What is that baseline commitment that if you meet it, whether or not your day went well, whether or not you performed as a zero or a hero, you can hit the sack with peace?
For me, that is honoring God by being authentic, transparent and speaking truth. If I can function today living out who God has called me to be I can rest. If I tell the truth, both of my life and the life of Jesus, I can rest. If I can be vulnerable and avoid masks and pretenses that portray I can handle life by my own strength, then I can rest knowing I’ve done all I can do.
If we’ll chase after that bottom line commitment today, with all our strength and energy, it’s unlikely we’ll look at porn, go to a strip club, have an(other) affair or be tangled up in the barbed wire of our own egos.
Accommodation for too many wives has become the norm. I sometimes wonder if the biblical concept of submission gets twisted into and applied as accommodation. The idea being that in order to be a ‘good wife’ I have to accommodate my husband and his needs. Which, in theory, doesn’t sound all that bad. If there is reciprocity in fact it could make for a really sweet relationship! But what ends up happening is that the accommodation becomes license to live dysfunctionally.
It shows up in so many ways. Accommodating by having sex when there’s no real intimacy, by acquiescing to irresponsible trips or purchases that hurt the household finances, by overlooking emotional abuse because there’s no physical scars. It also happens around the kids. I can’t tell you how many stories I’ve heard from women in their 50’s and 60’s whose husbands were so tangled up in the barbed wire of their own ego, that the wives ended up basically single-parenting and making excuses for why dad wasn’t present or engaged. They were willing to sacrifice on behalf of the kids, which is amazing, but along the way ended up giving him license to shelf his responsibility to his family.
Taking it a step further, it happens on a micro level in my office. I’ll see wives who’ve become so desensitized to it that they take care of making the appointments, they supply a pen and paper for him to take notes and they remind him that he has homework. It’s painful to watch.
Now don’t confuse accommodation with codependency. I’m not talking about wives finding some identity in this. Although that may happen, I’m simply speaking to the unhealthy and dysfunctional pattern of doing life that too easily becomes the norm.
If you can see that your wife has grown accustomed to accommodating, I urge you to take a stand against it. Be the one to call attention to it and go out of your way to ensure she doesn’t have to. She’ll probably thank you in the long run.
Just a quick heads-up that this is the time of year when many guys crash and burn, right along with their favorite team. Crazy as it sounds, when the football season ends there is depression for some guys. And with that depression can come the urge to medicate with pornography, strip clubs or affairs.
Here in Denver we haven’t hit that point just yet (sorry Steeler fans). But I can tell you there is a noticeable difference in the feel of this city, and specifically the countenance of many men, after the season ends. Regardless of whether it went well or not, it’s almost like a lull sets in. There’s nothing to look forward to. No plans for Sunday afternoon. Nothing to take up the space in the cubicle conversations. Nothing to be fanatical about. There can be a restlessness and a sadness that permeates life.
If this is you, I have a couple suggestions. First, own it. Acknowledge and own that you’re affected by the end of your team’s season. Own it if a lull feels like its setting in. Second, decide now that it won’t rip you off. There is too much life to live, too much at stake in your relationships and too much joy available in Jesus to let a sports team/season send you into a tailspin. Third and finally, invest in what matters. Aim your fanaticism at your sanctification process, at deepening intimacy with your wife and kids, at being the best you possible on campus. You’ve got Monday nights, Thursday nights, Saturday afternoon and most of Sunday free now – do something with it that matters!