Some thoughts on marriage from a road trip (Part 1)

Things I learned about marriage…from a road trip.

For the first seven years of our marriage, my husband’s parents lived about 6 hours away, so we’ve been on many, many road trips.  Five years ago, with the birth of our first son, they got even more interesting.  And, being that I’m one of those people who overthinks everything, I just knew there was a lesson in there somewhere, and a while back I was praying and thinking and it just hit me….So, here is part 1 of the things about marriage that I learned from a road trip (or several)–look for Part 2 tomorrow.
1. He’s the driver.

Okay, maybe it’s not this way for you, but when we go on trips, 99% of the time, my husband does the driving.  We’ve worked out a system for these road trips.  He has the responsibility of navigating, and getting us where we need to go, safely.  That’s a big responsibility, and it requires focus.  So, I’m in charge of everything else—the details, if you will.  I play with the boys and try to keep them entertained.  I put in movies for them, make up games for them, pass back some snacks or new toys when they get bored.  At the same time, I’m also doing nearly the same things for Chad, and trying to be a support for him.  We have different responsibilities, but it works.  He needs to focus on his responsibility of getting us where we need to go, safely.  It’s more difficult for him to do that if he’s also trying to dig around for snacks for the children, or if they are out of control being upset, or fighting with each other, etc.  It is dangerous to drive distracted.  If I don’t do my job properly, then the distractions that would ensue may inhibit him from doing his job properly.  We work together, each doing our own part, to achieve the same goal.

As I pondered this one day, it occurred to me this is a lot like life and marriage.  God has called my husband to certain responsibilities.  He is called to love our family as Christ loved the church, to lead us in God’s calling, and to work and provide for us.  I believe that I was created to be his “helper,” as detailed in the creation account in Genesis.  Women are called (many times over in God’s word) to be keepers of the home and to manage the home.

As I thought about this in comparison to our road trip, it made sense.  A husband’s godly calling comes with a lot of responsibility.  To love his wife as Christ loved the church?  That’s a high calling indeed.  He can’t possibly do it without God’s help.

But, I can help him too.  Just as my help on a road trip allows him to fully focus on getting us safely to our destination, I believe that my help in life can help him to focus more fully on his calling from God to love his wife as Christ loved the church and all that that entails.  If a man really accepts that calling, he bears a burden of responsibility, and the little things I do to manage our home and children can allow him to more fully focus on that.  In short, if I fulfill my calling, if I do my job, then he can more easily do his.  I am his helper.

(Find the next post here.)

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