Tag Archives: unity

The Problem I Had With My Marriage

  

One of my favourite parts of A level sociology was learning of the changing attitudes of women from the 60’s to present day and the affect this had on every aspect of society. With a movement that promoted equality of opportunity, women started to believe there was a career after childbearing and slowly began to see themselves in roles previously reserved for their male counterparts. Before you knew it women were running countries (Margaret Thatcher) running unions (Angela Merkel) and setting world records (Dame Kelly Holmes). You look at a world in which women’s aspirations are not curbed by their gender, well at least not to the extent that existed in the time of our grandmothers and mothers, and you can’t deny that there have been huge change. What hasn’t changed is the representation of women in the Bible and the roles that God’s word promotes we adopt.

The bible states some brow-raising statements that feminists would shun and many Christians struggle to find a modern day interpretation that fits into their understanding of equality between genders.

To list but a few…

‘Women submit to your husbands as you submit to God’
‘A man is the head of his wife’
‘Women are bound to their husbands as long as he lives’

So what is a women to do? You’re Christian and want your marriage to exemplify the teachings of the Bible, but have been brought up believing that women can do just what men can(and sometimes better). How are we supposed to look at our husbands like our bosses and still love them?

Going to marriage counselling caused the inner feminist in me to explode and I had to revisit what I understood God’s overall message to be and the kind of wife I wanted to be. Here are the two conclusions I came to…

Submission doesn’t mean slavery

In God telling us women to submit, he isn’t sentencing us to a life slavery. God is letting us know whilst all opinions are important, when push comes to shove, someone has to have the deciding vote. I know that has made every mild feminist squirm.

Why does that vote have to lay with the husband? 

Why not a mutual vote?

Why ? 

Why? 

Why?!

I want to give you an answer palatable with modern day feminism but the truth of the matter is that, that is the way God intended it to be. And besides, a good leader never assumes their own opinion to be superior to that of others, marrying a man that understands this should mean in essence a mutual vote or a vote that takes into consideration both opinions.

Men have an unequally difficult responsibility 

We read scriptures on submission and fail to consider the mother of all tasks that husbands have been given:

‘Husbands love your wife as Christ loves the church’

Reading that scripture made every seemingly sexist statement click and quietened my inner frustrations. Husbands have to love their wives unconditionally, following the example that Christ sets. God is trying to use marriage as a microcosm of his relationship with us his children. If anyone has had even the shortest of flings with Christ, you will know that we as God’s children have definitely not pulled the short straw, despite the seemingly unbalanced nature of the relationship we have with God which means we live a life not according to our own desires but God’s.

When I think of my own relationship with God, the infrequent effort I put into it, the times I’ve neglected him completely and when I’ve kept committing the same sins because I knew God would forgive me, I can’t believe that God would ever want a relationship with me, let alone tell my husband to stick it out. Loving someone unconditionally is a mammoth task that husbands are burdened with.

So to all my ladies reading

God isn’t subjecting you to a marriage of inequality. 

Marriage is a sacrifice, that women and men have to keep making

If you’re going to have to submit, it doesn’t make sense to marry someone that isn’t submitted to your God- (this deserves a whole other blog post which will land soon)

God loves you unconditionally and doesn’t view you as a second class citizen 

The word husband cannot be exchanged for all men- in the workplace, in your dreams and ambitions, in your friendships, God is your only master

Would love to hear any thoughts you have about gender equality in the Bible
Love you all lots and lots,

Dani xxxxxx

7 Things Being Married Has Taught Me

 

1. Letting yourself go is not a wise move

I took a lot of pride in my appearance when I was single – partly because you feel attractive when you look attractive, and you feel good when you look good. When my pay check came in, I’d make sure that my hair and nails were on fleek, I worked out religiously because I was trying to keep this body tight. A few months after getting married, looking good (for my husband) was not one of my priorities. I’d make an effort when I went out, of course, because the world deserved to see me at my best; my husband saw me first thing in the morning so I felt he wouldn’t mind what I looked like, right? Wrong.

Men like pretty things and they like their women looking good too.

2. Perfection is a myth 
Real life is not a fairy tale and no marriage is perfect. Marriage is a lot of work and romance takes effort. It’s really easy to take your spouse for granted because you are always with them. Simple things like “I love you” can go unsaid for days because… well, you married them, didn’t you? Oh, obviously you love them.

Eventually the burden of perfection begins to take it’s toll: the focus is no longer about ensuring that your marriage mirrors the love and commitment between Christ and his bride (the Church), instead the marriage becomes centre stage, where acts of love and service become a performance. Being consumed with your marriage, your home and your spouse being perfect only robs you of the blessings and joy which can be found in the contentment and gratitude of today.

3. Sex is not like it is in the movies

– In other words, Hollywood stays selling us dreams!
Check in your expectations at the door. Like every good thing in life, sex takes time to perfect. No one is an expert, even if you’ve had multiple sexual partners in the past. The bond of love and level of intimacy that takes place between a man and his wife during their sexual union is light years away from what Hollywood would have us believe. It’s easy to feel immense pressure to perform well in the bedroom and incredibly defeated if you don’t.

If there’s one thing I’ve learnt in this area, it’s that great sex comes with paying attention to your spouse and communicating effectively with them.

4. Your spouse is not God
So you’ve gotten your man, you’ve fallen in love, he’s put a ring on your finger so now you’ve stopped praying and your quiet time is virtually non-existent. You now bow down and worship at the altar of your husband, and God is still fiercely jealous for you.

Eventually you find that your husband makes a terrible God; he can’t complete you, not in the way God can.

5. One size does not fit all 
When I got married everyone, and their mama, had an idea concerning the way we were to run our home. Some people told me that because I was the wife, it was my duty to cook and clean; some told me that my first year married would be the hardest year, others even went as far to tell me what my husband would be like.

Your marriage is unique to you and finding a fit that works for you is very important. How your parents ran their home might not work for you. How your girlfriend treats her husband might not work for yours. The longer you stay married the more you understand just how your spouse wants to be loved and served by you and the better you get at loving and serving.

6. There is no place to hide 
I honestly believe that one of the key ingredients that every marriage needs is transparency. If you’re not ready to be completely open and vulnerable about who you are, flaws and all, do not rush into marriage. Marriage has a way of exposing your insecurities, your fears and your heart. Despite this, it’s comforting to know that your spouse will be there to love, support and pray with you regardless.

7.Love never fails. 
1 Corinthians 13 v 4-7 is the go-to scripture on LOVE – that four letter word that is thrown around so much that has almost lost it’s meaning. Before getting married, I thought I understood what it meant to love deeply and passionately. Once I got married, it became clear that I had completely misunderstood the essence of true, biblical love. This has been my biggest lesson and one which I continue to learn. Everyday, by the help of the Holy Spirit, I resolve to love as best as I can. I strive to be more patient and kinder; to put my husband first, forgive him quickly and occasionally bite my tongue when the words I wish to express are best left in my mind.

Love ,

Grace Labeodan