I’m No Superhero

My Wife Likes Superhero Movies

We saw The Avengers last Memorial Day. It was all we could hope for: lots of action, great lines, special effects like you wouldn’t believe, and more. I kind of feared that an ensemble cast might be a bit much for the story line, but they pulled it off.

We like superhero movies. For me, they are a trip back to my childhood when I read comics incessantly. For her, she just likes a good adventure story. I would not have thought that would include superheroes, but there you have it.

Part of the attraction is probably that most of these movies go easy on foul language and sexuality. Sure someone may kiss someone else on rare occasion, but it’s usually played for laughs or to break the dramatic tension. If a movie tries to show anything approaching realism in sex, or if they give us a bunch of shock value potty mouthing, we won’t be staying around.

That’s why we don’t go to the movies much. Instead, we wait for movies to get on TV where that type of stuff is edited out. The advent of the DVR has made this a great time to watch movies on TV, too.  Record, watch later, speed through commercials, woo-hoo!

I’m no superhero

One time we were watching something we recorded that had looked promising. It wasn’t, unless the promise you are looking for is a scene of an elderly woman reading a radio script full of vivid and detailed sex acts, complete with four letter words.

I couldn’t believe what I was hearing, but my wife responded more quickly than I did.

“Do we have to listen to this?!”

“Sorry,” I mumble. Never mind that the remote was a lot closer to her than to me, I was the one who grabbed it and hit the stop button. Her next words hit me right between the eyes.

“You’re supposed to protect me from stuff like that!”

What? In 25 years of marriage she’s never told me she needed me to protect her from anything, let alone words on TV. In fact, she’s one of the most capable people I know.

Excuses started boiling up inside me: “You were the one with the remote … I was as shocked as you were … Sorry, but it took me time to react … but, but, but …”

I’m glad none of them made it out of my mouth. They were all lame.

Married and Responsible for Each Other

This isn’t about wives being weaker than husbands. (Check out 1 Peter 3:7 if you’re wondering where that came from.) This is about what it means to be married.

Inside our wedding rings my wife and I had inscribed the first words of 1 Corinthians 13:8 – “Love Never Fails.”

I like that translation. Using the word “fails” (instead of “ends” or “ceases”) gives insight to an added dimension of the love we know in Jesus Christ. Love does not fail, so that not only does it last forever but it also always succeeds. And if there’s anything I know about God, it’s that he always succeeds. (Isaiah 46:9-10.)

For some reason, God chooses to use his people to achieve that success. It seems odd to me, anyway. I know me. I’m not all that successful at spiritual things. I can’t even reach a remote fast enough to turn off a really offensive movie. Yet God tells us we are responsible to our spouses in ways that revere Jesus himself.

Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. (Ephesians 5:21.)

Many people look at the following verses to explain what that mutual submission looks like. That’s a good idea, because it’s always good to read Scripture in context. But part of that context includes the text leading up to this verse.

Live as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) and find out what pleases the Lord. Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. It is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret. But everything exposed by the light becomes visible – and everything that is illuminated becomes a light. This is why it is said:

“Wake up, sleeper,
rise from the dead,
and Christ will shine on you.”

Be very careful, then, how you live – not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.  (Ephesians 5:8-17.)

I’m supposed to be careful how I live, and I am supposed to submit to the needs of my wife. That day, she needed me to see what had been exposed to the light, that shameful dialog which was nothing more than a fruitless deed of darkness, and take action. Could she have done the same for me? Perhaps, but I know that this is the type of thing that paralyzes her even more than it did me.

I’m Still No Superhero

I may not be a superhero, but I’m the one who is supposed to take action sometimes. It’s not a role I can fill on my own. Rather, I rely on what Jesus told Paul: “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” (2 Corinthians 12:9.)

My wife’s not a superhero either even though I count on her to protect me sometimes too. But in our mutual submission to one another out of reverence for Jesus, by the power of the Holy Spirit we are able to step up for one another.

I’ve gotten pretty good at knowing when to grab the remote, too.

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11 Responses to I’m No Superhero

  1. Karen says:

    Good reminder, Tim, for married and single folks alike. As you said, we’re all to submit to each other because we revere Christ (Eph. 5:21). In doing so, we will be greatly blessed. (I am preaching to myself here!) May all of us persevere in our sanctification so that we look more and more like our Redeemer.

    • Tim says:

      Exactly, Karen. Whether married or single, or if women to women, men to men, or mixed, the submission is to be Christlike. It’s a blessing to the submitter and the submittee (I’ve never seen that word before, but I like the way it sounds when I say it out loud!).

  2. Jeannie says:

    I hadn’t thought about submission (within marriage or any other relationship) as including the responsibility to protect the other person. I appreciate these insights.

    • Tim says:

      Submitting and serving are closely related, and I think protection might fall under one or the other or both at times. But I don’t think protection is necessarily always an appropriate means of submitting. Wow, I’m convoluting myself something fierce here Jeannie!

  3. Aimee Byrd says:

    Well, this is kind of untrue, as I have already claimed you the Encouragement Superhero of the Internet. We all know that you are really hiding a costume under that robe…

    • Tim says:

      No no no. No costume. Unless you consider Bermuda shorts, a Hawaiian shirt, leather strap sandals and black knee high socks a costume. The robe covers a multitude of fashion sins.


      P.S. And thank you Aimee. But you know who has been my biggest encourager in all my blogging? You.

  4. Nancy Van Wyck says:

    It sure is nice to hear that you join me on these thoughts of what our T.V and movies like to show us and thats my reason for not watching T.V anymore or going to the movies. I remember back a few years when I got a book from the library and was shocked to read bad things in a book from a author in my own town. I took it back and complained to the librarian and she said that this is what the people want. So there you are. God deserves better then that and I will follow him any day. His book is the best.

  5. did you comment on this before? I remember the story about your wife saying you need to protect her from that. . .maybe you used the example before?
    Excellently said though and if it is a repeat, I enjoyed it!!! So true!!

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