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Sunday, March 15, 2015

The Scorned Spouse {Wedded Wednesday}

Do you sit in the seat of the scornful when it comes to your husband or wife?

For most people, the automatic answer would be, "No! Of course not!"

And I hope it's true, but hold on for a minute...

  • Do you find your mate's jokes less funny than those of your friends? Are you more likely to roll your eyes?
  • Are you more willing to take the advice of a pal than the advice of your husband or wife?
  • If your spouse wrote a book...would you honestly want to read it, or would you pick it up with some trepidation, more out of duty...thinking, "Well, it probably won't be as good as I'm used to."
  • Do you ever make jokes at your mate's expense...either in public, or in private?
  • Do you find your spouse's dreams and hopes somewhat embarrassing, when he or she talks about them? (And has he or she stopped talking about the..?)
  • When you are intimate, do you fantasize about being with someone else? (Sorry about that one, but it had to be added.)
If you answered yes to any of these, you may want to think about your view of the person to whom you're married, because you may be in danger of falling into the trap described by and old proverb....yeah, this one -

Familiarity breeds contempt.

When we're courting, the personality and soul we're coming to love is a mystery. We see what we're shown, and to a large degree we see what we want to see.

But when life together, bound by law and under the eyes of God, the barriers fall away, and we really know what we've got. (And living together doesn't help; the freedom to leave, without legal or moral consequences, keeps the charade going, and the blinders up.)

Sometimes we find that the things we don't like start to grate on us, and the things we thought we loved become memories, or even irritants.

The incisive go-getter seems to be a fanatic, and the cheerful optimist is a Pollyanna. The athlete is narcissistic, and the caring community activist is drifting into socialism.

And while we still love our mate, we find more not to like.

Thereby comes contempt, made manifest by the Death of a Thousand Cuts. the rolled eyes, the joke that elicits a calculated blank response, the casual remark that you took your friend's advice on something you didn't even mention to your mate.


How can you avoid this, how can you scorn-proof your marriage?

It's really not hard. All you have to do is remember that marriage is a sacrament, and your spouse is a representation of your relationship with the Lord.

That's pretty definite, and pretty harsh, but if you're religious...and not only Christian...it's the core of the religious interpretation of marriage, and it's what you bought into if you got married by a minister or priest or rabbi or imam.

It's the promise you made.

If you're not religious, and you were married by a justice of the peace, you're still not exempt, because secular humanists hold that we all deserve basic respect and compassion...even husbands. Even wives.

Beyond this...make sure that you take an active interest in your spouse's life.

Know what he or she does at work, and learn about Downton Abbey or NASCAR

Read what they read, at least sometimes. And take an interest in the dreams and desires of their heart.

Keep like alive in the dutiful love...and give yourself both the gift of respect.

This post is linked to Wedded Wednesday, a compendium of really cool posts on marriage. If you click on the logo below, you'll be taken to www.messymarriage.com, which is the springboard to a wealth of information. It's run by Beth Steffaniak, who has a heart for marriage and a soul for God!


  1. Hello Andrew you put it all together here with this "take an active interest in your spouse's life". So true! I really appreciate this post.
    God bless.

    1. Thank you so much, Ifeoma!

      And thank you for visiting. I do appreciate your presence.

  2. Masterful, Andrew! I'm sharing your post on the sidebar of the Creekside blog this week.


  3. Another hard-hitting truth, Andrew! Thank you so much for telling it like it is. I love the comparison of how our relationship with our spouse is a representation of our life with Christ. I've never thought of it this way before, but you're right.

    1. I really appreciate that...this post was in development for a long time before I figured out how to write it. You affirmation means the world!

  4. It's easy to miss these signs of "scorn" because they become the background music in our heads and blend in with our day-to-day lives. They hide in plain sight. Our mates can see them much clearer than we do! But I'm grateful for your challenge to us, to evaluate our attitudes. That goes along with my quiet time today. I was reading in Philippians about "doing nothing out of selfish ambition" which means that I must evaluate my motives each time I say or do something. At least I should when my actions bring up conflict or tension. That's my goal today--to evaluate whether I'm being selfish and then to submit my will to Christ. I want His humble spirit to be expressed through me.

    Thanks for all you do each week, Andrew! God has given you great wisdom--probably mostly through the suffering you've endured. I'm praying for you, my friend!

    1. On Bobby Schuller's "Hour of Power" last night, I heard him describe just how hard it is to eradicate bamboo...you can dig it up, salt the ground, cover it with concrete...and six months later, you've got new bamboo, coming through concrete.

      Ambition's like this, I think. We think we've put on Christ, but temporal man is still lurking under the surface, with a resilience we simply can't imagine.

      And we have to attend to letting that humble spirit come through every single hour. Not just every day, more than that.

      Thank you so much for the prayers. This week has been, and still is dreadful, and I am very late in these relies, but I'm here...and there is a new post coming.

  5. Thank you Andrew. This is another nail in the coffin of my dying to self. I needed this today.

    1. Your saying that you needed this today...that makes it all worthwhile.

      Thank you for saying that, and for being here.

  6. Hi Andrew! Just stopping by your blog and I think the wedded wednesday is a really fun idea! I'm always grateful for people who write boldly about marriage :)

    1. Thanks, Heather! I appreciate your being here.

      I think Wedded Wednesday is GREAT. We can all learn so much, when we listen to one another.

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