Thomas Macaulay (1800-1859) once wrote, “The measure of man’s real character is what he would do if he knew he would never be found out.”
My father was the old fashioned type of man that did everything out of duty. He was precise in his ways and no-nonsense about his character. He was solid and strong and never there.
In his eyes, women were made for the home, with long hair and respectable dresses. Looking immaculately but not vulgar. Men were for work. All hours, if that’s what the job demanded.
When the demands of the flesh came, he also answered. He had affairs on the side and if my mother had let them continue, he wouldn’t have made the decision to honour his marriage and end the affairs himself. His choice was to have it all and screw the consequences because he was the only one that mattered after all. Everyone else was expendable or forgettable. My parents are divorced now.
I find it interesting that now that I am of an age to look for a life partner, my basic need is not to find a husband that will fill a void for me like my mother had wanted to have her void filled all those many years ago, whilst she waiting for my father to return home. No, my deepest need is to have a husband that will collaborate with me and support me in creating a relationship that will reflect the honour and unity that God wants in all relationships so that my children can follow that example.
I don’t want a relationship that works for me. If I’m honest, I don’t want a relationship that works for God and maybe that’s because, despite it all, I know God loves me and I don’t need to prove anything to Him. What I want is a relationship that works for my sons and daughters. A relationship that will give them comfort in their youth and carry them into their adulthood so they can stand strong and tall and honourable.
I want my children to follow God so absolutely, that you wouldn’t know where He starts and they end, but that needs to start with me and my husband, with God firmly in the middle.
The irony of my needs is that for my children to have the example that I want to emulate, the relationship does indeed have to work for me but more than anything, it has to work for God, otherwise, my children have nothing to look forward to but heartache.