I never dreamed of a day that I would not be a "self-sufficient woman", never imagined myself as a stay-at-home mom or housewife. I have been a live-in nanny, and know firsthand how lonely it can be at times to have your social interactions predominantly with children. I have also provided for myself, with only a some help from my parents (thank you Mom and Dad!), since graduating high school.
But since getting married, Josh has been our steady source of income. And while I wouldn't describe myself as a housewife, I also wouldn't describe myself as the bread-winner of our family. And for the last three or four months, this reality has stung my pride. I didn't marry this man for his earning potential! I didn't marry Josh so he could put me through school! But there I was, realizing the pretty stark differences in our incomes and feeling pretty small because of it.
But marriage is not a fifty-fifty arrangement. We are not team of two identical people and we are not intended to be. Our partnership is called to be 100%, all of the time. To give ourselves to the other person, completely, every day. Josh gives of himself by working long hours in a occupation I could never do. I give of myself by creating a home for him to feel proud of. Are we in a set of gender roles I never pictured for myself? Absolutely! But I also never pictured myself pregnant this young; life's funny like that.
But more importantly, this is not about my pride. Josh is giving me a gift each day, an opportunity to pursue my dreams and to take the next six months and make them as healthy, relaxing, and productive as possible before we become parents. And while my pride may sting here and there, I realize that this is just growing pains, no different than my aching muscles after a good stretch. A good marriage requires us to die to ourselves, to put aside our pride and our wants for another's. That sting will fade, but the love we share with our partner will grow as we put aside our own visions of our future and embrace the necessity of teamwork. While one may be earning more money, the other is doing something equally important for the marriage.
Reflect on Corinthians 4:13, which reminds us what love is not. It is not proud or envious or angry or boastful. Our marriage is not our self, it is not about seeking our own way, but about seeking what is best for the other. And if we are both looking for the other's best interest, no one is lost in the mix.