All right. I seriously need to just have a little sit down and spend some time with St. Paul and scripture in general. Because that whole nit picking scripture thing I hate is apparently something I do myself. I take the exact same verses that a lot of people twist and use out of context to justify things I think are bad and just use them to get aggravated and defensive. Because the whole of Instructions for Christian Household in Ephesians 5 includes not only instructions for the wife and husband individually but it starts with “Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.” First and foremost, Paul is establishing that a man and his wife are one and should work as a team. The rest of the instructions seem to stem from this one sentence. And I, in all of my obnoxiously confused and wonderful faith, overlooked that entirely.
Now, I shall sit here and ponder why precisely I am so preoccupied with Christian marriage right now. I think it’s because gender roles are very involved in the issue of women in ministry. I also think it’s because I believe it’s important to know what I absolutely need from a relationship. And it’s a subject I’ve dismissed of late because I haven’t wanted to think through it.
Because it’s hard stuff. It’s hard for me to read “Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord.” Because I don’t stop and realize that there is so much responsibility placed on the man, too. Never mind the fact that this just and only is an issue of marriage and not one of gender relations in general. And, darn it, I shouldn’t be marrying a man whose lead I can’t follow (I’m talking lead and follow in dance terms, not cattle terms, here). And, I sure hope a man doesn’t marry me if he can’t hold up his end of the promise regarding loving and caring for me. Moreover, neither one of us should enter into a promise where we aren’t totally agreeing that we’re submitting to each other and becoming one person and staying that way whenever we possibly can manage it. And that, as a good friend recently reminded me, is not something to take lightly. On either end. When I find a man who I trust enough with being so completely vulnerable that I will verbally affirm that I promise to obey him, I will know that I’ve found a pretty phenomenal guy. When I find a guy who I’m attracted to, is intelligent, will support me in my calling, and will promise to love me as he loves himself. I will be one lucky lady.
Until then… Heck, until a guy even expresses any interest in being in a relationship with me period. I am very content in my singleness. I am in love with being a woman and a sister in Christ. And I adore following the leads in dance. I adore getting to know the men in my life and understanding that they have an entirely different way of thinking and it’s pretty fantastic.
And there’s so much more to this. I want to have an idea of what a good solid Christian marriage looks like before I even think about making that promise. Because my idea of what’s good and right and solid tends to be easily changed in the middle of really liking someone if I don’t have an idea beforehand.