“…When He suffered, He threatened not.” This was the last statement about our Lord Jesus Christ as 1 Peter 2:23 concluded the description of what His steps were so that we may be clear as to what walking in them will mean. When Jesus suffered, was beaten, was slapped, and some even called Him a fake prophet – these were people that were the creation of His hands, and people He could roast with fire in minutes – Jesus didn’t issue any threat. He was so powerful, yet so meek.
As someone has said, “meekness is never lack of power. It is power under control.” This perfectly describes our Lord Jesus. So, likewise as husbands and wives, when we suffer in the hands of each other, what we learnt is that we must issue no threats. We must never use our privileges over our partner as a means of coercing them into submission or subduing them to do our bidding.
I must admit to you that this doesn’t come natural to us as human beings. It requires a total decision to be seen as nothing eventhough you’re so much. For your partner to treat you so badly and you know how much they depend on you for so many things; and yet you’re to issue no threats. You’re to go through the humiliation of appearing defenceless, spineless and incapable of doing anything.
So for us, in the last one year, no matter how much we feel disrespected or maltreated, we’re careful never to say; “I will have nothing to do with that issue again.” That’s applicable in a situation where you offer advice to your partner about an issue and they didn’t accept your advice or rebuffed it so irreverently. Then you say, “don’t talk to me about the issue again. Do whatever you like henceforth.” That’s you issuing a threat of non-commitment because you suffered – the suffering here being that your opinion was not respected.
I’m careful never to say, “Well, since you don’t respect my opinion, you can find money yourself to fix the project.” My wife is careful never to say, “well, if you say the soup is not sweet, you can be cooking it yourself henceforth.”
Anytime you threaten to withdraw any resources, benefit or privilege that is within your power from your partner because they have disrespected you, or haven’t appreciated you sufficiently, you’re acting outside the precinct of the life of Christ which your life ought to model perfectly.
The reality is that threats destroy relationships. First, the moment you issue a threat to your partner, in order not to appear a coward, they will likely mock your threat by suggesting they are not intimidated by it and daring you to go ahead with it if you so wish. Such dare will really wound your pride and probably force you to carry out your threat so that they won’t take your threats for granted in the future.
The next thing that follows is that your partner will immediately begin to seek means to acquire whatever advantage you have over them so that they won’t be at your mercy in the future. If it’s money you’re using, they begin to seek means to increase their income.
The day they begin earning good money, they completely detach from you and declare their own independence. For some, even when they’ve not become financially stable, just to protect their pride, even if they’re starving, they won’t ask you for money since you use your money as an instrument of control. They’ll prefer to take loans from outsiders. At this stage the relationship is already terribly fractured. Love would have turned to hate; and a union that should have been collaborative would have become competitive.
So what do you do when you suffer and we’ve asked you not to threaten or try to get back? Won’t you be too vulnerable in such a case? No you won’t; God is the defender of all those who makes themselves vulnerable for the sake of righteousness. What did Jesus do in the same situation? He simply committed Himself and the issue to God who can judge the matter righteously. 1 Peter 2:23. In other words, He decided to wait for God to vindicate him.
When God will be vindicating you, the person who didn’t take your advice may later come back to appreciate your wisdom when they get their fingers burnt. Isn’t that more honourable? And the person you supported despite the fact they maltreated you will forever respect you for being so matured and of transcendent character. You’ll reap the benefit in the relationship in other ways.
Instead of trying to assert our own importance, why not we allow God to do it Himself and in His own way? He does it better. Let Him vindicate you.
Do away with threats and you’ll have more peace in your relationship.
Peniela E. Akintujoye.
©️Peniela Eniayo, Akintujoye| firstname.lastname@example.org