In my 24 years and 39 days of life, I’ve come to learn that I thrive on a well-organized, bullet-pointed list. Having company? Give me a list of everything I need to get done before they arrive. Going on a trip? Give me a list of everything I need to pack, and the order I should put it in my suitcase. Throw in an itinerary and I’ll love you forever. I don’t care if we’re only going to the grocery store for a frozen pizza. I need it written down.
I know, I know. I’m a freak. But there’s something about a list that simplifies things. I’ve recently noticed a trend that takes the list approach to more overwhelming things in life like having kids, getting out of debt, saving your marriage, etc. Sometimes these lists or five step programs are really helpful. But other times, in an attempt to simplify a complicated matter, we actually end up making things more complicated. The other day I read an article on Pinterest called “The Top 47 Things to Remember as a New Mom.” FORTY SEVEN?! Are you kidding me? I realize that it was supposed to be helpful, but come on people. Ain’t nobody got time to remember 47 things about being a new mom!
Last week on my two minute drive to work, Lysa Turkeurst from Proverbs 31 Ministries on K-Love shared some profoundly simple words on marriage. She too is a list maker, and naturally gravitates towards step by step lists for becoming a better wife or improving her marriage. There’s obviously nothing wrong with this, but sometimes it’s more effective to break things down to their simplest form. Marriage, for example, breaks down to two things: a husband and a wife. Lysa suggested that if you’re feeling overwhelmed in your marriage, confused as to how to best serve your husband, what you’re supposed to be doing to be a good wife, etc. to turn to the definition of the word wife and the word husband. She shared that most definitions of the word husband include words like leader, head of household, safe keeper, provider. While most definitions of the word wife simply say something along the lines of ‘a woman in relation to the man she’s married to.’
Sorry husbands, this post isn’t meant to comfort you. You’ve got a lot of big ticket items on your list. Most of those words included under husband scare the heck out of me. I can’t do all those things! But I am 100% confident in identifying my role in my marriage in simply being my husband’s wife, and all that entails. And I bet if I were to show that to my husband, he’d be like “yeah, what’s the big deal? I got this!” That’s the beauty of this whole thing. We each know what we’re supposed to do for the other, and when we both do those things out of humble service to the other, we get a glimpse of what God intended marriage to be. And it gives us the heart we need to continue to fill these roles at all times, even when the other person isn’t necessarily hitting it out of the park.
So today, let’s put down our lists and step by step instructions, take a deep breath, and walk away. Let’s get this thing down to the bare bones. You are your husband’s wife. And nobody knows how to do that job better than you.