Christine over at Fruit in Season hosts an awesome Monday meme called Marriage Monday that I have yet to actually participate. I find Monday a difficult day to blog for some reason. Right now she is leading a 30 day challenge to honor our husbands. Again, awesome idea and I'm praying along with everyone but not participating. (I've been on a 6 month challenge to respect my husband and the results have been amazing. But I haven't felt comfortable blogging much about it since German is so private. Maybe someday.) Anyway, a couple of weeks back, Marriage Monday was about traditional or comtemporary marriage, what is a biblical marriage, etc. And my wheels have been spinning. I would definitely call my marriage traditional (sahm while husband works) and I would pray that it is a Biblical marriage, but I hadn't really been able to articulate what that meant since it really is my only framework for looking at marriage.
Then, Monday happened. And I was in my quilt group which is made up of 15 ladies, about half attend church and half have no church or God interest at all. The conversation was enlightening and I found my difference between a non-Biblical traditional marriage and a Biblical traditional marriage. Pretty much everyone in the room would say their marriage was traditional. In the group there are 5 expats including myself. The other 4 are preparing to return to the US. Their husbands are all looking for their next assignment and a few have been to interviews and check out potential new homes. Here was the discussion:
S: We really don't have a clue where will end up.
G: Well we aren't sure either. Place I is definitely a no, but Place H, Place S or Place C are still possibilities.
S: I'd never go to Place H.
G: We actually liked it. I don't care where we go as long as hubby is happy.
S: I want him to be happy too, but we wouldn't be happy there.
G: What if that is where the only job is?
S: Then he can be happy there without me because I'm going to Place S.
I wasn't sure how to even respond. I have definitely had input into every place that we have moved (i.e. I've said what I like and what I haven't liked) but I've never said "I'll be in x". I don't make that decision, German does. I don't have an equal vote. And I certainly don't have veto power. It is his career, and he gets to make that decision. But I realized that for me it goes deeper than that (and this is how I'd define a Biblical marriage): German will be held accountable for how he led this family and cared for this family before God, therefore he gets to make those decisions. Biblically the husband is given the leadership role and will be judged accordingly. I will be held accountable for how I followed German's lead and served God with the talents He has given me. Part of my job is to trust that German is following God's lead and as long as where he is leading is not against God's word I'm to go. (Although I have told German and God that if the call is ever to the Middle East, Someone is going to have to write it on the wall so I'm sure.) For me a Biblical marriage is each person fulfilling the role of husband and wife as laid out in Scripture. I find that incredibly freeing, not limiting. I am content to follow where he leads, and spend my energy doing the things I am called to do (like prepare the girls for whatever is next, teach them consistently, encourage and support German, etc). I am so thankful I am not like my friend "S" who has already decided where the job cannot take her. I wonder what blessings she may have missed, totally unaware. I don't want to be a stopper to the blessings God wants to pour out.
Last year when German decided to resign his job before we had a new job, I was surprised how many people commented on my "letting" him do that. I didn't "let" him. I followed him and I trusted him and God, but the decision was his. I am so thankful for that! We would have missed a tremendous blessing if we had played it safe. Much of the testimony of God's faithfulness would have been lost. And German's absolute and unwavering faith in the God who led him would have been negated if his wife had "let" him follow God. I believe that he will receive a blessing for stepping out in faith (more than we have already received here). I believe my blessing comes from following and supporting even if in my head occassionally I was saying God this is scary. God rewards the faithfulness of His children. I'm so glad I didn't stop God's blessings poured out on my husband. And I am thrilled how much God taught me about being a respectful wife during that time.
So how about you? How would you define your marriage? How does that play out practically in the everyday of your life? How would you like it be different? I'd love to hear your thoughts as we grow together.
Thank you Christine for getting my thought wheels turning.