How we can redeem each other into our God-given identity
About a year ago I wrote an article called
“How individuality in marriage scared me – and how I learned to enjoy it“
There, you could read a conversation we had a few years into our marriage, where I told Benny:
“Darling, we have a problem!“
He looked at me puzzled, curious to hear my thoughts.
I said: „Well, I’ve come to realize I am a ship and you are a lighthouse!”
Now he looked amused.
“And why is this a problem?” he asked.
“Well. You are so different from me. I am made very differently from you. I love to be out on the high sea. I am comfortable to transport either many people or merchandise. I enjoy the movement of the waves and the freedom of the wide sea. (metaphorically speaking)
You are this big, stable lighthouse. You are firm in your position, secure and trustworthy. But you are definitely not a ship. So how can our lives truly fit together?“
The answer he gave me back then? :
“Well, I will do everything to let you be this amazing, beautiful ship, free to be out on the sea and be who you are created to be… Will you do the same for me?“
In this article, I wanted to show you by a practical example how he does that for me… and how it impacts and shapes my life – and the life of our children – and hopefully people around us!
As I described in that mentioned article, Benny and I are very different.
Those of you that have been following my articles for a while, know that I frequently go camping with my kids.
It’s an 8-hour drive to the south of France.
There, I build up the tent and spend two to three weeks of adventure.
Or at least, without Benny.
As the owner of a car garage, spring and autumn are his “high seasons” – the times he has plenty of work.
When people get to know that about me, reactions are quite different. From “you are crazy” to “I admire you”, there has been everything.
Fact is; If I have the courage and the strength to do that, it is because of Benny.
It was him, who let me drive his car, basically from the day we met.
I had never owned a car. I had my driving license for a few years, but my driving was pretty insecure due to the lack of experience. However, from the time we dated up to today, he lets me drive whenever I wish to.
Even when I had tickets.
Even when he had bumps in his car because of my driving in the beginning.
Today, I am a good driver. Secure and capable. I know how to park and drive narrow streets, and this in a relaxed way.
You see, it is because of Benny I am confident to drive to the south of France, alone with my kids.
He would not hesitate to come and “save us”
Another reality I cherish dearly, another reason I have the courage and the strength to do that, is because I know that if there would be an urgency (me or a child getting really sick, a political issue or any other unexpected situation I can’t handle on my own) he would not hesitate to come and “save” us. The time it would take to drive, and he would be here.
Knowing that he will get my back, I dare to take this risk and go alone with my kids.
Now… wether you think that I am admirable or crazy for going to such camping vacations with my kids, one thing I know:
I would have neither the courage nor the strength to go for such adventures with my kids if Benny did not have this attitude to let me go, to celebrate me for my uniqueness and get my back if anything would go wrong.
I would never dare to drive those 800 km southwards if he had ever told me that my insecure driving style is dangerous and that it is better if he drives that car.
We would miss out on the adventure, no doubt.
Not because I’m not capable to do that.
I’ve proven it 6 times now, a total of approximately 15-18 Weeks.
Neither heavy rains, strong winds, exceptional cold or warm weather were problems we couldn’t handle. We went through many adventures and many unexpected situations. Traffic jams, the car stuck in the sand, a huge amount of mosquitoes and even a broken leg and feverish children weren’t insurmountable challenges.
You see, because of this attitude of Benny, who encourages me to be this “beautiful, amazing ship, free to be out on the sea and be who I am created to be” – I am free to enter always more into my unique DNA.
I do the same for him, in every possible way.
Looking at how this attitude of honoring each other in marriage, how pushing each other into our God-given identity sets us free to become more and more these amazing and unique persons we were created to be, discovering our gifts and talents, growing in our identity and purpose ; we are more than eager to implement this very same attitude into the lives of our children.
Knowing that Benny would come at any time and “save us”, if there would be an urgency during our vacation gives me the courage to truly go for this challenge.
He would do that without reproaches or telling me things like
“See, I told you. But you always want to do things different than I would do them.
If you could just listen to me and do it my way…”
How much more do I want to apply this attitude for my kids?
Because fact is; God created us all amazing.
He created you in a unique way.
You can do things in ways other people wouldn’t be able to.
You have a mix of gifts and talents no one has them exactly the same way.
You are one-of a kind.