A Feminine Influence

Although I have always been told about the influence women have on men, watching Walk the Line has truly given me a visual and cemented the idea in my mind. The influence the two female main characters (Vivian, his wife, and June, his “co-worker”) had on Johnny Cash is plain to see. Many of Vivian’s personality traits were not compatible with Johnny’s, therefore causing many problems. June’s personality traits however meshed well with his. Despite this, I feel Vivian could have made her marriage more tolerable by simply following her man. Not that she was actively trying to lead him, but she was not willing to follow either. While I watched Walk the Line the second time, I took notes and these were some of the things I noticed.

Vivian displayed a distinct lack of trust in Johnny’s abilities. Part of this may have stemmed from her gut instinct to listen to her father who disapproved of the marriage. Not marrying him would probably have been wise anyway as they had dated for only one month, two years before he contacted her again. She also appears to have been a “daddy’s girl”, and desired to marry a man like her father. However, Johnny was not her father. While she preferred a financially stable situation, Johnny’s dream job did not provide financial stability. When it came to his musical career, Vivian had little appreciation for his talents and abilities. She was not willing to travel with him on tours, therefore causing jealousy when he made friends that were not her friends as well. Her low tolerance for his enthusiasm about a great show sent him seeking someone who could share in his celebration. She disapproved of his fan base. His being away made her bitter toward him. Basically, everyone appreciated him except his wife – whom he sought approval from the most. (She did show appreciation once, after he proved himself to be working hard. Also, her personality was most likely more suited for a man with a consistent job and income.)

On the other hand, June took mishaps in stride, making the best of them. She openly admired his talents and abilities. She took interest in his career, life, and family. She showed concern for him, as well as kindness in giving her book to him. Since she too was in the musical career, she understood the need for tours and how important his band was to him. She was down-to-earth, fun, and adventurous, always willing to try something new. She had the support of her family, giving her a sense of security which allowed her to then support Johnny’s endeavors. “She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness” (Proverbs 31:26) seems to have been June’s motto. She spoke kindly to all, in a manner of meekness.

Although Vivian seems to have been a “bad wife”, I have had a very hard time writing about her in a negative way. I am convinced she could have been a “good wife”, if only she had listened to her father and married someone more suited for her personality, or even just followed Johnny in all he did, showed her appreciation, and simply been his companion. However, these are excellent examples of how a woman can make or break her man.

Since so much emphasis is put on the submission of the wife in Christian circles, often we forget to teach women about their influence. It could be argued that as long as the wife submitted herself to her husband, she won’t have to be so careful with her power and part of that may be true. But a woman must also realize her power is also found in approval, appreciation, and sincerity, not just following. A lot of this can be solved by merely being a best friend, the one who does not cover their eyes when wrong is being done, yet always encourages and is 100% behind their best friend1.

So, forget the dog; be your man’s best friend.

Verses to Ponder: Proverbs 17:22, Isaiah 51:3, Proverbs 11:22, Proverbs 11:16, Proverbs 14:1, Ephesians 5:33

(Disclaimer: I feel Walk the Line is best viewed as an awareness movie, for several reasons.)

1Note: I thought a little more about this and thought it best to add that being 100% behind someone, even a spouse, does not mean following them in evildoing. If the husband is participating in wrongful activities, he is clearly stepping outside his role as a Christian husband. Usually during this time, it would be wise to step away from him (different levels for different situations) with the children (if there are any involved).

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~ by neverxxforsaken on January 30, 2009.

3 Responses to “A Feminine Influence”

  1. Excellent post, Kayla! It is so important to realize and remember the influence we have on the men in our lives (husbands, fathers, brothers, etc). It is sobering, yet a wonderful thing!

  2. Interesting post. I’d just make one comment. I never saw that movie, but I remember hearing that there were a lot of complaints by the daughters that it painted an inaccurate and unfair representation of their mother and her experiences with their father. I’d question how much value studying a biased fictional portrayal can be.

  3. That reminds me of “Finding Neverland”. Another example women not being the kind of wives their husbands truly need.
    You are so on the right track, girly. 🙂 Keep on keeping on!

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