Last week we endured the Bad News of the Fall-out of the Fall in our lives and marriages – the Death Valley of the Bible! Eve assumed the role of Leading Lady and what a disaster followed her detour to the “My Way” highway.
Let’s move our Road Trip with the Girlfriends on to the happiest trail of all – the Good News of the Gospel:
“For the sin of this one man, Adam, caused death to rule over many. But even greater is God’s wonderful grace and his gift of righteousness, for all who receive it will live in triumph over sin and death through this one man, Jesus Christ.” Romans 5:17
Hooray! In Chapter 5 of The Cry of the Hidden Heart, “The Declaration of Dependence,” we celebrate how Jesus saves us when we depend on His work on the cross for salvation. As His followers, we depend on the Holy Spirit and God’s Word to live our lives for the glory of God.
So how does this glorious news impact our marriages? God created us to be dependent on Him and interdependent on one another:
“In the Lord, however, woman is not independent of man, nor is man independent of woman. For as woman came from man, so also man is born of woman. But everything comes from God.”
I Corinthians 11:11-12
In God’s perfect order, the wife is given the supporting role for her husband (who is the lead). The husband is the servant leader who protects and loves his wife. In their interdependence, both are completely dependent on God.
Here’s my dear friend, LeeAnn Gienke, to share her story of how she is learning to live this truth in her marriage. I love this photo of her with her husband in a paddleboat. It’s a perfect visual of the need for interdependence in marriage! If you’ve ever been in a paddleboat, you know that it’s only fun when both are paddling in an agreed upon direction. Let’s hear where the Lord is leading my friend:
Have you ever watched a movie that struck such a chord within you that it left an indelible impression? That happened to me years ago when I watched the 1939 film, Goodbye, Mr. Chips. A shy, young, and awkward Mr. Chipping arrives at an all-boys school to teach Latin. He chooses to be a strict disciplinarian. His students respect him, but they don’t like him. His colleagues also have a low opinion of him, making him the laughing stock of the school. However, by the end of the movie, Mr. Chipping is the stalwart, loved, and respected headmaster, leading the school through the difficult years of World War I.
What caused such a radical change? A suitable helper.
Mr. Chipping found Kathy Ellis who saw in him what no one else was able to see – his potential to become a beloved leader. They married and because of her loving influence, he grew in confidence and skill until the students and his colleagues regarded him in a completely different way. His good reputation grew until he was able to stand firmly in the much needed leadership position during a turbulent time in history.
Even though Kathy Ellis’ example struck a chord, I didn’t follow her model well. Expectations followed me into marriage. Instead of being a suitable helper, focusing on how to meet my husband’s needs, I focused on my own. I was finding myself building up a wall of independence to protect myself from the disappointment of unmet expectations.
Over time, I decided that if I had no expectations, then I’d never be disappointed. I started believing lies about my situation that clouded my understanding, built up more walls, and caused me to limit God. Each of these steps led me to a place far from God’s perfect plan for our marriage. I knew there was something more, but I didn’t know how to change.
When I first started this Hidden Heart journey, Jeremiah 6:16 spoke to me so clearly:
“This is what the Lord says: ‘Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls’.”
I was standing at the crossroads. So I asked God to show me the ancient paths, the good way. He has been faithful to answer that prayer. He reminded me of who I am—a new creation in Christ. He brought to mind my purpose as a wife—to be a suitable helper for my husband.
God showed me the first step I needed to take—to move out of my independent frame of mind and to put my trust completely in Him and to take Him at His Word. I am starting down that good way. I’m finding that although there are bad habits to break, and sometimes, hard truths to apply, I am experiencing rest for my soul and renewed joy in our marriage.
Mrs. Chipping positively influenced her husband and helped him attain a goal that alone, he would have never achieved. God’s plans for my husband are unknown to me, but I do know I play an indispensable role as his helper. As I choose, in my dependence on God, to be interdependent with my husband, our beautiful, intertwined story is unfolding.
LeeAnn is living out one of the key maxims of the Hidden Heart Ministry: “Get in your husband’s boat.” Trust that God is sovereign and has a great plan for your life and your marriage. Ask Him to show you where your fears have led to the independent mentality of a leading lady. Your husband needs you more than you know. Remember, the safest place to be is in a supporting role, because Jesus is the Bright Morning Star of His-story!