Like a broken cloud

Whatever place or thing or imaginary world they are keeping music in or on these days, the saying “like a broken record” badly needs to jump forward half a century.

Regardless what device or ethereal space time continuum is holding the music, I thought of it today when I read something from Marriage Builders. But, neet-o, I didn’t just read it and remember an old expression. I made a new (new to me) observation about an old facet of marriage ministries and churches. Part of this is boiler plate sphere. I will announce my new observation from the Rose Garden at 9AM on the 15th. Second thought, I;ll just end this post with it. Only got two rose bushes. Hardly a garden.

In addition to Family Life and FoTF, Jimmy Evans of Marriage Builders occupies some of the free space Yahoo is kind enough to afford me. The first two send daily emails. Evans’ are erratic. You can find today’s emailed article here. Or just read my parsing. I imagine Evans chortling…

If a man knows one scripture in the Bible, he knows the one about submission

Before anyone stops reading, I am not writing about the manner in which these ministries treat what Paul wrote in Ephesians. Like a Chick-Fil-A spicy sandwich, I have, for the time being,  had enough of writing about what those ministries teach and why it is wrong. For now. I have to show a small sample of what he says in the article in order to make me big new insight announcement. He goes on.

[Submission] It’s not about domination. It’s not about being mousy or being a doormat. But it is about showing gentleness and a godly spirit instead of aggression or negativity. The Bible says a gentle and quiet spirit is precious and attractive in the sight of God.

[   ]

A man who sacrifices for his wife and serves her becomes much more attractive to her. God wired women to respond that way. Not based on exterior appearance, but based on how we help around the house or spend time with the kids.

For ten years I have wondered, how can they hold an audience when they say the same things over and again? Not only that, but in a particularly grating manner through inflection and body language, sometimes in simple declarative statements, they act as if they are forging from the rear, on through the front lines, and alone are taking on the enemy to vanquish them. They sound more like the wankers at a TED talk than someone repeating something like a first grader learning the Declaration of Independence.

That repetition always bugged me Expressly for that reason I didn’t dwell on it because who would I dwell on , say, daytime soaps? Same plot, different characters, same hooks, same cliffhangers, and do on.

It hit me then. They know something that I didn’t have in the front of my mind. And sadly while they know it, it doesn’t resonate as a problem.

What they know is that these things, when written, spoken, on videos, whatever are largely not going to the same people over and again. But they make a flawed assumption. They see the new masses intent on learning it and thing they are growing a movement. What they don’t realize is that only when the hole in the bottom of he bucket is small enough to allow less water out than is being poured in, does water accumulate. Same with people in church.

They see the scrubbed face masses every Sunday, and the circle rubbing, and the weepy men at the men’s conference and think wow, what an army. when its just some folks stopping in, maybe for a few years, and they will move on or out or up or something.

They are, by repeating this, making the leak grow. Men in particular will be more inclined, after hearing this message fifty times… each one given as if its cutting edge, they will be scrunching their faces and thinking, am I missing something?

Finally, on the Facebook page you will find this little gem of a hole- in- the-bucket- and-how. its not the content that’s at issue. Its the wording for the link and the tagline , one word in particular. Here is the Facebook page The outreach Im talking about is a couple of pages down on the left side.

The tag line follows, and I wonder how many will catch the word and why its a problem. Ah heck I’ll bold it for ya. Someone comment and tell me what it reminds you of.

Marriage Intensives are available for desperate couples on the brink of divorce.

 

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23 thoughts on “Like a broken cloud

  1. I had a lot of thoughts while reading this one, but I’ll start by taking a stab at your final point. My first thought was intensive care, which brings to mind a few things. The first is the reality of how sick the “patient” (or the marriage in this case) is. It’s a grave situation. The second is that intensive care patients are monitored constantly. Don’t know how this would play out in the case of a marriage. But then again, I’m not even sure that I went down the path you implied when you threw this out there.

    To the rest of your post: The idea that every man knows Ephesians 5:22 if he knows any verse of Scripture at all is not only patently false, but extremely insulting to Christian men. It implies that their primary concern in life is the subjugation of their wife. What a foolish thing to write!

    That submission automatically generates a need to talk about domination rather than the actual topic Paul is writing about s also telling. The admonition to men to love their wives as they love their own bodies is right there in the same passage. There is absolutely no need to turn the submission verse around and make it about men.

    Also, the gentle and quiet spirit verse is addressed to women, not men. All this cross-gender stuff is disturbing, to say the least. I could go on, but I think I’ve said more than enough.

  2. Sadly, the major reasons have always been and always will be:

    1. Pastors care about money more than the Truth
    2. Pastors fear women and/or their congregation more than God.

  3. I’ll play your game.

    The word intensive is leading because it is usually paired with one of two other words; each generally appealing to the sexes: Intensive training (my first thought), and intensive care. The second would appeal to women.

    Men will think: This training will will teach us how to solve our problems. Women will think: This care will heal our problems.

  4. Forget to add the “secret system” aspect; that intensive __________ (training or care) is elite knowledge that real trainers/caregivers use, but only when they run into real problems. If one doesn’t have real problems, but you want the secret system, then the solution is to imagine your problems are real.

    This will be a problem when the “secret system of _________” turns out to be neither secret, a system, nor __________. If divorce wasn’t an option before, it is now that they have real problems.

  5. Marriage Intensives are available for desperate couples on the brink of divorce.

    The phrasing puts me in mind of old medicine adverts, and by association the phrase Marriage preventives pops up. I doubt that’s what you’re going for, though.

  6. Empath, welcome back to your blog. Good to hear from you again.

    “Marriage Intensives are available for desperate couples on the brink of divorce.”

    The term “intensives” as utilized above results in me thinking that the author is attempting to poignantly impress upon the naïve readers to unduly consider their husbandry to be utter failure. As in “intensive care”, as Cane opined, the reader is to erroneously believe his utter selfishness and subsequently feel a need to reach out to this false ministry for divorce consideration cessation; presented in a loving, intensively caring environment.

  7. My theory, we have been taught this is “Church” and that God won’t really love us without Pastor So-&-So’s blessing. Not being a “good husband”, the unpardonable sin, coming to a “church” near you.

  8. “Marriage Intensives are available for desperate couples on the brink of divorce.”

    Since when is divorce a cliff that you can mysteriously fall off the brink of? If the couple is “desperate” about not divorcing, they could always just decide to not get a divorce. I read this statement as “Marriage intensives are available for desperate husbands who are trying to save their marriages by giving their wives all the things that they are demanding as conditions of not divorcing.”

  9. “Marriage Intensives are available for desperate couples on the brink of divorce.”

    So the marriage can die of a bullet to the head rather than massive blunt force trauma?

  10. I am shocked, SHOCKED at the remediation needed in this group.

    Ok, lets talk extremes. What is the most extreme marriage ministry? Its a bad sitcom of a ministry, billboards across FL and GA, and they offer…no….demand anyone who uses their tools to avail themselves to the “intensive”, especially the man. Or else the wife should (another clue) lower the boom. Its Joel and Kathy. Obviously Dalrock has not been by or he’d have schooled you in my stead.

  11. @Empath

    Yeah, but I used bolded words and everything…’A’ for effort and all that.

    My impression (and Vasc’s, and MNM’s) still seems to be a likely explanation of why Joel and Kathy chose it.

  12. @Cane

    Hmmmm, I have heard as thin a rationale for “we are both correct” from the wife. Hmmmm. You must eliminate carbs for 4 days, eat only testosterone inducing proteins, clear the mind, and you will see that, yep, you may be right is some form of etymological sense but here we keep it more real than that man

  13. You must eliminate carbs for 4 days, eat only testosterone inducing proteins, clear the mind, and you will see that, yep, you may be right is some form of etymological sense but here we keep it more real than that man

    LOL.

  14. “Its the wording for the link and the tagline , one word in particular. ”

    I dunno. Is the word ‘Sale’? I see them selling items. I always seem to find ministries selling items = business and the part of me that says “have I found something here?” says ‘yes – the same thing you find almost everywhere’. Its a business first and a ministry second.

    At least FOF and Crown will find a way to get stuff to you if you cannot afford it.

  15. @Empath

    Obviously Dalrock has not been by or he’d have schooled you in my stead.

    I’m just now reading it, and have to admit I didn’t get it until you shared it. I do see it now though. I also agree with the comment upthread that there is some hardcore dishonesty painting it as a couple desperately trying to avoid divorce. There is no third vote. If neither one pushes the detonation button, no divorce will occur. In this scenario, one party (hereafter referred to as “she/her”) is threatening divorce and the other party (hereafter referred to as “he/him”) is trying to talk her out of it. They of course know this, which is why the first words on the Marriage Today site are:

    Suddenly, divorce isn’t just some vague threat in your marital future. And now, the word you never thought you’d hear your spouse say is out in the open. It’s possible. It’s real. It has become an option, and you’re afraid.

    The dude reading must have gotten a wake-up call.

    @Cane

    Where’s your china? I am going to throw you a holy tantrum.

    You are going to need a hammer if you are going to do this right.

  16. One more comment on the Marriage Today site. As I wrote in a post a few months ago, this stuff always reminds me of the Monty Python skit where the mobsters threaten the base commander: “Nice army you’ve got here, you wouldn’t want anything to happen to it…”

  17. Pingback: Dude got a wake-up call. | Dalrock

  18. I’ve been through Marriage Builders telephone coaching, and it was infinitely more helpful (and probably cheaper) than this approach.

    But… it didn’t offer a resort-like setting where one can really feel the Holy Spirit’s presence. No, it just offered 7:00 AM appointments where you had to listen for an hour about how a husband and wife can actually make it work.

    One wonders how lesser followers of God like Joseph and Mary made their marriages work without all these conveniences. Being on the run in Egypt from people trying to kill your son could be very stressful on a marriage. Where was their inclusive resort marriage seminar held off the coast of Greece?

  19. “[Submission] It’s not about domination. It’s not about being mousy or being a doormat. But it is about showing gentleness and a godly spirit instead of aggression or negativity. The Bible says a gentle and quiet spirit is precious and attractive in the sight of God.”

    This is what we as Christians refer to as ‘humility , meekness and humbleness. Only a forgiving heart is capable to try to please our Lord.

  20. Herbie I fixed the tags. I wanted to ask if you had some point implied that goes beyond the obvious. I have no feel for who you are and what you may say. I could make the case that you are supporting the words you quoted by saying yes, its correct and unthreatening because its basic to what we should be as Christians.

    Can you clarify?

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