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Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Lessons in marriage from an Olympic champion

I've been watching with interest over the past few months as the topic of submission in marriage has made headlines in the mainstream secular press.

Here are a few examples I found as I browsed through my "Post Ideas" folder:
  • Actress and former "Full House" star Candace Cameron Bure, defends her views on traditional marriage roles based on her understanding of  what the Bible says about marriage in a Huffington Post interview for her book "Balancing It All: My Story of Juggling Priorities and Purpose."  She explains, " The definition I'm using with the word 'submissive' is the biblical definition of that. So, it is meekness, it is not weakness. It is strength under control, it is bridled strength."
  • Sara Horn, author of "My So-Called Life as a Submissive Wife," is interviewed on the Today Show. She explains her views on biblical submission and how she discovered in her year-long "experiment" with submission how to love her husband more selflessly. (Note: On Friday Sara will be guest posting here and I'll be giving her book away as a Friday Freebie. Check back!)
  • Former volleyball star Gabrielle Reece explains in an NBC news Today Show interview for her book "My Foot is Too Big for This Glass Slipper," how she saved her marriage by taking a more traditional "submissive" role. She explains, as I do, that submission is real strength, not weakness.
  • Then there is this story about a book published in Italy by Constanza Miriano titled simply, "Get Married and Be Submissive."  Feminists are outraged, of course, yet it has become a national best-seller.
Where Are the Good, Strong, Loving Husband Stories?

I watched in amazement as these stories of "submissive wives" (I use quotes because I don't actually like that term used as a label) made significant mainstream headlines. I also watched the violent knee jerk reaction of those who have no grid for what the Bible says about marriage. I wondered to myself. "This is pretty amazing, seeing a more biblical view of marriage being portrayed in the mainstream media, but these are all women. So where are the corresponding husband headlines?"

To tell you the truth, I felt that most of the press's treatment of the brave women was pretty even-handed. Still, to focus solely on submission leaves out half of the biblical marriage equation. We need to see the stories about husbands who love their wives unconditionally and sacrificially, like Christ loves the church. We need headlines about husbands who understand that strength is not mutually exclusive with love and kindness.

Enter David Wise

I finally got my headline this week - at least in part. NBC did a story about Olympic freestyle skiing halfpipe gold medlist, David Wise. When I first saw the headline, "David Wise's Alternative Lifestyle Leads to Olympic Gold," I assumed it was going to be yet another story about Russia's anti-gay laws.

It turns out that the "alternative lifestyle" they refer to in the headline is one of loving husband and devoted father, which stands in contrast to many Olympic athletes' self-obsessed, party-hearty lifestyle. Hence he lives an "alternate" lifestyle in the writer's opinion.

Mr Wise, with wisdom well beyond his 23 years explains:
“I think my lifestyle — the fact that I have a little girl to take care of and a wife — really takes the pressure off of my skiing, because first and foremost I have to be a good husband and father.”
Whoa! What a whacked out sense of priorities for a champion athlete! The article gives the secret away, explaining that David attends church regularly and may one day become a pastor. Yep. Figures.

Now, I have no idea from my brief exposure to David Wise whether he and his wife share my view that the Bible calls a husbands to loving lead his wife with Christlike strength and goodness. Likewise I don't know whether Mrs. Wise would say she submits to her husband "as the church submits to Christ." They may well describe their marriage as more "egalitarian" than "complimentary" (wow, I hate those words, but I don't have better shorthand), as many young people now do.

Regardless, I'm happy to see a young, marriage-minded Christian man who has the integrity to put his wife and child above his own interest in winning an Olympic medal. I'm equally happy to see it pointed out by the mainstream press.Pretty awesome in my book.

Here's where you can help me out.  Can you point me to any other mainstream references to popular male figures who hold their wife and marriage in high value? More specifically can you find anyone willing to admit that they see themselves in a biblically mandated leadership role in their marriage?

image credit: NBC News & Instagram


Anonymous said...

Can't wait to see what you find out. In our marriage we follow the biblically mandated roles.

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