I don't write much about marriage. As a single woman, marriage was my passion. Coming from a family of divorce, I did as much reading as I could to learn about this holy covenant and looked forward to the day I could expound on my book knowledge with lived experience.
Well, then I got married.
Only having been a bride for 5 and 1/2 years now, I'm not sure that I'm even qualified to share my thoughts. Nor have I felt free to do so, learning how personal marriage issues truly are. Ultimately, though, the Lord showed me that I haven't been writing about wedded bliss because I actually have not thought myself to be a good wife.
My negative self perception of my wifeliness has happened in response to the multitude of reading that I did as a single woman, and feeling as though I could not measure up. My marriage didn't seem to look like the books, and to be frank, the complimentarian resources I had studied were not working for me.
Praise God for a good Pastor.
Our premarital counseling worked through a book called Love Life for Every Married Couple, by Dr. Ed. Wheat, Md. And now, just now, nearly 6 years later, I get it.
You see, Dr. Wheat, a medical doctor turned family counselor and sex therapist, writes of marriage through the whole scripture, through the whole of the human heart. On the scope of Christian marriage writing, his perspective swings much more egalitarian. He holds this perspective with a close reading of scripture, bringing headship and submission back to the Garden, where the first command was to cleave to each other.
As this was the first command for marriage, the greatest testimony we can give the world through our covenant love is one of great intimacy.
Defined roles and formulas aren't necessarily intimacy building. While they can be helpful, they can also block the communication paths essential for a relationship to grow. Intimacy has needs greater than what comes in the form a wife silently praying, hoping God changes parts of her marriage that are causing her pain. This is a biblical admonishment, and one to follow, but sometimes intimacy comes through sharing a difficult word, always motivated by love. Intimacy requires honesty, and honesty can be quite messy at times. I'll take a little mess here and there, if it is producing something real and life long, because that's what I want.... with the man I pledged my life to on December 13, 2008.
Perhaps you'll see more marriage posts from me in the future. I hope so.