Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Not Better...Just Different

"Whether single or married, most woman struggle with this issue of control.  We have an underlying drive to manipulate the men around us."
-Kimberly Wagner, Fierce Women: The Power of a Soft Warrior

Last week I was changing my son's diaper while my daughter looked on nearby.  She declared, "E. (initials used to protect the innocent) has little man parts.  K. doesn't have little man parts."   Wanting to affirm her correct anatomical observation, I replied, "That's right.  K. has little girl parts."  She looked at me and said, " Yes.  I'm better."

After a good laugh and a Facebook status quoting this conversation, I couldn't help but think about how that statement can define so many women's attitudes towards their husbands.  I know that I've fallen into this way of thinking more times than I can admit.  I know that I can organize a room,  understand relationships, do the dishes or go through my toddler's bedtime routine "better" than Hubs can.  As a result, I start making suggestions and stepping all over his attempts to help me or his desire to get something accomplished.  In extreme situations (read: when I'm a complete nag and/or giving the cold shoulder intentionally) that leads to him giving up or lashing out at me and then we both end up frustrated!

Our desire for control often manifests itself from those thoughts of pride: that we are better.  Wagner has a great chapter in her book about our desire for control and how that stems from our sinful hearts and the culture around us.  She writes that our culture around us does nothing to squelch the pride that drives our desire for control.  Ironically, it encourages it and reduces men to Neanderthals or feminizes them in a twisted attempt to make them "better".  Gone are the days where we have men like Jean-Luc Picard as our role models (seriously...she did use him as a positive example.  Win.)

So what's a wife or single woman to do when that desire for control rises up in us?  As I was thinking about my conversation with my daughter, I decided that if she ever expressed her superiority over men again, I would tell her that she was not better...just different.  As much as our culture pushes to create a genderless society, we can't really deny the differences between men and women.  Those differences are meant to be celebrated and encouraged.  Marriage is the perfect opportunity for those differences and the distinct roles of men and women to be played out.

So the next time Hubs makes a suggestion or is accomplishing something differently than I would, I am going to remind myself that "my way" is not better, it's just different.  It's part of my own journey to slowly loosen the grip of control I desire to have on my own life and learn to trust others and God with my circumstances.  This Wifey Wednesday I encourage you to do the same.

Friday, January 18, 2013

This Weekend's Musing

"Let us hear the Lord Jesus speak to each one of us: 'I will help thee.' 'It is but a small thing for Me, thy God, to help thee. Consider what I have done already. What! not help thee? Why, I bought thee with My blood. What! not help thee? I have died for thee; and if I have done the greater, will I not do the less? Help thee! It is the least thing I will ever do for thee; I have done more, and will do more." 
 -Charles Spurgeon, Morning and Evening, January 16th.

Friday, January 11, 2013

2012 Christmas Book List

Well, hello again!  I know I said I wouldn't be back until February, but both kids are napping, dinner is prepped, most of the laundry is folded AND I've had a 20 minute nap, so I figured I'd take advantage of the opportunity to tell you about the books I am most excited about receiving this Christmas.  I've already started most of them.

Future Grace, Revised Edition by John Piper.  I asked for this one on my Christmas list since it already has made an impression on my heart.  After I had my daughter I went through a period where I struggled with a lot of anxiety and depression.  During that time my pastor's wife came to visit me and let me borrow the previous edition of this book.  I can't begin to tell you how much it helped me hang on to the promises of God in the ups and downs of my emotions during that season of life.  There are a lot of great chapters in this book that deal with specific struggles like anxiety, depression, etc. and encourage you to combat those problems with the Word of God.  It also helped me understand that the spiritual life is fueled by trusting in God's promises for the present and future.  My sister bought me the book...I also bought it for her this Christmas!  Great minds think alike, I guess!

Morning and Evening by Charles Spurgeon.  My mom was sneaky and bought this for me after she asked me what books I thought my sister would like for Christmas and I suggested this one!  This devotional is perfect for my season of life: short, deep theological truths that I can read quickly yet think about all day and hang on to during the night.  The devotionals have also been great at getting me out of that early morning, "woe is me I've been up most of the night nursing" funk and remind me to make my soul happy in the Lord.

What Women Fear: Walking in Faith that Transforms by Angie Smith.  I didn't get this for Christmas, but my mom did and let me borrow it.  Actually, my sister read it and then told me I should read it too.  I'm slowly wading through it right now during the kids' afternoon nap.  It is a very perceptive work on the emotional life of women and the common pitfalls most of us face.  I really like how the author takes stories from the Bible and helps the reader relate to the characters' emotions, all the while pointing them to Christ as the cure for all of our anxieties.  I'm really looking forward to finishing the rest of it!

Fierce Women: The Power of a Soft Warrior by Kimberly Wagner.  I bought this one for myself (Merry Christmas to me!)  Hubs got me a Nook for Christmas and Barnes and Noble gave me a ten dollar credit...can't pass up a free book!  This blog post prompted me to search for the Nook version.  I am so glad I did!  This book has been instrumental in helping me understand my role as a wife.  It also has shown me how destructive our desire for control can be in the marriage relationship (I hope I'm not the only wife who struggles with that!)  Wagner writes from her own experience of trying to change her husband into the man she thought he should be and the painful process of picking up the pieces of her shattered marriage.  She has great insight and encourages women to trust in Christ and hope in Him for changes that need to happen in their marriage.  Good Wifey Wednesday material (I should really start that up again!)

There you have it...books I am enjoying in between the chaos of caring for two little ones.  I am still so thankful to have reading and writing as an outlet.  I'm hoping to begin blogging more regularly soon.