Week of Mutuality: Uniquely Equal

flickr- torea jade

We started with a mutual mindset from the very beginning.  We met over the internet and fell in love on the telephone.  There were countless deep conversations shared, as well as some really silly ones which involved herds of beaver and  my extreme dislike of the word “penetrate.”

We shared dreams together Kel and I, like leading a church where we taught side by side, bringing truth from the unique vantage points that God poured into each of us.

We believed that the fullness of God could only be fully expressed with both of us alight and alive, as Kel and Leanne, as man and woman.  That Kel in his maleness held totally unique aspects of God, while I with my Eve-ness carried the other part.

After all it was only “good” or “Tov” with just Adam, but “Tov Meod” or “very good” when God had breathed himself into both of them.  We believe that each of us carry attributes of God that are unique and equally necessary for his world.

So here we are now,  7 years later, we don’t have our own church and we aren’t teaching together in a Yin/Yang fashion.  He is leading a ministry and I’m at home, raising our children, making them breakfast, reading books and taking them to the splash park.

Some may look at our marriage and see me as the complement to his ministry, the support to his leadership role.  Me the little woman at home with the sewing machine, he the breadwinner with the lawn mower, black and white and typical.

That view of “us” would be wrong and narrow.

They would be missing the mornings and afternoons where he takes charge of the house so I can write and respond to all the “non-mom” ways in which the spirit is leading me.

They would be oblivious to the hard truth that there is nothing passive or easy about raising children.  Kel would be the first to tell you that in our marriage, my job requires just as much if not more strength and power from the Holy Spirit as his career of ministry and leadership.

They wouldn’t know that when I visit his supporting churches, I am “Kel’s wife”, but that when he goes to conferences or weddings, he is often “Leanne’s husband.”

This distinction holds no insecurity for either of us, because we would be selfish if our desire wasn’t for the other to shine.  I want to be Kel’s wife as much as he desires to be Leanne’s husband.

We view our unique calls as something that our whole family is involved in.  He is just as willing to take care of children at home so I can speak at a retreat as I am to go it alone while he is at a conference or camp.

Honestly? Yes, some days my call does feel marginalized by the simple truth that his work brings a paycheck and my writing brings next to nothing monetarily.  But, honestly? I like paying the mortgage and buying milk.

Right now is a season of young ones who require heaps of attention and correction.  Yet seasons always change and with age will come more space for me to lead outside of these four, small brick walls.

Today I will rest in the fact that I am no less valuable and no less needed in this world because of my gender or income.

I have birthed children, nursed babies, written beautiful words, scrubbed toilets and made a hundred pots of oatmeal.  Kel has (almost) earned a masters degree, warmed 2 AM bottles, folded socks and made pan after pan of chicken enchiladas.

There is nothing about our life that is too minimal or too large for the other to participate in, nothing that is outside the realm of our love and support of each other.

We live equally, we love differently, we bring our gifts uniquely and we support mutually.

  • Lisa K

    Beautifully put. That was one thing I worried about in the thought of becoming a pastor’s wife, being seen as just the supportive role to my husband (not that that’s bad, like you it’s just not necessarily me). I realized that it is whatever I make it and I think watching you and Kel really helped me to understand that my role as wife to a pastor does not come with a checklist. I don’t have to lead 5 bible studies, have a column in the church newsletter, sit in the front row at all morning and evening services, have 8 kids, quit my job, wear my hair in a braid and only wear long skirts. If I feel that I should then that’s between me, God and my husband… what a relief it was to realize that!

    • http://sheddfullofthoughts.wordpress.com Matt Shedd

      Brilliantly stated. This is so very similar to the relationship between my wife and I. In many ways, we would still call ourselves complementary, but not because of a need for hierarchy, but because in our uniqueness, we are perfect complements for one another. Thanks for sharing!

      • http://leannepenny.wordpress.com leannepenny

        well put Matt, I agree with you here.

    • http://leannepenny.wordpress.com leannepenny

      I’m glad you came to your senses. I need a partner in this biz. 😉

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