Ok so this may turn out to be more of a rant than anything else, but that’s basically how my platform is usually set up: my take on the bit of pop culture that I allow myself to be exposed to.
So my guy, Pastor John Gray has hit the blogs and social media headlines again with his “controversial” 🙄 ideas on relationships and marriage (his visit to the White House, experiences growing up and new book) during his visit on Sister Circle. And of course, everybody who ISN’T married has something to say about his views and experiences within his own marriage. What would this world be if we didn’t speak our opinions on someone else’s experiences, huh? 🤷🏽♀️
Anyway, he basically was praising his wife (which I love regardless of what she’s being praised for. Nothing like a man who knows how to shout his wife out for being whatever she is to him!) for being his support system as he ascended to the status God held for him. He spoke about how she wasn’t a “lid” that stopped his growth but a “covering” that expanded with his as he grew. While listening to him, I took nothing negative from that but, of course, in this age of social media and new age thinking about religion, spirituality and relationships, every other person fired up their trigger-happy Twitter (and IG and FB) fingers to go awf on this man’s comments.
Everything from “Here we go with the toxic relationship propaganda again” to “Why do women always have to suffer while a man is growing up” to “A covering and a lid are the same thing.” I swear, more than two-thirds of the comments were coming from people who ended by saying, “This is why I’m still single,” and I wanted to reply, “Exactly right!”
First of all, this man is speaking from HIS OWN EXPERIENCE, praising HIS WIFE for being the spouse GOD CALLED HER TO BE TO HIM! Never during the clip did he say that this is how every marriage should be. While he may be implying that this is an ideal marital situation, it’s still not suggesting that it’s the only way to have a successful union.
Secondly, as I mentioned when I shared a previous post about John’s ideas of marriage, if it doesn’t apply to you and what you envision for yourself, then keep it moving. I’ll never understand why people feel the need bash someone else for their way of thinking, especially when it’s based on their personal experience. If that’s not your testimony, then no one is forcing it on you. In a conversation with a group of people, someone said that he should be aware of his words and delivery because of his platform and ability to impact so many lives, and I don’t deny that. However, that would more so apply to him delivering a message that he expects others to follow… this ain’t that. Again, he was on a talk show, sharing his own marital experience and journey to healing, not suggesting that the way it happened for him is the one-stop shop for how all marriages and journeys to wholeness should be.
In all honesty, unless you’re marrying someone who never plans to level up from the position they’re in when you unite with them, it’s not realistic to think you’ll never have to play this role for another being.
I definitely felt a way about the situation because of how marriage is perceived by the world today. Everybody wants this picture perfect spouse, who isn’t still struggling with past mistakes or trauma. No one wants to help build up a significant other; they want one that’s already tailor made for them. But my response to that is (1) have you personally reached the point of self-actualization where your significant other doesn’t have to EVER deal with your past or help build you up to who you are meant to be? and (2) when God presents you with the opportunity to elevate, but it requires sacrifice, loss, brokenness, and extreme tribulation, would you not want someone to hold you up through those times?
Had someone asked me these questions before marriage, I don’t know that I would’ve been able to answer them because honestly, it’s one of those “you can’t really speak on it if you haven’t experienced it” type of situations. I never thought marriage would be much of a struggle, but many aspects of it do call for that. A lot of times, you don’t realize your brokenness until you’re engaged in life with someone who helps to shed light on it. You don’t know things about yourself because no one else has called you out on it. And ultimately, your spouse may be the person God has positioned to help with your elevation and that’s not something you just reach within a hop, a skip and a jump. It’s something you literally fight for, crawl through the mire and dirt for, are attacked for, and sometimes want to tell God “thanks, but no thanks” for. If you can’t be that covering that selflessly struggles though with the person God designed for you, then you don’t deserve that person and the blessings that come with that endurance. And I sincerely pray God sends you someone who is whole and complete so you don’t have to be that for them. But in all honesty, unless you’re marrying someone who never plans to level up from the position they’re in when you unite with them, it’s not realistic to think you’ll never have to play this role for another being.
A lot of times, you don’t realize your brokenness until you’re engaged in life with someone who helps to shed light on it.
PLEASE NOTE: THIS IS NOT A MESSAGE PROMOTION TOXIC RELATIONSHIPS! Being a covering for someone should not cause you mental, emotional or physical harm. Remember, you should be expanding while your spouse is elevating as well. Marriage is not for the faint of heart. It’s not easy but it’s worth everything you give it, even if it doesn’t seem like it in the moment.
SN: Stop internalizing every message you read or hear on social media. Stop creating your judgement or opinions after watching 30-second clips. Take the time to find the full message….puuuuhhhhhleeeeezzzzeee! And ultimately, if it ain’t for you, do us all a favor and keep scrolling. ✌🏾