The same is true of marriage. You and I can give advice, try to relate to a suffering or distant woman, and come alongside her, but if we don't have the words or ability to understand the difference between a mutual relationship and an oppressive one, we aren't even speaking the same language.
Some view marriage as a magic portal--a golden ticket--to manhood. It's everything a juvenile boy could wish for: sex without cost, privilege without price, freedom from conflict or push-back.
When is the last time you bore the weight of your sin against another person--not just acknowledged it, but sat in it, listened to it from another perspective--and owned it? That is the biblical concept of confessing your sin to one another and praying for one another that you may be healed (James 5:16). This … Continue reading Weight of Sin
Oppression, in a Christian context, does not mean covering sin, or bearing the consequences of another's sin "till death do us part." That, in fact, would not be loving--if this life is his only opportunity for repentance and eternal life. Responding to oppression means resisting in a way that exposes and addresses sin. It means praying and living against one's own tendencies or desire to be a savior and turning to the Savior.
In a relationship with a controlling individual, there is a lot of guilt because that individual has a lot of rules. Not only do the rules change capriciously, there are real punishments associated with breaking each and every rule. The person in power controls which rule is most important in any given moment and determines when, how, why, and what kind of punishment applies whether the rule was spoken, unspoken, real or imagined.
We must be very careful how we coach, teach, and encourage confession and forgiveness in imbalanced relationships.
There's a saying I use in counseling: "Show me the money." It's simple: tell me who benefits from an action or choice, and I can tell you who's manipulating a situation, especially in an imbalanced relationship where one person uses power and control for himself. Who benefits when your husband gets angry? He does. Why? … Continue reading Show Me the Money!
Compare biblical misunderstanding with Amnesty International's Report on Torture (New York: Farra, Strauss, and Giroux), 1973 following the Vietnam War. Albert Biderman, a psychologist, studied the methods foreign armies used to extract false confessions from prisoners of war. You may be surprised at the similarities.
If it doesn't look like Jesus, sound like Jesus, act like Jesus, it's not Jesus. When we see selfish ambition and envy, we know we are dealing with satanic drivers--the same motivations that drove Lucifer to sin against God.
Where sin is involved, we should not be surprised but, instead, should expect the following responses. It is only by God's grace and the knowledge of Jesus Christ that we run to Him when we sin.