Well, it happened again, so I think I need to write about it. I believe I see a pattern. This article could be misunderstood in its target, so to be clear, it is not about divorce, but marriage. It is not about condemnation, but clarity. This is more about a mindset that exists in this culture, yes, even in our Christian subculture. Here we go . . .
I heard a man explain his divorce by saying to another man (not me), “She was crazy.” I have heard this three-word, to-the-point explanation several times now over the past few years. The conversation, each time, has gone something like this: “Hey man, how’s your wife doing?” To which the man responds, “Well, we got a divorce.” Awkwardly, the friend says, “Oh, I’m so sorry.” The man then says, “Oh, its okay, she was crazy.” Usually, at that point, both men laugh nervously. Then the subject changes to other much more important things such as football, basketball, or maybe something weather related.
Certainly there are situations out there where a spouse—male or female—literally went crazy and it resulted in a divorce, possibly even due to fear of safety. We all get that. That’s the literal version of this explanation. But, in most cases, “crazy” is actually better interpreted as “I didn’t understand her thinking,” “I didn’t get her emotions,” “I couldn’t see where she was coming from,” “I didn’t agree with her decisions,” etc., etc. We quickly write off someone that we can’t—or won’t—understand and say they are “crazy.”
Well, applying those exact thoughts to me via the male version, my wife is due a medal, because for 26-and-a-half years she has lived with a “crazy.” Am I being too hard on myself? . . . No, but okay, let’s turn it on you then. . . . Based on the fact that we are all sinners with a demand toward our way and will, a desire to be heard and not misunderstood, insecurity wrapped in self-absorption, a bundle of unmet needs with fear of the future, we can all get a little crazy, especially in a marriage where you actually attempt to live in unity and community with each other—daily.
Compare our above scenario to this one: “Hey, how are your kids?” “Oh, we got rid of them.” “What?! What do you mean?” “Yeah, they were driving us crazy, so we dropped them off at the fire station. Man, they were messed up!” Culturally, that’s not acceptable . . . yet.
Let me be clear—I am not writing this to the divorced man, whether he has used “crazy” as an out or not. That’s not my point. This has nothing to do with condemnation of anyone’s decision, but more caution about our own accusations. My point is we need to be very careful what we deem as crazy, because people are, right now, deeming things we do as crazy too. I’ve got to think that somewhere that same man’s ex-wife is telling a friend her husband was crazy.
So, the next time you think your wife is crazy, go look in the mirror (along with me) and remind yourself that she married just as crazy of a man, then go right back out to her and remind her that you love her and work, yeah, work to make sure she feels heard and understood and secured and validated. . . . “Hi, my name is Robert and, I too, am crazy.”
It happens so regularly that it’s predictable. The moment I decide to do good, sin is there to trip me up. I truly delight in God’s commands, but it’s pretty obvious that not all of me joins in that delight. Parts of me covertly rebel, and just when I least expect it, they take charge. I’ve tried everything and nothing helps. I’m at the end of my rope. Is there no one who can do anything for me? Isn’t that the real question? The answer, thank God, is that Jesus Christ can and does. He acted to set things right in this life of contradictions where I want to serve God with all my heart and mind, but am pulled by the influence of sin to do something totally different. —Romans 7:23-25 MSG