Friday, August 23, 2013

Solid Rocks

Our 22nd anniversary has just passed.
We ate Chinese and took a walk together along an Atlantic beach. 
We talked about the future, our aging bodies and collected colorful beach stones from the sand.
It was short and refreshing, like a brief sigh in summer air.

Of the many things I could say, both complementary or comical, there is always one thing that I appreciate about my husband. No. Not appreciate. Desperately need, oxygen and water. On days like today, which come around often, I battle the mind. When emotions take over my thinking like a tsunami and I can't seem to find peace about anything...when music soothes but can't anchor...when chocolate pleases but can't nourish...when work distracts but can't rescue...and when friends hug but can't commune...Guy breathes for both of us. To have someone whom you trust that much...

Thankfulness isn't quite enough.
 Those stones from the beach aren't formed quickly and easily...
But they are precious.

Monday, August 5, 2013

My Body Building Dream

A legal fiction. This is what CS Lewis called the idea that "all men are created equal". Useful and necessary, but not by any means always desirable. He says that marriage is one place that it does not belong at all. Elisabeth Elliot says that we, men and women, were created different in order that we might become one flesh. I quote these two because I have teachers. No doubt, I have my own ideas and opinions, but my teachers help me refine, grow and solidify them. These two teachers loved the Word of God and followed Him, as I am trying to do. We together, flawed, fallen and forgiven, share and love the truth of God. They help give words to my notions.

Equality is a strange word to me, needing more. First of all a frame of reference. When I was in university, I was roughly chastised by my female classmates for my lack of zeal toward the feminist movement there. I had to carefully explain that I cared very much for them and their need to be valued and healed from chauvinistic blows, but they needed to understand my history. The shaping of my gender opinions came from gentle and loving hands. My father and my husband both have such high standards of love for me as a woman and a person, that oppression never had a chance to grow. The desire to "put men in their place" never entered my heart. My men are not like that. It never became my soap box. 
My parents are celebrating their anniversary today. Their marriage is a good reflection of Jesus and His bride. It tells the truth about the Gospel. Although imperfect, it follows God's design and it's fruit is that of the Spirit. I watched it up close for 18 years. Both of them submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ, loved and respected they way they aught to and enjoyed the "grace of life" as God calls marriage. It is still going strong. 

If I did have a soap box, it would be this. Embrace the gender differences. Fulfill your God given role. Delight in your design and stop fighting against an impenetrable wall...or glass ceiling. It's not real, this idea of gender equality. Yes, our value is the same. We are both equally loved by God and equally able to receive His salvation and life protection, but we are no where near equality by definition of nature and ability. It's like asking a mother which child she loves best. A ridiculous question. They are all so different and yet we value them the same. God made them for different purposes, therefore they have different roles to fulfill. For centuries, the genders have stood looking at one another perplexed and amused. We will always be from Venus and men from Mars...and that's intentional. 

Until I submit to Jesus and His plan for my life, this gender design thing will never be accepted. There may be things I love to do that only a man can compete in mens' Professional Body Building...all cut and greasy...but chances are pretty slim. My husband may wonder and marvel at the experience of conceiving and carrying a living soul within himself, but if he just keeps believing in himself and never gives up...just maybe...

Accepting truth is freedom. Letting go of  Sinatra's "I Did it My Way"...I really dislike that song...frees me to have true success and happiness. As Elisabeth Elliot titles one of her books, "Let Me Be a Woman", I plead the same. I plead with the Church...let women do that which God so creatively designed us to do. If we don't, the fabric of family and society will unravel. We need to fulfill our role to build up the body of Christ...not our own. What is it that we are called to do? Pick up your Bible and read...unbiased...with no agenda...all of it in unity...led by the Spirit.