One of the biggest problems being faced in marriages today is when a husband stops leading in the marriage. Somewhere along the way he has shut down and stopped communicating. He has decided to stop feeling and go along for the ride because in his mind he thinks this might be easier. Maybe he feels like his wife doesn’t respect him. Maybe he feels like he has to work really hard for his opinion to matter. Maybe he feels like a failure, like he has screwed up too much in the past to be able to stand upright and take the responsibility he needs to in the marriage.
A couple of weeks ago I was thinking. When someone is decisive what do they end up doing? They make a decision.
When something is reactive what winds up happening? You get a reaction.
When someone is creative what happens? They make a creation.
So, it would only make sense that if someone is passive, then passion should be created, right?
Wrong. I was puzzled. I checked my theory again.
Explosive > Explosion
Emotive > Emotion
Active > Action
Distinctive > Distinction
Impressive > Impression
Almost every word I thought of with an “ive” ending led directly to a resultant “ion” ending word that described putting the adjective into action. So, why does this fail when we get to the word passive? If we look at the word passive in the dictionary we are told that it means lacking in energy or will. Another definition listed is not active or operating. Maybe since the definition is “not active” and we said the “ion” ending was when we put the adjective form in action we just can’t get to passion.
My theory is that there is something that is keeping the passive person from operating. Maybe something has broken within his system. There is probably something that is keeping him from expressing the passion inside.
About the time I was pondering this, I came across a sermon by Bishop T.D. Jakes in which he was talking about a new book he had written titled, Let It Go. He preached on Matthew 18: 21-35. This is the Parable of the Unmerciful Servant. You probably remember that in this passage Jesus tells Peter that you should forgive your brother seventy times seven. The parable part of this scripture tells the story of a servant that owed his master a large sum of money. The master ordered that the servant, his wife, his children, and all that he had be sold off to repay his debt. The servant begged for mercy from the master and the master cancelled his debt. The servant went from there and found a fellow servant who owed him a fraction of what he owed the master. He grabbed the fellow servant and choked him, demanding he pay back his debt. The fellow servant begged for mercy from the servant but he refused and threw him into prison until he could pay off his debt. The master heard how the servant treated the fellow servant and called him in. Angry over his treatment of the fellow servant after he had pardoned the servant’s debt, the master turned the servant over to the jailers to be tortured until his debt was paid in full.
Matthew 18:35 states, “This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother from your heart.”
Bishop Jakes emphasized Matthew 18:28. This is the part of the story where the servant grabbed the fellow servant and began to choke him. He made the analogy that when we don’t forgive someone for something that it chokes us, it cuts off our ability to operate, and that it takes away our will. It breaks our system down.
When we are passive my guess is that we are choking on something in our lives. We may feel that our wives do not respect us. We may feel like we are trapped in this big thing called life. We may feel that we are damaged goods. We may feel like we aren’t good enough. Maybe we feel that if we try to lead we will be exposed or fail. There is something that we are holding onto that is keeping us from operating like we should. Is there something that you need to let go of so you can step up and be the man you need to be? Is there something that you need to get right with your wife or with God so you can stop suffocating? What is causing you to be so bogged down in pride that you have lost the ability to feel anymore?
The Lord’s Prayer has a line that says, “If you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.”
That should be a pretty good wakeup call to many of us. You may have something that you are holding against your spouse today, holding against your predicament, or holding against yourself. As long as you hold it firmly you will not be able to breathe and it will draw the life out of you. It is likely that if you are being passive in your relationship you are holding on to something and it is slowly killing you and the relationship. Until you let go, you are never going to be able to put passion into your marriage. You may be able to enjoy some things, but you will not be able to enjoy it to the fullest extent. Until we can take away all of the obstructions choking us out we will not be truly fulfilled. Figure out what is choking you down today and turn from being a passive husband to a husband with passion.