My Fitness

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Pride and Prejudice

I very much enjoy watching Pride and Prejudice. I like both the BBC version and the Kiera Knightly version. Both offer insight into the character and spirit of the novel and offer something that the other fails to offer.

I just finished watching the BBC production. I don't personally relate to any of the five daughters and I can't see either of my sisters as fitting any of the characters. Nor does my husband fit the character of any of the men in the story. But occasionally Mr. and Mrs. Bennet seemed very familiar...

It took three days to get through but in the end I think it was well worth it. It always reminds me how much I love my husband.

One quote of note came from Mr. Bennet when Elizabeth had just been purposed to by Mr. Darcy. He said that he would not want her to have a marriage where she did not respect her partner. I don't know if he was comparing her to how her mother does not respect her father or the other way around...perhaps both. So I thought of some questions to quiz yourself on if you respect your husband. I did wives to husbands because I am a wife, but perhaps it works for husbands too. You can decide.

1. Are you entitled to service from your spouse?

2. Do you deserve better than your spouse?

3. Do you verbally belittle you spouse in front of others?

4. Do you verbally belittle your spouse in private?

5. Do you openly criticize your spouse's actions?

6. Do you know that your spouse is a buffoon?

7. Do you think your spouse should learn better from his mistakes?

8. Does your spouse act like an idiot daily?

9. Does your spouse always make mistakes that only children make?

10. Are you better at most things than your spouse?

11. While admitting that you're not perfect, do you wish your spouse was a little more adept?

12. Do you get mad at your spouse when he does not do something you asked him to do?

13. Do you get mad at your spouse when he forgets something?

14. Do you get mad at your spouse when he doesn't think of you first and automatically know that you don't like vanilla yogurt?

15. Do you treat your spouse like he's a child?

16. Do you treat your spouse like you have to teach him something?

17. Do you treat your spouse with ridicule and condescension?

I don't think you respect your spouse if you answer yes to any of the above questions. You can have disagreements. You can even have heated arguments. But if you can answer yes to the above questions, you don't respect your spouse. If you suspect that your spouse can only answer yes to the questions, then you probably don't feel respected by her/him.

Without respect, you cannot have a godly, Christian marriage. Sometimes I get so confused by Felipe and that leads to frustration. Felipe has had the same thing happen with me. You could tell when this happens because our conversation seems to go in circle with no progress. But because we respect each other, we know what to do. We do not start belittling and shouting at each other. We do not try to "teach" the other a lesson. We do not try to get a result by manipulation and bullying. We do take a step back. We start the conversation over. We clarify. We take deep breathes. Sometimes I'll say, "I need about an hour break." -it doesn't usually last an hour. But whenever we come back to the conversation the second time it always goes much smoother and things are concluded. I still respect him and he still respects me.

I know that older individuals are incapable of learning or even being open to suggestion from those who are younger than them. Older married couples are often even worse because they have fed off each other for so long they feel they have nothing else to learn. Even without their knowledge they are a model and example to the younger generation. Unfortunately, most older couples I know are an example and model of how to not behave and not treat your spouse and how not to have a happy marriage. And then there are those couples like the Hollabaughs and Phipps from our old church who love and respect each other and don't let a false word fall from their lips. And when such false words are spoken they are quick to repent. And this is why they have good marriages. Because they love and respect their spouses, they seek to out do each other in showing honor.

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