Homes in Hell: An Unspoken Wedding Homily

Homes in Hell: An Unspoken Wedding Homily

Homes in Hell: An Unspoken Wedding Homily

A special welcome to all you guests and especially to you, ___ and ___.  Has anyone here read C. S. Lewis’ book “The Screwtape Letters?” The book is a series of conversations between two fallen angels in Hades, and strategies to take to make a person truly fit for hell. It’s a classic, and I recommend it. I would like to take the same tack and bring you a podcast of a devil in hell who is trying to explain to his newly admitted men there how to have a miserable home, which is want they want in hell, of course. Naturally, everything they want you to do is exactly the opposite of what we truly want. So, stay on your toes here, everyone, as I explain how to make a home fit for hell.

Welcome, men! Welcome to your first podcast in Hades! A special welcome to you who are new to our world here beneath the planet earth. This is your first workshop with us here, and I am your House Devil. Just call me Snake. I know this topic is near and dear to your heart… How to have an unhappy home here in Hell. You no doubt have a lot of experience in this important issue and now that you are with us for a considerable time, we want to remind you of what was so successful in your earthly life in establishing homes that were truly hell on earth. We want you to have a home here that you can be proud of. We will remind you of what it takes to be absolutely miserable at home, and how to spread that misery to everyone who shares your home. Well, let’s get started. I’m pleased to see so many of you ready to take notes on your ipads and smart phones. That’s a good sign! In fact, that takes us straight to our first helpful hint: 

(1.)  Be a slave to technology. It’s best if your nose is always in your smart phone or laptop. Make sure your family always sees you with your eyes looking downward into the many types of technology available to us. If there’s anything new in the techie world, take it, grab it, use it. It would be wonderful if you constantly have earbuds safely settled into your inner ears as well, so you can tune others out. It’s so much easier interacting with technology than with real people, right? So be heavily involved in social media and the hourly news cycle. You don’t want to miss out on the latest outrageous opinion or life-altering news. And this is important, men: the more hours you spend on video games, the better. Virtual reality is so much more exciting that the real thing. Your wife will love it, trust me. Just be constantly entertained by machines, and you’ll never regret it. All of this will help you keep eye contact with your wife at a minimum.

(2.)  Be competitive in the home. Try to win in everything, every time. Make it your goal to outdo your wife in everything that happens during the day. Keep your bragging rights at all costs. True love is a competition, so you need to prove yourself a better lover, more insightful, a better shopper, more compassionate. a harder worker, a better parent, and more spiritual than your wife. After your domestic wins, be as patronizing and condescending as possible. That will go far in keeping your wife in her place.

(3.)  Seek self-fulfillment first. Don’t concern yourself with what might be fulfilling to your wife. Remain blind to what might be life-giving to her. If you accidentally stumble onto what inspires and satisfies you wife, just ignore it and move on. It’s her job to discover what is life-giving for her, not yours. And if your wife does indeed discover something life-giving, make sure you don’t support it. It might be in conflict with your own self-fulfillment.

(4.)  Do things separately. Enjoy yourself by yourself. Make sure you have enjoyable experiences apart from your wife. After all, you were born an individual, so remain an individual. Don’t develop any kind of common history with your wife, because you’d have to share all that pleasure. Pleasure shared brings half the pleasure. Remember that.

(5.) Be devoutly ambitious. Be single-minded as you make sure your career is the driving force in your life. Job advancement is priority #1, more important that anything in your personal life, like wife, children, friends. Orient your whole life around your work. Remember that your professional life makes the man. Embrace the idea that career success is the only thing that makes you truly happy and fulfilled. And if you are ever tempted to change jobs for the sake of your home life, resist that temptation at all costs! You can always get another wife.

(6.)  Don’t be such a hero. Hide your strength, whether moral, physical, emotional, or mental. If a situation calls for you to be strong and “man up,” such as defending a loved one or offering a well-considered opinion, take a step back before you make a big mistake. Make sure your wife sees you as someone who is always peaceable and passive, not someone who stands up for what you believe in. Don’t do or say something that might offend someone. To be virtuous is a sign of moral strength, so try to low-key that weakness. Someone might think you’re trying to be uppity or holier than thou. If a heroic action is called for, such as facing off with a bully or stepping into danger for someone’s safety or welfare, take a deep breath and think twice about that. By all means, don’t go out on a limb and risk your popularity just to do the right but difficult thing. I’ll bet you discovered in your life on earth that life is too short to be heroic, right? Just keep that main principle in mind here. You certainly don’t want it getting around that you are some type of macho, macho man!

(6.)  Don’t trust your wife. Be suspicious of everything your wife does. Keep her on a short leash. Make her accountable to you for things like family expenses, conversations with friends, how she spends her time, and what her motivations are for every action. Trust your wife about as far as you can throw her, and since you never work out, that’s not very far. She will at some point appreciate the fact that you don’t trust her judgment. This will help her to never trust her own judgment. She’ll grow from this experience and realize how thankful she is to have you help her stay on track in life.

(7.) Don’t be considerate. If you worry too much about pleasing your wife, you’ll forget to please yourself, which is a mortal sin in Hell. Forget about doing the little things that make her happy. Don’t clean up after her or do her any favors. You don’t want to spoil her in any way. If you try to find those little things that shows you care for her, how is she going to learn to be responsible for her own messes in life? If you catch yourself doing her a favor or doing something considerate she didn’t ask for, drop it forthwith. This way she will learn how to take care of herself.

(8.)  Be ready to rumble, always. Be poised to have an argument. Turn every disagreement into a quarrel. Make a mountain out of every molehill. Never learn to distinguish a major deal and a minor deal. Instead, make a major battle over every little tiff. Never stop to consider if an issue is worth the emotion put into it. And certainly, make sure you raise your voice whenever possible. That can be wonderfully intimidating and change the whole dynamic into your favor. You know the saying down here… when possible, add more heat to a discussion, not more light.

(9.)  Limit your sense of humor. Never be funny on purpose, never be intentionally light-hearted. For sure, never tell corny jokes or hilarious stories. Try not find the humor in a serious situation. Make your wife feel guilty or self-conscious when she is funny or light-hearted. Try to maintain a grave demeanor, try not to smile unless it’s from sarcasm. Of course, never laugh at yourself. If something happens that is genuinely amusing, change the subject, and don’t tell anyone. Laughter is not a medicine, it’s a curse. So never, never share a good-humored laugh together. It’s a slippery slope to downright joy.

(10.) Waste your money carefully. Gambling is a wonderful way to waste money. So are designer clothes and adult toys. Just focus on wasting your money on things you don’t need, things where you are the primary beneficiary. Spending your hard-earned money on the least, the lost, and the left out is not appropriate. That me-first principle stood you well on earth, so continue with that in mind here. Your selfish lifestyle is one of the things that brought you to us, so keep that ball rolling!

(11.) Don’t share friends.  Dislike your wife’s friends as much as possible. Remind her often what poor decisions she makes in developing friendships. Don’t share your friends with your wife, either. Heaven help us if you actually enjoyed the company of others with your wife. What would that lead to? What if she starts to like her friends more than you? And what if your friends start to like her more than you? After all, it all comes back to you, doesn’t it?

(12.) Think Secretly. Don’t let your wife know what you are thinking. Don’t share your thoughts. Be a mystery and make her guess what’s on your mind. Keep her guessing. Keep your privacy intact when it comes to sharing ideas, thoughts, feelings, opinions. What your wife doesn’t know won’t hurt her. Give the impression that you are profound and deep in your quiet thinking. You can fool a lot of people that way, including your wife.

(13.)  Be stubborn. Never give in. Don’t admit you could be mistaken. Dig in your heels over every disagreement, whether significant or insignificant. Certainly, in your stubbornness, never apologize. It only makes you look weak. If you admit you made a mistake, your wife could use that against you and never trust you again. So stand your ground, and pretend you are infallible.

(14.)  Don’t be affirming. Don’t ever compliment your wife in any way, whether it’s for her giftedness, her personality, her personal strengths, her appearance, her accomplishments. Don’t affirm your wife, because it might just go to her head, and she’ll come expecting it from you every day. That would be a disaster for your unhappy home.

(15.)  Don’t grieve. When something really bad happens, like if you have lost a loved one, don’t lower yourself to grieve with your wife. You can’t let her see you as weak and vulnerable. If you let a tear slip down your face, make sure it’s a meaningless tear, an empty tear, a tear that doesn’t really reflect your true emptions. Don’t allow your wife to support you in your grief. Don’t give her the privilege of helping you in your weakness. That’s not what a real man does.

So that’s it for now, noble men of Hell. I hope my hints at making your homes as deplorable and unhappy as possible here in your new place will go far in establishing a Hell that’s worthy of its name. Remember that special time on earth, during the time of the Judges, when “everybody did what was right in his own eyes”? That’s what we’re looking for men. So go to it! We’ll see you tomorrow with the next in the series for men only. Tomorrow’s topic will be… “Exciting new ways technology can control your life!” You don’t want to miss that! Next week we’ll have a fascinating series of podcasts, How-To’s on building your unhappy home: How to become useless around the house; How to pretend to take your wife seriously; and How to manage your work-life balance so that work always wins. Signing off for now, your House Devil, Snake.