I met and married my husband at 37. We both had children, with me already having five of our nine total. This means we had quite a bit of life experience under our belts, with my experience being lived as a single female with children during this entire period; I had never been married before.
Before I met my husband, I was in a relationship for quite some time and even almost got married. During this time, (especially near the end of our relationship), I considered his opinions, thoughts and feelings but always considered them optional. I knew in the back of my mind he wasn’t my husband and I didn’t have to really have to defer to him unless I wanted to. Most times I would listen unless he was wrong or stupid.
I also felt I had to have a plan for the plan and a backup for all scenarios. The pressure of responsibility seemed to always be on me. That wasn’t always true though it certainly felt like it. I just didn’t trust him with me or anything important to me. Not those things closest to my heart, and he proved me right. Often.
So, when I married the hubby, I didn’t know this would have to change, that marriage is shared and transparent. That while I trust my husband to have my back, I actually have to allow him to have my back. This means submitting to his authority. And authority isn’t just doing what he says do, it means trusting he:
(a) is not only able to carry out the vision and plan for our family but WILL carry it out.
(b) hears from God to lead our family.
(c) has no issue with listening to me BUT if it ain’t what God said to do, he won’t do what I want to appease me. <<<—- that was difficult to swallow but necessary.
Submission is such a dirty word for most women, single and married alike. Submission isn’t passive as we are led to believe. It is to yield or to surrender. Those words sound so soft and fluffy, but they are not. By definition, all three indicate concession by choice, struggle or force. See definitions here: Submit, Surrender, Yield.
Effort is required mentally and emotionally to do any of this. The optimal position of submission is submission by choice because it requires your positive participation and consideration. It is strategic, loving, and well…smart. Submission also implies influence. When used in relational terms, yielding can be an intimate sacrifice. It is a part of daily dying to self for the cause of a higher calling that will benefit us.
I was out of order with my husband the last few days because I was not submitted. Period. Ain’t no way to dress it up. Can’t present my behavior or thought process with a bow. While it could be justified, the truth is it was plain wrong. And yes, I got it straight. What does this have to do with the beginning of this very long diatribe? Welp, I didn’t know what I was doing was out of habit. And this bad habit could destroy our marriage if gone on unchecked and corrected. This will not be the case since I will actively submit. Sometimes you can’t fix the error unless you know why you’re making the mistake in the first place. Thanks be to God for His grace and showing me the root cause of my error. It goes back to fear and ignorance, but mostly fear.
Independence and self-reliance aren’t bad things. When you marry someone, you have to learn how to trust them. Sometimes being the ‘independent’ woman takes away the ability to trust someone else to have your back when they are fully capable and want to do so. The last thing you want is to frustrate your spouse. So, when you are tempted to usurp your spouse’s authority or be disrespectful, check to see if you are being submissive. After all, authority and submission go together. Your spouse also has to submit to you and to Christ. It’s not a one way street.
Provision is always found in submitting to authority (Genesis 16: 9-10).
Anyway, that was way more than what I was originally going to commit to in my prayer time this morning, but you know how that goes.