A person from my old church posted a video on facebook and it was called “the only video about marriage that every Christian has to watch”.
I rolled by eyes but thought I should actually take the time to watch it before I condemned. What ever it said, I knew this: there is always a flavour, always a set of rules and prescriptions these videos take. The road to happiness is always a formula.
Would it exhort wives to be a help meet for your husbands, making sure you are there with hot food and clean, smiling children every night?
Would it insist that wives must honour and respect their husbands no matter what, making sure that men are the head of the house?
Would it preach the need for strong families for Jesus, as if Christianity were a war to be won by out birthing the rest of the population, husbands and wives existing only to serve God?
There are always flavours you know. And by those flavours we derive formulas. And formulas are always rules, rigid and unbending. So little laughter and freedom, just rules and prescriptions and promises that happiness will be found a little further down the path.
No one is human when everyone is a stereotype.
You have to be a stereotype – none of this crap would ever work with real human beings. Real humans are too variable, to unique and to changeable.
Can I tell you a truth about almost 13 years of marriage? A mystery like St. Paul speaks of, learn the hard way?
I don’t know how to get a hold of the cleaning company and Mr. Spit was surprised about the details of our life insurance policy. He is home, booking appointments to get our eyes checked and I am on the road, working.
And everywhere, those sorts of Christians look at our marriage, the rules we ripped out and threw out, and they snivel and mutter about the imminent demise of our relationship.
And our relationship – this very human love, it still hasn’t gotten the message. 13 years later he tells me that he is proud of my accomplishments at work. I tell him I am thankful that he carefully does my laundry each weekend. I don’t ask permission and he doesn’t feel like he has to make rulings. We sit and talk, believing that two minds working away at a problem are better than one.
Because this love, it’s not formulaic. It has no flavours, it didn’t come endorsed by a psychologist with a publishing empire or a celebrity pastor.
It’s a deeply human love, worked out between two people who try and make it work each and every day.
I love you Mr. Spit. I don’t need rules or formulas to get to that.