Monday, July 2, 2007

Mixed Emotions: Part 1

"Let's not forget that the little emotions are the great captains of our lives and we obey them without realizing it."
~Vincent Van Gogh

Most of the time, I think of myself as pretty "even keeled" (as my friend Terry describes) when it comes to my emotions. I like to think of myself this way because I associate weakness with showing too much emotion. Also, I have this idea that losing control of my emotions is not good for myself or those around me. I try not to think of this trait (low emotional expression) as a good or bad thing; it's just the way I am and I'm mostly comfortable with it. There are good and bad points to experiencing lots of emotion.

The truth is that though I think of myself as the Spock/Vulcan type, I really can be quite emotional. Do I feel anger, joy, fear, and sadness? Absolutely. And if I think of times where I have been really motivated to change or grow, they have been in times of strong emotional feeling. Here again emotion is a good thing - part of the essence of being human really.

So why do I (like many people) catch myself suppressing my emotions so often? My guess is it's because emotions are a double edged sword. Powerful emotion has been at the root of both the best and worst of human history, achievement, and experience. Somehow the mind must have mastery over the emotions so that they are not out of control, yet give them the freedom to empower us and allow us to feel life's sweetness and sorrow.

May Light increase!


Stacey said...

Hey Mark, just thought I'd reply to your comment on my blog. I think the biggest thing is that women are so mislead to believe that men should be serving them. Not that a guy shouldn't show a little appreciation, but it's the wife's 'job or duty' to serve her husband, not the other way around. Also, thinking back to the curse, I'm sure that the woman's desire to take over and be 'bossy', if you will, comes from that.

This really is a great book. It goes through step by step, dealing with different issues and letters from women. The point is basically that women should serve/help their husbands no matter what kind of a slob and ungrateful person he might be. She uses tons of scripture, including the one about the husband being won over (to Christ) by his wifes actions, not preaching or condemning.

Mark said...

Stacey, interesting sounding book, I find my emotions are strong after reading your thoughts about it! I agree with some points, but disagree with a others though. Is that OK? I guess I actually agree with the idea that men should be serving their wives. Are we not both called to submit and serve each other? Neither party is exempt (or get's special treatment) in my understanding of this.

Jobina thought that perhaps the comment in the book referred to women who were being served by men during the wooing phase before marriage and then thought that this one-sidedness should continue into marriage. In this case, I agree with her; wives shouldn't expect a different level of devotion/love/submission then they are willing to give their husband.

You said:
"The point is basically that women should serve/help their husbands no matter what kind of a slob and ungrateful person he might be."

I both agree and disagree with this one. I agree that wives are called to serve/help their husbands even if they don't deserve it. However, how is the man obeying the command to "love his wife as Christ loves the church" by being ungrateful and a slob? This too is wrong.

I guess I get a bit scared when I hear this sort of thinking (about uneven submission with the wife taking the crap from the husband) because it is this kind of thinking when taken to its extreme that gets women staying in abusive relationships. I realize of course that neither you nor the author are taking it to this degree, but there are many who do. I weep for the women who believe that somehow they are called to suffer abuse/neglect from their men because the Bible tells them to.

Wow, I am totally off on a tangent here!

Anyway, I am glad you liked the book and hopefully it will encourage you in your relationship with the Keithster. Take care,