Today is Sunday and it has been good. I woke up this morning to my youngest crawling into bed with Trevor and I. Resplendent in her candy cane pajamas and wet diaper, she snuggled down between us and started our morning with the most beautiful words in her vocabulary...."I love you." Shortly thereafter, I found myself all alone on the deck with a steaming cup of fresh coffee. In my mind's eye the day spread out in front of me like the vast expanse of sky over West Texas. It seemed open and endless at that time of the morning when the only sound I could hear was the cheerful chirping of birds in the woods behind the house.
We made it to church on time and I enjoyed reconnecting with my friends in Sunday School as we brought our concerns and requests to each other for prayer. The lesson was short since we spent so much time taking prayer requests, but fulfilling nonetheless. We were studying Abram and Sarai's decision to have a child through her maidservant Hagar, instead of waiting on the Lord to provide a child. As Ali taught the lesson, it was brought to the forefront of my mind that we have amazing power over our husbands. Even a man who is a strong spiritual leader and chooses a godly path more often than not can be easily led astray by a suggestion put out there by his wife. It might be a small thing, or it might not. It might be unintentional, or it might not. I realized that to put all the responsibility of spiritual leadership on my husband's shoulders was not really fair. If I am aware that he is sinning or if I encourage that sinful behavior then I am culpable as well. I am commanded biblically to be a helpmate to my spouse and that includes helping him be a strong leader in every way that I can. If I am enabling his sin or even causing it, I am not in line with what God has in store for me or my marriage.
So, I need to guard my tongue a little more often and be sure that my words and actions don't cause my husband to stumble. He has enough weight on his shoulders without adding to the load.
Then there was the morning worship service. The sermon was about the commandment to not commit adultery, but it turned into a sermon on the freedom and joy of sex within a marriage. We read passages from Song of Solomon and from the New Testament. I thought that it tied in neatly with the SS lesson because if we take our marriages to be the covenant relationship that God intended and we truly love and honor our spouse in all areas, then we enjoy true intimacy and closeness that marriage can bring. My favorite verse from Song of Solomon is 6:3 "I am my beloved’s, and my beloved is mine." Completely. Giving myself heart and soul to Trevor does not imprison me, it frees me to love fully. Part of that love is always being available to him to satisfy his needs. Now there was a lot of snickering and joking between friends after the service was over, but the basic truth should really hit home for all of us. If I satisfy his needs on all levels...physical and emotional.....it frees him to be the spiritual leader and provider for our family. Likewise, if he attends to all of my needs it makes it easier for me to be submissive to him and to help and support him.
There are some of you out there reading this blog thinking that I am caught in a time warp and obviously have not heard of woman's lib. My faith gives me guidelines and boundaries for what makes a healthy and happy marriage. Being submissive to Trevor does not make me a slave to him. Being submissive to my husband is a no brainer because I can trust that even if I don't agree with a decision he has made for us, I know that he only has our best interest at heart. This does not mean that I am not allowed to question him or voice concerns about an issue (just ask him about that one!). And often a different point of view will change his outlook on a situation, and that is where the lessons tie together for me. I only have to suggest something to him, gently point him in another direction and that will be all it takes to change his mind sometimes. I have a huge responsibility to temper my comments with biblical truth and direction in order to not mislead him be it intentional or not.
Then I had an entire afternoon with my enchanting friend Kellye as we shopped and chatting for a few hours We spend a lot of time during the week "talking" through Messenger, and it's always nice to spend some time face to face. So during our time together, I had a little thrill of anticipation because we were meeting up with our small group for the first time in several weeks for a new study. I had really been missing this fellowship and was looking forward to time together with my friends.
Chris brought our books to start reading (Don't Waste Your Life by John Piper). Although I let everyone know that my own personal hell is being read aloud to, read aloud we did......the whole first chapter! I'm a teacher's pet so I had actually read the first 2 chapters before we met, but it was good to read it again, even if it was out loud. I am really motivated and excited about this new book and I can't wait to discuss it the next time we meet.
So now I am sitting in my comfy chair with the computer in my lap as I finish up my day with a Coke Zero and the prospect of a little reading before bed. Thank you Lord, for ministers and teachers who remind me of my purpose as a Christian wife and mother. I need to do a little more encouraging and a little less nagging and tearing down. Thank you for giving me the tools for a beautiful and fulfilling marriage.....now I just have to use them.