I received a writing from relationship expert, Meg Tuohey, that I thought was worth noting.
She said, “These days, the word "narcissist" has become an all-too-common label for anyone who exhibits self. Yet, narcissism, in its diagnosable form, is extremely rare.”
The dictionary description of a narcissist is “a person who is overly self-absorbed and selfish.” Narcissists tend to display feelings of self-importance and entitlement.
· Exploit others
· Are devoid of empathy
· Can’t apologize or accept responsibility
In reality, narcissism has more to do with the condition of the human heart rather than a diagnosable personality disorder. I like to refer to narcissism as humanity’s plain old SIN tendency. Look what the Bible has to say about the condition of our hearts:
Let’s be honest. Which of us can say we have never exhibited a sense of entitlement; selfish ambition, or toxic anger? Which one of us has never felt that our needs and wants are more important than another’s, or that our situation is worse than that of another? Have any one of us never held an offence against another, refused to apologize or take responsibility for our actions because the actions of the other were “more wrong” than ours or more unforgivable?”
It’s so easy to identify our narcissistic husbands, who at the alter promised to “love and cherish us till death do us part,” but in reality, have exploited us, betrayed us, treated us with a complete lack of empathy and have refused to take responsibility for their actions or change their ways.
Yet, if we are honest, we, wives have also been guilty of “narcissistic “ self-indulgent, "woe is me” pity, raging, “you are a jerk” anger, or stubborn "I don’t love you anymore “ withdrawal toward our husbands.
I am not excusing your husband’s destructive behaviours nor am I eradicating your need to set godly, concrete and consequential boundaries in order to protect your heart and your home. These are things Yahweh has instructed you to do (Titus 2:14-15; I Corinthians 5).
But I am encouraging you, His dearly beloved daughters, to check your own heart for sin and to do a behaviour assessment. There is a saying: "Two wrongs don’t make a right. " It’s true. Our husband’s sin does not excuse our own propensity to sin. If we are not exhibiting Christ-like behaviours, how can we expect healing or wholeness ourselves or in our relationships?
In I Peter 3:7 (NLT) husbands are told to “give honor to their wives by treating them with understanding and as equal partners so that their prayers would not be hindered.” It’s no lie that few men actually know what it means to “love their wives as Christ loved the church and laid His life down for it (Ephesians 5 :25) and that because of this, many women are despondent and many men have unanswered prayers.”
Yet our husband’s lack of unadulterated love does not give us excuse to sin. In fact, it is far more prudent for us to regard what 1 Peter 3:8-9 (NLT) says regarding our relationships: “Finally, all of you should be of one mind. Sympathize with each other. Love each other as brothers and sisters. Be tender-hearted, and keep a humble attitude. Don’t repay evil for evil. Don’t retaliate with insults when people insult you. Instead, pay them back with a blessing. That is what God has called you to do, and he will grant you blessing in so doing.”
Now, if we want to walk in blessing, isn’t this an encouragement to do a serious heart and behaviour check? Ask yourself if you are responding to your husband in a
Christ-like manner or if you are excusing and justifying your negative thoughts and reactions towards your husband’s destructive behaviours?
His dearly beloved daughters, I exhort you to let godly change start with YOU!