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Series: When Leaders Live Together
How Two Strong Personalities Can Thrive In Marriage
Larry and Devi Titus
You can nearly hear the grunts of Tarzan as he swings from tree limb to tree limb. Finally, he hits the ground with a thud and bellows out his famous yell. ''Ah-ee-ah-ee-ah-ee.'' Then he turns to Jane, pounding his chest, yelling, ''Me macho, me the leader.'' Then, of course, Jane, having read Ephesians 5:21, willingly submits to her spiritual stud with a dismissive, ''Of course, you are, honey. And I humbly submit to your spiritual authority.''
Don't Be An Ape-Man!
In unhealthy marriages, Tarzan usually gets to rule the relationship. You can identify him by his dented chest, having been made concave by his macho ravings and chest beatings. This kind of man knows strong, unilateral leader- ship, but doesn't know the give and take of normal leadership. He only knows the take side. He maintains authority by fear tactics, fits of anger, financial control, intimidation, secrecy, moodiness, selfishness, and suppression of his wife and children. He exerts absolute dominance over the home environment. He often feels free to extend emotional and/or physical abuse, and occasion- ally, makes a great decision that causes him to look better than he really is.
It is critical for strong male leaders to share leadership with the rest of the family members and, in particular, with their spouses. This not only creates a healthy balance in the home, which produces healthy family members, but it gives the man the ability and freedom to become all God intends. Unfortunately, domineering male leaders keep their followers anemic and weak.
In a healthy marriage, the pendulum of leadership swings back and forth between the husband and wife. A healthy balance of leadership between the spouses needs to exist. Both husband and wife know their respective areas of ability and expertise and yield to the other when a task or decision is more suited to their partner's abilities.
Don't Be A Wimp Either!
The opposite of the dominant male leader is equally weak. He fits the description of a sheepish, wimpish, nondescript, milquetoast, abdicating, cringing, effete, and indecisive man. He most often quotes the response, ''Yes, dear.'' This man doesn't swing from trees or bushes. Swinging from trees proves to be too dangerous, and romping through bushes can create a rash. He might consent to pruning them, if he has gloves to wear, so the pruning shears don't chaff his hands. You know how much lotions cost these days. Virtually, all of these good, but timid, men possess a tremendous fear of their wives. This fear immobilizes them from making effective decisions, and, in turn, prevents them from winning the respect that they long for from their wives. In fact, because they fear making the wrong decision, they will most likely not make any decisions.
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