Remember that old Kelly Clarkson song, Miss Independent? Please feel free to have that song in your mind for the remainder of this blog…and let’s be honest, your entire day. That’s a good jam.
I grew up fiercely stubborn with a mind all my own. All of our family stories revolve around me being headstrong; not giving up until I got what I wanted, hating being held down, couldn’t stand not knowing the schedule, afraid to let my friends drive my go-kart, giving my sister a black-eye when she wouldn’t change the channel (she’s nine years older than me & was in high-school when that happened. sorry Wendy). I know what you’re thinking and that’s, “Wow you brat!” and sure, I had bratty moments. But, ultimately, all of these moments & personality traits have built a very independent woman out of me. I like the thought of being in control of what’s going to directly affect me, and call me a control freak, but I would be as bold to say this is a trait within most of us.
I never knew such a trendy trait of independence could be one of the most fragile points of my marriage and possibly yours too.
In the headlines, the world raves for women who don’t need a man, don’t need to depend on anyone, a woman who can rule all her own. That was a trait I was proud to hold onto. I never struggled with bad relationships in my high-school years; I knew I was worth something and that wasn’t just something that I was letting any guy close to. But, then Micah came along and y’all, I really love him.
Micah and I are polar opposites. It’s quite amusing actually and often it’s joked about with us and our friends. But, there’s a side of this that’s deeper than me loving queso and him refusing to eat it.
Micah and I will officially be pros at marriage this June. Just kidding. We will officially be married for three years this June though, that is truth. 😉
Throughout our short, but so wonderful time of marriage, I’ve already had my world flipped upside down.
This is something as humans, especially my fellow independent women, that we don’t enjoy. When you’re use to calling the shots, making decisions without considering someone else in the picture…it gets tough. Then you get married and expect everything to be warm cookies and non-expired milk, but the thing with marriage is sometimes the milk expires in the fridge and it’s not just your spouses fault.
The thing is, in order to have a good marriage, a fruitful marriage, you have to use your independent decisions to be a dependent wife.
This doesn’t mean I don’t speak for myself, think for myself, and have the ability to supply for myself. It means that my husband’s opinions and thoughts have just as much value as my own. Just like we learned earlier, a direct definition of independent is to NOT be connected with another, but that’s the direct opposite of what God intended for our marriage.
The world has warped our views into thinking that because you might run something past your spouse before taking action on it, that you’re weak and a coward. But, we weren’t designed to walk this life, especially marriage, on our own.
So what does an independent gal’s check-list pursuing a dependent marriage look like?
…first, at times
My husband is my helper, designed to be my biggest support & open ear at all times – his opinions have value and are worth hearing on the things I want to pursue or take on. Especially financially.
When Micah and I were first married, I had this major habit of avoiding conflict at all costs – ironic for this young gal who thrived in conflict – but I got uncomfortable when it was conflict that I couldn’t control, that I wasn’t in-charge of, and that someone wouldn’t let me walk away from until I was honest and real with them. Over these three years, I’ve had to learn that sometimes you have to stay in the uncomfortable space long enough to face YOURSELF, the real issue, and to address it so you can grow. Just because your spouse brings the ugly out of you, doesn’t mean that they’re out to get you. Someone who will address your rough parts, but love you anyway, is someone worthy of depending on at all costs.
Now, I haven’t got this whole thing dependence thing figured out. But, it’s a start. The more I pursue Jesus and His way of love (patient, kind, honoring, calm, selfless) the more I can approach myself with the same kind of love, and especially my husband – who deserves that of me, just as I do of him.
The one thing I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to tackle is expecting my husband to share his food with me, but losing my mind at the sight of him touching my plate. 😉