One of the many things I deeply appreciate about Julie is her heart for marriages. If you don’t read her Marriage Mondays, you’re missing out! Julie can paint beautiful pictures out of everyday observances, and sweetly and humbly challenge us to be the wives God has called us to be! This post is particularly memorable for me and it comes to mind often – it was originally posted at Come Have a Peace on October 25, 2010.
As part of our camping trip for fall break, we rode the Virginia Creeper with our friends. It’s a 35 mile bike trail on an old railroad bed. We rode the top section, coming down Whitetop Mt. through forests, fields, Christmas tree farms, and towns colored with hues of autumn. One bend in the road was so picturesque we just had to stop and linger. I snapped a picture of our friends and then looked around, realizing my family had disappeared. Thinking they had taken off at a faster pace than my “reflect and linger” rate, I knew I had to move along to catch up.
Not too far down the trail I conceded I had been left in the dust. I thought about the things I’d posted about complaining in October (hate it when I convict myself!) … and I decided to choose to enjoy the time alone, to use the time to soak in the scenery, to pray and praise as I biked. I was sure I would catch up to my kin. But … several miles later there was still no sign of my bikers. I was “doing the Creeper” alone.
My prayers changed to, “Lord, should I be mad about this? They left me behind! Isn’t this supposed to be family time? Bottom line: I’ve been ditched. Forgotten. How am I SUPPOSED to feel about this? I didn’t ride this trail to learn a lesson; I wanted to have a good time!” I passed an old couple and a group of kids and wanted to shout out, “I’m riding fast to CATCH MY HUSBAND WHO ABANDONED ME!!!” :) I should’ve known I would be humbled …….
I decided to pull over and take a break from my peddling and pouting. As I dismounted, imagine my surprise when from BEHIND me came my knight in biking gear. “I finally caught you!” he shouted happily. Instead of leaving me in the dust, my fam had been lured trailside to a stunning red barn, taking pictures, without realizing I bailed out and biked ahead. A communication lapse? Yes. An accident? Yes. But instead of thinking the best of my recreating hubby, WAITING on him, and following his lead, I assumed he had left me … when I was really the one who left him.
We are called to be followers of Jesus, and as wives that means following our husbands. Isn’t it interesting that Jesus said to follow Him, we have to deny going our own way?
“Then he said to them all: “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will save it.” (Luke 9:23-24).
To become a follower of Christ, we have to daily set aside going our own way to give preference to the leadership of another. To become a follower of a husband, we have to daily set aside going our own way to give preference to the leadership of another.
There are lots of distractions and temptations in marriage NOT to follow our husbands. It’s easy to bail out, convincing ourselves we are the victim, the one left behind, the one wronged. But sometimes being a good partner and letting our husbands lead us means waiting on them while they do things like pray, think through a decision, or take pictures of red barns. ;) Jeff WANTED to ride the trail with me, but I biked on ahead without him. We missed sharing some beautiful miles of trail together. I’m just glad the Lord made me stop peddling and pouting, so He could reunite me with my man for our journey together.
Do you find yourself running ahead of your hubby because he isn’t where you think he should be? Are you peddling and pouting up ahead of him, while he’s trying to catch up and lead you? I hope you’ll pull over and pray, asking the Lord to help you get in sync with your husband. The trail is beautiful, and doing it together is even sweeter.