My mom was the dedicated, diligent wife and mother I just described partly out of necessity but largely because she and my dad agreed at the outset of their marriage that this was who she was called to be. They believed that God has chosen, equipped and blessed mothers to be the ones most capable of nurturing and caring for children and the home.
It was vital to our family's well-being that they believed and acted on this principle together. As we, their children, grew we felt safe, loved, well cared for, and blessed with a fantastic education contributed to by both our parents. We respected and admired both of them in the was they wholeheartedly devoted themselves to the work God had given each of them to do.
Growing up I believed that this was the only way a family could function well. I believed this right until just a few months ago. I still am certain that it is the best way for a family (under normal circumstances, i.e. barring divorce, death or disability) to truly thrive and to reach their fullest capacity to love and serve the Lord, each other and people around them.
However, I have come to realize that this way of life can only bless, in fact, can only function when it is the desire of both husband and wife. This is where I went wrong, because my husband, from the outset of our marriage, has not had the same convictions as I. If husband and wife are pulling in different directions they will not be able to serve the Lord well, not be able to give their children a sense of security in a loving environment, and certainly will not be able to minister to others outside their family.
All these thoughts came to me after three and a half years of ugly and highly detrimental tug-of-war with all the tugging done by obstinate and belligerent me, while my admirable husband calmly and firmly held his end of the rope to keep our family from falling to pieces. More about that another time. I'm thankful for the joy and unity we are now, by God's grace experiencing. Our marriage is far from perfect, but we are on a smoother path now. The rocky road behind us was long, though, and I'll share about that in my next life story post.