Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Not OK, for You, Man

Yesterday produced various reports of a domestic incident in Darien, CT.  According to police, a family fight ensued between CBS news personalities Robert and Ashley Morrison.  Ashley’s mother called the police to report the incident.  The police found red marks on Ashley’s neck and arrested her husband for felony strangulation.

Here is Robert’s mug shot:

While the various reports all mention that upon arrival the police found Robert’s face bloodied, not a single word is mentioned in any of the news reports concerning how this occurred.

How did Robert receive these injuries?

In the elevated family fracas, who first acted with violence against the other?

How can it be that with two people suffering injuries that only one is charged with violence?

In the film, Joe Somebody, Joe and his girlfriend, Meg, have an argument where she gives him an ultimatum regarding his plan to do something very stupid and wrong.  He has planned and prepared for a fight with a bully who previously assaulted him and humiliated him.  She presents the ultimatum of a choice between keeping the appointment for the fight or keeping her.  He sadly says that he cannot make that choice and walks away.

After facing the bully and declining to fight him, Joe comes to Meg to share the news of his choice.  She does not listen, but reacts angrily and violently.  She first gives a two-fisted and forceful thrust to Joe’s chest.  Then she punches toward his face, which he blocks.  He explains how important she is to him and she calms down and all is wonderful.

How many times is this sort of scene portrayed in the movies?  How many times is this encountered in real life?

How many people will be inclined to call the police upon seeing a woman striking a man?  If a man calls the police saying that his wife is pushing him around and hitting him, will they even respond to the call?  If they do, will they arrest the woman or will they bring a straightjacket for the man and take him for a psych evaluation?

How many wives hit their husbands and when confronted act as though they did nothing wrong?

Admittedly, in many cases it is like a flea attacking a dog.  Yet even the tiniest flea can drive a dog crazy.

I have witnessed women acting violently toward men on many occasions, even as they walked down the street or in a shopping mall or parking lot.  I have never seen the police called unless the man responded in similar manner.  In fact, I’ve never seen people intervene in any way unless the man became forceful.  This is especially true in less affluent areas.

How is it that a woman can be abusive to a man without a strong likelihood of being held accountable, but if a person acts abusively to a horse the person is very likely to be charged with a crime?

What actually transpired in the Morrison household is not known publicly.  Yet the reporting certainly reflects this inequitable perception in society.  Moreover, the reported assumptions of the police also seem to reflect this injustice.  The police responded to a reported incident.  Upon their arrival at the home they find two people with injuries.  The man is arrested and charged with multiple crimes.  The woman is presumed to be an innocent victim.

Maybe the police were correct.

Certainly Robert’s love for his wife should have restrained him from acting as he did, whether or not he was provoked by his wife or even if she bloodied his face.  Certainly he should have found a non-violent way to address whatever issues existed between them, even if this meant leaving the issue alone until they both could confront one another calmly and rationally.

And from a Christian perspective, the responsibility does fall upon the husband to act as the head of his family. This means that he will be the one to bear the injustice and unfairness of the situation.  He will be the one to step back and wait patiently for his wife and family to become calm again.  The Lord has placed this upon the man.  He is to be the stronger one who bears all things in love, dealing with the issues from the strength that the Lord gives.

It is amazing how often extremely heated arguments if viewed in retrospect are perceived as arising from very insignificant issues.  Pride and an unwillingness to bear what is perceived to be unfair are usually the main problems.

     And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins.
(1 Peter 4:8)

Agape kalupsei plethos hamartion. (1 Peter 4:8)

of lacking of share in/missed marks

Husband and wife, sharing together in Agape, see not the missed marks of the other, perceive not the short comings of the other, count not any lacking of sharing in the union with the other, for all that they perceive is the Agape.  It is as though the bridal veil is again covering the bride’s face so that she sees her husband through the veil and he sees her through the veil.  Both are viewed with the perfection of the love that binds them together.

When this veil is removed and cast aside or stored away someplace, then they see each other very differently.  Then every fault, every failure, ever shortcoming is viewed and accounted.

In Joe Somebody, when Joe stops Meg from hitting him and pressed beyond her anger to express his love for her, he tells her: “You're what I want.  I don't think there's anything about you that I don't like.”  She responds: “My ears aren't perfectly even.”  Joe responds: “I like that.”

Joe seems not even to have noticed that she tried to hurt him.  He counts no insult from her ridiculous minimization of her faults with the vain remark about her ears.  He sees only the beautiful perfection of his love for her.

This is the way with Agape.  It is a one-sided love.  Agape is of God.  Thus it covers all to whom He gives it so that they begin to see through God’s love for us, which covers all imperfection with God’s perfect love.  This is more than an emotional attachment or infatuation. For those to whom God’s love is poured out in their baptism, God’s love covers them and fills them completely so that their view of the world is changed.  This is because they themselves are changed.

The beginnings of this are experienced even now for those who are baptized into Christ.  In the resurrection they shall experience this in its fullness everlastingly.

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