Surrender all to me, God says.
Yes God, I surrender all.
You must accept submission, God says.
Yes God, I sub…subm…..submit all to you….well I am trying to….control? who needs control? ppffttt, not me…..sigh
Submit to your husband, God says.
Ugh. Submit to my what? Really? I mean, it’s not the fact that God is telling me to submit to my husband that bothers me so much, it’s that He is telling me to submit to ANYONE other than Himself that bothers me. Let’s be honest here, no one wants to submit to another person, do they? Not in this society.
I mean, I have been on my own since I was 15, making my own decisions, living my life the way I wanted to. I was responsible for everything and decided that I would never leave my life in another person’s hands. Keeps from being let down, ya know? Now here is God, bringing the various verses to the life that remind me to surrender, submit and to listen more……speak less….but I have so much to say!
All these things initially caused me to panic, push back and ignore for the most part. Yeah, yeah, I will be a woman of few-er words. Ok, sure, I will respect authority and not speak ill of the jerks above me, above my boss, in our government…lol…does that work?
I try to reason with God, “I try to submit to my husband, I TRY so hard to have him lead the family but he just isn’t, so I WILL!” Did I really? Nope, not one bit.
I did this back and forth thing in my heart with God. I would try to reason with Him, show Him that it no longer applied in 2013, remind Him that He made me to be a natural leader…..no such luck.
I finally started seeing that I was doing something wrong, I had to be. My husband was obviously struggling with some things that were between him and God but I could also see that I was doing something to cause him to feel like less of a person at times. So I prayed. I looked to my Pastor for advice, both biblically and as a man/husband…sometimes we need a translator! Prayed some more. Looked to some ladies for perspective and guidance. My prayers were always along the lines of “Lord, please help me to be a better wife, work through me and help me build my husband up” I know I cannot do these things on my own, I need Your Spirit.
Finally, in the ladies Bible study I go to, we hit the “Wives in the same way, submit to your own husbands….” in 1 Peter 3
Funny that through this exercise of digging into 1 Peter together has really taken the sting out of this for me. When I came to reading it, writing it and picking it apart, it wasn’t so bad. I was able to apply all we learned from the first 2 chapters of the book of Peter and see that submitting is not necessarily a bad thing. Choosing to submit as God calls us to, can be rewarding if we allow it to be. On my own I can to see that if I choose to submit in a way that is a little less verbal than normal, well then I can give my husband the room he needs to grow spiritually. That my need to knit pick and complain could actually hinder my husband’s spiritual growth. Wow. Can my need to hold on hinder growth? I think it can.
I have known all along that I have a wonderful husband and that I can trust in him. This has never been a problem. I have seen how God has been working in our lives, how He has been shaping us. I see where we were, where we are and get glimpses of where we may be going. I can see how God brought us together to even each other out and to smooth out each other’s rough edges. I see the insecurities shrinking as our bond grows. It’s been a wonderfully, beautiful and frustrating process. When we let go and let God, it is easiest.
While the ladies were discussing this passage, a woman told a story about a time she reacted to a horrible day differently than she might have normally. Basically she voiced her frustrations and went to bed. She could have reacted angrily at the things she didn’t have time to do for herself and she could have demanded that her husband help her with these things. I know that I might have. I very well could have said to my hubby “I can’t get these things done, I need you to do it for me!” Seems reasonable. This particular story ends differently though, this woman did not demand anything from her husband and only told him about the things she wished she completed for the following day and went to sleep. Upon waking up in the morning she saw that her hubby stepped up and took care of those things for her. It was a wonderful surprise to wake up to. She stated how differently it would have looked if she had demanded that he do these things for her. There could have been turmoil, demands and frustration.
It hit me! As wives, we need to give our husbands the space they need to love us the way we need to be loved.
Does that make sense?
When I choose to respect my husband in the way he needs to be respected, it gives him the space he needs in order to love me the way I need to be loved.
When I go down a list of things my husband needs to do for me, the house or the kids, he feels like I am dictating and is not feeling respected. When I take the lead and “get things done the way they need to be done”, I am failing to give my husband the space he needs to lead our family in the way God wants him to lead. I am also creating a lot of unnecessary stress for myself.
Space. All to often I fill that space he needs with words, anxieties, demands. He needs space. God works in those spaces.
I am far from being the perfect wife but I am learning to submit in the fashion that God has asked me to. I am stepping back and getting out of the driver’s seat. There will be no disappointments, no failures and no disasters. When I put my faith in my husband, I am putting my faith in the work God is doing in Him. The work He is doing in me.
He may make mistakes, don’t I make them often enough?? He may make the wrong decisions on some things. Who doesn’t? Quite frankly, I don’t want to be the one making all the decisions. I am seeing that I was believing the lie that I was “doing it because it needed to be done and if I didn’t do it, well it wouldn’t get done.” How vain.
I spent a good portion of my life being the one in the driver seat, then I found Jesus and have learned that He drives much better than I. Now it is time for me to give that seat up to my husband and to not be a backseat driver either! I don’t always know best. As a matter of fact, I usually don’t know best. Grace is needed. Lots and lots of Grace.
Now, none of this means I am going to be a lesser person, I will not be loosing my identity. I will not be deferring to my husband when asked a question. I think that we picture submission being this weird place of slavery and defeat. I am here to say that this is not the case. I am beginning to see this. I am seeing that it’s a place of beauty and relief. A place where seeds can be planted and growth can take place. A place of strength and a foundation for peace.
God has done such amazing things in my life and I cannot just pick and choose which parts of His Word I will follow. He has my best interest at heart, He wants the best for us all. When I give up the anxieties that surround certain ideas, I come into such freedom! Who knew?!? I have heard women declare this all before, I have heard their testimonies and wished I could find a way to do the same.
My prayer is being answered. As usual, I am looking back at the past months and see the path that God has brought me along so that I could get to a place where I understand this better. He needed me to understand other things before I could wrap my mind around this and put it into action.
Ever learning, step by step He shows me the way to a brighter life, an easier way to live. As I learn these lessons and continue on my walk I find that I have more time and energy for God’s work. Life doesn’t get easier per se, just lighter. Jesus truly does lessen the load if you allow Him to. Storms still come, but God has been tearing down the weaker parts of me and rebuilding them so that they are strong enough to endure. God provides a shelter that cannot be explained until you experience it for yourself.
I can’t wait to see where He brings me!