Last month, my husband and I celebrated three years of marriage, and thus far I can honestly say that I fall in love with him more every day. Marriage has been a beautiful adventure for the two of us, and the longer we are together, the longer I understand God's purpose in joining us.
One of the reasons I love my husband so dearly is his character. He has taught me much about strength, love, and sacrifice, laying himself down for me on an almost daily basis. In my eyes, he is exactly what a Christian man should be, a sentiment that conjures great respect in my own heart.
However, my esteem has a strange and unfortunate underbelly. I find in myself a tendency to compare the behavior of other men against the goodness of my husband. To me, my husband is the gold standard, so there is a temptation to judge other husbands against the perceived greatness of my own.
This bias is one of the unfortunate flipsides of being in a happy marriage. A good marriage and a good spouse not only provide insight into God's design for matrimony, but these blessings can also color our judgment. They can instill us with prejudice as we read scriptural teachings about marriage and draw conclusions from those teachings.
To understand the danger of this bias, consider a recent study conducted by researchers at Harvard, NYU, and the University of Utah. The study, titled "Marriage Structure and Resistance to the Gender Revolution," examined how married men with stay-at-home wives view women in the workplace. The study of 718 married men yielded the following fascinating results. The researchers write,
We found that employed husbands in traditional marriages, compared to those in modern marriages, tend to (a) view the presence of women in ...1
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