RELISH YOUR ROLE!!!!
I relish the Legacy of Love that I can look to in my parents and grandparents and great-grandparents!! I HOPE each one of us today is passing on (or creating for the FIRST TIME!) a Legacy like that to give to our children and grandchildren, to the world that will follow us. It is more important than anything else.
No matter how well a family does at anything or everything else, if it doesn’t do ‘Love’ then it won’t last. (1 Corinthians 13:8, Moroni 7:46) This applies to your own unique family, as well as to the whole human family.
We are all familiar with the characteristics of love read in the Bible, quoted at weddings, inspirations to the heart:
4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
8 Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues,they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. (1 Corinthians 13:4-8, New International Version)
I think that in today’s society it is most important to ‘not envy’, also not to ‘dishonor others’, not to be ‘self-seeking’ or ‘angered’, to the point of ‘delight[ing] in evil’, also important not to covet by trying, of all things, to usurp the role of another!!!!! Rather, let’s honor and uphold our own role in marriage and life, live up to our fullest potential in joy, and support our spouse in doing the same in their respective role!
A husband’s role by Divine design is to protect, provide, preside; a wife has the nature to NURTURE! (I’ve witnessed this nature in tiny boys and girls a million times. In college they tried to convince it was ‘nurture, or society, that creates our roles, not nature’, but then I had my own children and watched fascinated from the tiniest age their orientation to their distinct and complementary roles. No matter how many dolls I offered my son less than a year old he wasn’t interested but was mechanically, action sports, and weapons inclined! And his twin sisters, following soon behind him, could not have or hold enough baby dolls even while they were still babies themselves! It has been just as interesting to observe adults, men who like to cook or houseclean but still excel when it comes to business opportunities and financial gain! Women who love to fix engines or obsess about sports but still choose careers, or at very least major hobbies, which involve first and foremost nurturing!) Her’s is the amazing gift of child bearing and soul-nurturing! His is the oh-so-important role of protecting her and their children, providing means for them to survive and thrive, using his God-given gifts to lead their family in righteousness, logical well-being, safety and peace! When each partner is able to fulfill their God-given role as equals in the family, their JOY is indeed FULL! (The Family; Proclamation to the World)
Together, helping and supporting one another in these respective roles each spouse gets to completely enjoy the benefits and rewards of BOTH! There is not a blessing missing in either one’s life – he gets the joy of children, she gets the rewards of thriving emotionally, mentally, physically,and financially as a family!! Their children reap more benefits than anyone! It’s a beautiful, incredible, complete design!
For heaven’s sake, relish YOUR role, rejoice in the gifts God gave YOU! Respect and HONOR your spouse in their respective role!! After all, there could not be anything more beautiful, bountiful and blessed than two equal, complementing parts coming together to create one wondrous whole!?! It’s the fulfillment of the human heart, it’s the future of strong families and societies!
My seven year old recently resisted, quite insistently, my call to come home. Even when I did indeed bring her home with me and her two sisters similar ages, she kept complaining and moaning and groaning, “MOoOM, why couldn’t I stay at the party?!!”
The ‘party’ I had brought her home from was a church youth activity we had helped plan and prepare at our barn. I knew what was in store for the teenagers of our church and their friends that evening. I knew that much of the activity would be far beyond my seven year old’s age or interest level, and that she indeed would be quite disruptful, if only because of sheer innocent boredom and misunderstanding.
“Mom!” she was getting grumpier by the minute thinking of what she was missing. I knew how she must feel from her young perspective. She had seen me set up pumpkins, bring in pizza and donuts, hot chocolate, her favorite cider, and apples. She’d seen big kids that were kind to her and gave her attention and it was even being held at the barn – one of her favorite places! Of course she would want to stay at the party and take on the teen role that night.
But it wasn’t her role, it wasn’t her time or turn. Indeed I knew as the ‘older and wiser’ mother that she, in the end, wouldn’t benefit from it, in fact she would keep others from doing so!
“MOM, I want to go to the party! Why couldn’t I stay at the party?!!”
“Gracie,” I calmly sat down beside her to look into her eyes and calmly explain, “Do you remember the party you had last week? “You and EstherBeth, and Clarly all got to go to that REALLY FUN Party where you played with all your friends and got to watch a cool movie outside! You had popcorn and treats and you came home so happy and excited?!” I carried on to make my point, “Did the big girls get to go to your party?”
With her ever so big eyes (Gracie’s eyes are always big, taking in all of life around her) she shook her head back and forth. “Why not?” I pushed to see if she really got the picture.
“Because it was for little kids”. Simple as that. “You’re right Zoie Grace. It was for little kids and sooo much fun for YOU!! And tonight is for the big kids and really special and fun for them!!”
“Every dog has his day.” She suddenly quoted, which I personally thought was great! She got it! LOL! Albeit through a very funny phrase that my friend Erica introduced to our family when she came to visit and explained how she explained ‘no envy’ to her three girls!
Then the most important part, “Grace, you can spend this whole night grumpy and mad and sad that you can’t go to the big kid’s party and miss allll the fun things Clara and Esther, the Babies and I are going to do tonight OR you can be SUPER GLAD about the awesome party YOU got to go to last weekend and remember how fun it is to be YOU and have a really fun night with Mom and your sisters again tonight!! We will even have cider at the end of it because Dad will bring some home from the party for us!”
Logic and reason doesn’t always work with emotional little ones so I was SUPER GLAD when Zoie Grace quickly (& logically) thought it over and pulled herself together so she could have a really FUN night at home with me and crew!! It could have been a wasted evening, with her missing all the good that was in store for her, but she remembered to be grateful, not greedy, and enjoyed it thoroughly! And yes, indeed, she even got her cider in the end!
Why do I bring this up?? Well, because I feel that sometimes we tend to think ‘the grass on the other side of the fence is greener’, or like Gracie, the party looks SOOO FUN when it is someone else’s event to attend (or someone else’s role to play), SO FUN that we forget the one we just went to (all the benefit’s we’ve just enjoyed!) and can quite innocently, in all our envy, miss the precious moments of our own life and ROLE within it by pining for someone else’s!
You can see this so mildly eroding the rewards of marriage when a spouse complains over their own role, or diminishes or belittles the contributions of their spouse’s role.
If we as woman choose to usurp men’s roles and become more like MEN, then we must give up the precious and sacred roles we have been given as stewards of our families, as the hearts of our homes, as the nurturers, the mothers, beautiful, soft, available, pure, full of the love and warmth, willing to concentrate on the children, our own or other’s, that we WOMEN we are meant to be! The future needs us soo desperately to remember who we are and to RELISH OUR ROLES!! The future needs fathers who live up to their God-given roles also, so urgently! (To see the importance of role of father, simply study the research concerning teens who are living with no father in the home – promiscuous, violent, drug-involved behavior raises drastically along with poverty, poor health, poor grades. To see the effect of no mother in the home because she fought to go away to war beside her ex-husband, watch with me little children being passed from home to home with no parent to love our provide the stability and nurture they need, see society taxed with taking care of those that mother’s have refused.)
When we have the courage, the strength, the conviction, the self-worth to live up to our fullest potential in our own heart-driven ROLES it helps our children, our spouses, our homes THRIVE, be HAPPIER, be more BEAUTIFUL,more BOUNTIFUL, and BLESSED, a connected, more joyful place to be! Oh women, and men, RELISH your ROLES!!
Most especially in marriage we MUST remember to honor, uplift, strengthen, and rejoice in our spouse, in who they are, for that is what LOVE is, that is what LOVE does! When we seek to RELISH their ROLE in life, in marriage, in family, we end up truly relishing, making the most of our own!!
Mike gave me this scripture -he had customized, matted and framed on his own- when we were married:
Ephesians 5:25 – “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church and gave himself for it” (King James version of the Bible)
In great tenderness and deeper understanding I have added this thought to it in my heart:
verse 33- “Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband.”
That does not sound like envying, coveting, usurping, vying for, or dishonoring one’s spouse or their role in any way!! To me, it sounds like LOVE, at it’s best, undefiled, unbeguiled, tender, trusting, growing and TRUE!!
HURRAY for THAT kind of LOVE!!!
Heavenly Parent approved!!
So Celebrate and RELISH YOUR ROLE in life, marriage and family!!! After all, you’d hate to look back and realize you had missed all the great things YOU COULD do and have and experience, REJOICE in -just trying to usurp somebody else’s role!
CaMarie and Crew!
*JOIN the 20 day challenge! Click here to learn more!