Monday, March 1, 2010

ME change for HIS schedule?!?!?

Welcome to Marriage Monday. This is a full week at our house, as it's our Missions Conference week, and my husband is the Pastor of Mobilization (this includes missions) at our church. Jeff will be focused on spending time with our missionaries and helping our church family know and support our partners as we enlarge our hearts for God's love for all people groups. For us this spans 9 days, but it follows many days of preparation.

There have been times in our marriage when Jeff has been under a heavy load approaching avalanche proportions, and I have considered doing things like pitching a tent in his office, posing as his counseling appointment, or sabotaging the alarm clock just to get a little time or attention from my main man (ok - my only man). I've also reacted by contemplating going back to school, starting another career, running for political office, or volunteering for the Peace Corps. If he's preoccupied, I might as well make a life for myself, right? I have limited my desperate appeals to an occasional email begging for his time. What Jeff does NOT need this week is a whiny woman waiting by the door, tapping her foot, or whizzing past him as she flies out the door to do "her own stuff." My life has to change because of HIS schedule. I will have to set aside some of "me" to make room for lifting up "him."

Have you ever experienced a time where your husband had a lot on his plate? Maybe he was taking comps for a master's degree. Maybe he had an evaluation at work. Maybe he's in finance, and it's tax season (wear a nametag - he will remember you :) ). Maybe he's a firefighter who is battling seasonal fires or in construction, taking advantage of good weather (Do NOT pretend to be in a burning building to get him to notice you!). Maybe he's a teacher and school is starting. Like it or not, his schedule impacts our life, and that leaves us with a choice: Do we go on with our own "stuff" and wish him luck, or do we change our schedule?

Before God ever called Eve a "wife," He said she was meant to be a helper. That means Adam needed and benefited from her partnership. Without saying so, it required her availability. Look at these excellent verses from Ephesians 5, comparing a wife's willingness to devote herself to her husband's passion just like the Church devotes herself to Christ's passions. In turn, a husband loves his wife compared to how Christ cares for His Church. Each cares for the other. I hear mutual "understanding" when I read these verses, as the passion of One becomes the passions of the two who have become One.

Eph. 5:23-25

For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her

I was blessed to have a godly lady in my life named Becky who said something I remember often, especially during busy days like these: "When Jeff is busy, Julie is busy." In other words, when Jeff's load is heavy, I need to adjust so I am freer to be the helper he needs. If I'm consumed with my own plans and schedules, I won't be able to offer him the support and time and attention and energy and help that he needs from me, his partner.

It can be easy to give in to the idea of thinking we need to protect our own identity, look out for our own accomplishments, and guard our agenda, but God's prescription for living out love is to not look out for our own interests, to die to self, to consider someone else's needs over our own, and to take on the role of a servant.

That means YES, we change our schedule based on our husband's. It takes planning. It takes prioritizing. It takes humility. It takes God's work in our hearts through His word and His spirit. God exalts the humble, and He will inspire our husband to cherish and support us in return. As we free ourselves up to be helpers, our men are freed to be the men God wants, and we enjoy greater intimacy in our marriage.

So what does your week look like? What does your husband's week look like? And what difference will it make?

If you write a post you'd like to link today with Marriage Mondays, click the MckLinky on the end, link back, and please mention MM in your post, then leave a comment. Feel free to copy the button.

Remember that you can join in on a conference call with author Melanie Chitwood where she will focus on practical insights for marriage. I know this will be time well spent. The call will take place on two Thursday evenings from 8-9 pm, March 18 and 25th, and the cost is $20. You can call the Proverbs 31 office at 1-877-731-4663 to sign up.

3 COMMENTS ~ Click here to leave a COMMENT:

Melanie said...

Hi Julie - I can't even tell you how much I needed to read this today! My situation - maybe your husband has opened a new business and you're tired of it! That was me yesterday. Thanks for helping adjust my attitude! I'm going to call my husband and tell him I'm sorry!

Jennifer @ Pearls of Wisdom said...

Hi Julie,
I'm kinda new at this linky stuff and I linked to your blog but my blog won't be posted until tomorrow! (You can take it off if you want and I'll redo it properly tomorrow, or leave it. Up to you!)Anyway, I really enjoy your words of wisdom and wanted to share them with anyone who happened across my blog. Thanks.

mwpreston said...

Great post! Always enjoy your blogs!