I receive some pretty interesting emails from time to time. A recent one made me realize that there has been a common thread in all of them.
A sense of vindication.
Let me make sure you understand the word before proceeding.
A means of exoneration from an accusation. It means that they feel justified, defended from a false claim. That rights or their claim to a possession or belief were restored. Essentially, they have a sense of relief, knowing that they were falsely accused or imprisoned and suddenly free.
Here’s the real kicker, since this is a site written for knucklehead husbands, by a recovering knucklehead husband, you need to know that almost 75% of my readers are women. Yep. And, almost 100% of the comments and emails are from women.
My stories and arguments have opened a whole lot of those ladies up to the concept that they have been oppressed, abused and neglected. They have become aware that they deserve better than they have been given. Their eyes have been opened to the foolishness that says they only exist to serve their husbands.
During our own marriage counseling, my wife made that connection. She had played the “good wife” for years. Trying to be the traditional Proverbs 31 woman and fit into some mold that she knew wasn’t right.
How was I supposed to be the only one with vision or calling? How was my purpose in life supposed to be some grand plan, while hers was only to enable and support me? How was my life more important than hers? How could we justify even that level of oppression in a society that strives to make everyone equal?
She knew something about it was wrong. She had struggled with church mentality telling her I was to be the leader and her the servant under me. Even though she was the one with management skills, natural leadership ability and a far greater comprehension of life and relationships than her bonehead of a husband, I was expected to be the boss.
She was expected to graciously step aside and follow the lead of an abusive, obnoxious and moderately clueless husband who had fallen for one scam after another. Even though I was the one chasing rainbows and giving away time and money that we needed in our own home, she was expected to just roll over and take whatever I gave her.
The traditional Christian church teachings had essentially told me to lead, and her to blindly obey me. She had been taught to exist as my servant. Not in those exact words, but the expectation was there. The sad part is how most of it came from the women’s ministries.
During our time with Joel and Kathy, her eyes opened to the understanding that she had been imprisoned in a false understanding. She was set free that week.
The reality of this situation is in how common this is and why.
Face the facts. The church was established by men and the bulk of all religious teachings and structure exists to benefit men. Women are almost universally oppressed. The Christian church may not be as extreme as some other groups, but it’s still there.
(Before you go defensive and miss this, ask yourself how many rules are enforced about your wife’s clothing, makeup, position in leadership, value and position as compared to yours. Then figure out why Christ appeared to a woman first after resurrection and made so much effort to vindicate them.)
Here’s the next fact you need to know…
A woman freed from oppression, neglect and abuse is a magical creature. Once the healing begins and she sees you make the effort to prove your love to her, everything changes. Whatever passion was there in the early years of your marriage is only a taste of what can be there once she is set free.
Our wives have been unjustly reduced to second-class humans. They have been told to shut up and serve us for too long. Their intrinsic value has been overlooked because we have happily accepted traditional roles that place them beneath us.
Get over it. She belongs beside you. An equal partner. One flesh. Helpmeet, not help mate. Not your assistant. Your wife. Above all other humans to you. A much better way to live.
I challenge you to accept your wife as an equal partner in the marriage. I absolutely dare you to treat her like the most important person in your world and see who she really is. Love, honor, and cherish your gift from God and see what she becomes.
Or… You can continue to do what manipulative, control-freak husbands have been doing for thousands of years and never see how amazing she really is.
M. Erik Matlock is a self-professed recovering knucklehead with more than 500 articles and four books in print. He shares his hard-earned wisdom at ErikMatlock.com, ProSoundWeb.com and through his books, which are available at Amazon.