Welcome to The Tearoom! This week we have the pleasure of hearing from Brooke Grangard, a beautiful Momma of two and fellow writer. In this post, Brooke really speaks to the independent heart in me, reminding me that sometimes I need to be weak and let my husband step up and be strong. I hope that this post encourages you as much as it encouraged me! Thanks so much for sharing Brooke!
I am not sharing this to be boastful. It’s simply how I am wired. I like to do things on my own and, for whatever reason, feel a real sense of accomplishment when I do so. I was raised this way and can see it already in my little girl. She simply values mastering skills by herself. This is a
The flip side of enjoying independence and self-competence is that you can become controlling. Always needing to be in charge, you can wear yourself out. And by trying to do it all myself, I had. By not allowing others to help me, I was missing out on what they could bring to the table and limiting their potential.
And unfortunately, this flowed over into my marriage as well. I simply found it more efficient and productive to work on my own. I wouldn’t often take the time to include my husband in what I could competently manage alone. If I was totally stuck, I would ask for his advice, but otherwise household tasks, bill-paying, and even car-management came under my responsibilities (ones that I took upon myself, of course!).
Women are good at getting stuff done! I think that God made us this way. And we bring a lot of strength to the marriage partnership. We are excellent helpmates!
But men must have a role to play as well. They must bring their strength. But to find room to offer their strength, they must be needed. Just because I am competent to do all that must be done in my daily roles does not mean that I am always strong enough (emotionally or physically) to do it on my own. I often think I am but then end up in a puddle on the floor after a long day of ploughing through my checklist.
In our modern society, it can be easy for men to feel that they are no longer needed. We don’t need hunters – we have grocery stores. We don’t need cowboys – we have 911. We don’t need their muscles – we have Crossfit. You catch my drift.
And so it was that when we began to look for a 2nd-hand canoe for the sake of introducing more adventure into our family of 4, I realized I was out of my league. And it was really good for me. We ended up finding a beastly one on Craigslist in our area. The gentleman selling it was a duck hunter, so he had painted it in camouflage colors. It could probably fit 8 adults, but we take it out with our 4 and 2-year-old. What a sight we are! (You can follow our adventures on our Facebook page if you’d like.)
My husband grew up boating and paddling with his family in Norway. Now, I’m from Colorado, so we definitely enjoyed the outdoors but rarely found our way onto the water. I feel unsure of myself on a boat. I don’t know what to do or where to start, so when I submitted myself for the ride into the hands of my husband, I was afraid. Not afraid of him and his competency. He knew what he was doing. I was afraid of myself, of not knowing what to do. I was unaccustomed to this role.
Basically, I just needed to sit down and take orders if we were going to maneuver this XL canoe from the top of our Jeep onto the lake, across to the other side and back again. I needed to let go of the reins and trust.
And you know, this little canoe extravaganza allowed me to see my husband for who he is again. It drew me to his masculinity. He knew what to do and I did not. And I need to be reminded of that sometimes.
My husband has a lot to offer. It’s what drew me to him in the first place. He is calm when I am crazy. He is steady when I am a circus. He is wise when I can’t see past the smoke. And he is determined when I am ready to give up. Sometimes those very godly values can be overlooked in a society that exalts busy-ness and efficiency and competency. What does it look like to be competent in the Kingdom? Because that is the competency that will last, and in the end, exactly the area where I want to excel.
Brooke Grangard has a heart for people to know Jesus and grow in Him. She and her husband spent the last 10 years on the mission field in East Asia with their two young children. They recently returned to the States and continue as full-time volunteers in Missions with CMM. She is currently based out of the Carolinas. You can find her writing about life and faith at theVinePress.org.