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I Am That Woman

02/03/11

I Am That Woman

Permalink 08:10:00 am by cassie, Categories: Announcements [A]

Today, I'm thankful that my husband still loves me. I read my Bible and these verses from Proverbs pop out at me like Bam! In Your Face! RED ALERT: THIS IS YOU, CASS! I've got a lot of those good Christian skills down pretty effectively. I pray often, love a lot, rejoice in blessings, and find myself squelching my pride at every turn of a corner. Then I come upon those Proverbs about the wife... not Proverbs 31, I'm good with that one.. it's the other ones. The ones about the wife being a "continual dripping," the contentious wife, those are the ones I make mental note of before continuing on in my studies.

Back in Bible college, an endeavor I spent three years of my life on, the topic of "The Contentious Wife" was widely and frequently discussed by all the men in my classes as a sort of joke, as the two women in the class begrudgingly  offered conciliatory laughter as acknowledgement that yes, we heard the joke, it's hilarious, and now let's move on to more pressing doctrines. Of course, back then, none of us were wives, and a few of us were Christian Feminists, working and studying hard and talking about marriage as if it were a highly unlikely occurrence. It seemed to me that the concept of a wife whining to her husband about something was not something that I would ever come across, mostly because I was under the understanding that I'd never be married myself.

Suddenly, or so it seemed, I was one independent half of a Two Independent Member Marriage, which is a nice way of saying that both parties are stubborn, each in their own way. Most choices have been easy for me to go along with. Mark has this quiet way about deciding things that makes it seem like anything I might worry about, any deciding factors real or imagined, have already been hashed out in his brain. The big stuff is always a bit easier than those little things that sometimes crop up. It's during those times when those little situations occur when I'm opening my mouth and saying all these things that I'm feeling my mouth move and suddenly my brain is flagging me down and yelling, "You are the contentious wife! Shut up! You're dripping! Continually!" But still I don't stop. Everything tumbles out. Likewise, I will be in the quiet of my thoughts, thinking through a million things, getting myself more and more worked up over something when suddenly, the peace of God comes over me and  the argument with Mark in my head (that hasn't even yet materialized in spoken form) starts to diffuse. I feel awash in peace, all is well, and I'm praying, Thank You! I don't even have to argue this out! I don't have to have this argument because it's only about me. Just in that moment, Mark turns to ask what's bothering me and my resolve is gone. Once again, I'm listening to the one thing I don't want to hear in that moment - my own annoying, needy voice.

In all these eight or so years that I've known him, since before I first saw him walking through the airport gates towards me, the only thing I can ever recall Mark ever asking me to change was my decision, at the time, not to date him and to stay single. I have never heard him ask anything else of me with such earnestness. He doesn't ask me to do anything better or act in a different way. He just listens and encourages, sits back and lets me do my everyday thing. I ask things of him all the time, tell him I have this need or that, expect him to be a superman on top of three hours of commute time and ten hours a day of work, listen to myself occasionally becoming the joke propagated by the overzealous wife-hunting bachelors of my Bible college days. I'm a work in progress.

In these moments, horrifically listening to my own voice saying things I know don't encourage, don't build up, don't strengthen my husband, I'm thankful for the Bible for the everyday reminders, even when I don't always make note of them with seriousness at the time I read them. I'm thankful for the forgiveness afforded by Christ's blood and Mark's gracious love to me. Mostly, I'm thankful for a husband who asked me to be his wife with such conviction and knowledge of my flaws and who makes it a point to never, ever make me feel like he regrets the decision.

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I like to multi-task: wife, writer, nurse, Christian, ne'er do well. I do all with equal gusto.

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