Ben is Home! Praise the Lord. We have been praying for him as have you, I am sure, and now it is such a relief to have him home for at least a few weeks. Of course, in all too short a time, we'll have to send him back in the grace of the Lord. I especially covet the prayers of all who read here for my sister and Violet, that this time of renewal for their family would strengthen and refresh them in preparation for the last "homestretch" of Ben's deployment. It's not going to be easy to separate for the second time.
A friend and I are starting to pull together a women's study group to read and discuss the book "Created To Be His Helpmeet", by Debi Pearl. It's a book that examines the hot-button topic of biblical submission, in its broader look at the Christian Wife. I credit that book (along with the Holy Spirit, of course) with many of the things that I consider 'good' in our marriage. I like Debi's perspective that in this age of 50% divorce rates (even among Christians), if you have a man who doesn't beat you or abuse the children, you do WHATEVER it takes to make the marriage a good one. She challenges women to consider their husbands above themselves-- their needs, desires and quirky/annoying/embarrassing traits-- all inclusive. She laments the trend among many Christian women today to hold their husbands hostage to an ideal of "spiritualism" that must be obtained in order to "earn" the wife's respect, submission and, ultimately, Love.
This book is not for men. It simply doesn't address the man's responsibility much at all. If you are looking for a book that talks about "sharing the blame" for the problems, or gives you an "out" if your husband doesn't behave a certain way, then this is NOT the book for you. This book is for the woman who is willing to sacrifice all her "rights" in order to have a happy man and an amazing marriage. And it works!! I can tell you from experience. Women have such power to set the mood of the home and all too often abuse it to get their own ends. I'm including myself here...
The problem is that I am just as selfish as the next woman, and after a week or so of faithfully laying down my rights for my husband, I tend to fall back into the old patterns waaay too easily. Hence the study group! We will be working to encourage each other in our roles as helpmeets (hmm, not sure exactly how to pluralize that...) and mothers. We all need more of that!