Deflating The Dictator’s Control
December 20, 2013
I continue to hear about husbands that behave toward their wives with selfishness, negligence, insensitivity, and anger (hostility, cursing, insults, and/or rage). Control over every person possible (their wives being their easiest subjects) seems to be their number one goal and this so they can feel important and powerful. Questioning their way, their command, and what they want is meant to be a terrifying, or at least a miserable, experience, something a wise person would avoid at all costs.
This dictatorship is the practice of many men, for their wives, confused and bewildered as to why or what brings on such dynamics, just give in and do whatever the husband demands so that at least some periods of peace can be attained. It is heart-breaking, for in actuality, the men are merely empowered to continue digging deeper into the cruelty-rut they’ve made themselves king of. (I understand that sometimes it is the woman who is the control-freak, but due to a long history of cultural norms, as well as false interpretations of Scripture about the subordination of women, it seems rare in comparison to the amount of men who are so.)
What’s to be done? Well, it’s not going to help anyone –not the wife, not the family, not anyone the man deals with, and not the man himself– if someone does not step up and force the man to not only acknowledge his disgusting behavior, but to eliminate it as well. But no way is the man going to do either (especially not toss away the methods that work for him of remaining in full control) unless something drastic is done. And something drastic means drastic.
I would not suggest calling the law. They seem to create more problems for the wife than she already has. Instead, I suggest making the man move out. This will make him face the reality he so wishes to deny. If he will not, then nothing extra should be done for him. Meals he can find elsewhere or cook himself. Because he refuses to go to church, or join the extended family at holiday times, or spend quality time with the children, everything should be planned and done without him. A wife should say something like, “I’d like you to join us, but if you don’t want to, know that I will be participating whether you do or not.” This deflates the power the control-freak has over everyone. In other words, learning to be happy exclusive of the dictator’s companionship is freeing and healthy –for everyone he has had influence over.
Moreover, if a control-freak does not come down off his throne, there is little chance that he will avoid eventually ruin. Arrogance, selfishness, and anger blind, and those who get away with these unscathed become ever-more reckless and careless. It does the man no good to be helped along in his pursuit toward destruction. “Power corrupts” is an age-old proverb; thus anyone who assists a person in his climb to unreasonable power, assists the spread of corruption. And this, of course, brings the man under the wrath of God.
Scores of examples could be given regarding those whose power-mania brought about their demise, disgrace, and infamy. Just one was Uzziah, a king who was so full of pride that he thought it fine for him to exercise a privilege God had designated only for priests. (2 Chron. 26:18) When confronted, Uzziah, rather than accepting the rebuke and warning, instead began “raging at the priests”. (v. 19) But the Lord saw and heard and made leprosy break out on Uzziah’s forehead in front of everyone standing there before the Lord’s temple altar. (same verse) Consequently, Uzziah was relieved even of his kingly duties and made to live, for the rest of his life, excluded from the temple and in a house separated from the palace. (v. 21)
This example is one in which the wrath of God came down quickly on a control-freak for a brazen act done against the Lord Himself. It’s not always, or even often, God’s way, as He is patient and merciful, and desires that even cruel dictators come to repentance. Nevertheless, if a turn from the evil does not happen, God’s justice compels Him to deal severely with those who tyrannize others, especially those whom that tyrant was responsible to protect, cherish, and care for sacrificially.