Dr. Wall mourns the debut of a new television show that mocks the very heart of marriage…..again.

Male and female he created them…God saw all that he had made and it was very good.

Genesis 1: 27, 31

During the closing ceremonies of the Vancouver Winter Olympics last Sunday night, right in the middle of this wonderful display of joy, in the bottom left hand corner a little sign came up saying that the new show “The Marriage Ref” would begin in 10 minutes. I couldn’t believe that. NBC would be so crass as to interrupt this rare, positive celebration to look at so-called comics mock the bedrock in marriage? I thought that it must be a mistake. Then the same sign came up in 5 minutes. And then, with the Closing Ceremonies going on in full force, NBC anchorman Bob Costas announced they are going to their new show and BOOM! Just like that, the Winter Olympics end on TV and we are ushered into a show dedicated to mocking the institution of marriage.

Don’t worry. We didn’t watch it. I turned off the TV in disgust. Mad about NBC cutting off the Olympics. Mad at a new show dedicated to making fun of the very heart of marriage. Mad at stereotypes of marriage being used to make a buck and to extend the falsehood and potentially ruin even more marriages.

The premise of “The Marriage Ref”, if I understand it, is to pit one spouse against the other and for comedians and celebrities to mock each of them and their marriage and then for the TV hosts to declare a winner.

Folks: There’s no winner in a marriage fight. There should NOT be a winner. If you have a winner, then there is something completely screwed up in your marriage.

Fundamentally, “The Marriage Ref,” the show, is mocking God, because He is the one who made us and the first book of the Bible declares that when God made us, male and female, that he looked at what He’d created and, behold, it was VERY good. Later, in Genesis chapter 2, where a more detailed description is given of how males and females came to be, all the animals were brought before Adam, and there was not a companion found for him. Eve was created to be his helpmate. Marriage has been the foundation of society ever since. That foundation is under attack.

Wherever marriage thrives society thrives. Societies have order. Neighborhoods have lower crime rates. Schools have fewer problems. Banks have fewer foreclosures. Jails have fewer inmates. Streets have fewer gangs and drug addicts and prostitutes. Take away mom and dad and chaos enters the world.

Which we have done via immorality and divorce: Taken away mom or dad. If you don’t like your spouse, dump him or her. You can always find another. We believe in monogamy, just not for life. And even the idea of one at a time is being challenged. Now we even more and more pandering for polyandry, and swapping and swinging, concepts that suggest sexuality between a husband and wife means absolutely nothing, there’s no such thing as boundaries of protection. There’s only me and my lust and sex is just a feeling. It is only an animalistic act and since it feels good it matters not with whom and you can do it with as many as possible and there will be no consequences and it’s all fine ‘cuz we’re all adults here and we can separate desire from feelings and love. If you have jealous feelings you are complete screwed up. Unfortunately, in these tragic set ups, the only person who is normal is the one with jealous feelings. This is just one more denial of what God made.

Some are touting marriage between people of the same gender, another mockery of the wonderful difference between males and females. You have to reinvent the entire English language to make room for this: Sex means difference. Same sex means same difference. This is a contradiction in terms. Males and females have different sexual organs and different shapes and different brains. But we have the same eyes, hearts and lungs. Only parts of us are different. These different parts go together to create life. Same-gendered bodies do NOT go together. You can force the issue and end up with spiritual death, and for some, literally, physical death. What a man does to a man or a woman does to a woman is not sex. They are NOT different. For millennia this has been called perversion. Now it is called normal. Words mean nothing. Marriage means nothing.

The very core of marriage is mocked. Is it any wonder divorce is so common and the fabric of our society feels so fragile?

And now we have a show that mocks the very idea of complementarity between a husband and wife in marriage. Don’t tell me you are incompatible. You married freely. No one forced you. If your spouse was a complete idiot you wouldn’t have married him. You saw that he had something to offer you. You sensed you had something to offer him. You decided together to get married. You are not incompatible. Your views complement each other. If you disagree and this is a problem and you are both stubborn and you fight, this does NOT mean you are incompatible. It means you are selfish and foolish. That’s it. A wise person seeks advice; a fool rushes headlong to destruction. Go ahead and fight. Insist you are right. Don’t listen to anything she says.

One of the strengths of marriage is two heads are better than one. You see things I can’t see and I see things you can’t see. We protect each other. We look out for each other. We have each other’s back. We look at things differently, so that we can wisely consider OUR options. We compare notes. You think Sally needs more time with dad. I think she needs to be disciplined. We’re probably both right. You think we need to save for retirement and I think we need to put in a new fence? Sure. We probably need to do both. You think we’re letting my mother have too much say in our family and I think you take her way too personally? Sure. We probably both have a point. You think the house needs to be cleaned and I think we need more time together. These are NOT contradictory. Maybe we should take these issues one at a time!

I think that most couples are sitting on an untapped gold mine. This gold mine is the wisdom of their disagreements. If they could harness this wisdom and heed it, their lives would be blessed. Instead, the couples, who don’t get this, fight over it. It’s more important to be right than to listen. And now we have a TV show that mocks the very heart of marriage. Let’s decide whom the winner and the loser is. If we have a winner and loser in marriage then we have two losers. If we’re not both winning we’ve got some serious problems. We work toward OUR goals together. We discuss OUR goals together. If your spouse disagrees with you, you ought to stop up short and seriously consider their advice. Your spouse may not be always right, but neither are you! You ignore your wife or husband’s insight to your peril. Let’s protect each other.

If I was cynical, I should be secretly happy. I’m sure “The Marriage Ref” will guarantee that I will be busy for years to come.


Dr. Wall discusses the untapped gold mine of disagreements in marriage.  Couples often fight when they disagree.  But Dr. Wall explains that disagreeing in marriage is actually a major strength of marriage.  He suggests that instead of fighting, we stop long enough to hear the wisdom our spouse is saying:

Rejoice When You Disagree

Dr. Wall explains that listening is a skill we can’t afford to ignore:

The Peril of Jumping to Conclusions

Dr. Wall takes a look at the good and bad side of anger:

The Confusion of Anger

Dr. Wall ponders some of the lies propagated in society at large and finds them coming up lacking:



Dr. Bing Wall is a marriage therapist with a practice in Ames and Urbandale, Iowa.  To set up a time to see Dr. Wall click here or call 888-233-8473.  For more information about Dr. Wall click here.

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