Nothing is so strong as gentleness, and nothing is so gentle as true strength. - St. Francis De Sales
I have written and rewritten this blog for 3 or 4 weeks. I know that there is no greater gift in my life than my husband's leadership in our home. Thank you! My Dad told me again and again, "PJ, choose wisely, you're only choice is who you want to follow. Choose wisely."
We are studying a book -Reforming Marriage. It has caused some eyebrows to raise. Most of the ideas of male leadership in the current cultural atmosphere leaves a bad taste in the mouth. Especially, but not limited to women. D. Wilson, the author of RM, uses the latin word "dominus" in the book. The word domination, dominate, and dominion all come from this root. The use of this word had a type of "shock jock" effect on our group and caused quite a discussion.
I do not know the intention of the author in the delivery accept to say - it's jolting and jolting can be good. We are so placated onto the right road that we rarely listen with the depth needed to effect real life change. We prefer to get our ears tickled. Somehow, I think the misunderstanding that arose came from the default to our preconceived ideas rather than contemplating truth, "Let every man be a liar, and God alone true."
Pastor Wilson published vows on his blog from a wedding he just performed. Well put.
Having said that -God calls- men need to dominate their homes. Like Jesus having dominion over his church. Yes - no man is like Jesus in that one cannot be perfect as he was perfect, however, each is called to and he can strive to love his own wife more precisely as he learns her character and her bents - just as we would agree that Christ loves each person with a deliberate and personal love. Mignon McLaughlin says, "A successful marriage requires falling in love many times, always with the same person." Husbands and wives have a list that grows longer and longer of things they love about their spouses as the weeks, months and years of their union roll by.
It is politically correct to say that a man should not leader his wife. "They" say "we" should be more "enlightened" about the whole thing. Be gender equal, snubbing the ideas of sexual diversity and complimentary design. However, whether or not you believe in intellegent design or more specifically a creator God, who designated genders and roles for the fullest level of fullfillment, doesn't negate the design exists. Dominion will be characterized as good or harsh. Because one disagrees that, God who is infinite, wise and loving, sets the perimeters of this world...it will not negate the fact the design exists. For the domination order to be non-existent is not our choice, it exists and husbands will either rule harshly or abdicate which is bad or be administers of guidance for their families with loving kindness which is blessed and a picture of God's benevolence. This true strength is gentle.
I get the whole men are harsh and dominating argument. That's not God's design. People who chalk bad dominus up to God are either being willfully stupid or mislead to disaster. Remember, in Christ's show of dominus, he died for us when we were his enemies (Rom. 5:8). Godly dominion by a husband is loving, intentional and looks to, walks, jogs or runs intermintenly towards Him, who is Love, Good, and Ever and Only True. This direction is not done in perfection but persistence. Husbands and wives are fallen and need of Christ's loving grace and mercy. In a Christ centered marriage the general direction will be towards God. The husband is to lead, the wife is to follow. When this is topsy-turvy neither are happy about it. Rebellion against design never works. In our wedding letters E., you exhorted us to forgive eachother 70 x 7. In my immaturity I thought that so unromantic, I just wanted to stay in love, after almost 20 years, I know the only reason we are still in love, is that we learned to forgive. God's precepts are true. Thanks for stating Truth even when I didn't/don't want to hear it. Just a little meander- as ladies we are called to be actively submissive -D. Wilson discusses this in RM- meaning when we don't agree with our husbands we need pray for God's Spirit to bring understanding and speak truth in love. A wife isn't called to be a doormat but her husband trusted and wise cousel. In this relationship the wife has full freedom to speak her opinions, concerns and wishes. A husband looking to honor God will not run over his wife. He will act in Godly dominus.
This kind of dominion provides safety, freedom and growth. It is not opressive or harsh. She will truely experience and express ever growing beauty, like a budding garden, with life and loveliness. (Read Song of Solomon) He will carry out the Work of the Kingdom. This Lover-Leader is God's idea as is the Beloved - Helpmeet. Just to belabor the point. Submission is choice the woman makes towards her husband as she is designed to do by God - it is in no way coerced. Her job is to help him fulfill his calling. This is where she will find her truest and greatest fullfillment. A song by John Micheal Talbot, puts it this way, "Come to the night, there to empty your life, to be fulfilled with the flowers of dawn" As Christ transforms us with His love- so does a loving husband bestows loveliness on his chosen bride. Rogers and Hammerstein in the play Cinderella -, "Do you love me because I am beautiful, or am I beautiful because you love me?" As she is well loved, she becomes more and more beautiful. And he loves more and more. "Then" by Brad Paisley makes me think of this process.
Fairytales remind us that there really is good and evil, sorrow and happiness, right and wrong. We all love fairytale endings. Some say fairytales are not true. I dissagree. The Prince came from Heaven and Ressurected a Sleeping(dead) ghoul into His Radiant Beautiful Bride. He has overcome the mingons of darkeness and He along with His Bride will live and love forever in a Heavenly Place.
Small shadows of this grande theatre play out everyday in the homes of every husband and wife- it cannot be escaped. We tell a truth about the the Christ centered real fairytale or we tell a lie. We walk together through birth, death, joy, sorrow, fortune, misfortune, felicity, diaster, hope and dispare. Each season holding a gift of its own. Thank you E. Thank you for speaking more and greater truth as the weeks, months and years roll by.
"You know you're in love when you don't want to fall asleep because reality is better than your dreams."
BTW, there is something is my heart that is overwhelmed with joy and peace by this design of God.
K. - As I have told you, time and again. Choose a guy like your Dad, and you'll be just fine. If his compass is set towards Christ you'll be headed the same direction.