When I became pregnant and initially did it solo, I developed a “us against the World” mentality. It was my son and I against everything and everyone else. It became my norm. Everything was he and I. My rising. My fall. My thought process. My motivation. My reason for breathing became him and him alone. He kept me going. Literally. When I didn’t want to get up or move, he was the one who kept me up and running. Eventually it became an evident truth that I didn’t care if I ever got married. I was fine in the time and space that I was in. Yes, I was lonely at times, very lonely at times, but I was focused on raising my son and I couldn’t see any man understanding or making space in that. I mean every move I made was calculated to ensure that he had amazing experiences and an amazing life. It was easy to become stuck in my role of independence. I knew I could do it solo. My mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother all lived without the influence of a husband and raised their children. I felt sure I could too.
And for a few years, I did that. Somewhere along the way, my now husband and I began a relationship. I was attracted to his heart and his kindness. I was attracted to the patience he showed my son and the maturity and genuine love he expressed to him. But, again, I really didn’t see marriage in my future and earnestly wasn’t worried about it. I remember telling someone that I expected it would be another year or two at least before a proposal came and was shocked when it was much earlier than I surmised. But God knows so much better than we do. Fast forward and things changed, starting with the big one– of my last name. Oh, we did premarital counseling and had deep earnest conversations about God’s definition of marriage and headship and submissiveness, etc. (Watch some of you all take this portion and run off it. Stay with me please.) I knew the verses. Wives and husbands directed to submit themselves one to another…the conflict resolution directions provided in the Word. I knew it and just knew I was good to go with it…UNTIL we got married.
Let me tell you. In theory and in practice are two different things. I had an established routine. Things that I would do with my son that didn’t include my husband. When he suggested we stop those things for a while until a family budget was established, I rebelled and rejected the suggestion through sometimes mean and unnecessary ways. I felt he was trying to interfere in something that was not his place. When he wanted to discipline over things I found small, I rebelled and rejected and showed my son division. I had no problem saying that “we” (meaning my son and I) would be alright and I meant that thing. In hindsight, I am more than shamed remembering it.
People who knew me in my singleness and who, often times, were single themselves would tell me that I was being treated unfairly. They told me that I should “stand up” for my “rights” and that my husband would have to understand that my son and I were a unit before him and would be one after him. Foolishly, I took in some of that. There were some really difficult days that were in no small part to my not wanting to budge or allow my husband to be a father to my son.
Then, one day I had an earnest conversation with God. It was after a particularly tumultuous part in our relationship, when I was ready to walk away with deuces and no regrets. It started when I kept telling God about my son and God stopped me and asked if my son was not His. ‘Of course. You created Him.’ The conversation continued with my being asked if I was His daughter and then the parallel drawn between my birth father and my honorary father and then why I felt the need to separate. “But I’m not separating”. Well, God broke that thing down and I realized that the same thing my husband had said numerous times was true. He wasn’t “my son”, he was “our” son. It wasn’t my son and I against the world. Dang it, it was my family and I against the universe. I realized that my time as a single mother doing it my way who sometimes felt the frustration of doing it solo and yearned for someone to come was making it difficult for the very person I prayed about to come in.
Since that conversation, I’ve made adjustments. It’s not easy. God created me, so He knows I can be stubborn. Sometimes I fall back into divisive ways unintentionally. Sometimes I confuse God-directed wisdom given to my husband as control. Sometimes I’m right about things and have to allow God to work them. Sometimes I’m wrong about things and have to allow God to work them.
I realize that the line “…I went too long without love that it would become increasingly difficult for me to submit to the authority of a husband after being set in my own ways” is my line. It almost became my truth until I realized what I was doing.
So, there it is. The girl’s post resonated with me. I’m not even sure why I am sharing this. I’m pretty sure someone is going to read this and dissect it and add all kinds of commentary. Don’t. It’s my truth. I’m not perfect, no great theologian or orator. I’m just me recognizing that if the lines from a simple post spoke to me, I’m quite sure the same can be said for someone else.
Have a great day.