Tag Archives: four horsemen

Marriage advice: Don’t take Trump to bed

The desire wells up in me to pass out unsolicited advice. I think it is because I have counseled quite a few couples this past quarter, and quite a few of them should have solicited some advice!

So here is some advice for blue staters, especially, as we head into the inauguration ordeal: Don’t take Trump to bed.

Trump showing off his home furnishings line

1) When you go to bed, it is better to wind down than to ramp up.

Even if you have not seen your spouse much during the day and you are itching to complain to someone who is committed to listening to you, resist. I know several spouses who regularly complain that once it gets to be about 11:30, their spouse rolls over and asks them the big questions of the day:

  • “What do you think about a vasectomy?”
  • “Why did your mother treat me like that?”
  • “Why didn’t you know what I wanted for my birthday?”
  • “Did you hear about Donald Trump’s nominee for Secretary of State?”

None of these are good intros to a goodnight kiss. Please show some restraint.

2) When you go to bed the last thing you drink should not be poison.

This goes for everyone, but just because someone offers you poison to drink does not mean you have to drink it. Just because something is on the TV does not mean you have to watch it (you don’t even <gasp> need a TV! Or any of your screens). Just because Breitbart prints it does not mean you have to discuss it for pillow talk. I suppose it is possible, but I have not heard that “Trump” is an enticing thing to whisper in someone’s ear. He’s a divider, not a uniter. Don’t invite him to bed.

3) When you go to bed, it is better not to invite the four horsemen of the marriage apocalypse to join you.

Trump is all about everything that is bad for relationships, unless you like to be dominated (and some people do, let’s face it). He loves to tweet criticism. He pours out contempt. He is well-known for how defensive he is. A “stonewall” is part of his policy-making. Unfortunately, all us humans are kind of spongy when it comes to our atmosphere. We find what is going around hard to resist. Thus the media is normalizing the Donald and we are all-too-likely to begin thinking his deadly behavior is normal for us, too!

Do not take him to bed. I doubt any of us consciously wants to. But many of us have done it already — at least he got as far as the dinner table! He has separated intimate friends, even family!

Not being conscious of complaining, consuming, and carousing with Trump will cost us all. So take a tip from Stephen, since today is the Feast of Stephen. He endured some rather unsavory rulers himself. He was dragged before the ruling council when he performed wonders, argued with upstanding members of synagogues, and questioned whether Moses and his law were God’s last word. Most of all, he gave Jesus his proper place. He quite consciously held on to himself as they we about to murder him and said, “Which of the prophets did your ancestors not persecute? They killed those who foretold the coming of the Righteous One.” He knew what was Trump and what was not. Let’s do likewise. We’ll have to differentiate rather than just go along or just rebel.

Be yourself in Christ when you go to bed and let Trump lie in the bed he has made for himself. You can respond to the messes he makes tomorrow, as you feel moved. But for those precious moments when we can connect and rest, beware of Trump. He’s not a connecter and he apparently doesn’t rest, since he tweets at 3am.

We need evangelized: 3 things that show it

evangelized rodents

Every day, I need evangelized. Like Paul said of Abraham, the faithful friend of God:

“He did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised” (Romans 4:20-21).

I am also not wavering. But I need to be strengthened. I need to be fully persuaded that God has the power to do what he promises. This strengthening and persuasion happens every day.

To be honest, we, as a church, need to keep the spark of evangelism stoked among us and through us or we might “waver through unbelief” like Paul fears the Romans might waver (or why bring up Abraham, right?). If Paul looked over our church, he might be writing a letter to our leaders and to all of us when he saw the kinds of things we do rather than persuading people that God has the power to do what he promises through Jesus Christ.

Here are three things we tend to do these days that show we need evangelized — no judgment, just things to think and talk about.

We manage lovelessness

This week, all sorts of people are going to bring out the four horsemen in their relationships at home, in your cell and with the leaders. We are going to be tempted to manage the symptoms of their lovelessness rather than teach a better way. Rather than reconcile after our teaching causes conflict, we will be tempted to keep things calm by not confronting the life-sucking lack of love and keeping our mouths shut. We try to manage the lovelessness. This managing rarely succeeds and the territory of the loveless expands rather than stays in the boundaries we set. Basically, we spawn a dysfunctional family like that from which many of us came.

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