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Read Letter

Messianic Heroism

My dear Jack, you must avoid the trap of messianic heroism. What is messianic heroism? Let me try and explain. When a marriage shouldn’t be, my observation is that God makes the facts known to you before you commit. And this is irrespective of the status of your relationship with him. God is that way. He loves everyone. Usually there’s a quarrel. And this is not your ordinary quarrel. There’s a definitive quality to it. It’s a, “We either go on or we terminate right now” kind of quarrel. Or sometimes there’s a major revelation of a fact that is so crucial and potentially lethal. Like discovering she does drugs, or she’s been sleeping with her ex, or fooling you about a salient fact in her past. It may be the fact she has a child and never disclosed such. And the mother was in on it. That she has a child is not in itself a problem. It’s the level of deceit that is of concern. For the women it can be a violent lash out of unprecedented rage by the guy, or even the hitting of the woman. Sometimes it’s the discovery of the fact he’s been patronizing a prostitute, or is actually in another relationship. Sometimes it’s the discovery of the fact she’s in love with someone else. She’s only marrying you for practical reasons. She wants to settle down, her real love is not ready but you have a good business and are ready.

God makes these facts available to us before the marriage. There’s always that seminal moment. When these things are revealed there’s a certain insight and realization. And there’s always an opportunity to escape. Sometimes the other party in a streak of guilt-ridden conscience offers us an opportunity to escape. They offer to break up the relationship, or they say they can’t go on, or can’t do again. Or they lay down an ultimatum. But instead of taking the route of escape, we then decide to be heroic. We decide to plunge on despite the insight. Some of those decisions are sometimes based on a mercy complex from feelings of guilt about our past. A woman who’s had multiple abortions for example may choose to over-write the patronizing of prostitutes by her boyfriend. Sometimes it’s based on an invented belief you’ve both been through thick and thin together when that’s not true. It’s heroism – the desire to play a gallant and noble role. It makes us ignore salient facts. When horrible facts stare us in the face and we insist on going into a ruinous union, what can anybody really do? Short of kidnap, there’s really nothing anybody can do. And God respects freewill.

We sometimes foolishly assume the state of our heart is the natural state of the other person’s heart. That’s a dangerous assumption, not only for marriage but for life. It’s a naïve supposition. But if someone has a good heart you can sense and “feel” it. There’s a warm fuzzy feeling you get about the person. You “feel” the kindness of the person of a good person. It’s of sentient quality. But if someone has a mercenary tendency you can feel something off, something obtuse. Usually we over-write those “feelings” with a consideration of tangential things, like beauty. But the fact that a woman is beautiful doesn’t change the fact she’s dangerous. She’s then dangerous beauty. The beauty doesn’t obliterate the mercenary disposition. They’re two different classes of parameters. Beauty is physical. The mercenary disposition is a character and values flaw. Both beauty and mercenary disposition can exist side by side. That is obvious isn’t it? Now, that heroism is often accompanied by a messianic complex – the desire to save someone. But you can’t save anyone. You’re not God. You can’t even save yourself. Only God saves.

And so you’ve taken on two impossible virtues going into such a marriage. First is the desire to be a chivalrous super hero. Then you take on the role of the Messiah. In a matter of months that marriage will begin to grate at the seams of the union. But after marriage there’s a new set of realities. The past is discounted. Your wife is no longer the woman you married out of mercy. She’s just what she is, your wife. Past discounted. And then the troubles begin, and soon get worse. The woman resumes her cheating, or the guy resumes his drugs. And the violent guy assumes he now has a license to hit the lady. He starts beating her blue black. Her value is now discounted. He’s conquered her. He’s sleeping with her. He begins to ridicule her virtues. For the guy, the woman begins to do things to his face, and to the wonderment and consternation of society. She becomes brazen, after all she offered a way out of the marriage but you chose not to take it when you had opportunity. And then your suffering begins. You have a malfunctioning partner. And she’s malfunctioning with industrial appetite. When a partner begins to malfunction on an industrial scale, the forbearing partner suffers greatly. His health will be wrecked, he will have no peace. He will live under a dark cloud in fear and depression. And depression can take one to chambers of darkness under the earth. It is a blackhole. There’s no escape except by miracle. Only God can turn a black hole into a wormhole. But even then you can’t come out without degradation.

Forget all these heroic stuff you’re trying to do. Deal with the facts. Messianic heroism is utter foolishness. If you persist you’re going to pay a horrible price, which you’ll later discover is not worth it. If you survive. Save yourself from the black hole. If the facts are warning you before you commit, accept the warning. If you do meet a wonderful woman however, marry her fast! Don’t dillydally. You don’t want to lose her. Some people waste good fortune. They lose wonderful partners and live a life of regret. They keep dillydallying over the decision to marry a good person, until they frustrate the person away. Years down the line they begin to wonder what could have been. A good man or woman is God’s mercy and grace in biological form. He or she is a container of gifts for marriage.

Your mentor, LA

© Leke Alder |

Tags : before commitment, good man

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