Just some thoughts on marriage

There’s a lot of talk in Christian circles about how to have a successful marriage. Well, I don’t have eloquent answers to such a complicated issue, but I’ve just been thinking about how things have worked out for me in my marriage. I’ll tell you that there is NO formula for such an organic relationship, and it really just takes going through things to learn lessons on how to love an individual. Sometimes it’s a fun and exciting experience, and sometimes it’s painful.

A dear friend of mine gave me some very important counsel that was extremely important for me to remember. My husband is not my God. Jesus is and I should never idolize my husband. That seems simple enough, but some more husband-centered, “visionary”-leadership teachings out there especially in Christian circles seem to place this kind of emphasis in marriage that can be unhelpful.

A scripture verse that I was mulling over this morning is Genesis 2:24,

“Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.”

I also remembered that in the New Testament believers in Christ are referred to as Jesus’ Body, which comprises a spiritual unity between God and His people for whom He died and arose from the grave. In 1 Corinthians 12:16 we have the analogy of the relationship between the members of Christ’s Body,

“And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I am not of the body,” is it therefore not of the body?”

So, in my humble understanding in just a couple of passages, I can see that even in my marriage, not one is more important or “visionary” than the other. The “one flesh” aspect of marriage makes me really think of how that is lived out in one’s relationship to their spouse.

My husband and I have been married for over 22 years and have learned a lot of valuable things. We’re still learning how to love each other better. One thing that’s helped us is to value each other as equals, while recognizing each other’s God-given abilities to create a relationship that glorifies Jesus. That’s something no teacher, or author, or preacher can ever discover or advise about such intimate relationships. That’s one of the lessons I’ve learned in my own marriage.

This morning my husband and I prayed for our kids and each other and I kissed him goodbye, as he left to join some friends to play airsoft. In his fatigues and safety glasses I looked at him and thought how good it is that we’re together in unity. As one flesh. I just hope his flesh doesn’t get too beat up during the airsoft war today. 🙂

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10 Responses to “Just some thoughts on marriage”

  1. mary Says:

    Hi, Kathleen, again. Saw your comment on Taunya’s blog. I am not even a homeschooler nor did I know anything about patriarchy till I got on the computer about a year ago. I have stopped going to several sites, including the one you mentioned, because I can’t take it any more. I was being swayed more and more to their way of thinking, second-guessing every decision I ever made, wanting these people’s approval due to being in a very weakened state that year, and starting to be judgmental and condemning toward others. My husband never forbade me to look at these blogs, but he and my son were concerned for me because they could see how depressed I was becomming. This is a true cult out there and it is sucking many homeschoolers into it. I’m so sorry that you were hurt by it. I’m glad I didn’t get sucked into it any more. I finally felt pushed over the edge with the college-is-evil, apprentice-your-children stuff. I went to college, and value my education, and my son is in college — now what am I supossed to do with him? I don’t notice any of the patriarchy people offering any help to their followers. Only condemnation. Nice talking to you again.

  2. mary Says:

    Me, Mary again (Civilla). Yes, the condemnation was awful. I could hardly get to sleep wondering if maybe we should not have limited our family. I was pretty well convinced BC was evil by going to these blogs, but I am to old to do anything about it. Anybody can get suckered in by these people, especially if you are going through a trial (I was) and wondering if you had ever made a right decision, which sometimes happens to people — that’s life. I’m ok now. Feel so much relief since I stopped going to these blogs. I’m glad I made the decisions I made, including limiting my family. That is our freedom in Christ. But, they really had me going, and feeling so condemned. They use scripture and make it seem so right. I’m glad I made the decisions I did in my life. I had the life I wanted, and would go back and make the same decisions again. Thanks for listening.

  3. TulipGirl Says:

    That is beautifully said, Kate. . . I am experiencing, year by year, a little bit more of what is meant by “one flesh” and I’m thankful that the Lord has given me MY husband to by MINE. . . He is just a good fit for me. Our marriage may not “look like” others. . . but I know it reflects the Gospel, but God’s grace. . .

  4. Kathleen Says:

    Mary, Welcome back!

    And welcome to the world I had to leave (a patriarchal, full-quiver, family-business-is-the-only-biblical employment, college is not for girls mindset). It literally made me sick, as in affected my physical health to be so condemned and manipulated by these kinds of teachings that I tried to dispute to no avail. Leadership was never questioned, only to be obeyed. (!?)

    The gal with the one blog (GC) is so condemning and completely sure of her doctrines (they are doctrines of mankind, not the Lord’s commands) and the atmosphere is suffocating over there. I pray the Lord allows her a merciful transition into a more compassionate and Scriptural understanding of all those “laws” she seems (and others in the same mindset) to believe are accurate. Otherwise, these people can learn some hard lessons on how Christ has set us free from the Law and from false teachings. I know, because I have walked the legalistic, skirts only, no Christian pop music, no housework on Saturday, etc., etc., and the Lord Jesus delivered me from my filthy rags works.

    The condemnation you felt and second guessing of God’s sovereign plan in your life, as He moved you to will and to do of His good pleasure, is a sure sign that what they are teaching is not of God. If you had committed some clearly defined sin, one that Jesus Himself could point out in you, than that would be one thing. But the people of the kind of mindset (the no preventing pregnancies mindset; I’m not talking about abortion) turn to the Old Testament for much of their dictates. They forget the New Covenant in His Blood, they forget He told His followers to go into all the world and make disciples. They refer to God’s command and/or commission/blessing to Adam and Eve before the Fall, and sin. The earth was empty of humans. There is a new commission. It’s the Great Commission, and the fields are white unto harvest, so why are these “teachers of the law” so focused on procreating human flesh?

    I love children, please don’t misunderstand me. I am pro-life. I had 4 high-risk pregancies and would gladly carry my babies all over again. It is a spiritual and personal decision left to the woman/man in the marriage and God. That’s why we need to follow His Spirit and voice.

    I’m so blessed you have come to see some things that have put in bondage many in Christ’s Body, though I’m sad you had to feel condemned. There is, therefore, now NO condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus! Hallelujah! We are raised to new life in Him, and anything we “do” that pleases Him is only done by Himself, His Spirit in us. So, to God be the glory.

    You have been an encouragement to me today, Mary!

  5. Kathleen Says:

    Thanks, TulipGirl. This has been a great learning experience, understanding who I am in Christ and how that relates in my relationship to my Christian husband.

    I’m planning on doing a blog post on a passage of Scripture that gets used to place undue burden on Christian wives and mothers. Proverbs 31 is often referred to by those who would limit a woman’s gifting in the Body of Christ, though it is a lovely picture of faithfulness, love and dedication, to be sure. I wonder how many other women besides myself have compared our own efforts and domestic discipline to this woman.

  6. mary Says:

    Yes, Kathleen. The blogs really had me going, thinking they were right. The scriptures they used, plus what some olden commentaries said, really got me going, and I was openly questioning and repeating what they said and making a sort-of questioning conclusion based on what I read, remember. It was awful. All I could think was, “If we missed this, what are we doing in the ministry, teaching other people?” My husband says that the Onan thing is just a proof-text and a flimsy one. You know I never meant to hurt you with my questioning statement, and I hadn’t even remembered your anonymous comment about your baby. I felt so bad.

    Now there are people out there saying it is our fault that we were deceived or made to feel condemned. You don’t get anywhere with those people, either. They blame the victims and become abusers themselves. But, some Christians are new, or immature or weak. The Bible doesn’t condemn them (although if they deliberately stay that way, that is not good) but says we should help them. Blowing the whistle on false teachers is helping them. And even an older lady like me who is a pastor’s wife can feel very condemned when going through a very rough time, as I was. Ordinarily, I would have shaken it off. So, I’m thinking, If I can be made to feel condemned, what about other people, so I have been open about it, even if it makes me look like a jerk. All I could think is, I can’t go back and live my life over now that I found out that I have lived it all wrong!!!

    I have quit going to many blogs and feel much better. Our family situation is getting better, too.

  7. civilla Says:

    Mary (Civilla) here again. Yes, people like this patriarchy movement usually live out of the Old Testament. We really do have freedom in Christ. He can convict us of sin and lead us. We don’t need some dictator or list of rules. Yes, the bloggers are SO sure. I was vulnerable and second-guessed myself. Thanks for understanding and listening. Hope things are going ok with you.

  8. Kathleen Says:

    Mary, I left the conversation over at GC blog shortly after I read the Onan comments. That is totally proof texting and that passage has to do with the line of the Messiah, Jesus. So, the disobedience was about lineage, not birth control in general, and also for the Jewish laws. I’m sure you already knew that, though. 🙂

    Don’t worry about what happened back there. 🙂 I hope I didn’t come across too harsh to you, either, and if I did, please forgive me. I’m having to learn to be gentle, too. You should have seen what I went through [grimace] when people tried to teach me about the web of false teachings in patriocentricity before I knew all this stuff. God mercifully opened my eyes to the truth in His Word. I owe it to His Holy Spirit and to really diligent students of the Word. Truewomanhood.wordpress blog has helped me alot. So has Strivetoenter blog.

    Undermuchgrace.blogspot (Cindy) has helped me to understand much, but especially in the area of “group think” or cult-type teachings, that although they can adhere to some basic Christian doctrines and teachings, they add to the Gospel works and such. Lin (coffeetradernews) also has informative insights on her blog. They’ve all (and so many other dear, Christian women who’ve come out of spiritually abusive situations) contributed to many women’s better understanding of the Word.

    Sometime you might take a look through my links on the front page and visit some of these insightful women’s blogs, if you like.

    http://strivetoenter.com/wim/ isn’t listed yet in my sidebar, but will be soon.

    I pray Jesus’ healing hands and words of peace will comfort you as you work through the painful words spoken to you by those who do not see Him clearly — hopefully, yet. We all have to know who we are in Christ. When I got that — I was created by Him and for Him, for His glory, because He loved me, and He gave me the commission in His Word to go out and share that Good News of His life, death and resurrection with a dying and hurting world — it was the most glorious thing I’ve ever come to know.

    You know, when these people compare birth control (not abortion) or even more permanent tying tubes/whatnot to the “sin of Onan” — one deserving of death — they forget that we ALL deserve the wages of sin: death. It doesn’t matter HOW righteous they think (or we may think) they/we are, Jesus had to die for sinners. That includes them, too. All our sin put Him on the cross, because He so loved the world. He loved you, and me, and presumably, He loved them.

    We just wait for the fruit and humility for their boastful pride of life.

    I love to engage people like you (one who is listening to His voice) and hear what wonderful work He’s doing in and through you. Be encouraged, Mary!

  9. Kathleen Says:

    Oh, I almost forgot a blog. http://thatmom.wordpress.com/ is a wonderfully pastoral seasoned mom’s blog (she has adult children/grandchildren). Her insights are so warm and deep and thoughtful. She has also come through a lot of things that add to her insights that she’s able to share. It’s mostly a comforting, yet informative blog. She even posts homestyle recipes and worship videos on the weekends.

    It was just what I needed when I came out from under some heavy condemnation. She even has podcasts where she’s interviewed some of the commenters on her blogs. Anyway, I thought you might be encouraged to find there are women out there who are LIVING the Great Commission, serving their families and husbands and who have come through some of the same kinds of condemning teachings you’ve had thrown at you. They’ve been set free and are helping others to find freedom, too.

  10. Kathleen Says:

    Also, http://www.tulipgirl.com/ has exposed some of the dangerous parenting teachings out there in Christian land. I know you have older children, Mary, but it’s never too late to help out our future grandchildren, possibly! Anyway, TulipGirl’s blog (I just wanted to mention her because she’s got a neat family blog) will even give you glimpes into Russia!

    Oh, I could spend all day on the internet (grin) just getting to know all my sisters in Christ, but duties do call.

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