Rockin’ the Roles

imageClaire here– Dennis and I are both writers, but we both agree he’s more of the lyrics and music writer and I’m more of the blogger, so we decided to, as in most marriages, assign some roles around this joint!

There comes a time in marriage, at least ones which function efficiently, when you need to divide and conquer, as they say. Many people do this in many different ways, and I’m sure many of you expect me to say that there is no right way of doing it. But I would be lying to you if I said that.

I would liken it to a band (since this is a music site after all!). You wouldn’t want your bassist to sing if your bassist totally sucks at singing, and you wouldn’t want your lead guitarist to play percussion if he has no rhythm. God gave them specific gifts, which, with practice, they developed into talents that are unique to them. We don’t just randomly draw straws to see who gets to be the lead singer for the day. We have roles, and most of the time we stick to them. This doesn’t however, mean that the drummer can’t occasionally play the keyboard for that one acoustic song and it doesn’t mean the bassist can’t sing a little back up vocals (unless he sucks…). The band, in order to function as a team, needs flexible structure. Structured flexibility. Whichever floats your boat.

In the same way, marriage also thrives on structured flexibility (that’s the one that floats my boat). God gave women in general some pretty amazing gifts, but he also gave me specifically some unique ones. Just as men have common strengths and Dennis has specific ones which are unique to him. There is a reason why women give birth and not men. There is a reason why men have naturally stronger desires to lift heavy weights and kill things. There is also a reason why I am very organized and prone to decorating the house where as Dennis leaves his clothes lying on the floor. At the same time, there is a reason why Dennis is very good with budgeting money and I am very good at spending it. A lot of it. God designed men and women this way so we would be balanced and so we would learn from one another. And there is no doubt in my mind that God designed Dennis and I the way we are so we would balance each other out.

Now, some may tell you that gender is simply an imposed societal norm which is limiting and wrong and that we should rebel against it by being super angry feminists. And to be honest, a few years ago I would be one of those people. But this simply is not true. If it were, we wouldn’t look differently, we wouldn’t have different… parts, if you know what I mean, and we wouldn’t have different natural instincts that have been around before media and even society as we know it today existed.

However, I am not suggesting that we peg ourselves in as stereotypes as soon as we say “I do”. If I thought that, I probably would not enjoy my marriage very much.

I am not the typical housewife who wears an apron, curls her hair, and puts on pearls just before serving dinner to her husband who wears a tie and reads the newspaper. Heck no! I heavily rely on crockpots to cook meals while I’m at work teaching kids, and my husband is usually playing guitar around the house in his bare feet when he’s not on the road playing shows (still with bare feet), or at the studio producing or mixing something, or out kicking butt at some audition or commercial shoot (probably not with bare feet… but I suppose it’s a possibility). Although he does wear ties and I do like pearls…

My point is this: It took a while to assign our roles, and we’re still in the midst of figuring out what that looks like, but it is something that we’ve grown to find important.

Since Dennis’s new album, “Diggin’ Into Grace” is being mastered as we speak (that’s musician code for “being made radio-ready”), and since said album is mostly about marriage, I thought I’d give you a little introduction on the subject. And also introduce my new role in this whole project.

And that role would be..?

I’m a wife. I’m a cheerleader. I’m a song critic at times, but mostly just a song listener. I’m a blogger, merchandise brainstormer and creator and seller, inventory taker, album art artist, photographer and videographer. I pack lunches for the road and burn CDs, I inspire songs and sometimes help with lyrics. I do all of those things, but mostly I’m a helper. Because in my first job, my job as wife, the helper is implied.

When God wanted to make Eve for Adam He said: “It is not good for the man to be alone; I will make him a helper as his partner.” And upon seeing his new wife, Adam replied, “this at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh”.

I love that Adam says “at last”, as if he had been absolutely begging God to give him a woman!

God made Eve to be the perfect helper to her Adam, and I truly believe God made me to be the perfect helper to my Dennis.

When Dennis tells me about the progress of this album or about a success on an audition he speaks as if we share the victory. He’ll say “Babe, we booked the commercial!”, or “Our album is sent off to be mastered today”. This is because what Adam said so long ago is still true today. We are of the same flesh and bone. His victories are my victories. My failures are his failures. We are like the band who just started off, practicing in our different roles, but playing the music together as one.

And so too, my blogposts are his blogposts. So I guess I’ll sign out with love as….

-Claire and Dennis