Now we can talk.
In 1940 a film version of the book The Grapes of Wrath hit the big screen. The movie was about the downside of living during the Great Depression and the Dust Bowl. You might say that it portrayed American life in a bad light. Not the kind of film you wanted people around the world to see.
Yet it was prohibited from being shown in Russia. I thought Russian leaders wanted people to think that life in America was not all it was portrayed to be.
But there were problems for them in the film. Poor people had trucks and cars and were able to travel wherever they wanted. There was too much freedom in America, and Joseph Stalin couldn’t let that be known.
Did anyone question his true motives? The truth was poor people in America had it much better than those in Russia.
I’m not suggesting that we go around and question the motives of all. But do we really believe that all of our politicians have our best interests at heart? Or could it be more about getting the money and the votes they need to retain power.
In the Old Testament (2 Samuel 2-3) there is a fascinating story that illustrates this. Briefly, there was a civil war going on in Israel. A commander by the name of Abner was being chased by Asahel. Eventually Abner killed Asahel in self defense. Of course this did not sit well with his brother Joab.
As the civil war came to an end Abner and Joab became joint commanders. However, in a moment of deception Joab killed Abner, apparently to seek revenge for the killing of his brother Asahel.
That is the obvious reason, but is it the whole reason? I mentioned that both Abner and Joab were joint commanders. Prior to this you might say Joab was on the winning side, as King David was gaining more power.
Could there have also been an ulterior motive? What about envy? Was Joab more concerned about the death of his brother or his own personal power?
Now it’s getting personal. What were the real reasons I had to buy that new car, new clothes, or bigger house? Why did I offer to pay for everyone’s lunch? Why were the drinks on me?
Was it because I truly wanted to serve my friends, or did I do it for personal recognition and appreciation, or to close the next deal? Hurts to even think about it.
Does Joab still live on in me?
I have observed over the years that when marriages fall apart, there are typically a few common denominators.
For instance, in my last post I recommended a book, His Needs, Her Needs, that addressed the problem of not doing the positive things that need to be done in a marriage.
In the book I am recommending today, the focus shifts to the negative side. In other words, there are some negative behaviors that destroy romantic love.
Now that is not all that hard to figure out. If I yell at my dog, he cowers as if our relationship is suffering. So how can I expect an angry outburst in my marriage not to have some sort of detrimental effect?
To make matters worse, if I initiate a negative behavior, I am going to have to work extra hard to offset it with at least five positive behaviors. Perhaps that is why marriage is such hard work.
In our first house my brother came over to help me in the attic and stepped through the ceiling. It took more time and effort to repair the ceiling compared to the help he provided.
In marriage, our destructive habits are very hard to overcome. In fact, many stay in negative territory.
That is the issue Willard Harley addresses in his book Love Busters. While it is a great book, it won’t do you any good if you are not honest with yourself. I have watched couples have angry outbursts, and then deny it.
While it would be easy to simply list the destructive behaviors addressed in the book, my fear is that you might avoid the book.
But this is a book that any marriage can profit from. For some marriages it should be purchased right away. Get the book, read it, and Overcome the Habits that Destroy Romantic Love (Subtitle).