Throughout our 18+ years of marriage, Edd and I have developed some quirky patterns. Some are cute. Some are annoying. Some are downright damaging.
Recently, Edd began to detail his responsibilities to me. He mentioned he felt like he was spinning plates and if one is ready to topple, he needs to devote his full attention to it.
My job is a huge plate and within that huge plate there are dozens of smaller plates, all needing to be spun, he said. Then I’ve got the girls and their activities and exercising and you…
Wait, wait, wait!, I shot back, I don’t want to be a plate! Are you saying I’m one of your responsibilities?
No. I don’t agree to this. If I am a plate, let me drop.
I contemplated our conversation for a bit. Truth be told, Edd was one of the things on my “to do” list, also.
This particular cycle we continually repeat turns our pleasure of doing loving things for each other into delegated tasks.
I use the word “cycle” because we don’t treat each other like this all of the time. It only happens when we’re not connecting. When work is crazy, and kids activities are crazy, and we’re both relating to other people instead of each other, the marriage becomes one more responsibility in our already chaotic days.
Fortunately, this pattern has a simple solution. We need to spend more time as a couple, more time connecting.
I’m not saying we make this easy.
We constantly put other people and activities in front of our needs as partners. But when we do make us a priority, “delegated tasks” once more become acts of love and the resentment disappears.
Believe it or not, this post is not only about marriage. Rather, I think I’ve found the block that’s been disconnecting me with God.
I haven’t been attending worship much. It’s not that I don’t want to be around the people in my church – I’ve just been procrastinating on some responsibilities. And in this case, my relationship with God became an obligation; a “plate” if you will.
Like me, I’m pretty sure God doesn’t want to be a plate.
I’ve been hung up on world news of groups committing horrid acts in the name of the Creator, religious arguments on social media, the doctrine of every random person, and the obvious amount of hate spread under the illusion of “God’s love.”
I can’t take it anymore.
So I’ve stayed back. None of it God’s fault – all of it my own anger and frustration. I haven’t been interested in connecting.
Last weekend was my turn to teach Sunday School. I didn’t want to go. If I had a good excuse, I would have tried to get out of it. My guilty conscience prevailed.
Our pastor dismisses children to classes after announcements and singing together. Thank God. Because on Sunday, though my bad attitude almost won out, I needed to be among my friends worshiping God. I needed to connect.
I snuck into the back of our worship space and for the first time in a great while, focused only on God. And just like Edd and I grow more in love during the moments we are alone with each other, so I felt my love and dependance on God return.
My obligation to teach kids that morning became an act of love. I read the Bible verses with an open mind and I saw God in the Word.
I wonder – can I keep this relationship a constant instead of a cycle?
How is your relationship with God at the moment? Is He completely present or have you removed yourself from Him?
Do you feel the obligation
to go to church?
to give money?
to read the Bible?
to love others?
to serve others?
If you are doing these things because you think it’s your duty, I challenge you to step away for a while. Concentrate instead on building your connection with God through prayer. The above actions are good and worthy and necessary. But if you’re doing them without connecting with Him, they just become another plate to spin.
And really, who wants to be a plate?