I spent many years being the dutiful subservient wife in hopes that I would see the blessings of God on our marriage, but reality ran smack dab into us both as the ‘try harder to be obedient’ dogma began tearing us apart. This is the startling truth of how living by the letter of the Law kills a relationship. This story of ours is what many authors, public speakers, and church leaders don’t want us to know. They have made a lot of money on their books, videos, and conferences with their “how to” formats of having the “biblical marriage you’ve always dreamed of”. This kinda of marriage teaching created a twisted maze that snared us in a web of deceit and we were both placed into bondage.
This ‘biblical marriage’ philosophy was a trap that imprisoned us.
We found that the patriarchy lifestyle created laziness and dependency in both sides of the marriage. It created a laziness in me as a wife, since the husband was supposed to make all the decisions, make the money, pay the bills and lead the family spiritually. I became dependent upon him. It created laziness in my husband since I did all the cooking, cleaning laundry, and obediently said ‘yes’ to everything he dictated. He became dependent on me. At any time one of us could not uphold our responsibilities the other would be left without. When we failed each other, it created anger and bitterness. We were both exhausted!
I was supposed to obey 100%! He was supposed to provide 100%! The letter of this Law was killing us. Our ship was full of wholes and water was pouring in. We couldn’t keep up and we were sinking. Neither one of us could be the perfect spouse. The economy took a dive and we had to learn to work our business together. Oh I kicked and screamed about it. It wasn’t MY responsibility to provide for the family. He kicked and screamed about it. It wasn’t his responsibility to cook dinner! That ‘biblical marriage model’ wasn’t working in our situation.
Then we discovered a valuable treasure… the marriage of grace.
Our journey out of the cell and into the wild blue yonder of marriage was not easy. We had stormy days, thundering nights, and weekends where our boat capsized! We learned quickly that teaming up together to save our ship was our only hope. In doing so we had to begin offering each other mercy in our marriage. Everyone has bad days, but if we tried harder to practice ‘biblical marriage’ then we ended up back in the prison cell. We had to work our way through it and find out what a marriage of grace looked like.
When we married, we became a partnership. In any good partnership there must be give and take, grace and mercy, uplifting and correction; but to do so without love would be destructive.
Love is our foundation.
Battling the old mind set of the patriarchy is a journey that requires a lot of grace and mercy, while knowing the love is what will keep us anchored. Storms continue to come in life. We were never promised smooth sailing in this life. If I were to go out on a sailboat, I wouldn’t want a captain that only had experience sailing on perfect days. I would want a captain who had a lot of experience saving his boat on very stormy days. This is how I would know I could trust him to take me out to sea. Our marriages do not stay docked in the harbor. We sail on the seas of life every day and we need to know how to be anchored firm and to navigate through high winds and giant waves.
When you have a captain with this kind of experience then you’ll feel much safer leaving that harbor and sailing around the world!
We knew that we needed to put our trust in our Great Captain as he launched our ship out to sea. He taught us many valuable lessons about team work, mercy, grace, and love. We’ve gone through some tragic storms together, but our Captain knew how to guide us to the Lighthouse that helped us keep our focus so we wouldn’t hit the rocks.
Life is so much more adventurous out to sea than in the harbor. You can remain tied up to the dock and become well versed in the how to’s of sailing, but until you gain the experience of a sailor, you’re still a wharfie. God didn’t gift us with faith so we could stay docked. He gave us faith so we could set sail.
This is the life of a New Fashioned Wife. Setting sail with my husband, trusting in God and learning by experience that marriage can be new fashioned. Marriage can be an equal partnership in Christ and not a patriarchy. Set sail today and experience the adventurous life of a New Fashioned Wife whose identity is in Christ.
Join me each week as we take a look into the life of a New Fashioned Woman.