In every society, and in any relationship, love plays a pivotal role. In marriage, particularly, love is expressed in mutuality, caring, sharing and respect. Abuse and humiliation, in order to show superiority, to suppress, or to gain public favour at the expense of your partner’s dignity, is never the right way to go.
I wish I had a better way to say what I’m going to say without sounding judgemental, but by doing what they have done to their marriage partners, some men and women have fallen short, and in some instances shortest, of much that defines the sanctity of life.
In my career and ministry, I have seen and continue to see a number of persons abuse their spouses, to an extent of spilling their personal and private matters to the public. This is very sad and painful! There is normally a perceivable implication of blame that is loaded over the abused party, for a host of reasons, some of which are totally insubstantial or unreasonable.
Before you shower your partner with legions of criticism, remember: One, you also have your own flaws that disqualify you from being a perfect or even a better partner. Two, because a blame is a judgement we make on someone in light of their actions, attitudes or character, first be sure that the object of your blame fits well in at least one of those categories.
Blaming your partner for having an illness, for instance, is very absurd and unfortunate! A sickness is neither an action, nor an attitude, nor a character.
Crucially and actually, for a blame to make sense or attract rational justification, its recipient(s) should carry a moral or practical responsibility for participating in the production of that for which they should be blamed. For instance, again, it may be both unreasonable and unfair to criticize your partner for behaving in a way that is a result of the dictates of nature.
In marriage, the fondest of all mutual relationships, our moral responsibility as partners should be grounded in our non-detarched emotions that constitute our ordinary interactions as wedlock parties. Along the marital journey, there are phenomena, which, as a matter of fact and of necessity, we should accept and accommodate as is, in order to maintain a healthy relationship and fit in life’s drama.
Your mate is not to abuse and humiliate, but to enthuse and animate. You are to provide an environment that will enable him or her to do best – to exercise his or her full potential and live without regrets, especially that you became his or her partner in life.
As we cruise or crawl on, there will be moments of joy but also of hardship. Wisdom warns us at the very entrance into our wedlock that it is a ‘for-better-for-worse’ journey. Do not fall prey to the lies of pseudo and sham teachers who, due to their evil intent, wrong theology, or sheer ignorance, end up misleading our trusting and curious generation that all will be well, provided one is a Christian.
Of course it usually makes a big difference when we live by our Christian values and virtues along the marital path, but because we are different and imperfect, we can be sure there shall be difficulties, misunderstandings, and at times conflicts along the way. You are not married to an angel! Your partner is human, weak and fallen. He or she will err, believe you me!
Mahatma Gandhi puts it succinctly when he says, “It is unwise to be too sure of one’s wisdom. It is healthy to be reminded that the strongest might weaken, and the wisest might err.”
Therefore, when difficult moments show up, you are not to blame and judge, but to respond emotionally, with a heart ready and willing to understand, accommodate, and forgive, even when, rationally, your partner qualifies for a blame.
That we should move on no matter what, is the most ideal and our best deal. That view derives from the biblical premise that a husband and his wife are one (Gen. 2:24). In love, they ought to build each other and wish one another well. In marriage, we should not be each other’s moral clerks, who keep looking for a reason to embarrass and tear each other down.
In the Bible (Mat.1:19-21), when Joseph learnt that Mary was pregnant before he knew her, he decided to end the relationship secretly, because he did not want to subject her to public disgrace. Reason: Joseph was a good and righteous man. What gain has any man in humiliating his wife? What benefit has she who humiliates her husband?
Subjecting your partner to public shame in a manner that intrudes their privacy and crashes their dignity, is an offence only heaven will handle! Don’t cause your partner a kind of pain that will take him or her eternity to get over!
Subjecting your beloved to public disgrace is a manifold betrayal that no scale of moral degeneration can read. It demeans your other half, degrades the parent of your children, humiliates your in-laws’ family member, lets down your confidant, and crashes your fellow sojourner’s trust in you! As a result, your beloved’s self-respect, worth and esteem are squarely tainted.
Nonetheless, by God’s heavenly intervention, your intentions to mar your partner’s reputation might instead win them the public’s conventional favour, especially due to the clinical and objective nature of truth. You might then watch the bullet of blame make a u-turn, shifting and fixing the damage onto the blamer! That’s the beauty of God’s immutable fairness, which is exercised through His retributive justice.
Take heart, you the hurting partner! Though you now feel that you are a victim of your spouse’s mismanaged authority and/or domesticated abuse, you are God’s child, and he knows your pain. He’ll one day melt off that filth of torture that you’ve stomached for long.
Commit your situation to God, and, by faith, look forward to His comfort and peace. At the same time, however, think about how much you might have contributed to the problems you are in. Admit your faults, and turn to God for pardon. Ask Him to cause a change in you! Seek your partner’s forgiveness, and trust the Lord to mend whatever is already broken.
Abandon every negative plan, discard any form of pride, exert no more horse power upon your dear partner, and turn to Christ for newness. Do not create a mess that you will never erase. In its aftermath, you can never regain your full dignity and name.
In conclusion, doubt not that the Lord is ready to forgive you and make you a new you!. He alone will recreate you and make you the true you! He alone will spare you the consequences of the wrong decisions you’ve made, and the regrettable sins you’ve committed. He alone will conquer the power of the evil over you, and restore your full joy and peace. Yes, it possible. He and Him alone, Jesus, the Son of the Living God!
Have a lasting, joyful, and fruitful marriage!
To God be the glory!
+ Johnson, WAD.