Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Familiar Convictions

We are having that conversation again. The one where I go, I feel like I don't do anything for you. And where he starts listing off all the things I do. But then, I always say, I couldn't do any of those things, if you didn't provide income to pay for it. And he is silent. Silent because he can't think of what to say, what I need. Silent because I don't know how to tell him what I'm asking, what I need to hear.

He finishes with a you are just you. What you do for me is you love me; sentences that to me sound contrived and easy, something said when nothing else is left--not real, not true. Because I want to be needed. I have to know that something I do in this marriage is equal to what he does. I don't want to be a burden.

If he didn't work 12 hours a day, if he didn't bring home money--I wouldn't be able to cook. I wouldn't be able use the water to wash our laundry. I wouldn't be able to follow my dreams of becoming a famous knitting designer or blogger and work for myself. He pays all the bills. He gives me money to buy all the food. I'm unworthy...

We drop the conversation. But inside I'm struggling. Something in me yearns to know that I matter. That I am contributing enough to deserve him. I want to be equal to my husband. I want to know that I am worthy of his love, and that I am returning, equally, the substance he gives me. Money for money. Or at least something comparable. Because then I won't be a burden. Then I won't be another rope around his neck.

My heart is troubled. My husband can tell I'm upset about something, so the next day buys me flowers. This just makes me feel worse, because now he is exercising his free time and his money just to make me feel better. If I felt okay, he wouldn't need to do this.

That Sunday I went to church, my spirit still heavy. Then the pastor started taking, and God got my attention. He went over how much God loves us. How he sent his son to die for us, how he adores us and sends us his joy. And about how there is nothing we could ever do to deserve his love.

And I thought, how many times have I tried to pay God back with good deeds and promises? Good deeds are good. But all of me belongs to God. Giving him anything is just giving him something he already owns. I can never repay him, I will never be enough. And when God saves me, he no longer sees me as something dirty, as something unequal to his love. No, he elevates me to become his child, a child of God. And nothing I ever do will make me deserve that.

In my pew I cried. Because the same goes for my husband. No matter what I do, even if I win the lottery and give my husband handfuls of money or buy him his favorite car or never burn another will never be enough to repay him for the love he has given me. Because my husband does not view me as unequal. He supports what I do. To my husband, my love is enough for him. This goes in tandem with what God wants. He wants me to love Him. And God wants his love to be enough for me.

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