Wednesday, January 29, 2014

A Knight and His Maiden

Welcome back to the book club! We are reading through the book Women Living Well by Courtney Joseph.
Chapter 6 The Time Warp Wife As a wife you were created to be the helper. That Knight in Shining Armor you live with? Yep. You were created to help him. Created to help and called to respect and follow, as well.
To some women that sounds like the dark ages and even seems repressive. But it’s right there in scripture and when we live God’s way, it’s anything but repressive. It’s actually freeing and fulfilling. To live the role you were created for.
This helping, respecting and following (aka submitting- didn’t want to scare you!) are not what many picture. It is not barefoot, pregnant and in the kitchen. It is not being a servant and staying silent.  It’s actually more like you and your Knight are on the same team, you have the supporting role and when one wins, you both win.
Much too often instead of trusting God that His way is right and embracing this role, we attempt to take the lead rather than follow. We tend to take charge rather than submit. We dis his opinions and dismiss his wishes. We tend to expect him to help us (“I’ve had a long day!) rather than looking for ways to help him (“He’s a big boy, he can take care of himself!”).  We must remind ourselves often, he is not your helper, you are his helper.
Your Knight is not the same as anyone else’s. His Maiden is not the same as anyone else’s either. Therefore, there is no list to define for us exactly what being a helper requires. Watch your Knight. What things does he need? What does he like? What puts that cherry on top of the sundae of his life? What can you do to make his life better? What can you do to make his day great?
One of my favorite passages in this chapter is this: “Remember, your husband got on one knee and proposed because he liked how you made him feel. Most likely, you made him feel like a good man, able to conquer the world with you at his side. Does he still feel that way?”
Almost sounds fairytale sappy, huh? But we miss it. We miss the fact that this relationship we call marriage is meant to be a special bond. A blessing in our lives. We get caught up in household chores (or fighting over them), kids, and busyness of life and we forget to actually stop and care for the one that means the most.
Embrace the role of helper. Tune out the voices in society that tell you otherwise. God’s way is true and right. Go love on that Knight.
Chapter 7 Marriage In The Age Of Media The topic of protecting your marriage is one of my passions. I can’t tell you how many nights of sleep I have lost after hearing of a marriage breaking up. It tears me up inside. Its so sad. And so preventable.
Satan loves to break marriages apart. He loves to take marriages down from wedded bliss to mere existing under the same roof. No one is immune to this and I can’t express how important it is to protect your marriage. The arrows come flying from so many different directions. Your biggest line of defense is your mind and heart.
That’s where media comes in. Media is everywhere. It used to be only on special occasions or at special times, but now it is intricately laced into our lives. It’s not that media is bad, it is just one more tool Satan uses to turn our hearts away. And since media is a constant presence in our lives, we are wise if we arm ourselves.
Chapter 7 discusses many different aspects of media, but the one that has always been the biggest struggle for me is the discontentment it can create.  The Grass Is Greener Syndrome. You know what I mean. You’re walking along and then you see it. That lush grass. So green. So soft on your feet. It smells so fresh. This is what you’ve always wanted, what you’ve dreamed of. Not the dry, brown, crunchy stuff in your own yard. Your heart whines just a bit. Why, oh why, can’t I have that!
And so you pull up a chair. And grab a glass of iced tea. And you sit and gaze a while. And wish. And covet. And grow more discontent. Meanwhile, back at the ranch, your own yard is dying of thirst, getting even browner, if that was possible. Wondering why you don’t come home and water it. Trim it. Make it pretty. Sit by it and gaze on its green lushness.
But by this point, you don’t even care about your own lawn. In fact, you’ve grown irritated with it. Why can’t it be more like this lawn? How did I end up here, anyway? I deserve better, don’t I?
It’s so easy to see what someone else has, to envy the life they live. It’s easy to compare your marriage to someone else’s and feel that you come out on the short end.  But what if you used your energy to  water your own yard. What if you took the time to fertilize it? And invested in landscaping? Soon you would be enjoying that iced tea in your own yard and content with what you have.
Your marriage is just the same. It can become dry, brown and crunchy. Without effort put in, your marriage will seem stale and old. But what if you breathed some fresh life into it? What if you decided today to do something every day to build it up. What if you purposefully thanked God each day for something about your Knight?
It would show. Trust me. It would show in your attitude. It would show in your actions. And it would show in your contentment. Most of all, it would show to your Knight.
What keeps your heart aimed at contentment? What are ways you help your Knight? Got a plan of action, dear Maiden? I’d love to hear it.

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