Investment Leadership: Sometimes a Challenging Concept to Sell

Walking with my arm around a young man's shoulder in our youth ministry many years ago, I playfully lifted the side of my foot and swatted him on the seat of his pants, then quipped that every time I lifted my foot that way, it always whopped someone in the rump. He wasn't amused. I learned that he was from an abusive home, so I was careful not to do that again.

After years of providing marriage counseling, I have found it sometimes a hard concept to sell that it is the husband's role, not the wife's, to take lead responsibility for the health of the relationship (investment leadership).

Sometimes to illustrate to a user husband the reason his wife is ready to leave the marriage, I press on the knuckle of my little finger and note that, if it is injured, even the slightest touch can be too painful. Grace counseling helps the husband to understand the pain of his wife's unmet needs and to work toward her healing.

Interestingly, the hardest sell of investment leadership can sometimes be to the wife. I recall the concept was so contrary to the traditional views of one wife that it was difficult for her to understand that it was her pain represented by the sore little finger, not her husband's.

"I get it," she had said, "I need to be careful how I react to my husband because of his pain."

"Well, yes, of course," I tried to answer, "but that's not really the point!"

Maybe the saddest example was a battered, bruised wife who came for counseling years ago asking how she could better behave toward her husband in order to motivate him not to beat her. To her surprise, I presented the concepts of investment leadership. She told me she did not agree, left, and never returned.

Don Loy Whisnant/Journey Notes 8J04