How to create an emotional need

This list comes from Family Life, titled “25 Ways to Spiritually Lead Your Family”. Many, not all (stay faithful….of course) , of the things listed are problematic on their own. When taken all together, and in the context of church marriage and family teaching, you can be sure to create jumping hoops for years to come. The hoops will be passed down through generations where girls raised under this will perpetuate it in their marriages and boys raised under it will step right into jumping hoops their new wife doesn’t even know about….but she will like it. A lot.

Have a look:

1. Pray daily with your wife.

2. Write a love letter that she’d like to receive.

3. Discover her top three needs and over the next 12 months go all out to meet them.

4. Buy her a rose. Take her in your arms. Hold her face gently. Look into her eyes and say “I’d marry you all over again!”

5. Take her on a weekend getaway.

6. Read the Scriptures to her.

7. Replace the “D” word with the “C” word! (D: divorce – C: commitment)

8. Court her.

9. Remain faithful to her.

10. Fulfill your marriage covenant.

11. Have a family time at least one night a week.

12. Use circumstances to teach your children to trust God.

13. Protect your family from evil.

14. Restrain your teenager’s passion.

15. Set spiritual goals for your children.

16. Take one or two of your children on mission trips.

17. Catch your kids doing something right–and let them know you caught them.

18. Date your daughters.

19. Inspect what you expect.

20. Do a Proverbs breakfast Bible study with your teens (15 and older).

21. Hug and kiss your sons and daughters.

22. Ask your children for forgiveness when you fail them.

23. Pray with them.

24. Call them to a spiritual mission to do what God wants to do with their life.

25. Persevere and don’t quit.

Ive been accused (correctly) of being a list maker. The lists I make are very different than this. My lists are specific tasks. This list reads as if it wants to be specific tasks, and therein is the trouble.

Under the guise of male leadership teaching, we would see lists like this aimed at making the men step up and assume the role of spiritual leader. The Daytimer-ization of Christianity started before Outlook, hence my choice of nomenclature. Some of the lists truly are task oriented. This one is more than that. It is an all over the place tell her what she wants to hear. One comment following the list said that it appeared to have been written by a frustrated Christian wife. Ding ding ding, except it was written FOR a frustrated Christian wife.

This list was not written for men. It was written for women. From the restatement of the painfully obvious (remain faithful) to the painfully banal (read scripture to her) this list is tailor made to get women to log-on, so to speak, to Family Life. Sadly though the end result is that if the man cannot, in his attempts to adhere to the list, achieve the same feelings that she experienced while reading the list, she will log-off from HER family life.

The irony. “Here are the things to do” becomes a swirling volatile ill defined mixture of emotional needs that the only way he could ever meet is to start a ministry platform from which he could write lists. The wife’s real need that results from things like this is the need to read things like this.

Print it off and leave it laying around. You will get partial credit.


13 thoughts on “How to create an emotional need

  1. You did NOT just suggest my husband print off one more thing and leave it lying around?

    ROFL. Co-sign.

    The funny/sad part about that suggestion though is that a fair percentage of wives would take it as a sign that their husband is finally getting it, and will reward him briefly for “making the effort”.

    The flip side is that 6 months later, if he hasn’t done anything on the list, it’s gonna get ugly because he had the list right there in front of him, on how to make things better. And even with a list he couldn’t be bothered to do better.

  2. Taken as individual parts, none of these things are inherently bad. The problem is that this is not leading like Christ. That involves leading in the paths of righteousness, encouraging faith, demonstrating faith by example, and risking the possibility of rejection for it.

    Our Christianity is supposed to lead us in all aspects of our lives. Believing this other stuff is somehow going to work and transform a family is voodoo.

  3. It is like voodoo isn’t it? As obvious as that seems now that you said it, it opens up a whole new way of thinking about it. Like incantations and what not. Id often felt that way about the paraphernalia market in Christiandom. I recall the woman on FL, or CF, who would write about her work space and mention all the Christian trinkets present, and the other who wrote that when she was ill she’d pour tea into a Christian mug and move a portable radio into her bedroom and play the Christian station all day and invariably get better.
    Just this weekend I passed a large white SUV with a large middle aged white woman driving it. It had at least 10 stickers all over the back regarding her faith, then when I passed, her drivers window had stickers all along the bottom of it as well. I wondered then, as I looked at her, if she was a divorced cat lady “acting out on her faith”, which i mean differently than “living out her faith”.
    So trivializing to me. Again, nothing wrong per se with any of those things. But look at the effect. In the yellow pages (anyone ever look there?) you see the fish symbol on ads. And believe me, it drives business to those companies.

    Actually, this stuff WILL transform a family. I have seen it a lot. It transforms families into families that produce kids that do these things and call it faith, and so forth. “They are such a strong in faith family, they do all these devotionals and they take mission trips (tourism for Christians…that has become, and I am guilty of doing it when my kids were smaller) and they lead this and that ministry. They “have a heart for _________”

  4. Yes, you’re right, it will transform, it just won’t produce Christianity but Churchianity. There is this whole language that has developed that gets in the way of really seeing what the Bible says.

  5. Pingback: Father Knows Best: Father’s Day & First Day of Summer Week Mini-Linkfest | Patriactionary

  6. It is like voodoo isn’t it? As obvious as that seems now that you said it, it opens up a whole new way of thinking about it. Like incantations and what not. Id often felt that way about the paraphernalia market in Christiandom.

    That is my opinion of “purity rings” and other such rubbish. They are treated as magical talismans which will supposedly help protect a youth’s virtue. Nevermind that purity, and impurity, comes from within (Mark 7:14-23).

  7. Empath:

    “Print it off and leave it laying around. You will get partial credit.”

    So funny! Thanx for the laugh…….

  8. Empath:
    ‘Or blow his brains out.’

    Judging by the sky-high rates of male suicide these days, we can see that that option is the final outcome of most relationship advice.

  9. I run into this same way of thinking as this list among Game/PUA guys all the time. Nobody seems interested in doing what actually works:

    1. Stop bathing

    2. Stop working

    3. Don’t own anything like books or tools

    4. Develop a substance abuse habit and hang around with lowlifes

    5. Brag about a long criminal record; especially highlighting violence to women and children.

    6. Complain about being incarcerated in mental hospitals

    7. Dress like a bum

    8. Never use words longer than four letters

    9. Create public disturbances whenever possible

    10. Blame everybody but yourself for your problems.

    Men who behave in such ways inevitably turn into total ‘chick magnets’ and usually net some of the hottest babes. Most of them even have many kids by multiple women, and are never pressed for child support or restraining orders and things.

    BTW, feel free to print this list and leave it lying around too! LOL

  10. LOL, empath, this list is from the Art of Marriage, and I quoted it at Dalrock’s yesterday without even realizing that you had posted it here. How’s that for synchronicity? Great minds think alike, I guess.

  11. I saw you post that list. I had been digging at TAOM and FL and ;FOTF and Menstepup when I came across it. That list was delivered to my email though because I endure daily emails from the lot of them.

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