fortress.

There is a palpable heaviness in my heart lately as I give and receive news of marriages falling, families breaking up. It’s rampant, this epidemic. And while I used to think it was an affliction of the unchurched, those scales have dropped and I now see it isn’t. Totally isn’t. Men, are there any of you who read this? If so, please hear this: fight for us. Whatever we’ve done, whatever you have, just fight for us. Fight for a legacy that isn’t about rolling over and surrendering your family on the alter of comfort. You were never promised a rose garden, so if you are in the thick of brambles and thinking of just ditching it for some dreamed of peaceful place where you can sow wild oats in peace, just don’t. Please. Because dreams of a better life unfettered by family stuff is the devils playground and he is luring you daily. Resist. Because I know this: that the more you refuse to listen to that call, the quieter it gets. And there will be a day when you stop hearing it altogether and you’ll wake up some morning and look at this family you have fought for and you’ll realize it’s the only place on earth you want to be. That these people are your people and much more now that you’ve fought for them. Much more. Because at the heart of every woman is a little girl standing at the side of the roller rink watching the skaters whizz by and longing to be picked. Be that guy. And be him a hundred times a day.
 Women, you want to be picked, I totally get that. So does he. And while you’re knee deep in laundry and carpooling, there is this man, this matryoshka companion who is a little boy inside and who still is looking to be someone’s victor. You want him to fight for you? Good. Then give him something worth fighting for. Because if you’re not telling him he’s the man for you, daily telling him and showing him, then he will find someone or something that will. And there is a line out the door of willing candidates: pornography, the lonely gal at work, a stripper named Bambi, a car that feeds his ego while it empties your bank account. You were never promised a rose garden either. “In this life you will have troubles, but take heart! I have overcome the world.” Remember? And there will be times when you pick him and he doesn’t pick you back (and vice versa) and that will wound you deeply, but you must not nurse that wound. Have to stop picking at that scab. Because the devil will daily mix up a cocktail aimed at dulling your love and sharpening your bitterness until you are dreaming of a little cottage with peonies flanking the front door and inside is you and your children playing, i dont know, scrabble and opening up alimony checks and dreaming of how you’ll spend them. This is the devils kool-aid. Do not drink of it. Women, fight for this man even if he won’t, can’t, fight back. Because when you do you build a legacy for your children that is about stamina and that will bless them for generations. And if that is not what was modeled for you, if weak husbands and wives were the stuff of your own childhood, then consider this the second greatest gift you can give your children. This staying and fighting and not subjecting them to visitations and split holidays thing. Because if there is a voice inside you saying that you’ll all be better off, then please recognize it as a lie you are telling yourself so that you’ll be ok. And then banish it to hell and figure out how to make this work. *I have to inject a disclaimer here about abuse, because there are situations that are simply untenable and if you’re in one of them, if you’re in danger or your children are, then you are in a different boat all together and need to find a shore that offers safety and security. I don’t believe God intends for you to stay and fight for a man who is abusing you. So your job is different. Your job is to get to safety and then fight. Through prayer and counseling and with the guidance of people who know the bible and can help you navigate those stormy waters.* but if you’re looking around and seeing that everyone else has just a lovely marriage and that you must be the only one who feels like she is dying inside, then have another look. Because marriages are dropping like flies and if we pretend otherwise, we are kidding ourselves. So can we all just commit to admitting how hard it is, to throwing our front doors open and admitting how darn hard it can be sometimes? And then can we commit to linking arms and falling onto our faces before Father, the great Counselor, and pleading for our families? Will you do that? Half of you have now had to go get your reading glasses because you sat down to just check in and you’ve been sitting for so long that your eyes are watering and your butt is asleep and I’m sorry for that. It’s always like that when I write at ungodly hours, but this is important stuff. So important. I’m writing for you and for me and for our children and theirs. I’m pleading on behalf of a generation who have been taught that you chase after happiness at all costs A generation whose parents think that it’s less damaging to split up than to stay together. And Please, please, from someone who has held her unraveling marriage in shaking hands, who has called the home team in countless times to pray when I was too broken in spirit to be able to form the words myself, please fight.  And I will join you as I fight daily too.  Fight against discontent and selfishness and a million other things that drive a wedge between me and my husband.  Fight to choose him again and again and let him know that’s what I’m doing so he doesn’t have to wonder where he stands.  Fight in front of my children so they can see that marriage is worth the battle, so that they experience security in their lives and can pass it on to their own children.  Just fight.  Will you join me?
this is me being real.

4 Replies to “fortress.”

  1. So well said, Meg. You have wisdom beyond your years–hard won, I'm sure.
    Thanks for adding the humor. I need to smile, wipe my tears, and take a deep breath every so often while reading such a passionate post.
    You are uniquely gifted. Keep writing.

    Like

  2. Wonderfully crafted as always, Meg. I have a hard time remembering which one of you is my favorite Vos, but this post reassures me that you belong in the top three.

    I, for one, am fighting for my wife. She's a handful, but so very worth the trouble. Thanks for these inspiring words. You've got me so pumped up with husbandly swagger that I may not shave for a week. Huzzah!

    Like

  3. Brett, so flattered to be in the top three. That's like way better than my middle school standings. Very glad you're still fighting for that handful but worth it wife of yours. And a week from now you can tell her that the realization of her cowboy-scruffy-face-fantasy is all my doing. She can thank me later. Just do me a favor and lay off the chaps, ok? Love to your family. Would love to catch up with all of you so I can finally stop poring over your marvelous Christmas letter.

    Like

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