Friday, July 20, 2012

15 Things {Day Two}

Submission isn't only an act, it’s an attitude.

I'm sure you've heard the words, "Sure can tell who wears the pants in that house!"  It's not always a specific action that leads to such an assumption, but more often a prevailing spirit that can be felt by anyone with decent perception.  Maybe you've been the one to wear the pants...or secretly wished you could...

Although our wedding wasn't completely traditional (the thoughts of a veil over my face just weirded me out), Greg and I did choose not to see or talk to each other on our wedding day until I walked down the aisle to meet him at the altar.  Thing is, we had a lot to talk about (like the brakes being redone on the car, etc.) and had to catch up during the wedding.  If you were there, you probably noticed us chatting throughout the ceremony.  ;-) 

The chatting turned to smirks and giggles at one point.  I'm pretty sure it was when one of the ministers began to read this passage...

22Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord. 23For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. 24Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.  -Ephesians 5

Here's the deal:  Greg knew he was marrying an independent woman.  Anything that I could do for myself, I would.  When we were dating, I didn't like him to open the car door for me.  In fact, I asked him not to.  It was a visual image that went against the grain of who I was.  { I'll even admit that it was hard for me to change my name when we got married.  Eeek! Please don't think I was a complete feminazi...}

From my earliest memories, I took all of the freedom and independence I could get.  My parents can tell you...they didn't have to push me or help me when it came to getting a job, doing my taxes, filling out paperwork for college, or anything else that I can remember (except cleaning my room - lol).  I wanted to take care of myself.  Period. 

Submission is a word that sounded awkward to my ears.  It produced images of weakness and dependence.  I didn't want to be a burden or be burdened, and my warped idea of submission gave me visions of inequality that made me uncomfortable, to say the least.  Since the subject of submission is often misinterpreted, or avoided altogether, it could easily be laughed off and forgotten... at least until the next time God whispered it to my heart.

Throughout the early years of our marriage, there were instances where my resistant spirit caused tension, frustration, and coldness.  Because I was out of place, my husband could not fill his role as he should.  Of course, I didn't see all of this at the time.  I was blinded by my pre-conceived ideas plus a little immaturity. 

But let me tell you, a woman who is generally happy can become unhappy in a flash if she has a controlling, unsubmissive spirit.   The giggles and smirks during the reading of Ephesians 5 at the marriage altar quickly become the reality of a power struggle that threaten the foundation of the marriage. 

A friend once expressed to me her concern that mothers are not doing enough to teach their daughters how to be submissive.  She said she had no clue of what being a submissive wife meant when she married. I'm really not sure what all was behind her words,  but I have thought about them many times over the last few years, and have drawn my own conclusion: 
submission is an attitude

We can teach our children how to have proper attitudes.  My parents did.  However, each person must embrace and integrate the spirit of submission in their own life.  Our parents can't just inject us with a marinade that guarantees a tasteful result.  Individually, we must get to the point where we see ourselves and the sight makes us desire change.  That takes time, reality-based experience, and soul-searching.  It's a spiritual process.

I can't say that there was any one critical moment of change for me, but somewhere along the way, I became tired of the inward struggle.  I wanted to submit to my Heavenly Father as well as my earthly husband.  I wanted to rest in allowing them to have their rightful places in my life.  It was a longer process in the marital relationship, and came through cycles of submission and trust.  When I could trust my spouse with my submission, submission became easier. 

15 years later, the word submission is beautiful to me.  I am still "myself," but I am no longer fearful of being in submission to my husband.  I realize that there is safety and contentment in submission.  Allowing him to function as the head of our home, frees me from the responsibilities that he is to rightfully bear, and allows me to become the support that he needs in leading and decision-making.   

If you struggle with the idea or attitude of submission, know that you are not the first.  Ask God to rid your heart of the desire for control.  Learn that being right isn't really important, especially if being right causes you to act in a way that brings condemnation. 

And lose the pants.  :-)

Filling your God-given role as a wife is not an inferior task.  Be the best wife you can be. 

Once you are maximizing your "wife potential," you won't want to be anything else!

1 comment:

Thanks for joining the conversation!