I had queued up a complimentary post about Jimmy Evans. One where he tread into sex adroitly. Its been sitting there waiting for a rework. Good thing I have been traveling or I’d have posted it before he said that the measure of a man is his wife’s happiness. I’m not insecure saying I do not think that is new ground plowed. Not to be out done by himself, Evans followed that with another emailed bit in which he, unaware, explains why making that the measure of a man is like chasing the point where the parallel lines of an extending rail track actually touch one another.
First he sells the notion of happy wife primacy, and he sells it well with an accidental nod to “it is what it is”. He shares a dialog between a man and his wife.
[ ]he lay in bed next to his wife. At the time, everything seemed to be going his way, and he remembers thinking how wonderful things had turned out.
In a moment of emotional honesty that tends to be pretty rare among guys, he said to his wife, “You know, I’ve never been happier than I am at this moment.”
She burst into tears.
He asked what was wrong, and she sobbed even more, tears streaming onto her pillow. “I’ve never been this unhappy,” she said.
The boom that Joel and Kathy lower was made of TNT. Evans’ boom is pure C4. (Yes, I know its a screwed up mixed metaphor)
You’re not a successful husband until your wife says you are.
The true barometer of a healthy marriage is a happy and secure wife.
Really? Why would that be?
Because the countenance of a wife reveals the true character of a man. When you see a woman who is beaten down and vulnerable, you’re seeing the reflection of a man who is wounded—and who wounds those he loves. This is a man refusing to embrace his responsibility before God.
Evans then takes something evident and good, and twists it….hard.
One day, every man will stand before Jesus and give an account of his life. I fully expect a question like this: “How did you treat the precious women I put in your life? How did you treat your wife and daughters?”
He pours out a confession of his own past failure in this formulaic evangelical admonishment.
Had I been asked that question nearly forty years ago, I would have bowed my head in shame. Thankfully, God reached into my heart and changed my life. Today, the man I became is reflected in the woman Karen has become. She radiates poise and confidence, and God is doing great things through her.
I am thankful for inadvertent revelation. In his next email blast Evans explains why the previous email is futility on a stick.
He starts pushing a point.
How are you treating the women in your life?
Good question. And it matters. But he makes it not matter and does not even realize it.
I keep encountering women who are deeply wounded. This wound comes from the culture around us.
Now he must make this Bible-ish.
During the time of Christ, they [women] were treated like cattle and traded like any other property. In many societies, that’s still the case today.
Evans goes on to lament that women could not vote here in this oppressive country until 1920. This, men, is based on how you treat your wives, and is demonstrative that you treat them poorly. Remember, unhappy wife, failed man.
Disdain. Condescension. Ridicule. In far too many ways and for far too many years, these have been the things women have come to expect.
And blindingly bright neon pandering follows
Jesus, who continually fought for the rights of women. During his ministry, Jesus engaged women in intellectual conversation, praised them for wanting to learn, invited them to follow Him and become disciples.
No need to parse more. This is obvious, what happened here. Evans did not go deep into some sort of needed revelatory teaching for men. Evans did not consider, prayerfully, what may be a morsel that could REALLY save a marriage.
Evans pissed off his wife with this little letter about sex. And these two subsequent letters were, first, an attempt to to redeem himself (fail), and then his successful redemption.