Today's post is part 2 from my real life friend Jean Strating. Jean and her husband Jack have been married for 41 years and have three grown children. Jean is not a blogger, but she does have a passion for studying and sharing God's word. Here are some more of her thoughts on marriage. She picks up right where she left off yesterday, so you may want to read that post before diving into this one.
If Momma Ain’t Happy Nobody’s Happy - Part 2:
So you think you are a team, a partnership, one in Christ, but there are pitfalls that can destroy a family. Those pitfalls can be caused by extended families, different opinions on how to do anything from raising children to how to put away the dishes, choosing a vocation, or even choosing what church to attend.
Talking out problems and coming to a decision, or a compromise, takes work but well worth the effort. Most of the time my husband and I have been able to talk out issues that come up as equal partners, but there have been a very few times in 41 years of marriage has he had to exercise his role as head of our home when decision making came to an impasse. There have also been a few times when he has come to my defense to protect me from people that he knew would hurt me. Thankfully, that has not happened very often but sadly it was with family (in-law) issues. Just as a man is expected to leave his family and cleave to his wife so should a woman cleave to her husband.
As our marriage grew so did we. Not always at the same rate, but always growing in our relationship with each other and with God. We also encourage and protect each other. Not long ago a family member was lashing out at me on the phone when my husband took the phone and said from then on they go through him instead of hurting me. Parent can be some of the worst manipulators, especially when there are children in a family. Maybe there is a good reason for missing Christmas one year but you are afraid if you don’t go there will be unpleasant consequences. What do you do? Cave in or stand up for your decision?
Sometimes with decisions there are hard choices. When a couple marries how do they decide what church to go to or where to live? What if she likes a church because her friends are there and they have lots of activities, but he is looking for a church where there are people that will teach and disciple them? Does he keep mamma happy and stay where she is comfortable? What if your in-laws are always critical of you? Do you avoid hurting their feelings and act like nothing is wrong around them or ask them to please stop. Then there is how many kids do we have; as many as God gives you or maybe none at all? Be sure there will be lots of people that will give you their opinions, wanted or not.
If your marriage is centered in Christ and you are partners as well as individuals that seek what is best for each other, rather than yourself, the issue of headship and being subject to your husband should rarely come up. When it does, ask yourself if your husband is lovingly protecting you or are you being selfish and not wanting to give in? Marriage doesn’t operate well in a vacuum either. Titus 2 tells us how we should act and how older men and women should mentor, and be an example to, younger men and women. Seek wisdom and advice from others and ask them to pray for you.