How Passivity Destroys Marriages

How Passivity Destroys Marriages - By Daniel P Robertson

It has been said that apathy is a silent killer. I like to think that passivity is apathy's ugly twin sister. Together, the twins undermine God's purpose for your marriage (and your life) by keeping you from waking up and seeing the war that we live in every day.
Jesus Christ came to destroy the works of the enemy, and if you are a Christian He has enlisted you, along with all of your resources (including your marriage, your children, and your career) in this purpose. The Bible is clear that every Christian person has a mission, and that this mission somehow involves both evangelism and discipleship. God has called you to reach the lost and to train His Church to do the same. The passive person will never work to fulfill this purpose, at least not seriously.
And yet this is not the only way in which apathy undermines marriage. Marriage takes work. If you don't believe this than you have bought into the idea of the fairytale marriage. Sorry, but "happily ever after" is reserved for the next life. You can achieve a great deal of happiness in your marriage in this life, but that requires commitment and effort. Passivity is the antithesis to work.
The Passive Husband
I must admit this can be a big problem in my own marriage. I have more of a relaxed personality and, given my way, I would rather just take it easy and do my own thing than actually work on my marriage. That is why I am working on fighting this tendency so I can be a better husband and father.
There are many ways the passivity of a husband will weaken a marriage. Take for instance the passive husband who has a hard time being emotionally available for his wife. Unless he gets a very serious wake up call, a passive man will have a very difficult time overcoming the tendency to keep his emotions at a distance. A less passive man will realize his problem and will work at identifying his emotions and sharing them with his wife. It will still be difficult for him, but at least he is putting in the effort and trying to do better.
For another example of a passive husband think of the man who has to be asked five times by his wife to take out the trash or change a dirty diaper. Or has to be reminded 100 times to rinse his dishes and put them in the dishwasher when he's done. Of course, every marriage is likely to face these sorts of problems. After all, no one is perfect. A proactive husband will try to put more effort into being attentive to these kinds of things.
God has called the husband to lead his home and to love his wife as Christ loved the church (Eph. 5:21-28). How can a passive man effectively lead his family? How can he love his wife if he is actively serving her needs? Quite simply, he can't. The passive husband is neglecting his responsibility to his family and his marriage will suffer for it.
The Passive Wife
This does not apply to men only. Women also need to be active in fulfilling their responsibilities in marriage. Wives are called to submit to their husband, but Godly submission is not a passive trait. Submission does not mean being a wallflower. It does not mean you simply allow your husband to walk all over you and act like a tyrant.
If a wife has problems with her husband's decisions or leadership (or lack thereof) she can confidently come to him to address the issue. However, this does not mean that she should step in and take charge when this happens. She may think that by taking charge she is being active and taking initiative, which is thee opposite of passivity.
However, this is actually passive-aggressive behavior rather than initiative.
This is because she is being passive in her obedience to God's command to submit to her husband. Even though she feels that she is getting things done (the RIGHT way, her way) she is actually undermining her husband's ability to be the leader God has called him to be. By taking control, she is denying him the opportunity to grow in this area of weakness.
He will never learn to lead if his wife continues to take control from him.
Instead, a godly wife can take the initiative by encouraging her husband to lead. If he is failing in this area, she can find time to quietly and honestly discuss it with him without pressuring him or getting angry.
The Cure For Passivity In Marriage
The only way to combat passivity is to submit wholly to Jesus Christ and allow the Holy Spirit to take charge. This is easier said than done. It is so easy to allow different worries and distractions to keep you from taking action on those things that are truly important. So often there are so many things vying for our attention that it can be difficult to judge what you should be taking action on and what can be put aside for later. Also, we have a valid need for rest and relaxation at times, so sometimes that can and should take priority over being productive.
What's important to remember is that certain things are core issues and should take precedence. Some of the most important things you should be taking consistent action on are: 
  • Spiritual growth and development.
  • Fulfilling your purpose as a Christian
  • Seeking God's Kingdom
  • Physical needs such as food, water, and shelter.
  • Emotional intimacy.
  • Serving one another in love.
This is a simple list and certainly doesn't cover everything. However, it should be plenty to get you started. The most important thing in learning to overcome passivity is recognizing the problem in the first place. Once you are aware of your passive tendencies you can watch out for situations that are likely to bring out your more passive side and take constructive steps toward taking more initiative.
Daniel writes about Christian marriages and the struggles Christian couples face. If you want to have a healthier, stronger marriage that is grounded in Biblical Truth you can learn about a number of Christian marriage resources from his website. Article Source:  Article Source:

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