Archive | October, 2013

Reflections on an Egalitarian Marriage: Your Strengths Are Our Strengths

24 Oct

My husband and I had a really great conversation the other night.  For the first time in a long while, we talked about our marriage paradigm- egalitarianism. 

Just in case you’re new to the term or to this blog, I’ll go ahead and offer an explanation:

In our home, there is no leader- spiritual or otherwise.  RC and I consider each other equals in the eyes of the Lord and before one another (Gal. 3:28).  In fact, an important factor in our decision to date and marry is the fact that we are “equally yoked” in the Lord (2 Cor. 6:14).  We teach one another as the Spirit teaches us.  We bear one another’s burdens.  We pray with and for each other.  We seek to serve one another.  And we each seek to honor our spiritual gifts as well as the gifts the Holy Spirit has placed in the other (1 Cor. 12).  Furthermore, we live according to the ethics of mutual submission and mutual empowerment.  Scripture says, “Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ,” (Eph.5:21).  There are times when RC loves and serves me by submitting to me.  Sometimes I know more about a particular situation and I’m better qualified to make the decision for our family.  Similarly, there are times when RC knows more, or discussion proves him to be “right,” and I submit to him.  It’s a give and take.  Along the same lines, we believe in mutual empowerment.  Just as the three persons of the Godhead empower one another to fulfill their respective tasks (such as creating, saving and sanctifying), RC and I empower one another to fulfill our God-given roles, which are defined by our gifts and our callings, NOT our gender. 

And believe me when I tell you- our marriage is awesome.

That’s not to say that RC or I are perfect (or close), or that we have no issues in our marriage.  We have our challenges like everyone else, but there’s something else we have that gets us through the difficulties of the marriage relationship.    

Unity

“Therefore a man leaves his father and his mother and clings to his wife, and they become one flesh.” Genesis 2:24

I’ve heard it said that the wife is the heart and the husband is the head, but if that’s the case, what happens to the wife’s mind and the husband’s heart?  Are they discarded?  Are they expendable?  Is a woman’s mind useless?  Is a man’s heart less true?  No.  For there to be true unity in a marriage, it’s got to be all of him and all of her.  In marriage, two halves do not equal a whole.  Rather, two whole people equal a whole marriage.  That’s how God designed it. 

In the context of our pillow-talk conversation on egalitarian marriage, my husband said to me, “These men who are being taught they have to be the leaders in everything end up feeling threatened by strong women.  You’re a strong woman, but I’m not threatened by having a strong wife.  I see your strengths as our strengths, and I’m thankful for them.  But I can only do that because absolute male-headship is no longer part of my paradigm.”

And that right there sums up what I love most about egalitarian marriage.  I get to be the woman God has made me to be, use the gifts he’s given me, and honor the calling he’s placed on my life.  AND I get to enjoy the gifts God has given my husband, and support him as he honors the calling God has placed on his life.  His strengths and my strengths are our strengths, in equal measure.  He doesn’t feel pressure to be better than me in every spiritual sense (or non-spiritual for that matter).  And I don’t have to tread softly, ignoring God’s call for the sake of my husband’s ego.  I get to enjoy the man God has made him to be.  And RC gets to enjoy the woman God has made me to be. 

No competition.  No power struggles. 

Just RC & Kate, joining in the divine dance of the Father, Son and Spirit.  Mutually.  Equally. 

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