I enjoy string lights. I really do. My husband and I had these lights at our wedding, large bulbs with cords of integrity. We cherished their coziness in our 400 square foot apartment. And yeah, the lights may make you feel like a lizard in an glass tank, and they may be difficult to put up. And I know they get dusty because they just hang there.
But, as we’re preparing to move to our new apartment the other day, we pull out the string lights from storage. What are we going to do with these? I assume that we will keep them, of course. Maybe not put them all up but at least a strand or two. My husband wants to chuck them.
So I prepare my battle cry, my argument. And he just keeps saying no. He wants to put his foot down.
And then the conversation takes a turn: put your foot down?
I became angry and frustrated at the language, maybe even the meaning. My husband is the head of the family, and he will allow me to have string lights. And I wonder why he’s choosing now, this moment with the string lights, to make that step forward.
And I know that I am resistant. And I know I should have grace. I have not seen my husband in a position of authority in our family, but I see God as authority in my life. And I am stubborn. And I am really good at remembering the past, at remembering someone’s faults.
Maybe what troubles me is that these positions of authority and submission go against my idea of what a team means, what a team is. I submit to him, and he submits to me. It’s just how am I supposed to know when whom should submit to whom? At what threshold do we say, okay, the husband makes the call on this situation? At what point can I no longer voice my opinion and perspective? How do I know my point of view has been taken into consideration? How do I know I’ve been heard?
What are the lines?
I think the problem overall is that I don’t want to lose, lose something even so small and insignificant and beautiful as string lights. I’m wondering how string lights will serve as a metaphor for other things we will disagree on in the future.
And I think the solution to these imbalances depends on the couple. I think a key move is to talk about it when it comes up. I think balance will take a lot of failure and hurt. I think we make the lines, we create them and draw them for ourselves.
Cheers to continuing to figure out how marriage works and to let Christ lead the way!