Friday, March 3, 2017

The Other Adventist Marriage

When I first met Jim, I thought he was a bit awkward, with an outdated haircut (he claims it was still in style) and open manners.  He thought I was ditsy, jumping out of a still-moving car to (loudly) greet a friend.  We worked together that summer, in a youth program selling books door to door.  I was impressed, as I got to know him, with his depth and moral courage.  He claims he liked my legs--oh, and my kindness.

I thought I knew, at 18, what I believed about Christian marriage.  I believed that I believed in some level of male leadership in the home, that there would be some earth-shaking decisions someday that couldn't be made without a tie-breaking vote.  I believed it, not because it made any sense to me, but because someone told me that's what the Bible texts meant.

At our wedding, four years later, the word "obey" did not appear in our vows.  We got married, and despite what we thought we believed, we went about marriage like a partnership.  Like every other functional marriage we knew, we discussed, we negotiated, and we compromised.  And we never came across that proverbial choice that needed one person to overrule the other.

We did, however, meet a couple who practiced true headship.  They are good people, but I was bewildered the day we ate dinner at their house.  The conversation wandered into a topic on which they must have disagreed.  The wife began to say something, and the husband interrupted. She started to protest, and he gave her a look, and she stopped abruptly and looked down.  Somehow, the awkward conversation recovered.  I realized then that it was that, and not the tie-breaker-vote model that was true male headship.  They were a loving couple, raising healthy children.  But they weren't a marriage that mine was ever going to resemble.

By the time we'd been married 15 years, I was ready to admit I don't believe in any form of fundamental and eternal male headship.  It was when the debate on women's ordination pushed me to deal with the texts, in defense of equality in the church.  I've come to the conclusion that neither Peter nor Paul, talking to persecuted first-century Christians in a hostile world where men and women were legally unequal, were not giving an eternal principle of male superiority.  Rather, the fact that they tell women to keep to their socially appointed roles, in the same manner as they advise slaves, probably means these women realized what the gospel meant for their freedom.  Now that I live in a modern world, in a country that claims we are all "created equal," I don't feel obligated to give some sort of homage to first-century caste systems. 

I married a man who wanted a partner to tackle life with, not a dependent to lead and manage.  And I feel bad for that other man--the one who has to carry the burden of ruling his whole household, all alone. When the crying children, and the massive bills, and the unmanageable schedules hit, how lonely it must be not to share the task with someone who can shoulder the responsibility as a equal. 

And I understand how attractive the thought is of a strong male leader. Jim is a strong leader. But I am his partner, not his follower, and I don't have to be subordinate to make him strong. Because I know now what I believe about Christian marriage.

I believe that two people can work together without one needing to be in charge of the other. I believe that the greatest intimacy, the truest one-ness, happens between people who meet as equals. And I believe a bond of love, and not of rank, best displays the image of God.

This is the other Adventist marriage. Because at the end of the day, I also believe in him—the guy with less hair than the day we met, but the same moral courage. I trust him. And he trusts me. Long live marriage.




23 comments:

  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Beautifully said! Thank you so much for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
  3. This is really beautiful and exquisitely said!

    PS Sorry for all the deletes, I have not used blogger for a long time and everything was not updated and weird.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I've been on. Both sides of this. My personality us authoritarian, but I am a fierce libertarian by belief. While I like to lead, I despise despotism. Ironically I married a fiercely independent woman. We are at our best when respecting each other's sovereignty and at our worst when trying to control the other. I hate being manipulated, and that is often what women can resort to when an outright takeover isn't possible.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Amen, Amen, and Amen!!! Well said.

    ReplyDelete
  6. At our house, my husband's and mine, we are partners. We talk things over and generally agree, but if we disagree, we drop it and come back to it some other time after we have had time to think it over. We consider it rude to keep harping on something or to insist on one's own way when the other person does not agree. Often we will say, "Well, you know more about this situation, e.g. what's wrong with and what should be done about the car, than I do. I think we should go with what you think should happen with it." We also say things like, "This is something that is really important to you. I, personally, don't really care, so let's do what you would like to do." Neither of us are fond of people who "like to lead" or are authoritarian. The Bible says, "Can two walk together except they be agreed?" We agree that we both enjoy giving in to each other.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Wow i can say this is another awesome article not surprisingly of this blog.Bookmarked this website.. agencia matrimonial

    ReplyDelete
  8. The examples of an autobiography available online can show you how much interesting this piece of writing can be. If you think that nothing is interesting about your life, then you are wrong. You never know what aspect of your life can inspire others and can change their lives. This piece of writing is the one, which you will enjoy the most while composing as it is you who will be the hero of the story

    ReplyDelete
  9. To get the best Assignment Help, connect with the reliable and trustworthy service provider. If you need to explore your knowledge how these writing services work and impact of these in your academic performance, visit greatassignmenthelp
    Assignment Help Online
    Online Assignment Help
    Assignment Help Online Services
    Assignment Helper
    Assignment Assistance
    Assignment Help Experts
    Online Assignment Help Services

    ReplyDelete
  10. A very high level post with a knowledgeable information .thanks you for giving me such a nice information. If you need any college level Assignment Help at reliable quality with better work. Kindly visit livewebtutors website we providing best assignment help services in Australia, USA, UK, UAE, and Canada etc.
    Read more now :- Finance Assignment Help

    ReplyDelete
  11. Great blog! It gives the ideas how to enjoy Nepal tour. It is very helpful for booking Nepal tour packages. Thanks for sharing this blog.
    Nepal Tour Packages
    Nepal Tour Package
    Nepal Tourism Packages
    Nepal Tourist Packages
    Nepal Tour
    Most Beautiful Places In The World

    ReplyDelete
  12. Nice Blog, I have get enough information from your blog and I appreciate your way of writing.
    Thanks for everything and dial our Outlook support phone number for technical support and information of Outlook.
    How do I contact Microsoft tech support?”
    How do I contact Microsoft Outlook support
    Is there a phone number for Outlook support
    Outlook support
    Outlook support Phone Number
    Outlook support Number
    How Do I Call Outlook Support

    ReplyDelete
  13. Understand the importance of Assignment Help services before placing your order. Talk to our academic writer for more clarification on assignment writing services. Time to deal with your assignment stress using professional services.
    Assignment Help Online
    Best Assignment Help
    Assignment Helper
    Assignment Help In USA
    Online Assignment Help
    Assignment Help Experts
    Online Assignment Help Services

    ReplyDelete
  14. I suggest everyone to choose Assignment Help Australia for getting the best guidance in their academia. The proficient experts assist as per the requirements and learning styles desired by the university.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Have you purchased Canon PIXMA MG3600? Do you want to set up Canon PIXMA MG3600 in the right technical ways? if yes, we are the right place for you. We work independently for canon printer users to provide live support services round the clock. If you’re looking for Canon PIXMA MG3600, our printer technicians have good knowledge all the features and functions of Canon MG3600 Setup. Our technical professionals have technical skills and extensive experience of setting up Canon PIXMA MG3600 in the right technical ways. For any confusion, our helpline number is open round the clock for you.
    How do I contact Canon support?
    Is there a phone number for Canon support?

    ReplyDelete
  16. Everything should be based on fact. The arrangement of fact and information is not an easy task sometimes it becomes a very tough task to do in such cases student can go through online Solidworks Assignment Help , and these services are very reliable, and they can provide information about any topic related to the academics. If you need any college level Assignment Help at reliable quality with better work. Kindly visit our website.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Heel erg bedankt voor het delen van deze prachtige blog. Ik moet zeggen dat je een ongelooflijke schrijver bent, ik hou van de manier waarop je de dingen beschrijft. Blijf delen. Ondersteuning krijgen klik hier

    Garmin Express
    garmin navigatie
    garmin update
    windows update werkt niet
    garmin navigatie update
    www.garmin.com/express
    garmin navigatie auto
    garmin express werkt niet

    ReplyDelete
  18. Thank you for this wonderful information looking forward for more. We are Providing the best quality assignment help. You will find out online my Assignment Help service on firstassignmenthelp. And these services are very reliable, and they can provide information about any topic related to the academics. If you need any college level Assignment Help at reliable quality with better work. Kindly visit our website firstassignmenthelp.

    ReplyDelete