There is, and has been, a lot of dialogue about who is the “leader” of the home. I was raised with the stance that the man is the head. When I got married we had leaders around us who also asserted that view and to be honest it created a lot of confusion, frustration, stress, fights and hurt because we couldn’t figure out how to make that work. When we stopped worrying about who was leading, we found that we just naturally took on certain roles that we were each more skilled and gifted at. Most of these beautifully complimented each other. A friend of mine could not accept this and said, “But someone has to be the captain of the ship.” Well my friend, if my marriage was a ship – it sank!
I think this imagery is totally a wrong fit for my marriage. I believe that a more accurate depiction is a ‘Relay race’. When we got married we decided to enter this race together as a team. If one of us was the leader then that person would be incredibly tired because they would be doing all the running, or if there was an area that the other was better suited to lead there would be a fight over the baton. This actually happened for Rod and I a lot while we tried to figure out how to make our marriage work and conform to the images that others believed it should be.
Because of a lot of different factors, we eventually quit the race. We both believed that the other did not want to run the race together anymore and we got divorced. We started our own races, which were still connected because of our kids, but they were our own separate races. This was a very hurtful process of learning and growth. Running a race that was intended to be run for two was very hard. Single parenting is exhausting and draining!
I’m not thankful of the way we had to learn things, but I am grateful for what we have learned. I have no doubt that Rod loves me and wants to run with me – even if I feel hurt or unloved, I know the truth without a shadow of a doubt and I believe he knows the same. We grew as people and have better character as a result of being apart. Our kids have learned that even the most broken and torn apart relationships can be restored and healed. Forgiveness is worth it, trust can be rebuilt.
So now we are on this race together and sometimes he runs ahead because I need him to, sometimes I do for him. Sometimes we run with the baton between us, but we are running the same race together and we won’t ever give up.