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Sunday, June 6, 2010
A short time back, as we were driving back from a trip to Alabama where Jenni had gone to do some training in Children’s ministry (she rocked it btw!), I asked her to review something I’d written as a summary overview of a surrendered marriage and the bridal paradigm. Given my previous post on the truth in tension, I found it pretty ironic that my wife and I were given the opportunity to struggle a bit with some of the tension of the bridal paradigm as we struggled to gain clarity over what I'd written.

We’ve been on our own journey toward a biblically surrendered marriage for many years, but what I’d written somehow struck her wrong. As she re-read aloud what I’d written I could see that maybe I hadn’t chosen my words as carefully as I should have, but I couldn’t see what exactly what she was concerned about.

We’ve come back to that discussion several times in the few weeks since then. Each time we’ve talked about it I felt my understanding of her perspective grow, yet I wasn’t quite able to completely grasp the nature of her concerns. In the end I’ve decided that it comes down to the difficulty of adequately describing in a few words what is really a lifelong journey of discovery. The problem with laying out the end goal of a surrendered marriage is that it can be a far leap for anyone who hasn’t gained a bridal paradigm mind-set, who hasn’t yet understood through personal experience what it means to live your marriage as a reflection of the love relationship between Jesus and the church. The challenge is that when trying to clearly define any one aspect of this new paradigm there is a risk of misinterpretation unless the entire context is clear, unless the many biblical truths on marriage are all held in the proper balance and tension. That's just hard to do.

I deeply value the discussions we’ve had, even though it hasn’t been easy. I value my wife’s honesty and her willingness to engage the ambiguity and tension. I appreciate hearing her perspective, which, as she explained, also comes partly through the eyes of the other wives that she talks with.

These conversations challenged me to more clearly and correctly describe the principles I espouse here. So I’ve taken another stab at my “Quick Reference on Surrendered Marriage,” in which I summarize my core principles on marriage. It has been substantially rewritten and significantly expanded. Please take a minute to read the updated version by cliking on the link above.

I’d appreciate hearing from you, especially the woman. What do you think of the way I’ve described the roles of husbands and wives in a biblically surrendered marriage?


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