Thursday, February 08, 2007

Stand by your Man

Ellie used the phrase counter-culture in one of her posts a while reminded me of how truly counter cultural our role is as mothers in the world today. We are going very much against the grain just by being open to life, by having more than 2 children, and by simply being Catholic! However, I think that there is a lack of being counter cultural in our public attitude towards our husbands.

So often I witness women, non-Christian and Christian, complaining openly about their marital difficulties, frustrations and even personal arguments. The worst is when women make loose, mean jokes about their husband's ways or the negative aspects of their marriage. Sure, there is a humorous side to being married, and sometimes it can indeed be appropriate to make a lighthearted joke, for instance, "We just can't sleep on that bed anymore! It's tiny and we end up fighting over the blankets..." (with a smile.) That is fine. But it is not funny if it's something at all, in the least bit, serious or private. How would we like it if our husbands made mean jokes about us in public? Wouldn't we want our husbands to boast of the fact that he is the luckiest man in the world to be married to us, even if he knows that we do have some very huge difficulties within the marriage? To me, it seems a disgrace to the Sacrament of marriage and is doing it a dis-service. Troubles within the marriage need to be worked out in the silence of our own heart, in prayer, and with a humble, private attitude. I think that we would all agree that we desire holy marriages. Dishonoring our husbands in public and making such jokes is counterproductive in this growth towards holiness, let alone to our general mentality about the unity of marriage. Now there are of course the appropriate times when we can, and perhaps should, speak openly to someone about any hardships or difficulties within our marriage, as long as the end goal is to grow in our marriage. I have certain friends with whom I can share certain tensions and issues my husband and I have. These friends are there to help me and to guide me, to be a listening ear and to pray for me. In general, though, I try to make it a point to never complain to someone or vent on someone about my marriage if they will judge my husband or take sides with me because of what I say. This type of sharing is oftentimes fruitful and helpful to me in my growth in marriage. I want the listening ear to be one that is charitable towards both people in a marriage and who's mentality of a marriage is the same as mine, ie a Sacrament to be be treasured, embraced, safeguarded with our lives amidst a tumultuous world.

A refreshing, against-the-grain way to act in public would be to have a more humble attitude rather than a feminist one: an attitude that witnesses to the beauties of marriage as opposed to the hardships. Let's witness to the love, the honor, the union. We must never put our husbands down in public, never talk badly of them. What helps me in this effort is to remember that it is an honor to be married to my husband. It is bordering a feminist mindset when we get all proud, haughty, gossipy.

So, please ladies, be good witnesses to the world of being Catholic... not just in being pro-life, having many children, etc... but in your marriages! Safeguard it with your life. Go truly counter cultural and show the world a new side of what marriage can and should be... Remember that we are the salt of the earth. Stand by your man!! ;) (If you haven't heard that song, sung by Tammy Wynette, you must listen to it. It's awesome for it's time!! Lyrics below.)

Sometimes its hard to be a woman
Giving all your love to just one man
You'll have bad times
And he'll have good times
Doing things that you don't understand
But if you love him you'll forgive him
Even though he's hard to understand
And if you love him
Oh be proud of him
'Cause after all he's just a man
Stand by your man
Give him two arms to cling to
And something warm to come to
When nights are cold and lonely
Stand by your man
And tell the world you love him
Keep giving all the love you can
Stand by your man
Stand by your man
And show the world you love him
Keep giving all the love you can
Stand by your man

~Sia, Vancouver, WA


one of us :: 6:46 AM :: 7 Comments