10 January 2012

If he dies for me, then what do I do?

Ephesians 5:25 (NLV) says: "Husbands, love your wives. You must love the as Christ loved the church. He gave His life for it." This is a huge decree, part of a verse that is analyzed by both sexes. For God to say, "Husbands, love your wives...gave his life for it," is a huge burden that is put on husbands. When I was entering into marriage I was full of criticism, "Well he doesn't die for me in this way." "He doesn't die for me in that way." Of course soon after these thoughts came, God in his wisdom put me right in my place. I realized that everyday Josh dies for me, just by dealing with my idiosyncrasies. He dies for me by going to work for me, instead he could be working less of a job allowing more time for things he enjoys. He dies for me, by loving me in the moments when I'm screaming at him in frustration. He died for me by giving up so much of his free time to his schooling. He dies for me by trying to "handle" my family for me. If I sit and count the ways that he doesn't die for me, shouldn't he be allowed to count the ways that I don't sacrifice for him. My God doesn't sit and count the ways that I have dishonored him, the ways that I could improve.
One of my questions now, that I've had this brain wave, is what am I supposed to do? He dies for me but what do I do? The bible uses words like "honor, serve, care, obey..." Well what in the world do those mean? I mean I know how to show that to other people, to obey my parents when I was younger was to get up the moment they told me to do something, but he doesn't really ask me to do anything. Serve him, what food? I do that! Woohoo! Honor, well I've always associated honor with military like it's an honor. But how in the world am I supposed to honor, serve, care and obey someone who leaves his socks everywhere, who can't hang up his jacket, who doesn't change over the toilet paper roll when it's empty?!?!
I've joined a study using the book Created to Be His Help Meet (you can find a link for it on the Resources page) where we review how to be the perfect helper to your husband. In the first chapter it spoke of how no man responds or changes from his wives criticism. This was a revelation for me, for the entirety of my relationship with Joshua; I insisted that my "helpful advice" was for his benefit. I convinced myself that I was the strong one in the relationship, the only one with my head on straight. I still struggle to say that he is a good intentioned man, but I'm learning. Though neither of us is perfect, if God had intended me to lead the family, well he would have made me a man. I'm convinced that my place is not to handle the workings of our family. Yes, maybe I handle the household, but the decisions and hard things fall to him.
So what do I do? Well I take his death and share the good parts of it. A simple example of this is: He dies for our family (the two of us) by going to work. The money he earns, and money that I earn, isn't to be squandered on selfish goods. I'm not supposed to drop boatloads of money on make-up, clothes, craft supplies or any other selfish gift, but I'm to make his money work the best for us. This is an extremely hard concept for A LOT of women. God set us up to be emotional, to be able to handle the children screaming at each other and try to figure out who is lying and who's feelings have been hurt the most. We're geared that when we ask our children how their day went and we get "fine" back that maybe it wasn't just fine. So spending money can sometimes be hazardous. John really could use this skateboard and what joy he would get from it. Sally would love this coloring set, what pretty pictures would light up our home. The skateboard will break eventually and the crayons will be used. This isn't to say John and Sally can't have them but a new shinny skateboard in unnecessary if there is one at home, or crayons already in the bucket at home. Clothes are necessary but do we need a shirt in EVERY color. Craft supplies make for some very pretty things but do we need yarn in every color or scrapbooking supplies for every event?
I am nowhere near perfect, nowhere near good enough to begin to deserve my Joshua, but I try and a struggle on. He deserves a good diligent wife who will love him to the ends of the earth, but who will also sing his praises to the heavens (respect).

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