Adj. Pertaining to complementarianism and egalitarianism.

***Working to be a safe place for all sides to share.***


Monday, October 27, 2008

Sacred Marriage and Love & Respect: A Conversation, by John Hobbins and Marilyn Johnson, Part 4

Part Four

Marilyn to John:

What I do know with certainty is this. When I married, I was scared of emotional intimacy. I was frightened that I would lose my husband if he really knew who I was. So, I used periodic bursts of disrespect to push him away whenever circumstances drew us closer. I read L&R and became convicted that the disrespectful behavior needed to stop. It did, and the intimacy came flooding in. That then created a desire for intimacy with God. Based on the response in the marketplace to L&R, I believe that my experiences reflect those of literally hundreds of thousands of other couples.

If you do pick up a copy of Love and Respect, I ask one thing of you. Please read the entire book. The first third of the book focuses on how to stop the “crazy cycle” in which spouses are caught up in negatively reacting to each other. It is the last third that introduces the Rewarded Cycle, arguing that all husbands and wives should be practicing Love and Respect principles first and foremost out of obedience toward Christ. The book has been criticized for its front end. I don't think that is fair. You have to meet people where they are, not where you want them to be. And, where most people are right now is "I have a right to....." That's where I was when I first read L&R.

John to Marilyn:

You describe very well the inner connection between marriage and our relationship with God. Marriage in this sense is truly a means of grace. As such, it should be emphasized, marriage can never be about coercion, and is not about mutuality, either, but about grace-alone unconditional love. Here are two quotes from the last part of Sacred Marriage:

“Christianity is one of those rare religions which marries internal reality with outward obedience.”

“A spiritually alive marriage will remain a marriage of two individuals in pursuit of a common vision outside themselves.”

Taken together, the quotes express what one might call a compegal synthesis.

Marilyn to John:

Longer than you may have time to read, sorry! But this is a topic I feel passionately about! I had hoped to have conversations about topics like the above on Complegalitarian, but too many people are in attack mode. I’ve ended up there myself, upon occasion.

John to Marilyn:

I enjoyed reading every line of your sensitive and carefully thought-out reflections!

I agree with you that [Complegalitarian blog] is not a safe place so long as its threads abound in attack mode comments. Nevertheless, in line with "Love hopes all things, endures all things, and believes all things," I want to believe that people will not be oblivious to what this conversation has been about, and why the tone in which we have written is connatural to the content we express.