Women’s Rights! pt. 3Posted: March 24, 2008
This next part of my journey I still struggle with….
Last year our small group’s girls studied a book called “The Excellent Wife“. You could add a theatrical sound effect of gloom….we refer to it still as “The Book”. It got to a lot of us! Although I did not agree with it 100%, I learned a whole lot!
When we started this study, I knew I had a lot to learn in the whole “wife arena” of my life! However, the guys were studying the husband version of the same book and to be honest…I thought Mark needed to hear this stuff more than I did! I had thoughts that many of my friends in the group had: “Why isn’t he leading like God apparently has called him too?” “Why isn’t he doing this or saying that? ” I will spare you the long internal battle I faced reading this book. But by the end of the long study God had showed me this one thing. This one thing has changed the way I viewed marriage and my role as Mark’s wife… How can I judge or condemn Mark for not being the man God called him to be when I am not the woman and wife God called me to be? It’s not that Mark wasn’t the man God had called him to be it’s just that I was expecting him to be the “Exemplary Husband” without me having to be an excellent wife.
So here’s the two practical things I got from that. #1 I believe God has called women to be a Helper. I used to be offended by this (I swear if I was alive in the 60’s I would has been a bra-burning women’s activist 🙂 I thought “Oh that’s really exciting!” I wanted God to use me to do something really great! Instead, I saw June Cleaver and me in high heels vacuuming for the rest of my life! I then learned that same term “helper” that is used in the Bible to describe women was also used to describe the Holy Spirit when Jesus was explaining the Spirit’s role to the disciples. That really changed the way I viewed things. I guess that role was important because I knew I would be a mess without the Holy Spirit!
#2 There are roles, jobs and responsibilities God gave women for a reason…. for our good, His good and our husband/families good! This is a small thing, but for me this meant… it is my responsibility to do the laundry and cook and manage my house for crying out loud. Now does that mean Mark can’t help…um… NO! It does mean, however, my home and the way it runs is my responsibility! If it is a mess at the end of the day… I should not be up late at night fighting with my husband and telling him what he needs to do. Its my responsibility to make a way to get it done!
Beyond the practical stuff… I had to refocus and make Mark/our family, my priority and ministry. This verses, what it was, which was my career and my ministry. I was giving all my efforts to these two things and Mark was getting the left over. I would never have admitted this out loud but I sadly saw him as just my partner. We lived together and helped both of our lives exist. Although this would have been somewhat fulfilling… I think there is more. I believe marriage can be all that God intended it to be when we become a team working together for the glory of God, fulfilling the roles and responsibilities God has given us.
Slowly, over the last year or so, God has moved my “ministry” to Mark and our family. It is now my desire to make our home a refuge and our lifestyle less stressful by being focused on one thing. We were going in two directions. I had my ministry and career and he had his. It is my hope and prayer that God will use me to equip, encourage, stand along side of, defend and provided refuge for my husband. I know this sounds somewhat dogmatic and I can’t believe I, being the independent woman I am, is saying this BUT there really is freedom in submission….most of all submission to God’s plan.