Thursday, February 19, 2009

All you need is agape

I told y'all that as part of The Year Of Our Marriage (TYOOM) I am doing Kay Arthur's Marriage Without Regrets bible study. I am four weeks into it and have this to say about it:

Run. Run now. Figuratively speaking, I mean. Run really fast to Amazon and buy the book. Or run to Paperback Swap and order the book - they had plenty. And run to the phone and call your women's ministries woman and suggest she consider offering the bible study. If you are that woman, consider offering the bible study! To married classes and singles classes!

I have read lots of books on marriage, and Kay is knocking my socks off. Not literally. Literally, it is about 80 degrees here. Kay is knocking my flipflops off.

This week was on the man's role in the marriage, so the video (the videos are my favorite part) was taught by Wayne Barber, who does the men's DVDs. Since I am not a man, there was not much applicable there for me, so I thought.

The topic of submission is discussed in depth in the study. I have certainly been taught on submission, but not for weeks at a time. And being that it is such a complicated topic, it deserves weeks. Which we don't have so I am not going to touch submission with a thirty foot pole (read the book) except to repeat something that Wayne said today, which was essentially this:
  • The love that Paul talks about in Ephesians 5 in "love your wives" is agape, which is the unconditional love that always seeks the best interests of the other person above one's own. Agape is not a feeling, it is a commitment.
  • We are incapable of perfect agape love out of our natural sinful hearts. The only way that we can provide this love is via the power of the Holy Spirit, by letting Christ love others through us
  • If the love of a man for his wife is from Christ, it is unconditional and pure, and when witnessed by those around him, they cannot help but respect him.
He emphasizes that men are never to demand that women submit to them. Submission is something that we women do out of love of God and obedience to God. But if the man is loving his wife the way Christ loved the church, nourishing her, cherishing her, and presenting her holy and blameless by the washing of the Word (which is a TALL ORDER that I am glad I am not called to do), it is much easier and even desirable for his wife to submit to him.

Ok. I said I was not going to touch this - I am just repeating what the man said. Don't try and argue with me about submission. Read the book. Argue with Kay.

So why am I bringing this up?

Because as I was listening to this, the thought that kept running through my mind (besides a hundred thoughts of how blessed I am to be married to Walker) was I bet this would apply beautifully to children.

Especially strong willed children.

Like Princess Broccoli below.

Along the lines of something like this:

Eva Rose. I cannot force you to obey. I am asking you to obey because I love you, and because you love me. And the way that children show their parents that you love them is by obeying. This honors me. Now if you do not obey, you will receive a sad consequence, just like Jonah did when he did not obey God. But I am hoping that you will honor me now by obeying, because you love me. I know it's hard to obey. Should we pray right now for the Holy Spirit to help you?

This ties in perfectly with the heart-based discipline I love.

Y'all, I am so excited to try this, I almost can't wait for her to disobey tomorrow!

I also want to tell you now that for some time I have intended to write a series on what I have learned in the trenches as a parent of a strong willed child, and I am working on it. I will be publishing it next week.

Have a great weekend!

PS - So many of you have mentioned Love & Respect in the comments - we are actually going to a L&R conference tonight and all day tomorrow!


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