My wife and I are different. Though we wholeheartedly believe that we Biblically became one flesh on Aug. 21, 2004, the process of becoming one in mutual submission has been an ongoing challenge for each of us. This process is exacerbated (not accelerated!) by the fact that we are both ministers of the gospel of Jesus Christ – licensed within exactly one week of the other in March of 2015 at the Kingdom Advancement Center (KAC) of Elgin, IL. You would think that sustaining a marriage for 13 years, raising children and starting a church would mean that we are very much on one accord… but we are “knot”! At least we didn’t start out on such ventures that way even though we’ve known each other for 20 years.
You see, I am not a risk-taker… and neither is she. I can see you pausing as you read this and giving a second look at the subtitle of this article. How are we different if neither of us are risk-takers, though? I’m glad you asked! It’s simple. FAITH changes everything. Once faith is required, I take on a different persona. What was once risk transforms into opportunity to obey the LORD – without dilemma or delay.
It was by FAITH that I moved to Illinois from Maryland without a single job prospect to marry Quiana in 2002. I had only been in communication with God via a prayer list I’d created about who my wife would be. After searching for what seemed like my entire life, I’d grown tired of my head being on swivel every time a new young lady entered onto the scene. Even when that new young lady was Quiana, it didn’t turn into what I’d been looking for right away. When I saw that she had every quality that I wanted except for her distant location, it was faith that caused me to look at my circumstance not as a setback but as a set up to find the bride of my prayers.
It was by FAITH that I heard the Lord tell me it was time to “GO” to a place He would show me after years of frustration and stagnation at the church where we were married. I moved on that single-word command without seeing/knowing what our next church home would be (or that we would be asked to help BUILD it!).
It was by FAITH… that I left the stability of a job I had worked for 8 years – after hearing yet another single-word command from God: “QUIT.” I had sought after and secured this job working in Chicago (a one hour commute from where we lived) not by faith but by my own sight, and God began convicting me halfway through my time there that my talents were needed in the city I lived in yet had left behind.
As you can imagine, this last FAITH act, by divine design – really brought out Quiana and my differences!
Situations that require me to trust in the Lord galvanize me to take action without knowing the outcome. Yet, as I look ahead and reach my hand backwards, my wife’s hand isn’t as quick to take hold of what I (don’t) see– what Hebrews 11:1 calls “…the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” Though my wife has witnessed and benefitted from what happens when I’ve walked by faith previously, she was not in favor of this last leap.
I had always noted and frequently joked about how if I were to make a comment on how blue the sky was, she would contend that it was really red! Over time, as the honeymoon wore off, I began to see this difference of opinion as opposition which allowed resentment to set in. After all, if I am following Christ as my head and she is following me as head of the household (see Ephesians 5:23 and 1 Corinthians 11:3), why then, is she:
- disagreeing with me?
- delayed in reaction?
- asking questions I don’t have the time or ability to answer?
- not going along with the process?
Finally, if she’s REALLY bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh now… WHY in the WORLD is she so DIFFERENT?
Be sure to come back next month as my wife provides the counter/conclusion to this two-part series: Designed to Be Different.
Reggie and Quiana Kee have known each other for over 20 years and were married in 2004. They were licensed to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ in 2015 at the Kingdom Advancement Center in Elgin, IL, where they currently reside. They have two children and are co-founders of Ink Well Spoken and Manu Forti Ministries, which serve as the marketplace and faith-based programs for their motivational speaking initiatives.
The Kingdom Kees of Marriage: Designed to Be Different was originally published on chicagodefender.com