Sunday, January 18, 2015

Preparing to Be a Help Meet: Cinderella - Part 6

We are at the last section of the Leah/David courtship where Leah shares her post-marital advice.

Post-marriage thoughts:
No Regrets
Do you know how nice it is when we look through family photo albums at Christmas to never see David with another girl? 

No.  I assume Leah means with another girlfriend, but either way, seeing a photo of your husband with an ex shouldn't be traumatic.

 Do you know how wonderful it is that David doesn't have to hear about my past boyfriends?


  Do you know how many times I have thanked the Lord while falling asleep that he helped me wait for a guy like my David?

When you are single, sometimes it is hard to picture yourself married.  But if you can, try. 

What does "If you can, try" mean?  Are some people that lacking in imagination?

 Try to think about the way you will feel when your spouse is proposing, looking into your eyes, and understand it's not worth messing around with other guys.

But what if a promising relationship falls apart?  What if David hadn't proposed after telling Leah he loved her?  Would that be "messing around"?

 Try to think of how happy you will be on your wedding night, when you are giving the ultimate gift  with no hint of regret. 

Eww.  Just...eww.

*waves hands in front of face*

Plus, this idolization of the wedding night sex is creepy.  It's not like you never have sex with your spouse after the first night.  Maybe they don't know that....

 Try to remember that you are building habits of faithfulness or distrust that will affect your marriage.  What will you tell your children someday?  What you are doing now will affect your future!

I've heard lots of stories about other people my parents and other relatives dated before marrying their spouse.  Again - not a traumatic moment.

Actually, hearing Opa talking about how he met Oma was awesome - and wonderfully AntiPearl!  He got a ride to a dance about 4 miles away in Holland.  He saw a lovely young woman going down a canal in a boat.  He asked the guy who gave him a ride who the "amply endowed" (except a bit less polished...and a bit more graphic.... term) woman was in the boat.  Turns out the woman in the boat - Oma - was his ride's younger sister and Opa was walking home.    He said knowing who Oma was well-worth the walk.  They've been married over 60 years now.

So, yeah.  You can be attracted to someone because they have nice breasts and still have a satisfying and long lasting marriage.

Learning to be a help meet before and after marriage:

I never appreciated my mother's example of a biblical help meet until I got married.  Shortly after getting married, I remember meeting with about ten other young wives.  We were discussing respecting our husbands.  The question was, "Is this something you were taught growing up?" Every single woman said it was the first time they heard these concepts.  Most said they were brought up the opposite.  "I was taught I was a princess and to be independent.  I didn't need a man."  They agreed with the truth and the principles, but they struggled to tear away from years of wrong training and examples.

"The Truth and The Principles" makes the cult-like nature of the Pearls' clear.

It was then that I started to realize the power of my mother's example.  Of all the areas of conflict in our marriage, unconditional submission, respect and honor was never in question.  Of course, the first year of marriage, I was learning by trial and error what came across as respectful.  But I never struggled with should I respect him, should I honor him, should I submit to him?

I am more curious about the nature of their early conflicts. 

If Leah was submitting unconditionally, there shouldn't have been any external conflicts. 

 Leah may have been dying inside while David flails around trying to figure things out without any advice from his wife, but their marriage should be externally conflict free.

Sounds horrible, really, but the Pearls are clear that happiness means crushing your heart and soul every day.

  I knew the answer from my mother's example and years of my parents training me in the way I should go with a husband.  Now that we are expecting a baby, I am so excited about modeling these same truths and principles because it not only affects your child's marriage, but so many other marriages by example!  Marriage is an exponential ministry; what your example teaches now will multiply across generations.

Ah...nothing like rationalization.  Over time, everyone will be equally miserable.

When I started dating David, I asked my mother to give me her top three books on how to be a good wife.  One of them was Debi Pearl's Created To Be His Help Meet.  I read all three, but I read Created four times during our courtship and engagement.  I then read one chapter a day through the first several months of our marriage.  The concepts changed my life so dramatically that a friend and I are planning to start a group of young wives to go through the book.

Oh, great.  Buy the book; read it until you stop questioning the craziness.

If her mother was such a great example, what about "Created" changed Leah's life?  I put bets on new ways to insult other women.

Find a marriage mentor:
David and I purposed never to seek marital advice from our parents or friends after marriage.  We wanted to honor and respect each other publicly.

There is a huge gulf from asking for advice about your marriage from people you trust and disrespecting your spouse publicly. 

 We do, however, believe in mentoring and accountability.  I started meeting for marriage mentoring with a older, godly woman once a month after we got married.

I bet the woman is Debi Pearl. 

 I had never met her before, but a friend I trust recommended her to me.

How on Earth is talking to a random stranger about your marriage more respectful than talking to friends or family members?

  Every month, I keep a list detailing areas where David and I had conflict or just general marriage questions.  Usually the first Thursday of each month I drive to her house.  We pray then I ask her the questions on my list.  Each session lasts two to three hours.  We always end in prayer.

That sounds absolutely hideous.  THREE HOURS on marital problems once a month...ouch....

  She is the only one I open up to about conflict in our marriage.

How about David?  Does David honestly know about your conflict or are you just stuffing all your feelings inside? 

  I cannot tell you how much it has helped me to have an older, godly woman telling me, "Good job - that was hard, but you did the right thing." or "That is very normal - welcome to the club." or "I understand how your are feeling; however...."  I praise God for the priceless hours of biblical counsel.

Net outcome: Older woman keeping Leah toeing the party line.

If we invest time and energy in other areas of life, shouldn't we be devoting time to our coming marriage?
-David and Leah

Leah wrote 90% of the chapter.  She deserves first billing.

AntiPearl:Love withers under constraints: its very essence is liberty: it is compatible neither with obedience, jealousy, nor fear: it is there most pure, perfect, and unlimited where its votaries live in confidence, equality and unreserve. ~Percy Bysshe Shelley

1 comment:

  1. "Try to think of how happy you will be on your wedding night, when you are giving the ultimate gift with no hint of regret."

    It must be tough to go through life being so jealous for all the "firsts" of whomever one marries.

    Also, I have always hated the description of wedding-night sex as the "ultimate gift." It idolizes the body and trivializes the ACTUAL "ultimate gift" of committing to bind your entire life together, through good times and bad times, through sickness, health, kids, empty nesting, and old age.

    Plus, it reminds me of all the pro-purity promotional pamphlets (say THAT three times fast!) I was given that try to cement their message by selectively changing the terminology they use in referring to sex - before marriage, sex is "having sex" or "giving it away." After marriage, sex is "giving yourself." Because marriage is apparently the magic wand that changes it from "having sex" to "giving yourself." Right.