Early in our marriage we fumbled around with figuring out our roles. I, a brand-new Christian was eager to put my wildly independent past behind and become whatever was meant by the submissive wife. We interpreted this to mean, among other things, that I would stay home and husband would go off to work.
After a while, I started noticing little things that needed repair, and so I ordered one of the Readers Digest how-to-fix-anything books. The day the book arrived, I thought I’d surprise my husband by fixing the leaky kitchen faucet.
I’m sure the instructions must have said something about turning the water off, but I either missed that part, or I assumed it meant the faucet. It took me quite awhile to figure out how to even get the thing opened, but once I discovered where the guts where hidden, I triumphantly unscrewed them.
A geyser of water burst out shooting nuts, screws, and gaskets up to the ceiling. Like the boy with his finger in the dike, I tried to stop the torrent with my hands, as I yelled out the window for the neighbors.
For a little while after that episode, we settled back into traditional you-man-with-the-hammer, I- woman-with-the-fry-pan roles, but over the years, our marriage solid, our sex roles defined, my husband became more than happy to see me don my tool apron again.
Still, it was always my husband’s career or call that we followed, even when it meant uprooting our lives and driving to a Mayan village in Guatemala and then later, a tiny town in Vermont.
I trusted God with my dreams and schemes and did my best to be good wife.
Since moving to the South a few years ago, we’ve undergone an identity crisis. Nothing turned out the way we expected. Without the job roles that used to define us, we wandered around in no-man’s land. This was especially hard for my husband, made even harder when good things started falling in place for me, but not for him.
I felt guilty about celebrating my victories. But my husband, lover of God, decided his place of humbling was where he would choose to give honor—the other part of that marital directive.Declaring this The Year of Marcia, he has intentionally looked for ways to honor me and to rejoice with me. I have to say, I’m quite pleased with his new understanding of Husbands love your wives.
It’s taken us a while to come to a place of understanding the give and take, the submit and love, the times and seasons of a marriage, but I can see it growing. We’re like a snowman in the making.