Support & Submission

My minister used a good illustration yesterday while he was talking about going from “poor & pitiful to praise.” The illustration was talking about the two apostles that were the subject of the lesson: Peter and John. (Act 3:1-11 was the text)

Peter and John, he said, seemed to always be worshipping together. They were, in the text, going to the temple at the hour of prayer together. They had owned a fishing business together, and were together when they discovered the empty tomb after Jesus had risen. They were together at the day of Pentacost, when Peter stood and preached the first gospel sermon. They were, one could argue, spiritual partners to one another.

He also made the point that John didn’t need to be out in spotlight. John didn’t give the Pentacost speech, nor did speak to the lame man in the text. He didn’t preach the gospel to those gathered around to marvel at the healed man. He was in a support role the entire time, and there was no ego or vanity expressed by John. There’s nothing wrong with being silent sometimes, being a support, he stressed.

In my head I was thinking, yes! Exactly. It wasn’t that John didn’t have a voice, that John couldn’t have healed the man as easily as Peter. It wasn’t that John couldn’t preach the gospel.  It was just that it wasn’t his role at that time and within their worship relationship. Sometimes, one speaks for both.

I think sometimes people can get so caught up in wanting to be the voice of the relationship, wanting to be the one who’s right, and wanting to chart the course and steer the relationship, that they forget it’s a partnership that involves balance.

My minister quoted a favorite passage of mine, which basically asks how can two men can walk together unless they agree? The answer is they can’t.

It reminded me that I know how I feel things should be done and how they should be going, but so does MensHealth. If we are going to walk together, we both have to agree what our roles in the relationship will be, and where we are walking together to. It’s important for me to keep speaking up. If we aren’t going where I thought we were, I have to speak up and ask where we are going. How else will I know if we are going in the direction I want to go in?

Once I am moved and settled, I have to have this conversation with MensHealth. I only have five days left until I move, and I probably won’t see him much this week, as I have a ton of packing to do. But I’ve resolved in my mind to get our relationship clearly defined, whether it is what I thought it would be or not, and decide where to go from there.

How do you go about a “relationship check up” or a “check in”? How have you learned to be on the same page as your partner? How important is it to you that you be able to support one another?

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