He had just finished his last college final exam, and their car was loaded down to make the trip from Utah to Idaho to see family. Travis knew his wife "was really tired." When he posed a math question to her, his young wife Chelsea became caught in a mental spin cycle she couldn't get out of. She was vulnerable.
For over 4 1/2 minutes, the young husband videotaped his wife's quandary, thinking, "Her family will think this is so funny." To find the video, all you have to Google is "stupid woman." You may be one of the 5.7 million who have watched Chelsea's trauma; the video has gone "viral." Did you think it was funny?
Finally, Chelsea said, "Please stop filming." What do you think those final words revealed about how she was feeling about the "game?"
The answer to that question could've saved Chelsea and Travis a lot of heartache. After Travis posted the video on YouTube, over 5 1/2 million people viewed it, landing the couple on ABC News for a national interview and a public apology from the head hanging husband. No one was laughing.
Marriage is never a platform for mockery. Along with finances, children, and toothpaste, a husband and wife share the keeping of one another's dignity. To mock is to treat someone with contempt or derision, making them appear ridiculous. If the heart of a husband is to trust in his wife (Prov. 31:11) and if a wife is to respect her husband (Ephesians 5:33), mockery will leave deep wounds where it slices into the heart and mind of the loved one.
7 Tests for mockery in marriage:
- Is there only 1 person laughing?
- Does 1 person look foolish or less valuable?
- Does 1 spouse feel vulnerable and uncertain?
- After the teasing, do you feel closer and stronger or distant and weaker?
- Mocking can be private or public; did 1 person feel the need to be protected?
- Did 1 person ask (verbally or no-verbally) for the comments to stop?
- Were both enjoying the exchange or just 1?
Mockery makes one person feel stronger and smarter, while making the other person feel insecure and foolish. We mock if we think of ourselves as more important that our loved one, when we fail to love unselfishly and with consideration. One mocks another in order appear funny, at the expense of the other person, or to feel superior by treating the other person with contempt.
Mockery leads to destruction of both the one crushed and the one who strikes the blows. Jesus was mocked by Herod, the soldiers, and the Jews of His day who counted His life of little value and His claims ridiculous. Just like those who scorned Jesus, husbands and wives who fall into mocking one another need forgiveness and grace to grow to be more like Jesus' example:
"When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly. He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed." 1 Peter 2:22-24
Praise God that Jesus wasn't destroyed, but He overcame the mocking so ours could be forgiven. Marriage requires much forgiveness and grace for the moments when our flesh overcomes our spirit and we injure each other. I really pray that this young couple, Travis and Chelsea, can experience forgiveness between them and can rebuild trust. When one is hurt, both are hurt.