I’m always looking back. It’s a pointless exercise. Since acquiring the providence of excess alone time I tend to do that. In my marriage, I was quite an ass - very stubborn. Advice for you if you are looking to pursue a relationship: Don’t be an ass. Everyone is individual and those nuances should be observed, listened to, navigated, celebrated, and included in the orchestra of a loving relationship. I refused to budge. I felt like she should think exactly the way I thought. To me, she was as much me as I was me…and she really was but I didn’t recognize that she was also her. I’ll often sound like I was the bad guy who caused all of the problems in our marriage. It wasn’t just me. But I’m reflecting on me and have no intention to be an accuser.
There is a verse in the Bible that many religious types often take out of context, or rather don’t expose the complete context. Ephesians 5:24 reads, “…wives should submit to their husbands.” That’s usually the only quoted section of that text I hear from people embracing that passage. What they don’t quote is the next verse that reads, “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church…”. This is an equal, if not greater, charge of submitting to a spouse. My take is that both people in a relationship should ‘submit’ to each other. This isn’t sadistic or about power at all. It is about pure love and understanding and the completion of the four loves (Check out The Four Loves by C.S. Lewis).
Although I’ve heard a lot of people abusing that passage, I’ve been aware of what comes before and after “wives submit to your husbands” my entire life. That’s one of the reasons why it is so very hard not to look back. Because if I had loved her as Christ loved the church, I’d still be with her. Be loving, be giving, be a understanding, be a servant, be selfless.
All of that rambling to lead up to today’s offering. In my early teens, I’d listen to nothing but punk rock and I was a snob about it. One of the bands in my rotation were the Dead Kennedys. Their bass player (Klaus Fluoride) put out his second solo record (Because I Say So) in 1988. This album is so amazing. Not a bad tune on it. It’s strange and disjointed but fluid and was ahead of its time. The 6th song on Side A is titled “Keep On Walking”. It’s a strange addition to some very experimental music. A punk god throws in this street-level ballad, reminiscent of the Beatles or Graham Parsons, that challenges the downtrodden to hold their head high. For the first year of my separation, this was my anthem. I’d sing it like a prayer repeating the very repetitive chorus over and over again: “How ya gonna keep your head off the ground? Keep on walking…keep on walking.”
And that’s my encouragement to the broken-hearted today. Try to stop dwelling on the past - easier said than done, I know. Do all of those things I previously mentioned (be loving, giving, understanding, a servant, selfless). Gaze to the future. Keep on walking.