The average divorce process requires multiple years and costs from several hundred on up to several thousand dollars. There are additional costs as well. The new costs of a new rental or mortgage payment for a separated spouse as well as new alimony and/or child support payments now and later. If divorce is on the horizon, be prepared for money to suddenly be in short supply.
Contrary to the rumor that each party receives half of what was shared and that is that. In many cases today, many couples are financially stretched beyond their combined means before the divorce. This is exasperated after the divorce. I talked to a friend recently who got completely wiped out by a divorce -even though his wife has been unfaithful to him!
The Bible says that divorce can often be avoided if we look under the surface. The Bible contributes the ORDEAL of conflict in marriage to the cause of Two conflicts at work in the human condition. Each of us has a natural bent toward making ourselves “more important’ than the others. When we try to make our “1” more important than the other person’s 1… something tragic occurs. Oneness is destroyed. When our “1” becomes more important than our spouse’s “1”, we end up with “0”. If you have marital problems right now: Conflict, fights, or a lack of harmony or oneness… I can tell you why. Without hearing your story or the facts, selfishness (looking out for numero uno) is the problem. One of you or both of you is making yourself the center of the equation.
God describes two unique flavors of selfishness that reside in men and women.
? Genesis 3:15 God to Eve: “Your desire shall be ?for your husband, And he shall ?rule over you.”
God is not suggesting these are good ideas. He is describing the reality of their problem. Now that mankind has chosen not to trust Him, something broken is deposited within each of them. One is unique to the woman. The other is unique to the man. And at first glance, this description doesn’t sound politically correct, it may appear to be chauvinistic. It may even make you defensive. If it does, hang with me… In fact, if it offends you… that’s probably an indication that it might be true. Because the rebellion in each of us, doesn’t like to be described or brought into the open. So here we go. The Bible describes “The Steering Wheel” and “The Charging Bull”
1. The Steering Wheel
The phrase “Your desire shall be for your husband” is used again in Genesis 4 when God is trying to warn Cain not to kill his brother and says, “Sin’s desire is for you”. It’s the idea of a crouching lion within you that wants to take control. This inner longing wants to grab the steering wheel. The Bible says that inside the EVE world is a desire for Control. An internal default to “Grabbing the Steering Wheel” in your relationships and in your marriage. A few Bible commentators, interpret the term as “A compulsive desire bordering on disease.” The Bible says that women would be driven to emotionally control their men.
In her marriage book, “Liberated,” Pamela Wilson tells her story of dealing with her own inner steering wheel. When she was an executive with Xerox, she was one of the few women sales representatives hired by the company. They looked at her resume initially and turned her down. She made a deal. Hire me as a secretary for two weeks, if at the end of that time, you don’t think I can do the job of sales associate, I’ll leave. In two weeks she was the top sales rep for Xerox. She loved being a woman in a man’s world. She was aggressive, determined, and very outspoken. She was an atheist in those days, but fell in love with and married Frank Wilson, the music industry producer who produced, “Keep on Truckin” “You’ve Made Me So Very Happy” and other Motown hits. They were both extremely successful. She was struck by his humility despite his success and his servant attitude toward her -which he attributed to his relationship with Jesus Christ. Despite her wonderful husband, she still had such a fear she might be controlled… She would become defensive, angry, and reactionary at his suggestions. She realized how much it was showing one day at the mall. She saw this wedding gown, was imagining organ music playing for her six year old daughter Launi who was shopping with her that day. She looked at her daughter and said, “Just think, one day you’ll wear a beautiful dress like that.. “ “I’m never getting married!” her daughter said. She was shocked at this statement, but remembered her own early misconceptions about marriage until she met Frank. Launi fixed her eyes on her and said again, “I’m never getting married. Because I’m not going to have a man tell me what to do!” Pamela began to see the Steering Wheel Behavior that she had modeled was now affecting her daughter… She decided to look into this.
You may not believe this, but ask yourself, if you are upset or defensive at the idea of being controlling, doesn’t that at least nudge you to ask why you are defensive? The second ORDEAL mentioned by God relates to men.
2. The Raging Bull
Genesis 3:15 God to Eve: “Your desire shall be ?for your husband, And he shall ?rule over you.”
Men will have a compulsion to “rule over” them, setting up a cycle of unhealthy conflict. It is a sure recipe for power struggles between men’s need to power up and women’s need to control.
God tells Adam that he will have an internal desire to “rule over her” -to use his influence- in an unloving and dictatorial way. His ordeal is further mentioned by God when he says…
by the sweat of your face you shall eat bread till you return to the ground.
In a new world that is contaminated by selfishness, Adam shall now eat by the “sweat of his face.” The Hebrew word “face” designates the idea of “flarred” nostrils into which God first breathed the breath of life. It is obvious that flared nostrils have to do with anger, competition and aggression. The phrase: “flared nostrils…” is like a bull charging through life looking to conquer. To conquer his company, to conquer the world. To take charge in a way that controls rather than serves.
Think of the BULL on Wall street… The flaring nostrils of conquering the next horizon. Part of this is the unique world a man was made for. At his core, he is designed to be a warrior, a conqueror, and a protector… BUT!!!! That bull rebellion can become a Bull in a China shop stomping on a woman’s feelings and crushing her needs. Rather than loving her selflessly, he will internally rebel by “winning her over by conquering her heart” during the dating phase and then… consider her “conquered” and pursue new territories and new “Bullish” endeavors after marriage. Rather than continuing to woo her, lead her graciously, and serve her, he will have a desire to control her. His internal RAGING BULL will allow him to conquer many things, but rarely himself, his anger, his lust, his pride.
There is a Steering Wheel in your home that one of you keeps grabbing. And when you feel threatened, worried, or your fears get triggered, you grab for the steering wheel. This habit will cause fundamental damage to your family, your marriage, and the man or woman you love. You may want your husband to take initiative and lead your family, but shaking your finger, nagging, and lecturing will not work. It triggers a hurt, a pain, and a flaring of the nostrils in a man that is counterproductive.
And Men, we can be bulls in China shops. We have a rebellion of flaring nostrils deep within us. It shows up in many ways. Rather than “pursuing oneness with our spouses…” We chase them, romance them when we are dating… And then “run off” to find something else to capture our hearts. Rather than loving them, serving them, prioritizing them, and being tender toward them… The Running of the Bulls comes out in our neglect, our insensitivity to their feelings, and our bullish “ruling over them” that plays out in a hundred ways in marriage…. You can image that 1 Steering Wheel plus 1 Bull = 0 Oneness
For a free, first session of Godonomics, visit: http://www.godonomics.com/watch-session-1