I stood in the airport with my three-week old daughter in a front pack under a blanket. As I swayed back and forth praying she stayed asleep, I corralled my three boys, desperately trying to keep them from intruding in the personal space bubbles of the surrounding travelers. My husband had escaped to the nearest news stand to grab magazines and snacks. That’s when I heard the words, “Excuse me, is your husband Luke McCown?”
With a half-hearted smile I replied, “Yes.” And off she went: “I just have to tell you, you’re husband is amazing.” This well-meaning woman had listened to Luke speak a few days earlier. The event she attended put players in front of fans to answer questions about what happens inside an NFL locker room, but also to point adults and children alike to the only firm foundation in this ever-changing business, Jesus Christ. I didn’t get to go. Three of my four children had strep throat. And there I was in the airport, juggling all four of them alone yet again, and all she could do is talk about how unbelievable my life must be since I was “Luke McCown’s wife.”
Before I go on, I must agree with her, my husband is amazing. But, COME ON! Throw me a bone! No one follows me around to say, “You’re awesome. You’re amazing. You’ve changed my life with your words.” Wouldn’t that be nice? Instead I get comments like my six-year old’s synopsis, “Moms don’t do work.” Nice.
So, how do you deal with being “someone’s” wife? My answer: don’t buy the lie.
Biblically speaking, I’m not someone’s wife, and neither are you. Instead, Luke and I are “one flesh.” (Genesis 2:24) That’s a game changer. Roles don’t define our relationship. We are one. We may receive individual assignments, but at the end of the day we’re on the same team, fighting the same battle. The scene that unfolds in Exodus 17 reveals an awesome picture of what happens when we embrace our assignments.
God’s people, the Israelites, faced an enemy, Amalek. God sent Joshua to fight the battle and Moses to stand on top of a hill. Joshua’s job sounds more exciting, right? He used his God-given strengths to lead and direct an army of men. He got to be the boss and had the satisfaction of putting his training into practice. Sure his job wasn’t easy. He risked his life and took responsibility for the lives of others. But his actions mattered. His decisions counted. Moses, on the other hand, wasn’t even a part of the fight … so it seems.
“As long as Moses held up his hands, the Israelites were winning, but whenever he lowered his hands, the Amalekites were winning.” (Exodus 17:11 NIV)
As far as we know, during the battle that day, Moses didn’t fight. He didn’t instruct. It appears as though no one asked him for his input or even gave him updates on the waging war. Yet, it was Moses’s actions that secured victory.
Three things I notice about Moses: he was intentional, resolved and supported. I’m going to assume his original plans that day did not include standing on a hill with his hands lifted up pleading with God for victory. He intentionally climbed up that hill, saying no to whatever else his agenda laid before him, and yes to his role in the fight. He clearly believed it was an important one.
We also find out Moses grew tired. (Exodus 17:12) Hold your hands up in the air and see how long it takes before you get tired. I’m good for 5-10 minutes tops. The Bible says Moses did this until sunset! That takes resolve. I think by lunch time I’d be hungry and probably second-guessing how important this holding up my hands in prayer thing really was. Moses took another route.
He relied on support. Two companions watched as Moses grew weary and ran to his aid. They gave him a place to sit and held his hands up for him. Wow. We can learn something here. I suppose Moses could have grumbled all the way up the hill about how insignificant this job was, refusing to let anyone come with him, because how hard could it be? But he didn’t. He took his role in this fight seriously and because he had men close enough to him to see his need and offer help, the Israelites won. What would have happened if he had been alone? Would the outcome have been the same?
What war is waging in your world? Do you wish you played a bigger part in fighting the battle? Have you considered the power of intentional and resolved prayer? You may have to sacrifice sleep or a favorite television show. You may grow tired as the battle wears on. Do you trust God enough to keep praying? Do you believe your role is important?