Home business, home education and health challenges: what makes us tic?

Posts tagged ‘wife’

The power of partnership

Papa Bear and I have a relationship that makes me feel blessed on a regular basis. It’s true that we have our differences – some serious. There are times when we’ve had enough of each other and times when we can’t recall how we came together in the first place. Some days I’m sure each of us wonders if we’ll be able to last through the tough times, or if walking away from it all is the better part of valour.

But we never do walk away. Our partnership is based on our faith, first and foremost, and that is what makes it strong. It really isn’t about us, at all. I know that I am very lucky to have a man who loves to read, who gets my jokes (and makes his own), who laughs at life’s trials with me, and who adores our children. He is supportive and involved. I am very lucky indeed, but even without all of those things, I believe God hates divorce, and that keeps me with my man in the tough times.

More than that, we can parent as a team, and that is also based on our shared faith. We’re pulling together. Ultimately, our goals for parenting and educating our children have very little to do with how much Shakespeare they can recite, or how fast their mental arithmetic is. For us, what matters most is raising children who are firmly rooted and grounded in the Word of God, saved and able to make wise choices. We care about their discernment, their understanding of biblical precepts, and their unwavering faith. Everything else comes second and so, no matter what route we take in any area of their lives or our own, we pull together, because we share our faith.


Lesson #13: Submit

Here’s a tough one and I am far from having “apprehended” this lesson, as the apostle Paul would have put it. The text in question is:

Ephesians 5 “21 Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God. 22 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. 24 Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing. 25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; 26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, 27 That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. 28 So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. 29 For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church: 30 For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones. 31 For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. 32 This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.

and an article that is helping me is this one: http://www.reason4living.com/articles/totw0041.htm

How about this?

“A submissive wife is one whose heart is inclined towards satisfying her husband and who has made a choice to be led by her husband, to accept his authority and to be his helper in the broad biblical sense of that word.  She does not seek to please her husband because she is afraid of his rebuke or rejection or punishment, but because she delights to please him and finds satisfaction in doing so.”

Indeed, this article perfectly expresses how I have always imagined the marriage relationship to be in terms of submission, and I am beginning to see where the holes are that need patching in the house we are building. I think it starts with a clear and honest expression of motive. As Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 13: “Love believes all things” (when I say I want to share your heart’s fears and desires and do you good, please believe that this is true). “Love bears all things” (when he refuses to open up and I am adrift, I will patiently love and support him, hoping that ultimately, he will come around and we can be a team). “Love hopes all things … keeps no record of wrongs …is kind.” I know this is out of order, but no less true for that.

Please pray with me as I work on acquiring this skill and never letting go of it. And if you’ve walked this road a little further than me (in faith or years), please share any advice or thoughts you may have.

PS: I painted a mural on the girls’ bedroom wall, and it includes 1 Cor. 13:4-8. Yesterday Goldilocks and I were alone, shopping together, when she turned huge, serious eyes to me and said, “Mommy, if what it says on my wall is true about love, I don’t think I love anybody!”. Poor dear heart, one of the most generous and compassionate people I have ever met, yet so tenderhearted toward the things of our Lord. 

Feeling somewhat Stepford.

Another Circle of Moms article got me thinking. The article is about the different parenting styles and strengths of fathers and mothers. Basically, the author is annoyed with people who claim that mothers are better than parents than fathers, or try to compare them at all. I agree wholeheartedly. The simple fact is that neither gender, if each person is a focused and dedicated parent, makes a better parent than the other. They are simply different *.

I have often fallen into the trap of comparing Papa Bear’s style of parenting to mine, and finding his grossly lacking. It is true that he is easily distracted and sometimes, despite being in a room with us, not actually present. But he’s working on that, and it makes him uniquely able to parent Goldilocks through some challenges I to which I simply cannot relate. When I get together with my girlfriends this syndrome is stronger than ever, and we find ourselves spiralling into a tightly wound mesh of frustration and impotence at their “otherness“.

Since we’ve been home educating, and because we work so much and spend so much non-work time at Church, we’ve spent a lot more time together as a family, and far less time with our friends. This has pros and cons, of course. But at a recent gathering of friends, we were struck by this “moms vs dads” tendency more than ever. To my suprise Papa Bear was most gentle and solicitious of me, fetching me glass after glass of tonic water and not joining in with a lot of the regular “guy talk” centered around spousal deficiencies. For my part, I stuck up for his new face fuzz!

I was so proud of him and felt so loved. It took all I had not to go all Stepford on everyone: hair in a bun, long skirt, prim smile and glowing, overflowing praise for My Man. Not to mention casserole in one hand, perfect pie in the other! (Ironically, I normally do pretty much look like that, and he certainly deserves a lot of glowing praise. And don’t all Baptists carry casseroles in their apron pockets?)

Such a reaction would not have been appropriate, necessary or helpful. But after reading today’s article, I thought the differences between Papa Bear and I, and how well we complement each other.

I am good at admin and order. He is good at strategy. I am good at basic needs (making sure everyone is clean and fed regularly and often). He is good at fun. (I am no good at all at fun). I am good at Bible Study, he is good at the application to daily situations, not to mention a simple, unwavering faith, which I often battle to maintain. I am good at the rudiments of school, he is good at the exciting parts: science, maths and engineering come naturally to him and he makes them fun. (That word again!)

We really are a good team and I am blessed by his presence in my life every day. As much as he drives me crazy sometimes, he is a levelling force, bringing me back to earth and keeping me from spinning out of control. I drive him crazy too, always pushing him forward, but he needs that as much as I need to be held back, an together we are much stronger than apart.

So, dear and wonderful friends, I’m sorry if I am so Stepford that I’m irritating, but Papa Bear is a wonderful part of my life, a blessing to me, my very best friend and staunchest supporter. What seem like shortfalls sometimes are little more than wondrous varieties, and make our lives fuller, richer and more interesting. I can’t be dishonest and say that he’s not all that. I can’t not say how wonderful he is.

*Found this this week on “African Queen”:

There is nothing wrong with something different.
It is just DIFFERENT.
The Bible says that we are to be different from the world:
Hebrews 11:13 “These all died in faith, not having received the promises,
but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them,
and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.”
1 Peter 2:11 “Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims,
abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul;”
We are all supposed to be different from this world and its lusts of the flesh.

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