Wednesday, February 10, 2010

P4E.128 Streamlined - Part Quatre

The more I think about it, the less convinced I am that man's cold detachment has anything much to do with modernity. I'm thinking it has much more to do with just being fallen men.

Yes, some terrible, horrible examples of man's inhumanity to man have happened after the modern movement began. The Holocaust. The Killing Fields of Cambodia. Remember the Munich Olympics? The Bosnian Genocide. Remember the Oklahoma City Bombing? Remember September 11, 2001? Remember Columbine? How about Jonestown? I could go on and on.
Certainly the machine age, the industrial revolution, the automobile, the television, the computer, the Internet, modernity have had their further impact on man. But, the very things that were supposed to make life easier for men, to streamline our lives, have also been the vehicles for our moral demise. We seem to be morally devolving before our very own eyes. So, is it a modernity thing or is it a fallen man thing? To my way of thinking, a little of the former and mostly the latter.

There are certainly many examples of man's cold detachment that predate modernity. How cold and detached would one have to be to say to the Creator, the living God, "The woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me from the tree, and I ate"? or "Am I my brother's keeper?" What sort of men would sell their brother to slavery? Some of these examples have even been done in the name of the Faith! Does anyone remember how Martin Luther was rejected? Does anyone remember how Galileo was treated when he threw his support behind Copernicus' heliocentrism? Remember The Crusades? Remember the Salem Witch Trials? All inexplicable, except for being fallen men. I find it hard to swallow the idea that, in his current state, "man is inherently good." I assert that, ultimately, there is no denying that we are fallen and that modernity has exacerbated our cold detachedness.

So, what glimmer of hope is there for fallen man? And how and why am I trying to tie all of this together in a blog about marriage? The answer is simple and complex. Knowing the God we believe in, He was able to anticipate that we would struggle in the ability to relate, spirit to Spirit with Him. He anticipated that we would need "help" and provided it to us in the form of women/wives. (By this I don't mean to reduce women exclusively to the role of helping men. We can discuss that later.) Our God-given wives are physical, tangible, individual persons with whom we have the opportunity to relate, spirit to spirit. They are a sort of "testing grounds" for us, to practice being like Christ, i.e. a sacrificial relationship.

Modernity or not, we have and are failing this test, as evidenced by the divorce rate among "Christians." (What sort of men would treat their wives so treacherously that their Creator would ignore their offerings?) The individualism initiated by our fallen state and fostered by modernity (and American culture) runs directly counter to our Creator's desire for us to count on Him (for everything). Relationships are inclusive, not exclusive.

The glimmer of hope is that if we become self-aware enough to understand our marriages and their role in our spirit to Spirit relationship with God, we might actually stand a chance of saving both. So, when I begin to feel myself thinking treacherously towards my wife, to minimize her role in my life, to dismiss her opinions, to become jealous of the time and effort and energy and resources that she demands of me, to exclude her, to think of her as "the enemy," I have a motivation to catch myself in these feelings and to counter them.

If I can begin to exhibit the fruit of the Spirit (as a reminder, love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control) towards my wife and exhibit self-sacrificial love towards her the way Christ did towards His church, then I'll be overcoming my selfish, sin nature. Not an easy task, but it can be done (as with all things) with God's help. In doing so, Christ's plan of salvation will be played out in my own life and I will be closer to (dependent on) Him. This foils my fallen nature and counteracts the cold detachedness of modernity. Does that give some hope and reason for working (hard) on my relationship with my wife? It does me.

Your ally in the pursuit of Christlikeness, Kim

(p.s. - any good thoughts that I have concerning these matters, I attribute to Ken Nair and his Life Partners ministry Any heresy is completely my own!)


  1. Kim,

    Do you think just the one seminar can help? My husband is willing to go to the one in PA in April, but I suppose I am skeptical after the various programs and counseling, etc that we have tried for the past 6 years and I am still dealing with the "same old, same old" complete lack of empathy...

    I tried to confront it beginning 6 years ago (after 22 years of marriage) which precipitated all manner of moral failure on his part. NOW, he seems to have dusted himself off from the moral failure and put that behind him, but I don't feel our marriage is any better than it was 6 years ago when I started the confrontation of the lack of empathy.

    So, he says, "should we go to that seminar?"

    What do you think?

  2. Charis, I can really understand your skepticism. I know that my own wife had pretty much given up on me. And many wives that we have seen together are (rightly) skeptical, because their personal experience justifies it. But, I also know that Ken's seminar is one of the most important episodes of my life. It, along with Ken's book, "Discovering the Mind of a Woman" changed my life and saved my marriage. I know where your husband is at, because I was there. If your husband is willing to go to the seminar, I would encourage you to go. I do so with trepidation, because I still don't want to get your hopes up too high. It took a long time to get into this mess and he's not going to get out anytime soon. But, if he has any shred of integrity to the God who created him, your husband can be helped by Ken's ministry. As you well know, in the end, it's totally up to him whether he accepts help or not. Give it a try. We'll keep you in our prayers!