Monday, March 5, 2012

Marriage {#1: Set Him Free}

I have been thinking a lot about how there seems to be a lack of the older generation investing in the younger generation when it comes to discipling and training.  I am still praying for someone to come along and pour truth into me, but since it isn't happening, I wonder if the blessings of my Godly Mom and Mother-in-law are sufficient.  (They are probably more than sufficient...what a blessing they both are!)

That said, I was talking with my friend Anna about mentoring others.  She and I woefully are in agreement...we are quickly becoming that older generation.  We can choose to mentor the younger women that God puts on our path.  We laugh, well, more like shudder, to think that we might have something to offer, but then we sit back and see all that God has taught us in the past decade and realize that God doesn't teach so that we can hoard.  So, with God's grace, I think we are both on journeys of being teachers.  gulp.

Titus chapter 2 tells us that the older women are to teach what is good and train the younger women to love their husbands and their children.  That word train is "sophronizo" in Greek and means to "give instruction in wise behavior and good judgment."

So, with the Spirit's help, I will occasionally post some things that I have learned along the way.  Almost 14 years of marriage is nothing compared to my great-grandparents' whopping 76, but I can still share what God has taught thus far.

Well, how about this for number one:  you've got to set that man of yours free!

I married at the ripe old age of 21.  I held Eric in such high esteem while dating that I put him on a 20 foot pedestal.  I thought we were going to conquer the world together, or at least save millions for Jesus's name.  My dreams for us were so lofty that I was pretty certain that Eric might even be used to turn our government around in some sort of high political office.  Maybe I was just a tad bit naive.

Eric was the spiritual leader in our home, but I wanted that leadership to look exactly like what I had envisioned.  For me, the epitome of a Godly man was one who would hold his wife's hand in bed at night and pray together.  Much to my dismay, he would fall asleep as soon as his head hit the pillow.  Sometimes, I would ask him to pray, and he would gladly oblige, but then I got inwardly angry because he wasn't taking the initiative in doing it himself.

I was drugged on birth control pills and extremely hormonal and emotional.  I would lay there and start to cry, thinking that just maybe my (not so quiet) sniffles might jar him from his slumber so that he could rescue me from my dismay.  OK, so God made him a sound sleeper.  I would start to cry a little louder, thinking for sure that he just might be deaf.

At this point, when Eric didn't even budge, I would march myself from our bed to our kitchen, about 5 steps total, plunk myself down by the fridge, and stare at the moon.  I would start to sob uncontrollably, thinking for sure that now was my moment, he would come now.

He never once came.

Here is the first thing I want to tell the younger generation of women when it comes to marriage:  you have got to yank the pedestal out from under that man of yours.  He doesn't need to be high up on some other level because he is human and you are bound to set yourself up for disappointment.  There is no room for grace when your expectations are so high that he can't even go to sleep without you entering into an emotional tizzy.

Your man will be the spiritual leader of your home.  God wired him for it.  But, it is going to look like what God and your husband want it to look like.  In our first year of marriage, Eric would wake up on Wednesdays at the crack of dawn to drive down to Little Rock to hear Robert Lewis speak on Biblical manhood.

I couldn't even see that God was training Eric in leadership because I was in such a snot faced tizzy about what Eric wasn't doing.

I want you to write down all of your expectations of your husband.  Write them down.  Then, turn the list over to the One who created him.  We aren't the masters of those men; God is.  We don't call the shots and we can't expect them to change if we are holding them in the captivity of our unreal demands.  Set him free, sweet thing.  Set him free.


Anonymous said...

What a great lesson to learn so early in your marriage. Great word to young women. Such a special gift to your husband. What a blessing you are! Thank you Jerry and Debbie for preparing such a young sweet daughter for our son.
I'm not at all surprized that God is calling you to minister to the younger set of women. You definitely have a message they need to hear.
You are blessed and loved.

Kelli said...

Love the message but...even more... I LOVE the picture. Awesome. :)