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Rumble Fish: Marriage Book Portion

Aug 03, 2019

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Forgiveness is a divine teaching to remember the next time you think about complaining about your spouse, or hardening your heart to him. It is a divine mandate. Not forgiving comes with a warning of terrible judgment. Consider that before you ever consider putting your spouse down or claiming that you just married the “wrong person.” Man and wife should not live in conflict. I hear stories about husband and wife who scream at each other and about marriages which are simply a battle of wills. There are people who live as if marriage were about two competing armies, each vying for the kingdom. I hear about husbands who are cruel and insulting to their wives, as well as the epidemic of Christian wives who rebel against their husband’s authority and refuse to submit. Why would any Christian ever live like this when we have God’s Word and His Spirit? When we have eternal life granted by mercy? Even the heathen can have peaceful and sweet marriages just by the common sense God gave them and by virtues they are taught. Why is it so many Christians are WORSE off than they and show LESS virtue? Why is it they seem almost unable to live together?


Listen people. We’re not rumble fish. You don’t stick two people in a room together just to see the fight break out, or to see one of them get destroyed, or have to be tossed out on his head like a drunk in a bar. You don’t have to put them in two separate rooms just to keep them from attacking. I can remember reading the book Rumble Fish[i] when I was in school. It uses the metaphor of the Siamese fighting fish, or Betta, which is a popular fresh water fish with a peculiar trait; the males of the species will attack each other if kept in close quarters together[ii]. In fact, it will even get aggressive with an image of another fighting fish or attack its own reflection. You don’t keep them in a bowl together. The fish was a metaphor in the story for youth violence, and youth gangs, the fights that broke out when these kids were in a neighborhood together. At the end of the story, the main character takes his fighting fish down to the river, and he pours them out there. Now they’re somewhere they will have room to live, and they won’t be at each other’s throats. They won’t fight anymore. It was really a touching story.


That may have been a metaphor of youth violence in the book, but it almost could have been a metaphor of Christian marriage. You just can’t put these two rumble fish in a bowl together. You put them in a room, a fight breaks out. Always. You’ve got to separate the two, go throw them in the river, give them somewhere else to live where they don’t need to be near their partner. The only way for peace is to set the beasts free. This could sadly describe marriage after marriage today. It could describe the sentiment of husband and wife, who harbor animosity, and regular conflict, whether it’s screaming at each other, or simply being as cold and uncaring as possible, distant in the soul. It may even be violence toward the other. Then the same two Christians think the only solution is what the main character of the book does at the end – to be set free from each other. To have some time and some space. That’s about half of Christian marriages for you, and even when they don’t pour the fish out of the bowl, they may simple stay together while harboring the same spirit, the same attitude, and wishing the destruction of the other. The children of God live like this and there is no love in it.


Yet that is fundamentally not who we are. Nor is it the way we are called to live, either as human beings or as Christians. Almost all of the conflict we see in marriages could be done away with simply by following God’s way. That continual pattern that could just as well be youth violence, or inter-generational violence, would pretty much disappear. Follow God’s order for the creation He made. A wife must recognize she is made to be a helpmate to man, not to be another man. Not another leader. There is only one leader. She must recognize her need to put herself under her mate, and see the goodness of that. It should be natural to her in soul. It is no surprise that the softness and submission of the woman in the marriage bed mimics the softness she is to have toward her man in marriage. She submits to him. She yields to his strength. A husband must understand he must honor his wife as the weaker vessel, and present her to the world holy and precious and clean. She is to be honored as a wife and mother, and praised for her virtue. Her beauty is to be simple and spiritual, not sensuous or lewd. He is her protector and provider, and that should take up the bulk of his energies in life. When it says a man must be willing to give his life for his wife, it doesn’t necessarily mean he will literally have to die. It most often means he gives his energies entirely over to God, wife, and family. That is his life. He pours it out for them.


It gets awfully hard to harbor hatred toward one another when you take those roles seriously. It gets hard to be cold and loveless. When you pray, sing hymns, read the Bible together a lot of the rest just falls into place without needing to figure out how. I believe almost all couples out there going to so-called counselors, seeking psychological help, threatening divorce could save their time, their money and their marriage just by going to the Word of God and doing what it says. That is all you need to do. I have been called archaic for saying that, but believe me, a simple man leading his home in the Word of God, and a husband and wife doing the things God commands us to do, will rarely or never need to pay a supposed expert to help their marriage. You do not need an expert to help you. Get on your knees. Open your Bible. Sing praises together. We are not rumble fish. We are human beings, and we can get along. The children of God especially should be known for our lifelong and peaceful marriages. The Holy Spirit does not rumble. Except with the devil.


[i] Rumble Fish Book Review, by Monica Wyatt at www.commonsensemedia.org

[ii] Siamese Fighting Fish, by Shirlie Sharpe, updated 6/19/18 at www.thesprucepets.com



The above is a section from Chapter 4 - about the lifelong nature of marriage - of my marriage book: Get Married and Save the World.


The book is available at Xulon Press right here: https://www.xulonpress.com/bookstore/bookdetail.php?PB_ISBN=9781 545659052&HC_ISBN=


You can also find it for sale at Amazon and Barnes and Noble. I ask you to use Xulon Press though, since it is a Christian business.


I’ve been working for holiness and reform in the Church at: https://www.holinessofthebride.com/ 

Contact me anytime at: kodeshkallah@yahoo.com


Bless you.