I don't remember exactly how old I was when I first watched Anne of Green Gables, but I know I've now seen it more times than I can count. For the longest time it was my go-to movie whenever I was sick. Who doesn't love the comfort of Avonlea when your fever is rising and your nose won't quit running? Because I am the only girl in my family, I even convinced one of my brothers to appreciate the story of Anne, Gilbert, Diana, Marilla, and Matthew (his wife can thank me for his enjoyment in classics like these).
Marriage is one of those things that you think you know all about and then you get blindsided by the reality that what you thought you knew really was nothing at all. At least it was that way for me. Before we got married I thought a lot of things about marriage. I had high expectations. I expected that we would spend endless amounts of time together.
Today is my last day with my marriage and family class. It's sort of a two-part goodbye because I had one section yesterday and the other will be today. So I've really been saying goodbye for two days. And while I will be back in January to teach a two week J-term on biblical womanhood, I won't teach Marriage and Family again.
When Daniel was in seminary I would often look longingly at the future and say to myself "when he graduates, then we will have a normal married life." Now that seminary is over, and life is still as busy as ever, I find myself saying "when he is full time at the church, then we will have a normal married life." In my mind, a normal married life is defined as free evenings and weekends and a good dose of quality time together. In my worst moments, I have complete meltdowns that this will never happen and our marriage is doomed to failure because we are missing the quality time all the marriage books say is necessary for a healthy marriage. In my best moments, I still long for a better season, one where we can blissfully enjoy our time together without the pressures of life squeezing in around us.
A few months ago I read an article about women who use pictures of their children for their Facebook profile. The author saw this as a step down for women who once were possibly prosperous, individuals in our society. Now they are simply relegated to their children. Their children define them. Their online identity is their children. What once stood as a testimony to their interests, dreams, and personality has now been invaded by a little person in diapers. Their conversations, which were once intelligent and deep, now consist of sleep schedules, teething, and diaper rash.
I showed this video to my marriage and family class the other day and I thought it was too good not to share with all of you. If you haven't read The Meaning of Marriage, run (don't walk) to get it right now. Or go to Amazon and buy it immediately. It is worth it. A lot of what the Kellers say in this video is from their book, but I particularly loved how Tim Keller talked about the basis for relational intimacy in marriage. But don't just take it from me, listen to the whole thing (and get the book!).
My husband and I got married when we were both in seminary. He was also a part-time youth pastor. We had a short summer break after our wedding before it was back to the grind of school, work, and ministry. My dad was (and still is) a bi-vocational pastor, so I knew what life was like for a family when dad is often getting home from church just in time for dinner on a Saturday evening only to get up way too early the next morning to finish his sermon.
Every young women has probably had it said to her on at least one occasion, “make sure you pursue your dreams now, because once you get married (or have children) you will no longer be able to get as much done.”
There has been a lot of talk lately about whether or not women can have it all, and by all people usually mean work full time as a mother. But all this talk about what a woman can or cannot do in her various seasons of life can be applied to any age, any marital status, and any amount of children in the home. A recent Forbes article states that young women today don’t feel as inclined towards leadership because of fear of failure. They have been told their entire lives that they can have it all, and unfortunately they have heard that they must be it all. The author says: