Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Love is... Partnership

I have a few paths that my brain is running down here and a lot that is just exploding out of my head (Sorry a tad graphic), but on top of all of that, it is almost one in the morning and my brain just will not quit.  God and I have been in conversation about this topic secretly for a while and I myself am just fully coming to a realisation of the conversation we have been having.

So, since Hubby is up sleeping peacefully and our kids are out like lights and so is the baby down in the basement, my brain wont turn off as it is finally enjoying the quiet and is working through some things. I have a few key points, hopefully they become clear.  (  This didn't get fully posted online at one in the morning, but if it makes you ignore any spelling/grammar mistakes, it totally did ;)  )

Firstly, I am going to begin all of this by saying that yes, I think love, and respect, is a partnership. Yes, it is a partnership between you and your spouse, and yes I think that God, like any good teacher would, would appoint a lead.  You know, like when you would be doing an assignment in school and you were put into groups, there was always someone that would have to take the lead or it would be chaos. Well, I believe, my Hubby has been given that huge responsibility. And thank God its not my role, that's a lot of pressure and responsibility and I would totally mess it up.

Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands.
Ephesians 5:22-25

But I want you to understand that the head of every man is Christ, the head of a wife is her husband, and the head of Christ is God.

1 Corinthians 11:3

To the woman he said,“I will surely multiply your pain in childbearing;
    in pain you shall bring forth children.Your desire shall be for your husband,
    and he shall rule over you.”

Genesis 3:16

I know that these verses often really bug people. And the society that we live in today is hugely at fault for how we choose to run our lives and homes.  Please bare with me, I know that there are probably a lot of women that if this were a book, would have thrown it across the room already, there is a point to this, I promise.    The way that the world treats our men, and the way that they live because of it is hugely detrimental to our homes and marriages.  This is because the world has been treating men like they are incapable of everything, that they are only useful for some things, that they can act like animals, and that really, we would be better off without them. 

Our society has also helped to turn our men into what has been so kindly referred to as Man-children.  These are men that act like children, they are immature, incompetent, and would rather just let their wife be in control and run the show.  This stereotype is all over the television and all sorts of media. The problem is that we often feed into this problem. I have too many times to count heard the joke about our husbands being just another one of our kids. (He is not and should never be referred to as such, he would likely be very hurt and upset by this reference to him)

Today was my "day off." Hubby stayed home with the kids all day so that I could go shopping in another city with a friend. It took a lot for him to do it, not because he cannot handle our kids, it was hard for him because he had to say "no" to a handful of people who asked him for his help on projects this weekend. Each time, Hubby said no, he was unavailable. I was so proud of him, I know it is hard for him not to help others ( A good problem to have if you ask me). 

There was a few times today when I wanted to call or text to check in and make sure that things were running smoothly. But I know that I married a man that was wonderful with kids, but he is even better with our children. I married a man that I knew would be fully capable of any task that was put before him, I had nothing to fear.     And yet, I have, in the past, referred to Hubby watching the kids as Hubby babysitting (Its not babysitting if you are the parent). 

When we treat our spouses like they are manchildren, or just another person that we have to take care of, we not only make them feel disrespected, but as less than and not in the role that they so desire to be in, the role they were made for.  

So, first we have the head of our partnership being the man.  But my second point is actually that God is the key to a healthy partnership.  A real, healthy working partnership will have a third member, God. And without Him, our marriages often fall apart.  

Gary L. Thomas wrote a book called Sacred Marriage ( found here)  the main question that the book asks us to consider is if marriage is about making us holy more than it is about making us happy.  

What  a challenge to think about.  Maybe marriage is not about all of those butterflies and happy feelings we had at the beginning. Maybe all of those flaws and shortcomings we have and our spouse has are about teaching us something, making us holy. 

Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! Again, if two lie together, they keep warm,but how can one keep warm alone? And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken.
Ecclesiastes 4:9-12

This verse is often quoted at weddings, and for good reason.  But my favourite part of this is that it talks all about two being better than one, reward for their toil, lifting each other up, keeping warm, and in a fight.  But at the end of the passage it says "a threefold cord is not quickly broken".  All of those things about being a pair are wonderful, but a threefold cord is harder to pull apart, break and destroy. 

Somehow God knew we would work,
I never would have guessed it!
Our partnership with our spouse is wonderful, we benefit from it greatly and it is a blessing to have found someone to share our lives with.  But when we invite God into our marriage and he is the center of our partnership, we will not be easily broken and our lives and marriage can be a testament to the goodness and mercy of the Father. 

Lastly, God put us together to teach us more about His character.  

Often in movies we hear some version of the overly used and sentimental line, "you complete me".   I hate that line. It has always bugged me. I am whole on my own, God made me a whole person and has made me enough. But over time I have softened and I am able to take from that cheesy line and glean something that doesn't make me groan. 

We work together, we fit together. We are complete on our own but we will grow so much more because of having the other person. God has brought Hubby and I together because without him I am good but with him I am so much better. Hubby challenges me, makes me crazy, calls me on my crap, and forgives me when I mess up. He is a living breathing picture of two things, our sins and Gods love and mercy. 

Hubby's sin is so evident to me, even from the first day that we were married, his sin became more real to me. His little sins and big sins, little mistakes and mishaps, all of it and how it makes me feel shows me God.  God uses it to show me that I am not perfect either, that my sin is no better, and that it hurts loving someone so much and not being able to control them and keep them making good, right decisions. 

God's love through my Hubby is also very evident to me.  Through my sins and failures, Hubby has shown me forgiveness, just as God has shown me forgiveness.  Even through hard times and disappointments Hubby has shown me that his love, like God's, has not changed. 

God uses us and our partnership to show our spouse Himself, if we let him and don't get in the way. 

Likewise, wives, be subject to your own husbands, so that even if some do not obey the word, they may be won without a word by the conduct of their wives, when they see your respectful and pure conduct. 
1 Peter 3:1-2

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