I have had this book Creative Counterpart by Linda Dillow on my shelf for many years, and have read it many times. If nothing comes of all of this moving stuff around, and we stay here in this house another decade, finding this book will have been worth the mess! I was -okay, am- finding myself in a difficult season of marriage. We are going on 11 years! Yay Us! But certain things in our relationship that are steady and constant are not very good things, and certain things that are good are not steady and constant. I bet you know what I mean.
So I needed a good dose of truth. A talk with a friend really helped me realize some things about myself and brought some perspective. It was hard to talk about it, because I know I am blessed and don’t like to be negative and complaining. But sometimes it is just good to hear myself say certain things out loud and look at them out there in the air…I needed to remember I am responsible for myself, my reactions, my heart attitude, and that I must stay in total humility and desperation before Jesus because I do not love my husband like I should, but HE DOES! Hallelujah! And when I don’t love my husband like I should it is not because of my husband, friends, it is because of me. Regardless of the details, Jesus can give me love to give, but I have to do the work to stay in that place of receiving (so that I can give).
So, this book…Yes, that’s the thing I want to share. This one paragraph says so much. Chapter One excerpt:
“Yes, there are frustrated wives, just as there are frustrated engineers, airplane pilots, and karate instructors. But the frustration does not stem from the nature of the work; rather, it comes from the boredom inevitable in any job done poorly or unimaginatively. (OUCH and HELLO!!! I like this woman. She’s a truth-teller.) A creative counterpart is more than just a helper. She is a woman who, having chosen (or having found herself in) the vocation of wife and mother, decides to learn and grow in all the areas of this role and to work as hard as if she were aiming for the presidency of a corporation.”
The fact is, I did sign up for this. No one forced me to marry, and no one forced me to marry the specific man I married. I am so lucky to have had that choice and my daughters will have that choice as well. Maybe we chose or will choose other vocations as well, but that doesn’t mean that we are not responsible for being excellent at this particular vocation of wife or mother or just woman. It’s a beautiful task. Women are amazing, and I want to keep perpetuating that good image, especially in a world where men and women alike value women by their weight, looks, or accomplishments outside the home. Hey, I think weight, looks, and accomplishments outside the home are fine and dandy…but they are not the most important thing, by far! We can, by God’s grace, be professionals at this. I am encouraged and challenged by this!