Lest you think that I am anti-Shack...
I really loved some of what I read in there today. About creation and men and women and the result of Adam's sin. I loved his explanation of how women and men ought to be finding their identity and self-worth in God, but how men find it in work, and women find it in men. I loved how it talked about God's original design for relationship between husband and wife...mutual submission...that it is our respective independence that ruins the relationship. That it is a circle of relationship, Eve came from Adam, and now men are born to women. (Okay I realize that sounds a little fruity. But it was awesome, really!)
Kevin just finished listening to the audiobook version, and it turns out he loved that part too.
So, yay for The Shack. Now that the author is spending less time making us very aware of the many races of God, it's getting better. :)
On a personal note I have done a bit of thinking about men and women over the past couple of years. What does it mean to be a woman, a wife, a mother? In preparation for marriage, and then in the early years of being married, I would read (Christian) books that, in many ways, I just could not relate to. Sure there was some good stuff there, but the image of marriage portrayed in these books just seemed so...not me. Not us. I remember Kevin reading James Dobson's What Wives Wish Their Husbands Knew About Women. I distinctly remember him sitting on the couch (Kevin, not James), every few minutes calling out to me, "Brianna? Is this really true? Do you feel this way? It doesn't sound like you", and me laughing and saying, "No."
Really, I'm sure that the book is just fine. But sometimes I wonder if we get so hung up on women vs. men that we somehow forget that we're HUMAN. With equal access to God. Sometimes I wonder if this actually contributes to difficulty in marriage. Because the Bible says that iron sharpens iron, and how can that happen if one's views are consistently dismissed or diminished because they're a woman? It's messy, and I'm not a theologian (thankfully)...I just think it's not nearly so clear-cut as some make it out to be. Especially in the day-to-day. (No, I don't consider myself a feminist or whatever you want to call it. No, I'm not trying to make a big, across-the-board case for egalitarianism. No, I don't think there's room in marriage for EITHER person to be using the relationship to assert their "rights." Yes, I'm familiar with Ephesians 5. :) )
As for us, Kevin and I are committed to talking things out and attempting to reach a mutually agreeable solution. We have yet to reach a major impasse. (Yes, it may happen at some point and then we'll be stuck. I'll keep you posted. And that's NOT to say we never argue or disagree...it's just never reached a point where we're literally unable to move forward, or someone has to pull rank.) I have thoughts and opinions. They matter. Kevin has thoughts and opinions. They matter. For the sake of our relationship, we want to try to put the other first. I have so much respect for my husband. He's my best friend. He also is really respectful of me. I love our relationship.
Ahem...wow...all that from The Shack! Yikes! It's time to get a bowl of ice cream and watch some mindless TV, I think. (Kevin's not home, he's out at a friend's watching a basketball game. If he were here, he'd be scooping the ice cream and we'd probably be watching Arrested Development on DVD. Bummer. Mindless TV is not NEARLY as fun!)