I was out and about earlier this week (praise God, my asthma is starting to get better, so I am able to walk around without getting too short of breath. I’m not fully out of the woods yet, but I see plenty of light ahead!). and I made a brief stop at the library to check out some movies. After selecting a few titles, I headed back home.
You must remember that this switching-the-television-on thing is a pretty rare occurrence for me. I haven’t had cable TV in nearly twelve years (and I haven’t missed it, either), and for the most part, the only time I turn on the TV is when I’m going to use an exercise DVD. Lately, since I have been indoors for much of last month due to asthma issues, I found myself indulging in the occasional movie rental. I’ve watched a couple of really good movies, and some I wasn’t able to get through, because I simply did not find the content to be enjoyable.
Anyway, a few days ago I picked up a once-quite-popular movie that I thought would provide a couple of hours of light entertainment (I’ve seen it before, but it was several years ago). I’ve come to realize that I have changed a lot over the years, and so have my tastes in entertainment! I won’t bother to finish the movie, but made the following observations about much of what passes for quality entertainment these days, after having only tuned in for about twenty minutes or so:
- Marriage is seen as something that is not worthy of respect or honor. At worst, it is seen as a legal formality of some kind, but stripped of the deep meaning and honor for which it was originally created. At the other extreme, in these films, we often see a reversal of the biblical order of things in the relationship – the woman is the one running things, and then man seems to be sitting by passively. And for some reason, this inversion is celebrated by our culture today as a good thing.
- The other thing that I found to be quite disconcerting about this movie – and others, too – is how much we’ve come to simply accept narcissism as a tolerable trait in other people – significant others, loved ones, colleagues, etc. While I understand that we may never escape it completely, do we really have to celebrate it? Seriously – when one person blatantly uses another for his/her own gain, perpetuates elaborate lies in order to get his/her own way, and has zero empathy for others, well – these are not good things! Recognizing that these all-about-me tendencies exist is one thing, but celebrating them (by making them the major plotline of an allegedly humorous movie) is not the way to go. 😦
You may be thinking, “Wow – this really isn’t a very hopeful post.” Wait a minute! I’m not done yet. Let’s remember this: No matter what society says or does, only what the Lord says is true and will ultimately stand in the end. So there are a few things that we must bear in mind:
- God created marriage (check out the first few chapters of Genesis), and He defined what it is, too.
- As with everything else in His creation, the Lord deemed that marriage was good – and it still is, when done His way.
- There is a divine design to all things, including marriage. This means that there is a role that the woman is supposed to play, and one for the man, too. However, when Eve started listening to the crafty serpent – who targeted her for a reason! Let’s not forget that! – ate the fruit and then offered it unquestioningly to her husband (who then ate it), we are able to observe the consequences of what can happen when God’s order is reversed. Mind you, God still had a good plan for Adam and Eve – and He’s got a good one for each of us, too – simply because He is good that way. But His plan and the consequences of our choices are not one in the same. He can – and does! – redeem our sins, turning darkness into the light, but more often than not, He allows some consequences remain.
I’ve shared before that I am not married, but even as a single woman, I have tremendous respect and reverance for the institution. Like the Bible says in Ephesians 5:33, a man is to love his wife, and a woman is to respect her husband. This is wise counsel, indeed.
The way I see it, the Ephesians 5;33 rule is relevant for all of us, actually – married or single. When women are disrespectful to men (usually when we desire to take over and control things), there are significant consequences – often long-lasting ones, too. Similarly, when men are unloving to women (including being neglectful toward them), the trickle-down effect can often be quite devastating.
So here is where I see hope in this situation: GOD says that marriage is good and is to be held in honor, so let’s just do that. Are you married? Then remember to treat your spouse with love and respect (because we all need a mix of both). Single? Then remember to behave honorably to those around you – male or female. And behaving honorably is not just about our words – we have to be careful with our body language (including our eyes!), too.
Simply put, I think we should reclaim the institution of marriage by carefully considering what we say, do, listen to, and watch, too. And the movie I was telling you about at the beginning of the post? Yeah, I’m not finishing it. Back to the library it goes….
And while not all marriages will succeed for any number of reasons, let’s remember that it is the institution that should still be honored – simply because God says so.