Why Can’t You be Nice Like Christians are Suppose to Be? (Part 1)

the-niceties-of-being-nice

Opening Comments

I’m certain that some who read this blog are uncomfortable, if not off-put, by my deep, broad and sustained criticism of the PCUSA leadership.  This reaction may be independent from the merits of my arguments.  That is, there is a powerful presumption that the defining characteristic of a true Christian is that they are always nice to everyone.  I’m going to explore this idea in the following posts.  But, before I dig into the details, I’d ask that the reader consider the following two scenarios.

Background

There is a married couple with a young child.  They have been married for three years.  The husband injures his neck, and, is prescribed pain medication.  His condition improves, but, he has become addicted to the medication.  So, he begins to obtain these and other drugs illegally, and, over time his behavior shifts markedly towards dishonesty, unreliability and selfishness.  These behavioral shift and the underlying addiction have a negative impact on all of his activities and relationships, most severely on his family.

Scenario #1

Early on the wife senses subtle but disconcerting changes in her husband’s behavior.  She engages with him in conversation, attempting to understand what’s going on in his life.  However, he is not responsive, and, over time, his condition worsens.  His wife begins to investigate this change.  She engages the husband in probing conversations, she thinks about his words and actions, seeking to find a credible motivating cause, and, she becomes progressively more aggressive about engaging her husband on this set of issues.  But, all is for naught.  As her husband descends into ever more serious deception and addiction, his job suffers, their friends are off-put and their once happy family begins to fall apart.

Finally, after having tried every other conceivable means, the wife confronts her husband directly.  She forces him to observe the wreck his behaviors have wrought.  She exposes the lies that he has told.  She points back to all that has been lost.  In this last desperate measure she is attempting to save him and all that his life had meant prior to the descent into this dark and dangerous addiction.

Scenario #2

Although the wife eventually becomes aware of changes in her husband’s behavior, she is so focused on her own personal and career issues that she doesn’t pay much attention.  Over time, as his condition worsens, she responds by taking on responsibilities that her husband had previously covered.  This added load causes increased stress, which leads her to further distance herself from her mate.  Over time, their lives increasingly separate, with him descending into ever greater addiction.  As his life falls apart she focuses on creating a new life for herself and the child.

Finally, she files for a divorce.  She puts her husband behind her and moves forward into a new life.  She loses touch with him, and has no idea if he was able to right his life or not.

Questions:

  1. In one of these scenarios did the wife show love for her husband?  If so, which one?
  2. If you said “yes” to one scenario in question 1, how would you characterize the wife’s behavior in the other scenario?
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