Wes made reference to a well known evangelical pastor who was reminding his listeners that our wives should be taking second seat to God on our priority list. This kind of view was something I heard a lot in my Christian upbringing. Anything one might enjoy or place importance on was in danger of becoming an "idol", taking God's rightful place. I remember one woman, whom I considered to be quite godly when I was young, tell me she had given up her autumn ritual of canning vegetables because she enjoyed it so much that it had become an "idol".
I held this view for a long time, carefully weighing every thing in my life to make sure it wasn't becoming more important than God. I now realize this interpretation of God was nothing more than self-perpetuated oppression.
I look back on this thinking as absolutely ridiculous and an embarrassing misrepresentation of God... as if he could be so insecure. What kind of lame father would I be if I became jealous of the things my son or daughter enjoy? On the contrary, I find myself absolutely fulfilled when I see Kathryn's passion and love of theater or Jacob's joy with books. I love the affection they hold for their friends. Their happiness and joy makes me proud and content as a father.
This is what appeals to me about panentheistic theology. God is not separate or apart from these things; He is in them. God is not in competition with my love for my wife; He resides there.