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God calls couples to live in mutual love, respect, and support in the sacred bond of marriage.  Ephesians 5:21 teaches us to “submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.”  However, challenges often arise, including a new type of troubling behavior known as weaponized incompetence. This term describes a situation where one partner fakes ignorance or ineptitude to avoid responsibility, thereby placing an unfair burden on the other spouse. Addressing this issue is crucial for nurturing a healthy, Christ-centered marriage. 

 Understanding Weaponized Incompetence 

Weaponized incompetence occurs when one spouse consistently pretends to be incapable of performing certain tasks, forcing the other partner to take on an unequal share of responsibilities. This behavior can manifest in various ways: 

  • Household Chores: One partner might claim they don’t know how to cook, clean, or manage finances properly, leading the other to handle these tasks alone. 
  • Parenting: A spouse may assert they are not good at specific parenting aspects, like discipline, playing, or changing diapers, leaving the other parent to shoulder the bulk of duties.  
  • Coordinating Schedules: This includes the mental effort required to manage a household, remember important dates, and plan family activities. One partner might rely heavily on the other to carry this invisible load. 

 Such behavior undermines the principles of partnership and mutual support that are foundational to a Christian marriage. 

 Biblical Principles Against Weaponized Incompetence 

The Bible provides clear guidance on how spouses should treat each other, emphasizing love, respect, and mutual support.  

Colossians 3:18-19, “Wives, submit yourselves to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord. Husbands, love your wives and do not be harsh with them.” This mutual submission and love are key to a harmonious relationship. 

 Galatians 6:2 instructs us to “Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.” This means both partners should share responsibilities and support each other rather than allowing one person to be overwhelmed. 

 Steps to Combat Weaponized Incompetence 

To fight against weaponized incompetence, couples can take several practical steps rooted in biblical teachings: 

 1. Open Communication: 

  • Discuss the issue openly and honestly. Use “I” statements to express feelings without blaming the other person, such as “I feel overwhelmed when I have to manage all the household chores alone.” 
  • Pray together for wisdom and guidance in addressing the issue, seeking God’s help to foster understanding and cooperation. 

2. Set Clear Expectations: 

  • Clearly define each partner’s responsibilities.  
  • Revisit and adjust these expectations as needed, considering each other’s strengths, weaknesses, and schedules. 

 3. Encourage Competence: 

  • Support each other in learning new skills. If one spouse is not confident in a particular task, offer to teach or learn together. This promotes growth and mutual support. 
  • Celebrate successes and improvements, no matter how small, to encourage continued effort and cooperation. 

 4. Seek Counseling: 

  • If weaponized incompetence persists, consider Christian marriage counseling. A counselor can provide tools and strategies to address the behavior and strengthen the relationship. 
  • Join a couples’ Bible study or support group to gain insights and encouragement from other Christian couples. 

5.  Model Christ-like Behavior: 

  • Follow Christ’s servant leadership. In John 13:14-15, Jesus washes His disciples’ feet, demonstrating humility and service. Strive to serve each other selflessly, prioritizing the well-being of your spouse. 
  • Pray for and with each other regularly, asking God to cultivate a spirit of cooperation, humility, and mutual respect in your marriage. 
Bobby Cooley
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