Sunday, July 29, 2007

married for one month, part 1

Anon. asked:
Just wondering... but as another self-described "independent woman," I find myself wanting to know which parts of the engaged/married experience (so far) have been the most trying for a woman who had been used to making her own decisions in every area without having to submit to another human being in each of them. I think it will be very difficult for me to adjust to that, given that I've been living on my own since 1999. Have you experienced frustration or fear or similar feelings along the way? Has it been harder or easier than you expected to live in Biblical "coupledom"? Or is it, frankly, too soon to tell?

Christine responds:
A month or so before I left the United States for Germany I was reading over my vows and was hit by this portion:
I promise, by God's grace, as He enables me to submit to you and to obey you in everything, as I do to the Lord. I recognize you as my head, even as Christ is the head of the church. In so doing I resolve to put my trust in God and not give way to fear.

The weight of this statement overwhelmed and humbled me to the point of tears. I realized then that I could not give into fear because ultimately my trust was not in Mike but in God. Mike will eventually fail me and disappoint me and I will do the same to him!

At that moment I realized that I did have fear in my life: fear that Mike would disappoint me and not live up to an unreasonably high standard. Could I place myself under him knowing this?!

But who am I? I, too, am a sinner. I, too, will disappoint. To expect more of Michael than his human limitations would be to make him god. And if I clung to him in desperation and he failed me, my world would fall apart leading to resentment and then bitterness. "Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned." This is what drove me to tears: this vision of the monster I could become, gripped by the sins of idolatry and bitterness, wounding others because I myself had been wounded.

It was at this moment that I knew I had to reject this idolatry and cling to God and his provisions and perfect goodness.

When Mike somehow disappoints me I am now free to joyfully show him grace and forgiveness. Instead of resenting Mike, I hope in Christ and repent of my own sinful behavior.

I am thankful that this transformation of the mind took place before our wedding. As a result, it has been an incredibly smooth transition into living together in grace and love.


Ruth said...

Great answer Christine. You are a wise woman.

mark said...

Indeed, it is for us all to hold no affection for this world, which is often held up in the form of 'expectations'.

A-Hawk said...

Herein you are describing / living out chapter 23 of "Let Me Be A Woman" by Elliot.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for that, Christine. It's something I've been wondering about too. I've been enjoying reading your "newly updated" blog now that you're more settled after your marriage. It's great to hear that you're loving Australia so much...of course...what's not to love? :^)

GloryandGrace said...

I know that the credit for all of this belongs solely to the Lord, but thank you for your candid response to such a question. I can both relate and glean much insight/encouragement from what you've written here, and it makes me want to ask you ALL of my questions upon entering marriage come January!!

Do you mind if I link this entry on my blog?

Grace and peace, sister~

ckjolly said...

sure Jenn. i will note ... i don't have all the answers but what I do know is that the new experiences of marriage are fresh in my mind. it will probably be beneficial to couple any questions of a mentor with someone who is newly experiencing what you will be going through. so ... ask away.