I hesitate to say this and hope it is not misunderstood or taken out of context, but there are times I don’t trust my husband. This has nothing to do with anything he says or does. It happens when a respected male community member turns out to be a pervert or when an esteemed pastor is caught in an act of lewdness or a revered rabbi is discovered to have a hoard of pornography. It happens when a neighbor, relative or friend betrays his wife and has an affair. Simply based on a shared gender with the scoundrels above, my confidence in my spouse gets shaky.
Does my husband likewise not trust me? The statistics for vulgar, sinful (and often illegal) behavior aren’t gender neutral. On the rare occasion that an abused wife kills her husband, I honestly don’t think my husband lies in the dark trembling. There is no equivalence with our marriage or me. The only similar concern would be if a female we love and cherish was discovered having an affair, and that hasn’t happened. Unfortunately, the reverse has.
My husband has never given me any reason to doubt his loyalty, fidelity or honor. Still, it shakes my trust when I hear a woman sobbing as she says about her spouse, “I can’t believe he would do this. I had no idea.” It makes me question if I am stupid or blind, even though I rationally know that her experience bears no relationship to mine.
In his oft-quoted poem, “No Man Is an Island,” English poet John Donne said, “… any man’s death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind.” He could as well have said, “…any man’s sin diminishes me.”
Just as physical diseases are often contagious, spiritual diseases are as well. In the camp of the ancient Israelites, certain sinners were isolated so that they would not affect others. They were threatening society’s bonds and as such needed to be sent away. It is untrue that what one does in the privacy of his home or what consenting adults do is their own business. Second hand smoke may or may not be a danger. Second hand immorality most certainly is. This is not only because of the danger of contagion, but also because it causes good people to look at one another warily.
In a world that is exceedingly judgmental about the type of light bulbs we use or the car we drive, the shattering of traditional moral values seem to be the one thing people aren’t allowed to condemn. It is completely unfair for my husband to suffer from “guilt by association” with 50% of the world’s inhabitants or for a young woman to approach my son with suspicion for the same reason. Yet, that is the reality. They swim against the tide to be trusted. Not only must their own behavior be faultless but they must hold the men in their circles to a high standard as well. In today’s sad world, like Caesar’s wife, they must not only be honorable, they must also be above suspicion.
Time to start thinking of a hostess gift for Thanksgiving? Take advantage of the 24 hours
remaining on our Buried Treasure sale.
(The chapter on the Hebrew word for dinner tables will be most appreciated)