As many of you know, Roger and I attended Family Life's Weekend to Remember in Hershey, Pennsylvania this last weekend. What a weekend to remember!!! We have attended four times. Yes, that means we have heard the same material (give or take a few things) four times, shared four unique ways. We can see after 10 years of marriage how much closer we really are to being the team God has called us to be. This was the first time we went as 'empty nesters' and it is so helpful to be able to come home and have time to talk about all we learned. Our communication actually has taken on a new level, which started during our weekend as we...eh hem......skipped a session or two...shhh!!! We took that time to really dig deep into areas that have been difficult for both of us.
As we entered into reality today, starting our work week, we both noticed the struggle to go into 'default' in our established patterns. How exciting to see us both really trying to make changes that really matter. For instance, asking what that 'look' meant rather than assuming the worst and communicating to each other our tasks of the day so we can better understand each other.
Ladies, one of the hardest things we struggle with is being in control. We manage our household chores, careers, children's schedules, etc., so it is reallllllyyyy tempting to also put our hubbies under our thumb. God never intended us to take charge of our men, even though we are most capable of doing that! When our guys don't step up, we decide it is our responsibility. In doing so, we chase them away even further, defeating their desire to even try to be the man we really long for. When we take charge, our men go further into their caves and their willingness to romance us goes along with them. And the vicious cycle begins.
There is something funny that Roger and I struggle with and I never dreamed it would be an issue....walking together. Walking in a parking lot, walking into church, walking through the mall, walking the dog...we do not have a gait that complements one another. If you looked at us you would say that is easy to figure out as he is over 6 feet tall and I am 5' 1". He sometimes walks way ahead of me, thinking it is the chivalrous thing to do to lead the way. My little legs struggle to keep up and I feel frustrated that he is leaving me in the dust. There are also many times that I am walking way ahead of him and he feels like a penny dog. I do this when I am trying not to be late for appointments, late for church or going to the movies! I want a good seat and he hates the move trailers so he thinks arriving 20 minutes after the start time is sufficient! I also walk ahead of him when I am anxious to get somewhere like a good sale!
I got to see this played out at the marriage conference this weekend, which made me really stop and think and be convicted of my actions. We pulled into the Hershey Lodge parking lot before one of the sessions, which we were running a bit later than I had hoped. We were really trying hard to walk hand in hand to and from the sessions, because that would be the romantic thing to do at a marriage conference, right? We were walking side by side together and Roger realized he left his book in the car and with the chilling temperatures this weekend, we decided that I would go on inside and save us good seats. As I made my way up the sidewalk, I noticed a couple ahead of me. She was walking at quite a clip ahead of her sauntering man, her heels clicking emphatically with each step. He casually sauntered along on that Saturday morning, carrying his morning caffeine with him, a can of Coke. She arrived ahead of him and proceeded to hold the door for her husband and he walked through barely grunting, as if he was used to his woman leading! As I tried to stifle my giggle, she continued to hold the door for me and the next person!! Hopefully, this memory will replay in my mind next time I am tempted to leave my man in the dust!
I long for companionship, and even romance, yet the little things I do can be a threat to the oneness in our marriage. I look forward to being late to church and even to the movies as I work on choosing to walk beside God's gift to me over being on time!