So I was at a prepare/enrich training event (premarital counseling course for pastors and other counselors) and one of the guys there was wearing a t-shirt that simply said, “I Love My Wife”. It had the simple design of just words kind of like one of those “catchy slogan” t-shirts. You know like, “I’m like a superhere without powers or motivation”. One of the things that makes those catchy slogan t-shirts so popular is that they’re kinda snarky and edgy.
So what’s edgy about, “I love My Wife”?
Well, a lot of things really. I’m surprised by the number of men in our culture who joke about or even flat out say that they don’t like the women in their lives. Whether it be their wife always being described as naggy or the old image of a meddling mother-in-law. Even one of my favorite country songs by Brad Paisley talks about going fishing even though his wife will leave him if he goes out to the lake again.
In our young adult Sunday school class, we just watched a video by Rob Bell in the Nooma Series which was on feminine images of God and how those images are, or are not, used in the church. At one point in the video he said something to the effect of, “if you are a woman in the church and you have been made to feel inferior, or less that perfect, or unworthy…….then I am deeply sorry because that….that is just not right….and it’s not what Jesus is all about.”
See the problem is that when we as men, we as an entire culture really, even joke about how women are undesirable, or mean, or naggy, or a whole host of other things that I’ve heard “Good Christian men” say, even within the walls of the church, it continues to reinforce those stereotypes until, in many cases, they become reality. They become internalized and shape the very core of the image that many girls and women have of themself.
What’s most scarry is that the young girls in our midst are watching all of this and are learning to see themselves as inferior at a very young age. Even from the time they are toddlers, they look at the other women in their lives and begin to learn that they are second class people…………and that is not right. For that I am deeply sorry. For that we should all be deeply sorry.
No, I take that back. We shouldn’t just be sorry, we should fix it. All of us, men and women, need to actually change the way that we speak, treat and joke about women…….espcecially at church.
So for what it’s worth. I love my wife. Yes she frustrates me at times and yes we get into fights, but I certainly do my part to frustrate her and instigate fights. My wife is a beautiful, intelligent, amazing, thoughful, spiritually gifted person.
I love my wife.