The ‘Man’ in Manipulation
By Jim Mitchell
You know that nauseating pit in your stomach when you realize you’re being manipulated?
Author Tim Kimmel says there’s a reason this behavior, whether intentional or subconscious, is so toxic:
God never intended one person to control another. He didn't wire us to respond well to it, either. In each of our hearts is an innate aversion to a person or persons from the outside compelling us to do things that primarily benefit them.
Yep, ugly stuff. Ugly in marriage. Ugly when she does it to me, and ugly when I do it to her.
Uglier still when I rationalize it, which I’m good at doing in predictably man-ish ways.
Putting the “man” in manipulation, I’ll take one of my typical trifecta of desires (food, sex, respect) and pout when I don’t get ‘em.
Then as the rift grows, I’ll rationalize with truisms like, “Men are just visually stimulated” and “Doesn’t the Bible require a wife to respect her husband?”
And at that point, something important has shifted. Desire has grown into demand. And my spouse has shrunk from person to a means-to-an-end.
Again, the desire itself may not have been wrong. But desire achieved through manipulation is wrong.
Lord, forgive me. Not for my desires. But for the ways I go about satisfying them.
The Good Stuff: You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions. (James 4:3)
Action Points: Does your marriage suffer from “man”ipulation? Get honest about it. Grab her hand, bow your heads, and confess to God. Then ask for help finding a healthier, more honest approach.
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