The Dutch Rush

they're Dutch...and life's a rush

Category: Marriage (page 2 of 2)

love and marriage

It’s tricky to not be very old, but sort of bossy, and to be talking/reading/thinking about marriage incessantly.

Sometimes I worry that I take the whole marriage thing a little too seriously.  But I am relieved when I read the Bible.  God takes it seriously too.

Michael has been preaching through Ephesians.  We are nearly to the marriage part in chapter 5.  It mentions that marriage gives us a picture of Christ and the Church.  If we’re honest, some marriages would turn people to Atheism in a heartbeat.

The good news is that through our very own marriages, we could share the gospel.  We can make an earthly relationship so glorious, that its comparison is spiritual.  It is meant to attract people to Christ!  That’s why the Bible teaches wives how to treat their husbands so they don’t malign the Word.  It’s kind of a big deal.

The implications are huge.  I like to do things that matter, and I love to multitask. It was great news to think that I could kill two birds with one marriage stone, so to speak.

Naturally, there is the benefit of being ridiculously happy together.  In addition, we show those around us (kids, friends, family, church, neighbors, random other people who stop by to say hi, chickens, the mailman, the UPS driver ) that people who are in love with each other are happy!  That we have something worth having.  It encourages others to work with what they have too.  It could make the gospel attractive to people who otherwise might not be interested.

I recently read a painful book.  About marriage.  Why do I read painful books?

The author beautifully defined love and marriage, but it cut deeply when she also showed that some of us have marriage without the love.

When that happens, hearts are broken.  The gospel is maligned.  Our children may want nothing to do with “biblical” marriage.  We hold the power to ruin both love and the gospel for the people around us.  Alternately, we could make it attractive and beautiful.  It would be wise to think carefully about who we are as wives.  Not out of fear, but out of love for our husbands.  It’s about the love.

We promised before God to love, honor, and cherish.  Then we get that ring on our finger, and some of us get a little lazy.  We refuse to be accountable to God or anyone else for the ways we slack off on the small things that make life beautiful.

It doesn’t have to be this way.  We can repent and run the other way.

We’re all they’ve got…or Keepers of the sexy.

This post isn’t going to make me any friends.  But for better or worse this is what I was thinking about today.

I was looking at our wedding pictures this week.  Wow.  We looked…young and clueless. And happy.

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Sometimes my thoughts hit me in the face…

Michael, and many other men have put ALL their eggs in one basket.

Ours.  OUR BASKET!!! ( I am yelling, but you can’t tell, so I have to put caps)

They gave us their trust.  We vowed to be the ONE woman to make them happy, to fulfill their desires, and to be there for them against all odds.  Are we keeping our vows? They’ve given us a trust.  Are we trustworthy?  Are we failing them?

This is the sexy they’ve sworn to love and honor for THE REST OF THEIR LIFE.  Are we being good keepers of the sexy?

Sure, I know that’s not the ONLY thing we have to think about. (Well…maybe.)  We are the companion they have chosen for…FOREVER.  Are we good companions?  Are we still the one who understands them the best?  This is the sense of humor they married and hoped we would never lose.  Do we still have that sense of humor?  Or did we toss it out when things got tough?

You know what I’m talking about.  These are scary questions.  But we have to ask ourselves this from time to time.  Are we keeping our promises?  If yes, then carry on.  If no, then lets get to work!

Sometimes I am ashamed.  I think about the way we went into marriage with those rose colored glasses.  And while I know we love each other much more deeply than when we started this journey, I also know that I’ve let him down.  Sometimes I forget my promise to him.  I forget that I’m IT for him.  He promised me that he would love me and stay true to me.  Am I making it easy for him to keep his promise?

Sometimes we have some strange thinking about this. Here are just a few thoughts.  This is obviously not an exhaustive list…

1. No time.

That’s ridiculous. and we all know it. I make time for facebook, reading, running, and staring at the wall.  The least I could do is to make the same amount of time for the Man I swore to love, honor, and cherish.

2. He doesn’t pay attention to me, why should I give him any time? 

Nope, it doesn’t work that way. Don’t even let yourself go there.  It’s an ugly road.  Hard to get over that line of thinking.  Maybe he gave up awhile ago. Or maybe he didn’t. Maybe he’s over there giving you attention and you’re ignoring him.  Maybe we need to enter their world, find out what they need, and quit making it all about us.  I happen to know I get happy when I start thinking about what he needs instead of what I need.  It’s my magic get happy formula.  (Don’t tell him. This might backfire.)

3. He’s changed.

So have you. So have I. But we promised to love each other NO MATTER WHAT.

Sometimes it’s tempting to think that God wants me to do other, more important things with my time.  But then I read the Bible.

Ending rant now.

Submitting to my husband, and other insanity.

I just already know that you guys are all gonna love this post. In fact, you’ll be begging for more, like “Mary, we just can’t get enough of this topic, can you please ramble on some more?”.

Heh. Heh.

At breakfast the other morning, we were all talking together about:

Things that we believe…that aren’t popular…but we still believe them because God has spoken.

I think that allowing a man to lead his family falls into this category. It’s also referred to as obeying my husband or submission.

Perfect. I think I can hear the groaning.

Some days I’ll be trying to figure out what God wants me to be doing, so I’ll read a good book, hear a message, or talk to a friend and think “THAT’S what God wants me to do!”

But then I read the Bible.

It says we are to listen to our husbands as to the Lord, because that is the person God has given us to lead and guide our family.

Maybe you think God gave you a bad leader for your family.

Sadly, I am seeing that some women make poor choices. I am not saying this to be hurtful and mean. I’m realizing it is a reality for a lot of women…I talk with some of those women who have, and are experiencing pain that I can never understand. So because I can’t understand the pain, I am trying to just be with them in it. It is heartbreaking.

Please don’t take this to be uncaring or trite.

I think the reality is that we are loved by a God who gave us free choice. And we are all sinners who will struggle with making choices. He knew that some women would be with unbelievers. He gave those women some special instruction. It sounds familiar: “be nice and quiet and submissive…”

Great. It seems to be a theme for all of us.

I’ll just say right now if there are any women reading this who are Christians, and not married yet: DON’T DATE ANYONE YOU COULD NOT RESPECT ENOUGH TO SUBMIT TO FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE!!!

Well, that really narrowed it down, didn’t it?

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There are days that I want to put my fingers in my ears and try to ignore what God says He wants me to do, because it is hard. It sounds like this:

“Wives submit to your husbands as to the Lord…now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in EVERYTHING.”

Ugh.

I remembered something in the Bible that says if we are knowingly living in sin, God will not listen to our prayers.

So then, does not submitting to my husband count as sin?

I have spent weeks wrestling with whether or not to post this. But these things have encouraged me to go ahead.

1. My own experience of what happens when I am obeying God in this way.

2. Talking with other women who struggle with this.

It’s a real thing. I would guess if we are honest, we all struggle with this, maybe some more than others.

It says in James, “do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves, do what it says”.

In Proverbs, it says “to obey is better than sacrifice”.

Some days, remembering that one line can stop me dead in my tracks.

As women, we can be amazing at sacrifice. Serving in the church, caring for others, usually in such valuable ways…and all the while we can be so sneaky!

Good little church women, disobeying God by ignoring what our husbands have asked of us!

Talk about deceiving ourselves! I think we’ve actually convinced ourselves that it is God’s will for us to sacrifice in ways that can ignore our husbands. We can tend to make them feel like a loud, oversize nuisance! 

Society is constantly telling us that our husbands can take care of themselves.

Maybe we bought into that idea. I mean, think about what we do for our family, church and community in the name of sacrifice.

(Don’t get me wrong, all of those things are critically important when put in the right priority.)

But we sometimes treat our husbands like an afterthought whose needs and leadership tend to be ignored if other things seem more pressing. So we end up “sacrificing” instead of obeying, all in the name of good things.

We deceive ourselves into thinking that we are doing God’s will, thinking that certainly our husbands are “big boys” and can take care of themselves.

WHERE IN SCRIPTURE DOES IT SAY THIS?

It actually says the opposite. It says that this is so important, that if we do not submit to our husbands, it can malign the Word of God.

This is serious! When we fail in this, we are maligning the word of God!

We were MADE specifically to help them! It says so in 1 Corinthians. Yes, it says that. It says “The woman was made for the man, not the man for the woman”.

If you are shaking your head at me thinking, “she’s crazy, I have no idea what she’s talking about!” just go back to what you were doing! It’s okay, my kids sometimes call me “Crazy Mary” which reminds me of a backwoods man with a shaggy beard. Like “Crazy Joe or Crazy Sam…”. Ahem. Anyway…

If you’re still here and you’re ready to think about this, well, lets think! And then act!

Aren’t we a little nuts sometimes? We have this gift of the Holy Spirit to guide us through these things. But we shove Him aside and say, “oh no, I’ll handle this myself. I’m really good at submitting to my husband”.

Think about our husbands, who were given the job of leading our families. It is an assignment from God. And THEY will have to give an account to the God of the universe for how they handled their family. Why do we make it so difficult for them to lead us?

In the end, we can sit self-righteously off to the side and point the finger at him and say “it’s all his fault…he wouldn’t lead me!”

FOR SHAME. It is our shame as women that we make this job of theirs so difficult.

Come on, we KNOW we’re difficult, right? Or is it just me? Am I the only one who thinks I’m difficult?

Why are we still like Eve? Why do we think we know better than God and our husbands?

I’ll give you the secret to make your husband upset in zero to sixty. Treat him like you know better than he does. Set yourself up as the authority in any or every situation. As in, completely ignore Ephesians 5:22-24. It will make you totally miserable, and of course, him too.

On the other hand, if that’s not really what you’re hoping for…

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Well…me either.

So next, we’ll talk about WHY someone would want to live like this. Because that’s what we’re all wondering, isn’t it? What’s in it for me? I know. It’s messed up and backwards.

And true.

7.17.13

100_2469As we can all agree, a lot happens between your first anniversary and your 14th anniversary.

For us it’s been like Toad’s Wild Ride.

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There have been children and moves and school and more than a few fights.

Love covers a multitude of sins though. That is true.

I remember being so amazed that Michael would marry me. I was so grateful.

Then life happened.

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But amid all the teasing, arguing, nose pinching, toe pulling, mission trips, youth “retreats”, pranks, moves, 84,000 meals to cook, socks to fold, ironing, et blankety cetera…I still cannot BELIEVE Michael would marry me. I am SO GRATEFUL to that man.

He is still amazing. He ages well, I think. He’s my hero. He has carefully, thoughtfully, and graciously led our family to where we are today. And today is good.

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He’s quite romantic. I won’t bore you with all the details. But I will say, romance has evolved for us.

Early on romance meant gifts, Pepsi, flowers, chocolate, letting me go to the book store without babies, etc.

Now I’m a bit more practical (don’t anyone freak out, he still does those things too), but maybe, just maybe I’m getting easier to please in my old age. I told someone a few days ago that Michael gave me the most romantic gift ever (this could be a slight overstatement, that’s kind of normal for me)…he helped me navigate the DMV website the night before my birthday so my license wouldn’t expire. Apparently, the DMV takes renewal a little more seriously than I do, and would have required a visit from me on my birthday, of all days. Can you see why this man is the hero? Anybody?

He also does terribly romantic things like getting up to let the stupid cat in when she’s clawing on our screen after we’ve all gone to bed. Or, going to the garage for me when it’s too dark for me to go myself…or going to the store when his ridiculous wife lets us run out of milk. (Running out of anything is my nemesis. Grrr, that bugs me so bad, and then it’s like extra punishment because we have to pay extra usually since it’s not on sale. GAHHHHH.) Or, like last night…are you ready? He did the dishes. He does this regularly now, when I’m tired or sick or what have you. Whoa. Not only did he do dishes, he sent me to bed and asked if he could get me anything. Swoon. No, SWOON.

So much to be grateful for. I have been so blessed. I’m not sure why, but God has been so gracious to me. It’s pretty humbling.

Happy Anniversary Michael.

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