The 4 interactive pathways of relationships

I’ve gone over these 4 before in multiple marriage posts, but never had a post devoted to them solely. They don’t just apply to marriage but all relationships as well.

  • You’re responsible for yourself.
  • You’re responsible for how you influence others (including wives).
  • Others (including wives) are responsible for themselves
  • Others (including wives) are responsible for how they influence you

The first is quite obvious and what is addressed mostly on this blog and in the Christian manosphere/manosphere proper. The second is generally folded into it without much distinctions. Technically, things like social charisma, game, and other social interaction techniques tend to fall into the second on being responsible for how you influence others, but also in a negative way in terms of the moral depravity that they aim toward (e.g. fornication).

In general, we can think of the first two as two different subsets of the same thing:

Matthew 22:37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself. 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

John 13:34 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” – also repeated in John 15

Being responsible for yourself means that we are responsible to love God and love others. Jesus qualifies this by saying the standard should not be “love your neighbor as yourself” but now the standard is Jesus himself “love one another as I have loved you.

The first is making things right with Jesus and developing the necessary character to love God, but then we must apply this outward to influence others in a godly manner. In particular, with wives the way we love God and are responsible to God as the role of husband is to influence your wife toward sanctification.

Ephesians 5:25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 26 to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, 27 and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.

The key point that I’m making obviously is that we only have control over the first two. Control over ourselves and how we can influence others. The Christian walk is ultimately about our responsibility to God and sanctification process to become like Jesus, and then using our changed lives to influence those around us toward Christ.

We shouldn’t worry about things we can’t change (others’ responsibility and actions) when we are first getting started, but as we start to influence them toward Christ — and especially if they are Christians — they can start to follow our example as we follow Christ. Paul demonstrates this as a leader in the early Church and shows them the way.

1 Corinthians 11:1 Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ.

So too can we also do that with any relationship in our lives, and especially the ones with our wives where we are to lead them rightly.

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