Recently there was a discussion on a particular forum about pressure in marriage. Now the context of this pressure was that no one should do something they don’t want to do because they feel pressured. Well, I didn’t quite agree with that. See, my love for my wife makes me feel pressured to do things that I do not want to do all of the time. If my wife wants me to go to the grocery with her and I don’t want to go to the grocery I feel pressured to do it because I want to please my wife. When we’re somewhere we can dance I dance with my wife. It means more to her than it does to me but I’m not going to be that guy who won’t dance with his wife.
If reasonable desires, expectations, wants, and needs of your spouse do not make you feel pressured to meet them then there is a very good chance that you are in fact a stubborn, immature, selfish, jerk. The pressure that I feel when my wonderful wife asks me to go to the grocery with her comes from a desire to please her, and to demonstrate to her that I care for her and her desires, expectations, wants, and needs. If I did not care about her desires, expectations, wants, and needs the I would just stay home every time she asked.
Now there are types of pressure that we can place on our spouse that aren’t loving or respectful. Things like manipulation, coercion, and mind-games. This type of pressure isn’t the kind that I’m talking about. The kind I’m talking about is when your spouse asks you for something they would like and you feel “pressured” to give it to them. Just asking you is an act of intimacy, revealing one’s self, at its very core. Is the pressure coming from our spouse’s reasonable request or is it coming from somewhere else? I think the answer is somewhere else or even the stubborn, immature, selfish, jerk would feel the pressure. I think it’s because we know the good that we ought to do.
James 4:17 (NIV84)
Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn’t do it, sins.
The bottom line is that the pressure is created within me to do what I know to be the right thing for my wife, whether that’s going to the grocery or dancing. So, why blame our spouse for “pressuring” us when it is in fact our love for them and a desire to please them that is causing the pressure?
What is wrong with this type of pressure?