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    All His Fault?

    May 20, 2009 by Brandy Vencel

    For our entire marriage {and actually our engagement, too}, we have had a habit of reading aloud together. This means me reading aloud to Si, and later to the whole family. This started because we had books we wanted to read, and found ourselves stuck in traffic in Los Angeles, or on a long trip to visit family in Sacramento, so reading them aloud was the logical solution. It helps that I love to read aloud, it does not make me carsick, and Si is the better driver.

    Reading aloud is a bonding experience. It keeps us literally “on the same page” meaning that we are more likely to be pondering the same thoughts due to exposure to the same books at the same time.

    Occasionally, Si has read aloud to me, but I retain nothing. I had a true audio learning disability until recently. My chiropractor is helping me with this, and that is all I’ll say about that.


    It had been awhile since we had read a marriage book together, and I had heard such good things about Reforming Marriage. So when I realized I could acquire it easily enough through PBS, I did.

    And we began reading it a few nights ago.

    Last night, we read this sentence:

    When a couple comes for marriage counseling, my operating assumption is always that the man is completely responsible for all the problems.

    At this point, I felt obligated to put the book down and tell my husband that I did not order this book because I thought there was something he needed to learn. This book has been so aggressive toward the husband, that I started to feel like he was going to suspect that I disapproved of him in some way! Thankfully, Wilson went on to make his point perfectly, relating the idea of responsibility to the concept of hierarchy:

    Some may be inclined to react to this, but it is important to note that responsibility is not the same thing as guilt. If a woman has been unfaithful to her husband, of course she bears the guilt of her adultery. But at the same time, he is responsible for it.

    To illustrate, he gives the example of a sailor on a ship who rebels against his captain and wrecks the ship during the night when the captain and navigator are asleep. Then he asks who is ultimately responsible:

    The captain and the navigator are responsible for the incident. They are career officers, and their careers are ruined…It may strike many as being unfair, but it is indisputably the way God made the world. The sailor is guilty; the captain is responsible.

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    1 Comment

  • Reply Mystie May 20, 2009 at 9:09 pm

    Wilson was in the Navy before getting married. 🙂

    I have turned on audio sermons and such for Matt and I to listen to during projects or car trips (as I have said, I don’t enjoy reading aloud), and had that same sort of awkward feeling and had to make the same sort of disclaimers. 🙂

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