Putting God First Does Not Equal Loving Him More Than Your Spouse (imo) and how ASL makes that clear

I remember telling my new husband that love is not a pie.  I told him this because there is always a worry with a widow that her heart is never wholy yours.

Love is not a finite resource that is doled out and diminished, like a cherry pie. It is an infinite resource that actually grows when given/used.  You discover this when you have your second child…  or your next husband.

There is no one who understands this concept more than God, our Heavenly Father.  And I have never seen a scripture that says “love God more than your wife.”  In fact, one could argue, “as Christ loved the church,” is an argument for loving your wife as much as God. 

I think where people get confused is the phrase “Putting God First.”  This was not meant to put God before your wife in your heart.  While God is a jealous God, if you think of the logical gospel context (God is nothing if not logical) he would never object to you having as much love for a person as he has for you, and let’s face it, you’ll not ever get to that point in mortality. Even Christ shrunk from that responsibility.

When you “see” the scriptures or talks from modern day seers and revelators in ASL (American sign language ), you can see it is directional.  It is simple.  It is clear in a language that values clarity about e all else.

Putting God First is directional, not emotional.  God is your navigator.  Only he knows where you want to end up.  Your spouse is as clueless about the final destination as you are.  To follow your spouse or even ask them to lead you if you were not positive they were following the map of the only navigator available to you would be folly.  It would be as senseless in real life as it is spiritually.  That is, in fact,  how you can testify of the truth of it.  There is always a real world parallel to spiritual concepts. This is why parables are so effective.

I admit that I cringe a little when people say they put God first in their lives. The way I feel about it is my earth father would never expect me to put him before my husband,  but in matters of life experience, he would necessarily expect me to defer to his earthly knowledge over my husbands.

In my opinion the gospel is not hypocritical. Concepts and precepts are applicable universally. If you wouldn’t put your earthly father before your spouse on earth, then God could not expect you to do it while heaven bound.

The phrase “I put God first in my marriage ” is too confusing to laymen, and leads  communication problems in marriage itself between genders already prone to miscommunication.  I think we need to defer to the deaf on this matter.  “God above others. ”  And it makes sense this way.  It is simple, clear and does not put your spouse below you in order of importance,  in fact it puts you with them, following God in the direction you should both be ne nessarily be headed if following God: upward and onward.

The Struggle Out of Grief

I had a friend, a widow, tell me that she had been sleeping on her couch for 5 years since her husband died.  I had lost the bed my late husband and I slept in to the Memorial Day floods 2015 in Houston, Texas only one year after he passed away.  But I thought, because I was sleeping in the same room I had slept with my Hobbit (my nickname for Sam), at least compared to my friend, I was doing pretty good with recovery.  That was just sleeping spaces, however, and being inexperienced with grief of this kind, I did not know how long lasting and deep grief would be.

Life Goes On

I remarried in October 2015, and my new husband, John, knew I was still recovering from the loss of my late husband.  Unlike other men before him, he never abandoned me when I cried, stopped me from talking about Sam or asserted I was comparing the two of them.  John is in the Texas National Guard and I understood this would mean extended times he would be gone.  I knew this, but I never thought about it.  Not really.

Sam was once offered the chance to go and study at the Hellen Keller Institute.  He refused because it meant too much time away from the family, and more specifically, from me.  I do n’t know if it was the right decision, but because of the nature of my relationship with Sam, we were rarely more than 10 miles from one another and never more than normal business hours.  For the last 9 months he was alive we were together almost 24/7.  I thought this was a blessing, and it had been.  Sam’s last post was how much he loved me, his wife.  We had a great marriage.  We both agreed on that.  We were close and maybe that was a problem for my future husband.  But of course, at the time, I had no idea I’d have a future husband.  I thought and was planning old age with him.  Now that I’m planning old age with John, these memories mixed with grief and unthinking fear have often come to a head without warning.

Johns First Trip Out of State

John is divorced (like me and my marriage before Sam) and his kids live in North Carolina with their mother.  Recently he took a two week trip to see them…without me.  I did not have anxiety leading up to his departure, at least none that I could discern, but the evening before he was scheduled to leave, I started to cry and I didn’t stop crying even after he left.  I cried for nearly 18 hours straight convinced that John would never come back.  It was an irrational fear that I could not dislodge with any amount of logic. 

I understood what it was.  I understood where it came from, but nothing could replace it.  When John asked what he could do, I told him I didn’t think there was anything he could do.  I needed to suffer through the fear and dispel it with the fact of his return.   Did it work?  I won’t really know until he has to leave again.

Recovering…?

There are other signs I am still in recovery.  I no longer write every day.  I’ve not been able to finish my works in progress or even edit what I’ve completed.  I haven’t been able to stick to an art project from concept to finish.  My paper supplies like up, but the output has been extraordinarily low.  Not to mention my lack of finished projects made me feel somehow dysfunctional or broken. 

In an attempt to fill in blank spaces with John, I have taken many pictures and produced a Mixbook of our Valentines Day retreat, lots of little scrapbooks for John with a little storyline like comics because I knew her like them.  It helps to fill the spaces I am so, knowingly,  desperate to fill up with memories of John and me. 

Though this is a familiar creativity, it is still not “me.”  Its not what I normally do or did.  Maybe I haven’t found my new normal.  Maybe I am no longer a writer or artist of any kind.  Death claimed my biggest fan and grief killed my muse. 

Eventually I will find a new normal.  My muse may be resurrected, reborn or rebuilt. But there is no question in my mind that grief is a much more potent and long lasting shadow than I suspected or understood.  I don’t want it shadowing me, but the only way to keep it out of the shadows is to expose it to the light. 

So now you know.