Manipulation in Marriage

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We all know how to manipulate in marriage. We selfishly attempt to get our way using our tears, our tricks, our lies, our begging, or, if all else fails, the withholding or exchange of our sexual favors. It’s hard not to do it, because it works. As children, we learn that sometimes (maybe not with Mom, but certainly with Aunt Ruthie) crying or pouting really works. We learn that if we catch Dad off guard, he might not listen too well to the question, and he may answer yes without really knowing he said yes. But these tricks are for kids (you silly rabbit) and when we become mature enough for marriage, we must be mature enough for total honesty. Besides, I’d much rather get the petition I’m asking because he loves me than to have my way because I pouted until he gave in or because I tricked my way into it. Ladies, we really don’t want husbands who are weak enough to be manipulated, so why do we often seem to try so hard to wear them down?

You remember the strong man Samson from the period of the judges, don’t you? Even the strong man was weak under the heavy hand of a wife who had mastered the evil art of manipulation. 

And she said to him, “How can you say, ‘I love you,’ when your heart is not with me? You have mocked me these three times, and you have not told me where your great strength lies.” And when she pressed him hard with her words day after day, and urged him, his soul was vexed to death. And he told her all his heart, and said to her, “A razor has never come upon my head, for I have been a Nazirite to God from my mother’s womb. If my head is shaved, then my strength will leave me, and I shall become weak and be like any other man.” (Judges 16:15-17)

She got her way. But was she happy? Well, let’s see. In the next few verses, her husband left her and murdered 30 of her kinsmen, her father picked out a new husband for her, her sister was offered to Samson to be his wife, and Samson burned up the farms of her countrymen who, in turn, burned her up along with her family. Great manipulative success for Mrs. Samson….An overall win, right?

We never win when we manipulate in marriage. Rebekah manipulated Isaac and lost her favored son, and the respect of her husband (Genesis 27). Herodias manipulated Herod and gained her place in history as the one who beheaded the beloved forerunner of the Messiah, John the Baptist (Matthew 14:3-12). We are winners when we reverence our husbands (Eph. 5:33), for it is then that we win the favor of the One who is truly able and willing to make us happy.

Taken largely from “Women of Troubled Times,” by Cindy Colley, Publishing Designs, Huntsville, AL

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