No fewer than three times over as many days someone referred to my husband Steve as the motor and me as the anchor in our marriage.
The timing offered extra laughs because we'd just watched a sitcom where the wife was deeply offended at being called an anchor by her husband. She envisioned an anchor as some barnacle-encrusted object weighing him down from pursuing his true desires in life. Why do we view anchors this way?
In Acts 27:29, Paul's frightened shipmates threw out four anchors in the hopes of avoiding being driven against rocks on the shore. Clearly, there's something about an anchor that we need, especially in turbulent times.
Here are a few things I've realized about anchors...
- An anchor travels with the boat - able to raise or lower depending on the need to move or stay. It is directed by the captain of the ship to drop or raise at his command.
- An anchor is weighty; it's substantial. It can grab ahold of deep things and hold on to help stabilize the ship. It's not flimsy or weak. It doesn't thrive on the surface - it performs best when it is released to dive into the depths.
- An anchor provides grounding at sea and stability in storms. When the chain connecting a ship to its anchor breaks, there's a massive problem. An anchor is critical to traveling safely by sea and in unpredictable weather.
- An anchor is incredibly hard to destroy - nearly indestructible.
Are you a motor or an anchor?
It's easy to get discouraged (like that sitcom wife) about being the anchor, as though we're somehow holding others back. But if you are the motor or know someone who leans that way, you know that a motor left to its own devices without some kind of stabilization can get into trouble.
We need each other. Just like my husband needs my stability, I need his energy. We both need to submit to one another depending on the situation. And, above all, we need to remember that we're both parts of the greater whole - directed by God to go where and when He calls.
We all have a role to play and our choice to step confidently into that role directly impacts those in our lives. Who are you impacting today simply by confidently walking in God's design for your life?