The desire wells up in me to pass out unsolicited advice. I think it is because I have counseled quite a few couples this past quarter, and quite a few of them should have solicited some advice!
So here is some advice for blue staters, especially, as we head into the inauguration ordeal: Don’t take Trump to bed.
1) When you go to bed, it is better to wind down than to ramp up.
Even if you have not seen your spouse much during the day and you are itching to complain to someone who is committed to listening to you, resist. I know several spouses who regularly complain that once it gets to be about 11:30, their spouse rolls over and asks them the big questions of the day:
- “What do you think about a vasectomy?”
- “Why did your mother treat me like that?”
- “Why didn’t you know what I wanted for my birthday?”
- “Did you hear about Donald Trump’s nominee for Secretary of State?”
None of these are good intros to a goodnight kiss. Please show some restraint.
2) When you go to bed the last thing you drink should not be poison.
This goes for everyone, but just because someone offers you poison to drink does not mean you have to drink it. Just because something is on the TV does not mean you have to watch it (you don’t even <gasp> need a TV! Or any of your screens). Just because Breitbart prints it does not mean you have to discuss it for pillow talk. I suppose it is possible, but I have not heard that “Trump” is an enticing thing to whisper in someone’s ear. He’s a divider, not a uniter. Don’t invite him to bed.
3) When you go to bed, it is better not to invite the four horsemen of the marriage apocalypse to join you.
Trump is all about everything that is bad for relationships, unless you like to be dominated (and some people do, let’s face it). He loves to tweet criticism. He pours out contempt. He is well-known for how defensive he is. A “stonewall” is part of his policy-making. Unfortunately, all us humans are kind of spongy when it comes to our atmosphere. We find what is going around hard to resist. Thus the media is normalizing the Donald and we are all-too-likely to begin thinking his deadly behavior is normal for us, too!
Do not take him to bed. I doubt any of us consciously wants to. But many of us have done it already — at least he got as far as the dinner table! He has separated intimate friends, even family!
Not being conscious of complaining, consuming, and carousing with Trump will cost us all. So take a tip from Stephen, since today is the Feast of Stephen. He had some rather unsavory rulers himself. He was dragged before the ruling council when he performed wonders, argued with upstanding members of synagogues, and questioned whether Moses and his law were God’s last word. Most of all, he gave Jesus his proper place. He quite consciously held on to himself as they we about to murder him and said, “Which of the prophets did your ancestors not persecute? They killed those who foretold the coming of the Righteous One.” He knew what was Trump and what was not. Let’s do likewise. We’ll have to differentiate rather than just go along or just rebel.
Be yourself in Christ when you go to bed and let Trump lie in the bed he has made for himself. You can respond to the messes he makes tomorrow, as you feel moved. But for those precious moments when we can connect and rest, beware of Trump. He’s not a connecter and he apparently doesn’t rest, since he tweets at 3am.