Sunday, July 28, 2013

I Want To Be A Meek Cleaver, No That Isn't A Typo

Sometimes telling someone something is a powerful, weight-lifting sensation. Jerry was raised Catholic. I was raised Southern Baptist. We have very similar beliefs, as far as our faith goes. So, obviously neither of us are very orthodox in our feelings. Jerry does not currently have a church home. And, mine was the same church that I grew up in and that welcomed me back with open arms when I left my ex-husband. Yes, I said “was.” Jerry and I had made the decision that when his mother retired we would start the search for a church that we both felt comfortable in and neither of us would have to renounce our religious upbringing. He takes his mother to work and she works every other weekend. She is in the process of getting her paperwork together. And, the only student I have in the Sunday School class I teach is being moved up to the next class. So, I informed my mother, two dear friends and the pastor that my family was starting the search for a new church.

My home church was where I grew up. They welcomed me back with open arms after leaving my ex and bathed my in love and prayer when we lost Sarah. So, this was not an easy step for me to make. But, it was necessary for us to move forward as a family. We have had many discussions on the subject. Several of which touched on the fact that as the husband, and now father, it is Jerry’s roll to be the spiritual leader for the family. I have learned many things from both the mistakes in my first marriage and the things Jerry and I are doing right this time around. I have learned to be persistent when needed. It does not mean that I am nagging. And, that sometimes a little nagging is called for. And, I will make sure that he remembers his role as our guide along this journey. And, I will remember mine. 

This is a difficult decision for me. And, I feel a small amount of guilt. But, I feel guilt all of the time. I am working on that. I will miss the new preacher. I have thoroughly enjoyed hearing him speak. I was fortunate enough to hear him speak on both Saturday at a wedding and my last Sunday. The key word Saturday was "Cleave." Sunday's word was "Meek." 

Brother Ray did a beautiful job of explaining what a strong word cleave is. That it is not just holding on to each other. It reminds me of watching a pair of ballroom dancers. The way they move together as one. And, yet at moments are not touching, they are still a pair. The almost desperate look on their faces as they cling to each other. I have learned many lessons about marriage from both my first and current ones. One of those is that one spouse is not more important than the other. They both play their own roles in the house. I am old school on some things. Mostly because the most successful and "functional" families that I have been exposed to followed the same pattern. The husband has a place as head of the household. But, the wife runs it. One does not function well without the other. I should have remembered this my first time around. I out myself in the roll of subservient. I am trying to find the fine line of being a leader in the home without taking over. It is not always easy. But, it always makes for a far more open and honest relationship with your spouse. 

Meek. Some people consider this word to mean weak. It does not. Brother Ray used a great analogy of a horse with a bit and a bridle. The horse has tremendous power. And, it could unleash it at any time. The horse chooses to follow the rider. The horse is no way weak. Rather it is meek. Other people listen may have taken the sermon to mean that we need to work on being meek. To me, it said it is ok to be meek. I have finally developed some backbone. But, I worry that I will take advantage of my spouse. Part of having power in your marriage is to know when and how to use it. Yelling and forcing your way is just as irresponsible as  sitting back and not saying or doing anything. It is not your marriage alone. You share the contract with your spouse. So, it is your job to work together. If you do not share the load, misery and dysfunction will follow. This means respecting your spouse and their opinions. When your spouse says we can not afford to buy something, sit down and talk about it. It breaks my heart to hear someone say, "Well, I am just going to do it anyway." 

I am just hoping that Jerry and I can find a church home together that will help our family will thrive and grow. Prayers for our journey will be appreciated as neither of us has ever done this before. And, that others will be considerate. Sometimes, it is hard for to let a church member go without worrying that someone has done something to make them leave. I will be praying for my now former church that God will bless them and pour his peace, love and growth over the church body. The following piece of scripture was part of the sermon. I hope that it will help you find some peace as well.

Psalm 37
Of David.
Do not fret because of those who are evil
    or be envious of those who do wrong;
for like the grass they will soon wither,
    like green plants they will soon die away.
Trust in the Lord and do good;
    dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.
Take delight in the Lord,
    and he will give you the desires of your heart.
Commit your way to the Lord;
    trust in him and he will do this:
He will make your righteous reward shine like the dawn,
    your vindication like the noonday sun.
Be still before the Lord
    and wait patiently for him;
do not fret when people succeed in their ways,
    when they carry out their wicked schemes.
Refrain from anger and turn from wrath;
    do not fret—it leads only to evil.
For those who are evil will be destroyed,
    but those who hope in the Lord will inherit the land.
10 A little while, and the wicked will be no more;
    though you look for them, they will not be found.
11 But the meek will inherit the land
    and enjoy peace and prosperity.
12 The wicked plot against the righteous
    and gnash their teeth at them;
13 but the Lord laughs at the wicked,
    for he knows their day is coming.
14 The wicked draw the sword
    and bend the bow
to bring down the poor and needy,
    to slay those whose ways are upright.
15 But their swords will pierce their own hearts,
    and their bows will be broken.
16 Better the little that the righteous have
    than the wealth of many wicked;
17 for the power of the wicked will be broken,
    but the Lord upholds the righteous.
18 The blameless spend their days under the Lord’s care,
    and their inheritance will endure forever.
19 In times of disaster they will not wither;
    in days of famine they will enjoy plenty.
20 But the wicked will perish:
    Though the Lord’s enemies are like the flowers of the field,
    they will be consumed, they will go up in smoke.
21 The wicked borrow and do not repay,
    but the righteous give generously;
22 those the Lord blesses will inherit the land,
    but those he curses will be destroyed.
23 The Lord makes firm the steps
    of the one who delights in him;
24 though he may stumble, he will not fall,
    for the Lord upholds him with his hand.
25 I was young and now I am old,
    yet I have never seen the righteous forsaken
    or their children begging bread.
26 They are always generous and lend freely;
    their children will be a blessing.
27 Turn from evil and do good;
    then you will dwell in the land forever.
28 For the Lord loves the just
    and will not forsake his faithful ones.
Wrongdoers will be completely destroyed;
    the offspring of the wicked will perish.
29 The righteous will inherit the land
    and dwell in it forever.
30 The mouths of the righteous utter wisdom,
    and their tongues speak what is just.
31 The law of their God is in their hearts;
    their feet do not slip.
32 The wicked lie in wait for the righteous,
    intent on putting them to death;
33 but the Lord will not leave them in the power of the wicked
    or let them be condemned when brought to trial.
34 Hope in the Lord
    and keep his way.
He will exalt you to inherit the land;
    when the wicked are destroyed, you will see it.
35 I have seen a wicked and ruthless man
    flourishing like a luxuriant native tree,
36 but he soon passed away and was no more;
    though I looked for him, he could not be found.
37 Consider the blameless, observe the upright;
    a future awaits those who seek peace.

38 But all sinners will be destroyed;
    there will be no future
 for the wicked.

39 The salvation of the righteous comes from the Lord;
    he is their stronghold in time of trouble.
40 The Lord helps them and delivers them;
    he delivers them from the wicked and saves them,
    because they take refuge in him.

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