Appears to be another case of "shifting the burden."

by garyneal 54 Replies latest jw friends

  • steve2

    Isn't this a little bit like being married to a Jew? Don't expect your Jewish spouse to buy pork or cook it for you. If you want the bacon, cook it yourself - but don't make a pity party out of it. I think you are being a little bit manipulative of your wife: You know she's a JW so she'll be inclined to avoid birthdays, right? So what do you do? Tell her you'll be buying yourself a birthday cake. You poor old thing! Please! Grow up.

  • Chalam

    Hello Gary,

    Here's some "research" for you. I am sure if you present it to your wife it will fall on deaf ears but for your own information...

    1. There is no biblical command to not observe birthdays and neither to observe them, OT or NT.

    2. Considering there are hundreds of detailed laws in the OT, God being silent on the matter speaks volumes.

    3. Christians are NOT under then law! Romans 6:14, Galatians 3:10, Galatians 3:25, Galatians 5:18

    4. If one still needs a written directive on the matter, Paul advises here Romans 14:5

    IMHO, Job 1:4 may or may not speak of birthdays so is a weak point to take to JWs.

    For sure, the sons had a party but the phrases "each one on his day" might only mean "each one too their turn".

    No mention of Job's daughters having "their day" appears so either they didn't or it isn't mentioned.



  • wasblind

    The bible does not say that one cannot celebrate birthdays

    that a WTS rule, In that case if you banish one thing considered

    pagan why not ban all. What about the wedding ring and so

    forth. Yes they are crazy.

  • wasblind

    Tell your wife she needs to get rid of her wedding ring

    because it may be connected with pagan origins

  • garyneal


    Your comments stunned me but in a good way. My wife has always maintained that this group is little more than a pity party for people who just want to vent about witnesses and she feels that we all need to get a life and leave the whole subject alone. I guess in a way she is right but your comments certainly blow away the assertion that everyone here just tells me things that 'I want to hear.'

    But a little background on the whole birthday matter is in order to get a more proper perspective. My 39th birthday came and went last month and I knew full well that my wife was not going to do anything for it and I was okay with it. I was perfectly ready to let my birthday come and go without any fanfare and frankly, at my age, that is probably a good thing as I never really made a big to do about it before anyhow.

    My mom called me to wish me a happy birthday and sent me a $30 Wal-mart gift card (not necessary but I appreciated it). My facebook friends all wished me a Happy Birthday on facebook (thanks), and even an old professor made my day when I was lamenting the fact that I am less than a year from 40 (he's 82). So I was okay.

    However, my sister wanted me to come to her house as she wanted to have a birthday blast for me at the beach (which is practically her backyard). I wanted to go as even an old friend of ours from childhood was going to be there. My wife was opposed saying that she did not want me to go to the beach 'with a bunch of girls.' My sister has a roommate and is popular amongst the local pub where she use to work so she does have a lot of friends. I tried to compromise by asking her to come with us, my daughter wanted to go to, but she was not in the mood. To her credit, she did relent and said, "If it means that much to you, go." But, I did not want her to think I might be messing around with 'other girls' so I did not go.

    We went the next day instead. I hated the fact that I relented and gave in but I could not help but to think that I may feel the same way if she goes out in a JW event with a group of 'brothers.' In the end, I think I did the right thing but I could not help but wonder why I must be the one to compromise for her. Eventually, I came to realize that if I did want something special for my 'special day' then I would have to do it myself. Hence the reason why I used the example last night.

  • garyneal


    So sorry to hear what you went through (((StAnn))).

    You're quite correct on what you said about spouses not always meeting each other's needs. The whole reason this came up was not because of birthdays, but because we were talking about how far we came in our marriage. From being in ignorant bliss thinking that as long as we had love, everything would be okay, to maturing and understanding that marriage is hard work.

    I told her that one thing I had learned is that if we expect everything to go 'our way' all the time then we will become frustrated over everything. Especially if we believe that the reasons why things aren't going our way is due to our spouse not conforming to us. We must each recognize that we are all human and we all have frailties that makes us imperfect. Like you said, sometimes your spouse does not know your needs because sometimes we don't even know them. Other times, two people just view things in a different way than the other and that's okay too.

    We must also be assertive in telling each other what our needs are, in a good way. But, if our spouse chooses not to meet us halfway, then we need to do what we have to do aside from trust, sexual needs, and intimacy of course.

    I think the real reason why she got mad was not because of my views on birthdays, but because she thinks that by my saying that famous line that her mom uses to get what she wants (Can't let one little monkey stop my show), she thinks that it will lead to a path of me selfishly seeking my own needs to the exclusion of marriage and family. Trying to explain the balance to her fell on deaf ears.

  • tec

    First - thanks for the added info, Gary. I follow your story and I've never found you to be an 'in your face' kind of guy. Always sincere and caring... but I also thought that the birthday thing seemed provocative for you to use against your wife. I understand now that you elaborated. I gave you the benefit of the doubt anyway, because of everything else you've written.

    Second - yeah, I think she's shifting the blame. Because the birthday ban is weak, and how could you really explain it to someone who you know is going to question the reasons behind it. However, I'm with Stephen about the celebrations of Job's children. Could be about their birthdays but it doesn't actually say that, so I personally think its weak.

    BUT - and I am coming to see how much their own literature works against them - the quotes that Jwfacts gave is good. Even though I realize its old light. That's why I think if someone could show that the jw version of new light is weak and unscriptural, all these other things come falling down too.


  • undercover
    Isn't this a little bit like being married to a Jew? Don't expect your Jewish spouse to buy pork or cook it for you. If you want the bacon, cook it yourself...

    Good analogy... Since your Jewish spouse isn't going to cook pork for you, then you need to cook your own pork. You don't have to give up pork because your mate has some religious code to follow.

    Too bad your logic fell apart after that:

    ...I think you are being a little bit manipulative of your wife: You know she's a JW so she'll be inclined to avoid birthdays, right? So what do you do? Tell her you'll be buying yourself a birthday cake. You poor old thing! Please! Grow up.

    Per your first sentance, you indicate that it's okay for the non-Jew to cook pork, though his Jewish spouse will avoid it (and probably be vocal about the violation of Jewish law in their house) but then you turn around criticize the non-JW spouse for wanting celebrate their own birthday when they know it's against JW law...

    And here's where GN was proving his point... If each mate put the other first, who's going to give in on the b-day issue? Does he have to give them up beause of her religious code...or does she have to celebrate because he has no moral obligation and wants to celebrate?

    In this case, one may have to put their own needs above those the mate. And it's not like one ain't givin' it up for the other so someone has to see a hooker or sumthin. It's a simple birthday celebration. Here the non-JW has come to terms that his wife will not put him first in this area so he will allow her that freedom so long as he can has the freedom to celebrate it himself. What's the problem?

    And only JWs will make a Supreme Court case out of celebrating a fucking birthday. They're the ones that need to grow up and act like adults.

  • EndofMysteries

    Gary -

    Here is the advice I would give on the situation, and in spouses putting eachother first. First, not EVERYTHING the WT teaches is wrong or incorrect, just by logics, being wrong on EVERYTHING would be like winning the lottery, the odds of it.

    Anyway, to the part of putting spouse first. In the instance of KNOW how birthdays bother her 'conscience'. It's not that she just doesn't like them. It's not like you like sports and she doesn't, and so she won't have anything to do with your enjoyment of sports. It's her 'conscience' not whether it's wrong or right, putting a spouse first would be respecting their conscience IF, I say IF, it doesn't bother your conscience. If you felt you had to celebrate your birthday because not doing so would be offensive to God (just an illustration, seriously doubt anyone would), then nothing can do, hopefully both respect eachothers conscience. So not getting yourself a 'birthday' gift and making her feel guilt she isn't fulfilling herself as a wife, would be respecting her conscience and be loving on your part. You know how JW's believe, if she could get you a gift on another day, just not being a 'birthday celebration'.

    For non conscience things, putting one first, on things of general preference and taste, is simply not being selfish, their happiness bringing you the biggest happiness. If both do that, then a marriage would be better, instead of becoming a trend of who gets their way, it's always trying to please the other, on both ends, so positive energy vs negative energy.

  • EndofMysteries

    I might add Gary.........when learning or being told the pagan reasons, then inquire or look up the history of wedding cakes, gowns, etc. On a pagan side, weddings and such today are not in the bible as being done the same way. (JW's don't use or allow rice, but many other parts along the same lines) - may start to show an inconsistency in pagan traditions being allowed

Share this