Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Taming of the Shrew

I appreciated receiving an e-mail from Baltis Naphtali who authored a blog entitled “The Taming of the Shrew” ( ).  She acknowledged that her mother had experienced two dysfunctional marriages and that she entered marriage with the idea that “all men are worthless”.  She went on to say, “Things gradually went downhill in my marriage, and my husband sought an “escape” from the degradation at home, caused by me.”

Her story does have a happy ending, “I prayed one night asking God for His help as we were clearly headed for disaster.”  Ironically God used the movie “Taming of the Shrew” with Elizabeth Taylor to help Baltis turn her marriage around.

“One day, a heated argument arose via e-mail between my husband and me. I expected a fight when he got home, so I asked God how I should handle it. He reminded me of what Elizabeth Taylor did in the movie in what was almost the same situation; which was to stop arguing with my husband; and submit to him…It was an experience [I thought] could only happen in movies. RECEIVING, SEEING and FEELING that Love that is so real and fulfilling; it completely erased all the bitter, painful, unnecessary memories of heated arguments and failures of the past; when all that my husband wanted from me was to STOP arguing with him.”

It is not my intention to beat the “submission” drum.  I am a master at noticing a blinding glimpse of the obvious.  If every couple who claimed to be a born again children of God just read, understood and put into practice Ephesians 5:21-33 their tag line could truly be and “they lived happily ever after.”

In those 13 Bible verses God tells us, through the Apostle Paul, everything we need to know to have an outstanding marriage.  For those of you who want the Cliff Notes version just read Ephesians 5:33.  It is incredibly simple while at the same time difficult.  God created women to want to feel loved by their husbands – simple enough.  Except there is not a universal definition of how each woman defines how she feels loved; her definition changes over time; and that is the thing that is hardest for a man to do, i.e. be nurturing and other-centered.

The woman is commanded to respect her husband – simple enough.  Except the curse of Eve was that she would want to control her husband, so respecting him is quite difficult.  In addition most men are not very articulate so they have a tough time defining what respect looks like even if asked.

God’s design is ingenious.  He has wired men and women to require something that the other has a difficult time providing – it requires self-sacrifice.  Sacrifice is another word for love which was demonstrated so powerfully on Calvary.

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