At CBMW we want to provide a practical vision for how to live as a biblical complementarian in the nitty-gritty of real life. This is the first of a periodic series of interviews with Council members answering the following question: In practical ways in your marriage relationship, how do you balance gender equality with male headship?
Brent and I have been married for almost thirteen years. In that time, he has always honored, blessed and encouraged me. He has never, ever said or done anything that would give me the impression that I am lesser than he. He trusts me completely, and gives up much on my account. When he fails, he is quick to seek forgiveness. I am left with the impression that he regards my desires and interests as more important than his own, and I feel cherished.
Therefore, the question of male-female equality has not been an issue in my mind. I am secure and confident in who God has made me as a woman. Brent upholds and guards my “equality” so I do not feel the need to do so. And because of Brent’s great love, I am delighted-indeed overjoyed-to have the opportunity to respond to his leadership and encourage him in it. I try to do so on a daily basis by communicating to him all that has happened during my day, including what has happened in the lives of our children. I open my heart to him, pour out all my daily disappointments, victories, joys and struggles. I invite him to share himself with me and to provide me with his wisdom, insight and leadership.
On a very practical basis, we seek to set aside some time each day for this to happen. “Couch Time” is a time when the children, the computer, the paperwork, the housework, the phone and all the other demands of life are set aside in order to concentrate on each other.
This simple exercise does a number of things: First, it reinforces the equality part of our relationship. My views, perceptions and opinions are voiced equally alongside his. Second it provides Brent with the information necessary to establish God’s vision and direction for our family. If he does not know what I am thinking and feeling, he cannot lead wisely.
“Couch Time” also provides me with a glimpse of his heart. I delight in responding to his leadership because I know that he has listened to me, heard me, and that he considers my views very, very seriously. I have seen how his heart is motivated, not for pleasing himself, but for doing what is right.
“Couch Time” builds trust. I trust Brent’s leadership, and he trusts me that I will be honest with him, support him and never ridicule or mock his efforts to lead. Finally, “Couch Time” is just a lot of fun! We have a lot of laughs and enjoy the beauty and goodness of all God intended marriage to be.
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