Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Functional Fixedness

Posted by Hannah at 8:00 AM

Recently I was reading A Wife’s Submission, and she mentioned and quoted a book called the Sacred Influence.

Charis R. Hart quoted a poster that seemed to hit a nerve with many, and I have to admit the comments from this poster makes me feel very sad for those that are so narrow minded towards the world.  I just don't understand people attempting to shove others into a box that they don't fit into, and just preaching to them that THIS is good - and if you don't do as they say?  Well - sigh - they have some great manipulative little speeches that have been vomited up all over the place.

I guess I have a different prospective on those that preach the constant 'feminists are the biggest foe', and remember a healthy fear of your husband's wrath if you push him to far is just plain reality.  For me?  Its not only insulting to most women, but VERY insulting and demeaning to most men!  People love to yack up the man haters, but in their own statements they show such a short sighted view of men.  I truly have to ask myself WHO are the real man haters at times?  They claim they love them, but how can that truly be when they have such a LOW opinion of them?

They love to mention the suffering, and how it is good, etc.  Then turn around and mention the 'wrath' of men that they said got their buttons pushed.  How its human nature, because they are bigger and stronger!  How everyone has their limits!  They use Jesus as the example for wifes, and yet when his greatest suffering went down?  There was no wrath present - he allowed his father's wrath to happen instead.  It seems their message is suffer as Christ did, and act as he did to towards suffering for the wifes.  Don't forget ONE THING - if you can't you may feel the wrath of your husband.  Strange right?  Wifes - learn to suffer!  Husbands - we know you have wraths and we warned them!  How completely silly.

We have all had people that WANT TO push our buttons, and they can't tell me how Jesus was treated towards the end wasn't suppose to do that for HIM as well!  They mocked him - they ridiculed him - they tortured him - they killed him.  He allowed God's wrath to take care of business, and they don't seem to look to his example of how he responded when those buttons were being pushed.  He was a man afterall - why didn't he react as they claim men are 'wired'?  NOPE - they skip over that part, and remind us they are like GOD'S WRATH!  Strange how they truly do believe they justified sinful behavior.

Can we all do that all the time?  We aren't Jesus are we?  So NO we can't!  Can we do that sometimes?  Heck can we strive for MOST of the time?  Yes, I think we can.  I'm not talking suffering in silence in the form of enabling here!  To me there is a proper way and an incorrect way of reacting to sinful behavior.  We get so caught up with this 'men are wired to be aggressive' stuff at times that we seem to lose prospective on what is right.  It applies to everyone, and not just one gender!

Charis had a picture of her usurping her husband.  Its a picture of what alot of churches say a marriage is to look like, and yet claim the people should be in the opposite seats.  To me its not a form of gender confusion from one group or another - its their message!

Tsk. Tsk!
That was me. I “usurped his position”.

Here is a quote from the book:

This “martyr” method of marriage, though common among well meaning Christian women, shortchanges both husband and wife.

Your husband will prosper spiritually and personally by excelling in loving you. God designed marriage, in part, to help both husband and wife grow in character. If you do all the sacrificing, if your husband runs over you, he’s not growing; he’s shrinking, spiritually speaking. He’s becoming lower in character. You may well become a saint after living with such a man for twenty years, but he is going to become increasingly miserable, because ultimately, any man who treats others poorly begins to despise himself. This might sound backward, but you need to love your husband by teaching him how to love you, because its spiritually healthy for him to grow in loving you.

At one time, the thought of telling her husband what she needed would have sounded selfish to Jo, and she would have dismissed the thought. She has since learned that respect matters and that a husband won’t truly love a woman for whom he has no respect. Jo realized that if she didn’t respect herself, her husband would adopt that same attitude of disrespect….

An angry husband often acts as if only his wife needs to change. This is a false view based on a lack of respect.

Gary Thomas's words hit a nerve for me.  He said one thing that Lundy Bancroft also said in his book.  Men mistreat their wifes and families - because they can!   If you think about that for a moment?  That statement pretty much applies to any person that tends to abuse others - its not a gender only statement either.

I found a interview with Gary Thomas, and you need to remember that not ALL things within these writings may apply to abusive relationships 100%.  I truly believe that part of my own personal transformation was changing myself - not for my husband or marriage - but because that is what God wanted.  It wasn't the type of change you hear about that hints at enabling bad behavior.

You know what I mean - Advice they place out there but it only hints and is NOT in your face about enabling bad behavior - so NOW they can say that ISN'T what they meant!  Lets show some examples:

Bruce Ware:

and their husbands on their part, because they are sinners, now respond to that threat to their authority either by being abusive, which is, of course, one of the ways men can respond when their authority is challenged, or more commonly by becoming passive, acquiescing and simply not asserting the leadership they ought to as men in their homes and churches.

John Piper:

Now that’s one kind of situation. Just a word on the other kind. If it’s not requiring her to sin but simply hurting her, then I think she endures verbal abuse for a season, and she endures perhaps being smacked one night, and then she seeks help from the church.

Dr. James Dobson, addresses the issue of domestic abuse in his book Love Must Be Tough. He believes the best approach is to force a crisis that confronts the problem head-on. Only then can it be treated and resolved. When you and your husband are both in a good mood, let him know that you have something important to discuss. Tell him that you love him very much, but that you are not going to allow him to abuse you any more. Tell him that you want him to get counseling for his anger problem immediately, and that unless he agrees, you are going to need to separate from him for a while. Given his past behavior, it's likely that he will beg for your forgiveness and promise that he will never harm you again. As much as you may be tempted to believe him, don't. Set a deadline for him to start counseling and stick to your guns. You also need to have a safety plan in place in the event that your husband responds negatively to this news.
Its funny how they can't clarify past that point isn't it?  What is even stranger is that can't even admit its pretty darn close to enabling!  NOPE - we always totally miss their point, and of course they never know how to 'clarify' it any better.  I have wonder if they have ever prayed about that?

ANYWAY - here is the first video!

Some are going to take it as a bash, but I don't think it was meant that way.  To me he is trying to show people on how to empower yourself - to change yourself - to do what is holy and has good purpose.  That is key don't you think?  'GOOD PURPOSE'  I think we have lost sight of that part completely at times!

Becoming Strong Enough to Address your husband's "Functional Fixedness".
He mentions that there are quite a few books written for women by women that are very helpful in some areas that relate to men.  He also admits, "Only a women would think that this would work with a guy!"

I thought that was quite funny, and it made perfect sense!  Why?  When I listen to what some preachers try to tell us how women are 'wired', how we think or feel, etc I have to admit they haven't got the first clue about most women.  Why wouldn't that work the other way around?

He attempts to show that functional Fixedness is something that women don't seem to understand.

Men are NOT motivated by people they love - they are motivated by people they respect.

When you plea with your husband about how something hurts you, and he doesn't listen you seem to wonder if your communication skills are off when he doesn't take you to serious.  Why?  He keeps doing what hurts you anyway.

Why does your husband treat you the way he does?  Because HE CAN!

He is not motivated by your pain - he is motivated by HIS PAIN!

When he keeps doing something that he knows frustrates you?  He will put up with your frustration, and your speeches (or nagging as people say) as long as he can continue to do what he wants - because to him?  Overall its working! To him?  I can have her and I can have this - so I'm going to go with it!

People need to remember one thing that is important - God - not your martial status MUST define your life!

To become a strong women of respect is the first step to influence your husband.

He said that in most cases women will put up with their husband's weakness, because she is afraid to rock the boat.  Their whole identity is wrapped up in their marriage, and they fear his anger more than anything.

That opinion makes more sense then those rantings about how women today state 'HEAR ME ROAR', and you can dictate the marriage - and BE THE BOSS instead, etc.   When you look at abusive relationships - there is alot of fear there, and they simply ignore it.  I never understood WHY they never realized how completely stupid it sounds to most people.  They seem to think all women are man hating feminists, and its often quite silly to start from that place.  You tend to lose your audience when you realize this spirit is not within you, and you can't even relate to it.  lol yet you are TOLD you are one and DO feel this!  Just like abusers they tend to tell you HOW you think and feel - amazing isn't it?

He mentions don't worry about him being angry with you - be concerned when he loses respect for you.

 - keep in mind that is one area you need to be careful of if dealing with abuse.  Abusive anger can be dangerous.  I think what most victims don't realize?  Abusers don't have respect for their victims, and sadly I don't think they have respect for themselves either.

He turns a dear ear - she buries the pain - the relationship dies.

If you look real close to alot of teachings? Allowing a person to wake up, and basically tell them they need to respect you in this way is often called usurping the way he suggests.  I think he has a stronger point than they do.

If you can't do things that will wake your spouse up to the fact that you want their respect? They ask us to rely on spiritual pixie dust instead. You aren't given the tools this author speaks of.  If you communicate that you feel he is disrespecting your feelings of being hurt, and still nothing changes - he doesn't see the incentive. To me this author is telling you to find a way to influence him to pay attention, and at times that will be pain for him. Its not rooted in a vindictive nature - as you hear you MUST be doing so often - but due to trying to help him past that stage of selfishness and into a better man of God.

The role of the wife is NOT to change their husbands, but to change themselves.  Christ died for the church to make her holy, and her sacred influence on the husband can help him grow.  Goal isn't always to make her better - or him better - but to make it holy.

A man with a bad temper is destroying his life.  Showing him HOW to relate to people on a better level is a GOOD thing! Its a holy thing - its helping HIM!  YES there is some benefits to everyone, but it is a good desire.

I'm sure some of the items he mentions in his book would be dangerous to try with abusers - we do need to keep that in mind.  One trait of most abusive people is when you put your foot down - say threaten separation - they are all ears and ready to do what is needed.  Their 'pain' motivated them to finally listen, and in healthy relationships they will finally CARE about your pain.  With abusers?  I don't think that applies so much - their motivation is to gain that control they seem to losing.  Its hard for them to respect anyone, because frankly they don't respect themselves.

I thought this book would help others get a good foundation for a healthy sense of empowerment - something you tend to lose within the cycle of abuse.

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John Umland on 12:42 PM said...

great post. thanks
God is good

JaneDoeThreads on 1:41 PM said...

"I don't think that applies so much - their motivation is to gain that control they seem to losing. Its hard for them to respect anyone, because frankly they don't respect themselves."

Exactly and why when these morons [and they are morons] come on to women's spaces and work the 'kindness' of Christian women to manipulate, they really are mocking them and attempting mutiny--another means of abusive control. Its another psychology I have noticed, on numerous Christian women forums that are confronting or attempting to confront 'male superiority' complex or ultra-patriarchal super masculine power-abuse.

They are not only abusers but Masters at manipulation...and even 'attempting to discuss' with them, in hopes of rehabilitating them, is a Waste of time, its the same entrapment. And don't think those men don't know it, they do,

but I have noticed, that many Christian women do NOT realize or have a consciousness of how those dynamics work...where as, many in the secular feminist world do know and why they are NOT as tolerant to the encroachment of abusive men onto their space. And I have been noticing this more and more because I once hung out on the more radical feminist blogs where Christian 'fundie' men would come on with their typical misogynist dogma--once they realize they aren't gaining control they get really nasty,

why they hate feminists so much, where as on Christian women spaces, where women have been constructed to be 'patient and kind' the men have ample room to move in, manipulate, do their harm [and they do harm] and then the wreckage follows...

Christian women not only need to learn empowerment, they need to learn, that They have a human right, to say no to men, to protect themselves AND their 'space' or 'room of their own' from the encroachment of bully men, stalkers basically, who use God's word, as a weapon, to stalk and harass and intimidate women using guilt--to force them back into subjugation, not just to their own husbands but to all men, I see this a lot.

And too many, women pander to these men, thinking its the Christian thing to do--I was falling into that trap--until it dawned on me, just what these types of men are really doing--they use deception [posing as women], they use a facade of 'care' and really, its about them, Exploiting, the needs of hurting women, taking advantage and attempting to silence All women.

Its a part of that whole abusive cycle, not just to the wife--but to all women--why 'male abuse' isn't just isolated to private sphere, but effects all of us.


Hannah on 4:14 PM said...

Jane I like your style! Truly!

It is strange how certain men go to sites, and ramble on about the respect of their authority, etc., but they go out of their way to NOT respect anyone in kind.

To be fair? I have seen some nasty women that do the very same thing on faith boards as well.

Where is the grace that we are to show others? It certainly isn't present, and they only have themselves to blame for that.

Hannah on 4:17 PM said...

Thank you John - I appreciate your comment!

Charis on 5:55 PM said...

Thanks for linking to my blog Hannah :)

"Sacred Influence" described my own journey; Gary Thomas is telling the truth about how we need to put God first, value and respect ourselves, and learn to build that within our marriages too. I wish I would have had the book 15 years ago.

I listened to all three youtube segments. He lost me when he got off on how they are so dependent on us to build them up, and they will "live up to" our compliments. That part sounded like Eggerich and it didn't work in 22 years of being a poster girl for it in my marriage: Love and Respect: Book Review

Hannah on 6:36 PM said...

Charis I have to wonder if he maybe talking about men that are bit more healthy within that others. I certainly wouldn't recommend it as a cure all that's for sure!

I do agree with the value and respect towards ourselves. Its strange how I see at times people trying, and then be shot down and being told that maybe it was something they did to almost 'promote' it from happening. Sigh. I have to wonder at times if the church wishes to have a bunch of codependents on their hands.

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