There is a psychological disorder called Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. This is caused by some traumatic event and creates disturbing thoughts, feelings, impressions, and reactions of unknown origin. The most dramatic representation of this is the reliving of the event, which utilized in movies is actually the least of the instances of this disorder. (I had a college professor who did a dissertation on treatment of individuals having PTSD, of course, had marked opinions about the best approach.) The origin of this is usually well known as it is associated with a particular time and place, even when the representations are diffuse. Tthe point on which I want to rest is that once the event occurs, life has changed.

There are certain experiences which, once had, render the individual unable to occupy the position of ignorance or the ability to return to the state of mind prior to that event. Loss of limb, 18-wheeler run over your car, laughing child try to stop you from breathing, each of these renders the person different and forces a new approach in life. For those looking on, individuals show good adaptation, poor acceptance, or maybe adoption of addictive habits as a means of “dealing with” the uncontrollable situation. I have many times heard admiration expressed for children who have coped with debilitating diseases with courage and hope for whatever may come next. They have known little else, and why not hope? That is what they’re told is the purpose of all the treatments and procedures they endure.

There are individuals who are in the latter group, ignorant of “normal” life and participating in what they have been told is natural. Women. Here is a group who have been instructed that the men in their lives are lazy, incompetent, similar to children, sex-crazed, unreliable, and sadly some have real life experience to substantiate those impressions. For them, a wonderful relationship with a spouse is already in doubt as their starting point has been bathed in negatives by this culture. I have an appreciation for shows from the ’50’s. Then, the man had some wisdom and was responsible for his house. I haven’t heard or seen of any show recently showing something similar. Is there any place where this woman may experience a decent relationship of respect and love going between a man and woman? In all their interactions, there is an unspoken, unseen background feeling that something may go wrong, be incorrect, have to be fixed, not be finished, as that is the starting point reinforced with each sit-com, movie, and broadcast. Incidents occurring in normal interactions may provide the points of time that substantiate the background impressions.

Let’s consider the men for a moment. How would any of you like growing up being told that because of the fact that you are male – a trait which was completely out of the individual’s control, you are lazy, incompetent, similar to children, sex-crazed, unreliable, and considered a child abuser. On that last point, I was in a meeting at a church when the insurance company’s edicts were read and noted one: a man was not allowed in the nursery, because of child abuse. He may change his own child’s diaper and was required to leave the area. The single trait over which he had no control labeled him a “child abuser” with no evidence whatsoever.

How are one’s behaviors affected by those impressions? Better, how much better would one’s interactions be if there were not the background impression that the male is going to be a disappointment? How much better would be the interaction if Ephesians 5:33 were followed: However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.

This is one reason I have avoided television and am watching fewer and fewer movies. I can tell you from experience that now when I see one, the presentations are so much more acute it substantiates my desire to see less. That is my approach to this situation.

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