Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Power of Place: In my Family

In the way of personality tests- I come out a good mix of lion and otter. I like to lead and I like to laugh.
Mr. Steady is a golden retriever.
So our first few years of marriage were interesting to say the least.
I came from a family that thought of arguing and debating as a recreational activity. Mr. Steady came from a family where there could be a huge pink elephant in the living room but nobody was going to talk about it—in fact, they’d go our of their way to not talk about it.
Now, with the hindsight of 16 years of marriage… our first few years could have been much more wonderful… much sweeter if I had known the power of my place.
At the time, I was too busy trying to take my husband’s place…
Bet you can’t imagine how that worked out for us???
It wasn’t awful but it wasn’t paradise either.
When I speak of the power of my place in my marriage, I am not speaking of being beneath my husband. Far from it.
My place was beside my husband, but for the most part, I spent the first few years trying to run and keep 3 or 4 steps ahead of him. I didn’t exactly nag him but I was persistent in always steering him around to my way of thinking and talking him into what I wanted to do or how I thought things should be handled.
For being such a smart person it took me years to truly understand what it means to stand beside my husband.
I caused us both a lot of undue pain and suffering because I didn’t think I would like lagging behind. I was too wrapped up in striving to maintain my own independence that I didn’t see how I was harming our marriage by trying to “leave my husband in the dust”.
I had the misguided thinking that if I gave an inch, I’d lose too much ground. I did not stop and truly consider the caliber of the man I married. If I would have taken the time to get a “grown-up” mindset, I would have clearly seen that the man I married would never be the type of man to misuse any trust or leadership I placed on his shoulders.
So how did I finally come around? A bible study.
A Wife After God’s Own Heart by Elizabeth George.
I was super preggers with Mr. Conductor, in the midst of finding my place where I was planted and getting my place ship-shape before the baby came…
Little did I know that God would be working with me and in me to get much more than my home ship-shape.
My heart needed a lot more work.
A LOT more.
I have always loved my husband. Period. No doubt about it.
And if asked I would never have hesitated to say that I have always respected my husband…
Except that my actions were saying otherwise.
My actions were whispering that I didn’t think he knew what he was doing, that my ideas, my ways were better even in matters that didn’t directly concern me, for the most part I didn’t consult him and barreled right ahead with what I thought was best…
And I was making us both unsatisfied.
I don’t say making us unhappy because we were quite happy but we both felt for a long time that we were missing out on something spectacular.
Turns out we were---
We were missing the power of our place.
God called my husband to be the head of our home and He equally called me to be my husband’s helpmeet…
For years I thought that what I was doing was being his helpmeet.
Turns out I was mostly railroading the man.
It was a good thing this bible study started out slow and built up to those tougher areas or I would have never made it through. I would have ditched it from the get-go. Instead, Mrs. George brought me into wonderful epiphanies, giving sound and practical advice. Plus I had the pure joy of being in the study with a few wonderful women that were going through the same growing pains as I was. We encouraged each other and prayed for each other and held each other accountable throughout the study.
That study transformed me.
Not only did my husband notice, but my parents and siblings noticed.
I learned that in serving my husband I was showing him how much I love and respect him. I learned that the more I stepped back and allowed him to lead, the more he stepped forward and lead.
And it turns out that his ideas are often better than mine.
Our home life changed… more calm and peaceful.
More playful and fun.
More joyful.
To compound the goodness even more, unbelievable as I always thought it could be… Mr. Steady and I fell deeper and deeper in love.
I hadn’t thought that possible.
I thought wrong.
Boy, have I never been so glad to be so wrong!
Learning that my place is along side my husband…
And sometimes behind him as he takes things head-on for our family, has brought me enormous relief and indescribable joy.
It is incredible how I feel now that I have found my proper place in my family.
It has been six years since I did that Elizabeth George study…
Six glorious, incredible, stupendious years of growing, glowing and loving.
And guess what I’m doing now…
I’m doing the study again. Our women’s bible study group at church just started the study. I grabbed my book off the shelf…
I’m pretty sure I don’t know all there is to know
And perhaps, I’ll find spots that need fixing, places where I’ve backslid…
Improvements waiting to be made.
I’m all for it.

1 comment:

  1. Have you ever read Created To Be His Helpmeet by Debi Pearl? I've read it 5x now. I'm due for another reading!




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