Honesty

Honesty has a beautiful and refreshing simplicity about it.  No ulterior motives.  No hidden meanings.  An absence of hypocrisy, duplicity, political games, and verbal superficiality.  As honesty and real integrity characterize our lives, there will be no need to manipulate others.

– Charles Swindoll

“…there will be no need to manipulate others.”

Is that why we don’t speak honestly? And as I think about that…yes. It’s because I want to influence or control or sway…or manipulate the situation in some way. Hmm. But I have also experienced the beauty of honesty. It makes us vulnerable. But it also deepens and crumbles walls in relationships. In an age where people have hundreds of online connections but very few close or intimate friends, deep and barrier-less relationships are gold. Especially in marriage. Especially. In. Marriage.

So, let’s work on being more honest.
(Side note: Being honest doesn’t mean being brutal either…tact and timing can go a long way.)

Your kids are supposed to leave you…

…your spouse isn’t.

What’s more common though are parents putting all the attention and energy and focus and devotion on the kids to the neglect of their spouse. And usually there are also some unresolved issues buried in there that made taking care of the kids an excuse to not deal with the issues.

As I caught up with various friends and the topic of family comes up, I realized I’ve heard and witnessed this in the parents of my friends and even in family. It wasn’t apparent before. Maybe because we were young, self absorbed, looking forward to our own shiny, promising future. Even if they fought we probably just rolled out eyes, plug in the ear buds, or close the door in our room. But now that we’ve left the nest or see that the nest is nearly empty, we can see that Mom and Dad seem like strangers to each other. The only conversation, actually I can’t even call it that…the only interaction is in verbal reminders of pick up/drop off schedules or instructions for some task. Or passive criticism. Or outright complaints.

Not exactly the model of marriage we kids get excited about when we consider marriage for ourselves. My parents have been through rough valleys but thankfully they’ve worked it out. They can argue like an old married couple while making a pot of soup for me but they hold hands when they walk, or even when they drive together. And thirty-six years of marriage later, they still giggle. That makes me excited about marriage.

Maybe what’s also helped my generation identify common marriage issues is the plethora of resources available to help couples identify and work through destructive habits or reactions in their relationship. As well as how build each other up or how to show love & appreciation in ways your spouse will receive as meaningful.

I read this somewhere, and I paraphrase, that if you focus on being a great parent, you’re likely a bad spouse. Being a bad spouse means your marriage suffers, which means your children suffer. But focusing on being a good spouse first will build a good marriage. A good marriage enables you to be a good parent.

This idea has stuck in my head such that I tell Nessness “Daddy’s my first priority” even if it’s only to remind myself.

Anyone else relate or have another perspective?

Submission 2

So I had a mini rant about the world’s misunderstanding of what Biblical submission means….and then I read Lainey Gossip’s post on the same topic.

Sigh.

Ms PR is right…the world will probably just never understand what Biblical submission means and will think we’re crazy. Lainey questions whether the wife will have to ask permission from her husband for everything she does to make sure he’s ok with it first. Seriously? That’s NOT what Biblical submission is about. It’s not about the wife leaving her brain at the altar when she says “I do”. Remember, Biblical submission is for husbands AND wives…and all believers. It’s built on a relationship of mutual love, care and respect for each other.

I imagine in Candace’s case, she and her husband would’ve already talked about what they are comfortable with her doing in her acting career. With Biblical submission, she would respect what they had discussed. Maybe the line is no nudity…or no kissing. So if there’s nudity or kissing in the script then right away Candace already knows what to do. She doesn’t have to ask further. And it’s not just one way….I imagine they would’ve also talked about what she’s comfortable with her husband doing. Maybe the boundary is not having any one-on-one meetings with someone of the opposite gender. So he would respect and submit to her back. This mutual submission would build trust and respect in their relationship. They wouldn’t have reason to second guess/suspect/doubt one another. How refreshing! Makes sense right? Not too crazy right?

But it’s an interesting question Lainey asks about whether Candace would still submit though she’s likely the main breadwinner. Or whether her husband would still lead if he’s not the breadwinner. My question is what does money have to do with it? Or why should money have anything to do with who leads? But that is a crazy concept in this world where money talks and money is power.

I asked Skywalker for his perspective…if he made less money than me, would he find it difficult to lead our marriage and household? He replied, “No. But, if I wasn’t working at all…and had no good reason to not be working (i.e. wasn’t on disability of some sort)…then I would feel like a non-contributor. And a capable but non-contributing man should probably not be leading…since he isn’t even leading himself.” I married a wise man. =)

And maybe, as Ms PR suggests, all this talk is just to promote Candace’s new book.

At the end of the day, respectful submission and loving sacrifice (from both husband and wife) is what makes a marriage solid. Not sure why people wouldn’t want that. *shrug*

Submission

HuffPost published this recently on what Candace Cameron Bure said regarding “submission”. I think she described it well enough but Huffpost only presented half the picture. Or maybe only a third of the picture.

The Google definition of “submission” is the action or fact of accepting or yielding to a superior force or to the will or authority of another person. Nearly all the images related to submission was some kind of submission hold in wrestling…or some images of women in bondage. That is NOT biblical submission.

When the Bible instructs wives to submit to the husband, it’s not because he is superior to his wife. Or because the wife is weaker-willed, though physically and generally speaking, she is weaker. God made husbands and wives (men and women) to be equal in worth and value. Submission is yielding your will, voluntarily, by choice, to another individual out of respect and a cooperative spirit. And God intends that Love be a part of that relationship…because without it, submission could be an abusive thing.

To look at the quoted passage more completely…check out Ephesians 5:21-33 …there are three parts:

  1. Submit to one another. Not just wives to husbands. Or husbands to wives….but everyone in Christ should seek to cooperate with one another and not selfishly insist on or exert your own will and way. There is no hierarchy here. Christ is the only head.
  2. Wives submit to your husbands. This is out of a difference in ROLE in a household. Ms PR put it this way, “The husband is the head and the wife is the heart….but you need both to survive.” Just as the President and Vice President play out their roles in cabinet but have equal worth and value….or how a Captain and First Mate have their roles. One isn’t weaker than the other. They’re filling in the role that makes the household or cabinet or ship run in the most efficient and effective way.
  3. Husbands love your wives. Specifically, love them as Christ loved the Church and gave himself up for her. More specifically, Christ DIED for the Church to give her life. The instructions continue, “make her holy, cleansing her…and present her without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless…husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies.” And I thought submitting was hard!

It’s much easier to do the wife part and submit don’t you think?? Honestly, when a husband seeks to care for and love his wife the way God intended for him to, it’s so easy to submit to him. And just because he struggles to do his part has husband doesn’t mean the wife can ignore what God has asked her to do. As God holds the head of the household accountable for how he has led his family, I would be held accountable as his wife, for whether I have done my best in my role. We are a team and need to work together, ultimately submitting to each other as unto Christ. If either of us tries to do it all, we exhaust ourselves and just strain the marriage.

So, let’s not freak out about submitting.
It’s part of a bigger picture where everyone wins as we do our parts.

Abstinence is unrealistic and old fashioned

Great read and encouragement.
If sex is the highest physical form of intimacy you can have with another…then sex outside the bounds of the highest form of commitment to another (i.e. marriage) is the biggest lie we tell each other and ourselves. And how can any true intimacy build on lies?

The Matt Walsh Blog

From my inbox, an email from a high school student named Jeremy:

“Dear Matt, first I want to say I really like your blog. One of my teachers actually mentioned it in class once after you wrote something (she didn’t mention it in a good way lol) and I went and looked you up so I’ve been following you ever since. I know you get so much email so I don’t expect you to see this but in case you do I wanted to get your opinion about something. You write a lot about relationships and everything so I’m wondering if you think abstinence should be encouraged in school?

Reason I’m asking is because we are doing our sex ed lessons in health class now and the topic has come up. Yesterday my health teacher was talking about safe sex and someone mentioned abstinence and she said it wasn’t realistic…

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