Super Bowl Madness
After 50 years Los Angeles finally has a team in the Super Bowl again. (As a football franchise, the Rams have been to the Super Bowl two additional times since 1979 but that was as the St. Louis Rams.) I will be wearing my Rams jersey in celebration and support next Sunday but my post this week has a much darker perspective. For 31 years during this span of time I served in the District Attorney’s Office prosecuting thousands of criminal cases, many involving domestic violence. One of the saddest statistics involved the Super Bowl. On this one day of the year the incidence of spousal abuse spiked enormously. I came to understand that this one day in particular was “black and blue Sunday” (my term) for many women and children. The anger of “My Team” losing this mega-game was unleashed in violence on women and children in too many homes around this nation. It was more than enough to make me cry.
This behavior is wrong, crazy and irrational in many of our minds but domestic violence has its roots in human complexity. One thing is clear to me; this is why we need a Savior; this is why Jesus Christ is so crucial to our human relationships; this is why Pastor Gil Stiegletz’ dynamic and engaging presentation this weekend at GateWay is so important. We billed this as a “marriage conference” but Gil stated this was about all of our relationships be they work, play, family or friends. This cannot be stressed enough. It is about all of our relationships.
God is all about relationships. He created us for relationships; with Him and with one another. The Creator of the Universe intimately knows and understands our needs in a relationship. Somehow we have come to think we know better and when we do not know better we simply make things up. God created us in His image and with this we have in us an unquenchable need for God that can only be met by God. We try all manner of people, things, quests or foolishness to fill this “God hole” only to find out we fall short. Again, it is complex, but ultimately all sorts of relational evil stems from the lack of Jesus Christ in our lives, including domestic violence. We Christ-followers are not immune from this.
Pastor Gil humorously hammers home the point that God, in His great mercy and wisdom, has given us, in His Word, guidance on how to live in relationship with one another. The Bible has specific wisdom for how a husband needs to love his wife. It provides direct instruction how a wife relates to her husband. The Holy Scriptures gives many prompts on how we need to live with one another. Gil has distilled all relational discord into five categories. I see I am engaged in all five dysfunctions in my marriage and in my relationships. I am challenged and most encouraged to be different. Peter wrote thousands of years ago, Husbands live with your wives in an understanding manner so your prayers will not be hindered. This week I ask all of us to take up a different sort of Super Bowl Challenge to make this a weekend of domestic celebration and joy not a physical or emotional black and blue Sunday.