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Sunday, November 18, 2012

Fellow marriage blogger and friend Paul Byerly (aka The Generous Husband  ) tweeted my last post by asking:
Is the culture hurting your marriage?
It's a great question!

His tweet prompted me to explore more deeply the ways in which a Christ-centered, biblically-oriented marriage runs against the grain of the prevailing culture. More to the point, we will be looking at ways in which the culture slips into our marriages and wreaks havoc.

As I stated in my last post,  it is clear that the cultural trend is toward devaluing and even denigrating marriage. Even if you personally place a high value on marriage, even your own marriage in specific,  there are many cultural influences that might be hurting your marriage. In many cases, we aren't even consciously aware of it!

First up:

Entitlement

If I had to pick one thing cultural influence that is hurting marriages the most, I think it would be entitlement.

If you want a clear picture of entitlement, watch this YouTube video:

YouTube direct link

If you’ve let at atmosphere of entitlement slip into your marriage, it might come out in the following ways:
  • You blame your husband or wife for your unhappiness.
  • You think your lack of fulfillment is your spouse’s fault.
  • You believe the marriage certificate means you have a right to expect that your wife or husband will meet all of your needs. You might even demand it.

What to do Instead

Maybe you wouldn’t agree with the statements above in their entirety, but it is still possible that such thoughts might creep into your heart and mind on occasion.

If you find yourself fighting with entitlement, here are some ways to combat it:
  • Thankfulness – a grateful heart is a great antidote for entitlement.
  • Generosity – when you give with the attitude of genuine service from the place of love, you are invoking the biblical paradox that “a blessing breaks a curse.”
  • Responsibility – you can only change yourself, so give up trying to change your spouse. Focus on what you can do about you.
  • Relationship – choose to focus on your relationship instead of your rights. In every situation, ask yourself, “what action or attitude would keep us closest?”

Has entitlement crept into your marriage? Can you think of other ways to fight this huge cultural influence on your marriage? Let us hear your ideas!





9 comments:

sharlene said...

Entitlement has been a problem for me. The Lord has helped me, although it has taken a while. I am thankful for His help. Your four points are ones the Lord used with me. The blessing of looking at my marriage more along God's lines has been great.

Scott said...

Thanks sharlene. It's easy to let entitlement slip in, but I am thankful that God is on our side in this battle.

Paul Byerly said...

So when I tweet this, is it postception or tweetception?

Great thoughts!

Lori Lowe said...

I very much agree that the "what's in it for me" mentality that is pervasive today in our American culture is harmful to marriages. Many people are going into marriage with a wrong understanding of the purpose of marriage. Your first 3 bullets are right on target. And the video is just plain sad.

upwithmarriage said...

I completely agree with your diagnosis! For me it was the perfect blending of entitlement backed by the pervasiveness of feminism. I am a woman and, "I have the RIGHT to be treated, (here it comes) the way I believe I should be treated." The sheer evidence of the fact that I was female had twisted my thinking to complete and utter selfishness. The paradoxical thinking is that this is 'equality.'

Scott said...

Lori - Yes, selfish interests are a pervasive part of our culture, especially among younger folks. What kind of future are we creating for them?

Scott said...

uplift - for me, feminism's definition of equality lead to androgyny - with not distinction between male and female - this is not what God created when he made male and female. Equality is a topic I'll be touching on later.

Strong Man said...

I've met and visited lots of people very much like the young man in Judy's courtroom. That attitude is very real and pervasive.

Why do we owe them a living? "Because I'm me."

Gag! Upwithmarriage above shares a brutally honest, and far too common perception that much of our "princess" promoting culture can exacerbate.

Ellen Smith said...

I don’t believe that the sense of entitlement, or at least as defined by the points you brought up, has seeped its way into my marriage. But I don’t think that many of those points have affected marriage as a whole in our society. I know too many couples that have sought marriage as a way to fix what was becoming an ailing relationship. And in that way, they viewed their wedding certificate as some sort of ticket out of their woes—now that they were married they expected more from their spouses, but without realizing that they couldn’t just demand the other spouses to concede. Marriages take much work I think you aptly pointed them out: Thankfulness, Generosity, Responsibility, and Relationship. We need to constantly and consistently remember these tenets to ensure that our marriage remains happy and joyful for a lifetime. The best thing is that we both commit to these tenets unconditionally and wholeheartedly.Marriage Advice For Women

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