I am a trekkie. I love almost every Star Trek and have watched each series multiple times. I own the complete Deep Space Nine, went to Star Trek the Experience, and have a Vulcan shirt. So it can be no surprise that one day I realized a great way to explain marriage was by using Star Trek.
Now, before I lose you, let me explain. It began with the idea of submission. The moment the “S” word is used, especially in the context of marriage, various emotions and words come to the mind to many people. Doormat, subhuman, inequality. Even I struggled with the concept of submission. Anyone who knows me knows that I am passionate about all people being equal in Christ. But the Bible also clearly states that I am to submit to my husband. How does that work?
This is how: every ship needs a captain. Dan is the “Picard” of our ship (family). But the captain does not do everything himself. He needs a first officer. So I am the “Riker” of the ship (and the one with hair too ;)).
Captain Picard makes the decisions for the Enterprise. He is also accountable to Starfleet. In the same way, Dan is the “captain” of our family and accountable to God for how he runs our family.
Riker is there to support Captain Picard. But that doesn’t mean he follows Picard blindly. There are a couple times he meets with Picard privately to state his objections to what Picard is doing. They meet in the ready room and Riker speaks freely.
Picard, like a good captain, listens to his first officer. He values the input of his first officer. There are times that Riker is right and it was a good thing Riker spoke up. In the same way, Dan listens to me. I appreciate that Dan values my input and considers my words. It makes me feel loved and respected as his wife.
Notice Riker speaks his objections in the ready room, not out on the deck where every ensign and officer can hear. He shows respect for Picard and does it in privacy. Same with the wife. Display respect for your husband and bring up concerns and grievances in private, not in front of others.
However, when Riker and Picard leave the ready room, they leave as a team and on the same page. Riker may not agree with Picard, but in the end, Picard is his captain and responsible for the Enterprise and will have to answer to Starfleet for anything that goes wrong. Riker has done his job, he has spoken to Picard, but now he needs to submit to his captain.
Both men are respected on the Enterprise and in the Federation. Both men are equally intelligent and popular. But because of the need for order and there can only be one captain, Picard fills that role. Riker is not any less of a human for being first officer. It is the role he fills and he does a great job of it.
In marriage, a man and a woman are both humans loved by God. Both are given God’s grace. But they play two different roles in the family. Each role is important and each role helps the ship sail smoothly.
When I reflected on my role and realized I am similar to Riker as first officer, I found my misgivings and fear of “not being as important” fade away. I am important. But I do not need to be the captain. Dan’s the captain and I can help him by being the best first officer there is.
And, in the immortal words of Startrek, together Dan and I boldly go where no man (or woman) has gone before: our own personal marriage. *Cue music 🙂