I love when Rachel Held Evans puts on her Teaching Hat. This week, she’s writing through what Mutual Submission (sometimes called Mutuality) – the theology, the Scriptures, how it translates to our real lives and marriages, all of it. It’s a necessary and much-needed conversation within the Church and Rachel has done serious research, called in the experts, and is highlighting posts on Twitter from other writers. Most of you know that Rachel and I have become friends (she even wrote the Foreword for my book) and I respect her more than I could express properly. She’s everything she appears – generous, kind, wise, funny, self-deprecating and usually the smartest person in the room – and so I’m flat-out honoured to contribute to her series on marriages of mutuality. You can follow all activity relating to this series on Twitter with the hashtag #OneToAnother.
I know that principles are useful and helpful, I do, but for some reason, they just don’t sum up what it means to love Jesus, do they? When I try to describe the spirit-filled life of living loved, I resort to metaphors and stories: I’ll stumble through the words of John 15 about life in the vine or say phrases like “live and move and have our being” and sometimes I talk about Isaiah or maybe shepherds and sheep who know His voice, but usually I am left saying “it’s like this…” and then I am only bearing witness to the Spirit’s movement in my own life and the Love who transforms me. I have a hard time to explaining it because it’s so inherent to my life: this is the way, and I walk in it.
Maybe that is the difference between religious performance and relaxing into a relationship. My faith is now a dance between the Holy Spirit and the Scriptures and my community, it’s alive. I’m being changed from the inside out, and I want to prophetically live the ways of Jesus into every corner of my small existence. I know where I belong and I know my true identity at last.
Against my usually-better-than-this judgement, I began to write online about my marriage a few years ago. I never write about how to have a good marriage – there is nary a principle or seven-step plan to be found. Instead, I write about what love looks like for us.
In the same way that the longer I know and love our Jesus, then the less I want to write or pontificate about Being a Good Christian, it seems that the longer I’m married, the less I want to write or pontificate about Having A Good Marriage. Now I just want to read dog-eared poetry books and cook his meals, argue with him about theology and then kiss him on the kitchen floor.