Happy in my Lane

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Happy In My Lane

Have you ever watched one of those speedy, hot dog drivers on the road?  They don’t like to stay in one lane for any amount of time, so they dodge, to and fro, in and out, cutting dangerously in front of others.  Their eyes vie for a better spot just ahead in the other lane.

Now, I really don’t know…these hot doggers may be rushing somewhere important, like perhaps…to the hospital??  🙂  The truth is, I doubt it. They are most likely just restless and simply can’t handle the limits of staying in their own lane.

Have you ever struggled with this in life?  Instead of staying in our own lane, embracing the roles and commitments that we have been given, we are tempted to look around for better options.  Maybe we’re hoping that the lane nearby will somehow be faster, easier and better.  We ask ourselves, “What are my options here?  Is there some way around this?”

One area in which God has really helped me to “embrace my lane”, is in my role as a wife.  He has graciously opened my eyes to see that He has designed me to fill a very unique and privileged role within my marriage.  I was made to complete and bless one human being for a lifetime.  I was made to be one man’s support, encouragement and greatest fan.  I was made to serve, bless, come under his leadership, honor and defer to him.  I was made to love him for all of my days!

The Lord God said, “It is not good for man to be alone.  I will make a helper suitable for Him.” – Gen.2:18

When I really ponder the significance of this, it stops me in my tracks.  How my man needs me!  What a tremendous role to fulfill!  If I choose to do this well, his life will be enriched and blessed.  If I don’t, what a gaping hole I would leave in his soul.  So many women (sometimes me!) look at what God calls us to as wives and say, “Surely not. Isn’t there a shortcut?  I don’t really want to drive in this lane.  I think I like the lane called, ‘Woman in Control’ or ‘Respect shown upon Merit’ or perhaps, ‘Romance me Endlessly.’  Now that looks like a place where I can really cruise!”

And what about when your husband isn’t staying in his lane?  Perhaps he struggles to lead and love you well. That is tough. There are no easy answers. But we simply must choose to entrust our husbands to God and focus on our own lane, regardless of what our husband is doing – or not doing. How much does he like it when you tell him how to drive anyway?  🙂

Perhaps the beautiful and humble way in which you fulfill your role will encourage your husband to fulfill his. (1 Peter 3:1-2)   However, regardless of his response, we must know deep in our hearts that God himself is pleased with the offering.

The only thing you can control is your choice to drive in the only lane that leads to God’s blessing for us as wives – His beautiful and fulfilling complimentary design.

I have had the joy of observing the kind of marriage in which the woman joyfully yields to her husband’s leadership and chooses to complete, rather than compete with him.  And guess what I have found at the end of the lane? The treasures we all crave: a husband who is crazy about his wife, a husband who can’t live without her, a husband who counts the day he met her as blessed. (Prov. 31:10)  Most importantly, she has noticeably received protection and favor from the Lord. (1 Peter 3:8-12)  Don’t we all want to be the wife in that kind of marriage?

Consider this morning the man that God brought into your life, whether it was 2 years ago or 20 years ago. Think about his strengths. Think about his weaknesses. Think about his likes and dislikes. Now consider how God made you to be the perfect gift for him.  Consider how much he needs you. Consider how He made you to be the one who would make your husband’s life sparkle with beauty, peace and joy!  Are you loving him well, the way God made you to, or do you bristle at God’s design? 

How blessed our husbands (and we!) will be if we simply choose to embrace the lane He wants us to drive in. By faith, let us do marriage God’s way, fulfilling our God-given roles as wives, trusting that His way always brings blessing! As I think about the future, I carry a sweet picture in my heart of me and my husband, old and crinkly, wearing funny hats. The best part is, he has a look in his eyes that says, “I am still crazy about you!”

The lifelong love of my man and the satisfaction of knowing I am honoring God.  Now that’s a destination that I want to reach.  I think I’ll stay right here in this lane!

–          Julie McGrath

In the same way you wives must submit yourselves to your husbands, so that if any of them do not believe God’s word, your conduct will win them over to believe. It will not be necessary for you to say a word, because they will see how pure and reverent your conduct is. You should not use outward aids to make yourselves beautiful, such as the way you fix your hair, or the jewelry you put on, or the dresses you wear.  Instead, your beauty should consist of your true inner self, the ageless beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of the greatest value in God’s sight. For the devout women of the past who placed their hope in God used to make themselves beautiful by submitting themselves to their husbands. Sarah was like that; she obeyed Abraham and called him her master. You are now her daughters if you do good and are not afraid of anything. – 1 Peter 3:1-6

His master replied, ‘Well done my good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’ – Matthew 25:21

Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord. – Eph. 5:22

A wife of noble character who can find?  She is worth far more than rubies. – Proverbs 31:10 

Going Deeper:

1.  Maybe you have never truly studied what it means for you to be a wife as taught in the Bible.  Seek out a biblical study of what it means to be a godly wife (two resources mentioned below.)

2.  Is there an godly older woman in your life, who has lived this out beautifully?  Ask her if she will get some coffee with you.  Come with a teachable heart and ask her lots of questions!   She is probably a lot more human than you think!

3.  Two things a man can’t live (for long) without are Respect and Physical Intimacy.  How are you doing in these two critical areas?

Additional Resources:

Fearlessly Feminine by Jani Ortlund

Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood (especially chapter “Wives like Sarah and the Husbands who Honor Them” on 1 Peter 3:1-8) Edited by Wayne Grudem

A Biblical Portrait of Womanhood by Nancy Leigh DeMoss

A Wife After God’s Own Heart by Elizabeth George