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Joking about Your Spouse
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"Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks." (Ephesians 5:4 KJV)
"Oh, lighten up. It's just a joke" one lady minister told me. "Don't be so serious", she told me of putting down men and husbands in a cartoon about to be circulated in the church bulletin.
It was a joke which portrayed men as idiots in their role as a husband, and when they showed it to me, I stood up for what's right, and as Dr. Laura says, I did "the right thing." But not without persecution.
I mentioned that "...neither husband or wife should be made fun of. It should encourage marriage, not play negative off of the differences." Mistake.
"Come on, now. It's just a joke! I don't see anything wrong with it. You need to lighten up!"
Turns out that when the pastor saw it, he agreed with me that it was potentially offensive.
Needless to say, speaking up for what I believe was right cost me the "privilege" of looking at any more church cartoons for a while. Oh, well. A sacrifice well worth the taking.
Truth be told, on the outside the lady minister and her husband's "marital image" portrayed them as happy, anointed and close, but their ministries were separate, their businesses were separate, their goals, visions and aspiratinos are were all separate. Most of their time is spent separated. Are they close? Virtually impossible.
This is the standard "red flag" of why most spouses "joke" about each other.
In most cases, it boils down to a matter of "unresolved hurt". And so, we find little ways to ease the hurt, by joking about our spouses to others, who would laugh and join in on our pain. Instead, the pain could be relieved and washed away by the learning of marrital communication.
Here's the "cycle":
This "harmless" joking turns into increasingly hurtful joking, then general statements are remarks about the opposite sex, and a gathering of others who feel the same way. After such a gathering, the long-lost innocent jesting-turned-hurtful remarks, opens deep seated wounds poured out in spiteful conversation. Now, behind their spouses backs, words form into actions, and it's only a matter of time that this turns into bitterness and resentment. Conflict in the home arises frequently, with the bitter spouse always finding things wrong about the other; only to report more negative laundry to others. And it increases to where the home is now turned into fighting arena, which eventually leads into complete marital dissatisfaction.
It is not relegated to the "office" or "phone", but into the very leadership that affect many others.
I have lost track of the "pulpit teasers" of ministers joking and putting down their spouses, or simply making fun of their spouses, for the sake of acceptance by a group of laughing yes-people. As we grieve in our hearts on these occasions, we actually take part in an action of non-compliance to not laugh, applaud, stand up, clap or condone this type of destructive behaviour over the pulpit. "Come on ladies, get with me!" As the pastor preaches against men and husbands. Groups of ladies, Christian ladies, stand up, throw their arms forward and shout, "AAAaammeen, pastor!", almost worshiping the very criticisms againts their husbands.
"Oh, lighten up." Some continue to boisterously proclaim.
It's time we as believers, begin the ascent to repairing the respect of marriage, of relationships, and of God's property. Let's build up, rather than tear down. Be a part of the solution, rather than part of an ongoing problem. What do you say? Stand up and be counted on to "do the right thing"!
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16 May 2006
Bravo! I think men-bashing jokes are horrible and totally useless. The same should be said for women-bashing, blonde-bashing, etc. Thanks for posting this valuable nugget.
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