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May 3, 2012
 

Flower On Ice

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Written by: Shari Popejoy
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Did you ever watch Russian pair skaters,  1988 and 1994 Olympic champions, Sergei Grinkov and his wife, Ekaterina Gordeeva perform?

As athletic and handsome as Grinkov was, I barely noticed him when they skated, because  Ekaterina was so beautiful and delicate and graceful.  As he lifted her, she seemed to soar with elegance. The graceful arch of her neck, the point of her foot, and the feathery flair of her hand was poetry on ice.

She was so delicate, and yet so athletic, that when he threw her into the air, I gasped as she rotated and flew forever it seemed, until she landed with precision and perfection on one blade.  It was his athleticism and his strength that enabled Katia to attract the awe, respect and adoration of the audience and judges.

They were a great team, each living in and embracing their individual role that made them unbeatable as a team.  Alone, they were not championship material, but together they will go down in history as one of the greatest pair skating teams of all time. And their love story as husband and wife, before his untimely death on the ice in 1995, is no less lovely and admirable as we learn a lesson about husbands and wives from G&G.

When they skated, it seemed as if Sergei was the stem of the flower, and Ekaterina was the bloom.  Similarly, the husband is supposed to love and support the wife. The husband is supposed to lift her up to soar in grace and beauty, to be the stem that holds up the soft and beautiful petals – to display the combined beauty of their marriage for all the world to see.

Who looks at the stem? Who even recognizes that it is there? Its purpose is to provide stability, support and functionality to enable the beauty of their marriage to bloom. It transports nutrients from the soil, nourishing the bloom, which is the resultant wonder, the proof that there is a plant – a marriage. With that support the flower is free to do its job, which is to procreate in beauty.

Is the role or strength of the stem diminished because it is not the flower?  No, oh, no.  It is only enhanced by the combined beauty of the two, finding his own sense of self-worth in providing such a noble service.

Life renewal takes place in the flower.  Renewal not just for the stem, for the plant, for the marriage, but for a whole community.  The bees are attracted to the colorful petals, doing their job effectively by distributing pollen, proof that we are meant to live in community. We enhance each other. We support each other. We women produce renewal in our communities by receiving from and giving to each other.

Within the beauty of the blossom, new life begins, sheltered deep within the protective embrace of the tender petals, supported and nourished through the strength and stability of the stem.

In time, as the tender and delicate flower matures, as the bloom fades from her cheeks, as she wilts from the effect of life’s winds and rains, she opens up in complete vulnerability and releases the promise of the seed – the next harvest, the future, born of the hope of the wind, trampled into the dust, buried in decay, until new life awakens, and is called forth by the seasons, the sun, the cycle.

Am I talking about a woman or a flower? Both!

Today’s Marriage Challenge:  Consider your role in your marriage.  Do you find fulfillment in nurturing the seeds of creativity that God has placed within you — only you — to bring to fruition?  Is your marriage a place of strength, a combined force of unique potential ministry and service to your family, your community, the body of Christ?

If not, perhaps we can explore the possibilities.  Next time — more about blooming where you are planted!



About the Author

Shari Popejoy
Shari Popejoy is the author of the book Won Without Words, and the blog Won Without Words, encouragement to wives. She writes the Livingstone Library, an adventure series for young people, and the blog Oh Joy!, (injoyinc.com/oh/) for busy moms. She is a frequent contributor to Christian print and online magazines, and writes from the quiet country of the Ozarks, where she lives with her husband, Marc, and their three children. You can find out all about her at sharipopejoy.com!



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