Weed the Heart and a Healthy Marriage Grows
I was weeding the leeks vigorously. It was quiet and I had time to unwind my thoughts about the discussions on the web regarding the Redefinition of Marriage Bill. I felt fire in my breast.
One woman commented that maybe we should invent a new word for a one woman plus one man marriage. I considered the options. “Nuclear Marriage?” “Christian Marriage?” “Biblical Marriage?” I liked “Biblical” better than “Christian”. Some of the marriages of the Christians I’d seen I didn’t want to imitate. The describing of a “Biblical marriage” were my next thoughts. One man plus one woman, no divorce or adultery, the husband always exercising servant-style leadership, laying down his life for his wife, caring for her as the weaker vessel, the wife submitting to her husband out of reverence for Christ, and counting children a blessing. As I contemplated this, a bible verse zapped into my mind like a bolt of lightning. For it is time for judgment to begin with the family of God. (1 Peter 4:17) What are you saying, Lord?!
My thoughts lead to the family of God and the marriages we show to New Zealand. Divorce, adultery, wimpy husbands, controlling wives, children not always considered a blessing. But that wasn’t my marriage! Then the word of God went deeper and showed me a particular sin within my own marriage – grumbling to my children about overlooked tasks my husband had not completed – stemming from ungratefulness, bitterness and lack of patience and maybe laziness in not attempting the jobs myself. Furthermore, I was teaching my children miserable relationship skills and tearing down my husband in front of their eyes. I purposed to confess to my husband, ask for forgiveness and suggest we attend the Marriage Enrichment Course being offered at our church. Leaving the remaining unweeded leeks, I trouped inside to where my husband was looking after the small children.
He was sweet and forgiving and we booked in for the 10 week marriage course based on the book Love and War by John and Stasi Eldridge. The course turned out to be a wonderful and helpful activity to do together. We gave ourselves permission to talk and live out ‘us’ and not just homeschooling, parenting and jobs. We opened up cans of worms and tried to listen to and love each other despite our differences. Our feelings for each other were stirred afresh. We purposed to keep being honest and take time to talk, smile, hug, encourage and love in 100 small ways.
Now we are reading and discussing another book Created to Need a Helpmeet, the new book by Mike and Debbie Pearl on marriage. It is written primarily for men. We have set aside Wednesday evening as a Date Night. (A date for us consists, at present, of talking on the sofa, undisturbed by children, while watching the two year old.)
In my busy life, I need to constantly remind myself about this life lesson. God revealed my weedy heart for which I am so grateful for. I still have much to discover in living a “Biblical Marriage” but I’m happy for this journey in learning to love.