9.3.11

Blog Bible Study #5

Even if you’re not taking part in the Blog Bible Study and you normally skip over the ‘God stuff’ on my blog please read this post! I want to know what you think!

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Recently, lots of people have been asking me what I want to do with my future. Quite a lot of those people have looked at me a little strangely when I have replied ‘I want to be a vicar’s wife’.


This chapter (for those that haven’t been joining in) is all about how we can be servant hearted – specifically towards our husbands.


I know so many women, and a few men actually, who have huge problems with women being described as a man’s ‘helpers’ in the bible. They see that as sexist, chauvinistic and that it demeans a woman’s role in society.



I don’t know if you noticed that yesterday was International Women’s Day. Josh mentioned to me an interview he heard with a woman who was bemoaning the fact that women often have to stay home and look after children and that it was harming the advancement of women in society.


Now, I don’ t know if it’s my upbringing, my character or the fact that I’m not career driven but I can’t understand that point of view  at all. I have no problem in seeing myself as a helper to my husband. I would challenge anyone who thinks that the bible doesn’t describe the roles of men and women being equal, because it definitely does! (ask me about it in the comments if you disagree).


Anyway, sorry for the rant – but I feel quite passionately about this. I’m not a model wife by any stretch of the imagination but I do truly desire to support my husband in what he does and that’s why I describe myself as wanting to be a vicar’s wife.
You often hear horror stories about how stressful being a pastor is and how it can break apart families and marriages. I don’t want that to happen to us. I don’t want Josh to be burnt out. I want to be a support to him and create a home which he can come back to and feel loved, cherished and refreshed.



Having said that, being selfless and supporting in this way isn’t easy, and that’s where we come back to the root of this chapter.


Service


1) Make a commitment to help your husband. As I’ve already said I want to commit to serving my husband and supporting him in his role as a (trainee to be!) vicar. We’re a team and I truly believe that God has called us into this together. It may seem completely un-PC to want to be a woman who creates a home and a lifestyle which is a haven for my family and for others that are in need rather than to pursue a career, but that’s what I want to do!


2) Focus on your husband. But in reality how can I really fulfil that commitment? It’s going to be hard because it means putting Josh before myself and that just doesn’t come naturally! I guess it becomes easier when you realise each other’s gifts and see yourself as a team working towards a common goal. I would be rubbish at getting up and preaching and having to be with people all day long, and Josh’s gifts don’t lie in admin cooking and homemaking but if we work together we make up for what the other lacks.


3) Ask of your actions: Will this help or hinder my husband? I really liked this section and thought it applied to every relationship. Will what I say build up or break this person emotionally? There’s so many times that I choose to say or do something that is selfish and it isn’t helpful to Josh. I especially think it’s easy for me to nag him. Sometimes it’s okay to ask him to do something and to push him for his best – but nagging never gets anywhere.



At the end of the day if any relationship is working at its best it’s a give-give situation. Although it’s not the reason we should serve, if the relationship is working correctly both parties will be serving equally. It’s not as if the husband is constantly taking, sitting around with his feet up while his poor harassed wife runs everything. He will be loving and serving his wife to the same degree as she is helping and serving him. Like I say, it’s all about teamwork!


Even if you’re not taking part in this BBS I would love to hear your views on the role of women. Please let me know if you disagree with what I have said, I am genuinely interested in what people think!

6 comments:

  1. I totally agree. Loved this post, Rachel!

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  2. I completely agree. I think the relationship should be a give-give. I guess at times I feel mine is a give on my part and take on his, which is why I get so frustrated. - - Great Post...Thanks for linking up!

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  3. I'm not career driven and I think that's ok. All I've ever wanted for my life is to be a wife and a mom. I support my husband in anything he wants to do! I think there does have to be give from both of us because putting him first does not come naturally.

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  4. I randomly came across your blog when perusing the wordpress site, and first I'd like to say I love your photos! But... this article... I don't disagree, but I don't fully agree with everything either!

    I think it is wonderful to strive to support your husband. It's an expression of love and faithfulness - how on earth could a relationship work if couples weren't supportive of each other! And if the best way to be supportive is be at home and taking care of him, then that's what needs to be done.

    I think, however, that most people's beef with "the woman takes care of her husband" expectation is that the same expectations don't necessarily exist for men - not in the mainstream anyhow. I think if we look at reality, it is undoubtedly important for the man in return to take care of his wife - to see that she is happy, content, sheltered, and comfortable. But in mainstream media, the portrayal of women is often as soft, submissive, dependent, and men are independent, strong hard. In advertising, photos of couples are often used to sell products, and very frequently the woman is leaning into her man, looking up at him, while he is hard, strong, standing on his own, and looking away into the distance. When that isn't the case, the woman is often being objectified as a sexual item (i.e. http://facultystaff.vwc.edu/~mhall/advertisements/shoes_clothing/images/Candies%20%28perfume%29--man%20pulls%20down%20woman%27s%20blouse--madmoiselle%2000.jpg)

    When people get upset, I don't think they are mad because women are taking care of their husbands... I think what they're really upset about is that women are expected to and are being told "this is how it has to be" rather than being given a choice. But, that's just how I see things.

    Thanks for the insightful posts!

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  5. I am completely with you on this! I know a lot of people who would read this and think - how sexist! Being a helper is what we were made to do, but I guess if you don't know the Lord, that's not at all where your mind is. Thanks for sharing this!

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  6. Now this is interesting! I'm of the generation that was told that we could have it all. Career, happy marriage, family, holidays, lifestyle. I'm sure you will have read in the press lately many articles along the lines that this hasn't worked. I can tell you, it doesn't.

    What I feel you do need to have, though, is an identity of your own, so that you don't become 'just' a supporter. This can be achieved in so many ways that do not involve stressful, sometimes opposing lives. If I were you now, I would be looking at using the resources of Cardiff for the time that you will both be there, to establish an interest, further line of study or something practical that will carry you forward - you singular, not just you as a couple. Something that you can carry on with even when you have a family. It needn't conflict with Josh in any way, or take up time with him, but you have a heaven-sent opportunity for yourself here as well. I believe quite strongly that we must continue to develop as individuals as well as working in partnership.

    I make art and sculpture, but only 15 years ago did I find a partner who supports me in this. The art world is littered with women artists who could have been great, but became subservient to their men. We are the ones who think about feeding people, and providing clean clothes but that doesn't mean that that is all we should be doing!

    Sorry, but you did ask!

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