t his question. He asked if he believed in Jesus, would he be saved from hell? The answer to that question is an emphatic yes.

I told Josh that I think the hells (Egyptian, Greek, Hindu, Roman, Christian? etc.) depicted in the show were largely ideas created by people, not by the Jesus or the Bible. I told Josh that the Biblical understanding of hell was eternal separation and destruction like the scripture describes. I also reminded him that he is a believer. What happened next took me off guard.

Josh said, “Dad, why would people say something that the Bible doesn’t say? I mean, don’t they want people to know the truth?” Such a mature question from a nine year old.

I answered the best that I could. I told him that maybe people want to scare others into believing in Jesus. I said that people sometimes believe that fear will cause others to believe who the Bible describes Jesus to be.

“I want people to know the truth.” Josh said and his eyes went back to the television.

I said I did too. Then we started looking for something else to watch.

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