Friday, December 17, 2010

Joy & Peace Through Submission

Submission.  It's a word over which many women get their hackles raised.  A lot of women make it a point to exclude the word "obey" from their wedding vows, for they have absolutely no intention of submitting to any man - including their husband.  I believe our view should be contrary to this worldly stance, & that we should revel in including a vow to obey our husbands in our wedding vows because we want to honor God's Word in our marriages:

Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord.  For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, His body, and is Himself its Savior.  Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands.  (Eph. 5:22-24)

Wives, submit to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord.  (Col. 3:18)

Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good, and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the Word of God may not be reviled.  (Titus 2:3-5)

To personalize it, if you notice, the whole reason that I am to submit to Michael is because of Christ.  I submit to Michael (who also has commands about how he is to love me) as the church submits to Christ.  I submit to Michael so "that the Word of God may not be reviled".  I believe this, I treasure this, but I'm not always so good at actually living this.

Case in point:  Michael & I had a disagreement last night.  Each of us laid out our arguments.  Neither of us were budging.  Both of us were frustrated - me more so than him, as he is much more godly than I, although he'll blush & disagree when he reads this assertion.  Finally, he called me over to him, took my hand in his, & prayed.  He prayed that God would help us find a solution.  We said our "Amens", & then I made a confession.

"I didn't pray with you", said I.  He was surprised.  "I prayed over you."  Not in an "interceding for" way, but in a "talking over" way.  I wanted God to hear what I had to say.  And what I said to God was, "I don't want to change my mind; I don't want to do it his way" over & over.  When Michael asked God to help us find a solution, my thought was, "The solution is that he needs to bend to my will."  Immediately, in a burst of clarity, my very next thought was, "I'm supposed to submit to him, not the other way around."  Aw, man!  Durn it, you mean, I don't get my way?!  "Did God already answer our prayer?", Michael laughingly queried.

He had indeed.  In a marriage, there are many opportunities for disagreement.  Michael & I are so very much alike, but we're not identical.  Sometimes we have incredibly different ideas.  He always listens to my input - even when I'm pushy about it - but my input is not the last word.  He has directives from God's Word to be my head "even as Christ is the head of the church", while I am commanded to "submit in everything to [my] husband".

And even though I don't get my way in this instance, I've discovered that there's great joy & peace in our marriage when I do things God's way.  Imagine that.