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Joyful Submission and a Boat

This is an email from a wife I first “met” online last July.  God has been doing a HUGE work in her heart!  I know you will be richly blessed by reading her story.
I haven’t shared something yet that has been stirring in our house…..its been another example of me laying down my “rights” or “my will” and joyfully submitting to my husband.
So here it is….
My husband has been talking about buying a boat for as long as I can remember…but more intensely in the last year.
I usually just listen… but occasionaly in the past six months I have said,

“I’m not sure this is the best time for our family, but I trust you to make the best decision.”  I’ve then let it go and prayed about it!

My husband is probably one of the hardest workers I know. When he is not photographing, or editing images, or taking care of our girls or doing other “business” work, he is working on house projects, working in the yard. He rarely ever just rests, unless its 9:00 at night and he’s winding down. He gets a lot of joy from accomplishing things and making our home beautiful! I love that about him. He is very self motiviated and driven!
So naturally, if the guy wants a boat..then yes go buy a boat! You deserve it!
But…there’s the spiritual side of me..the one that thinks..“Shouldn’t we be spending our money on eternal things?”  We have friends adopting children right now in third world countries…suffering daily for this…and here we are buying a boat.  I struggle with that.  My husband knows my heart though and God knows my heart.
So here is what I have learned and I feel God is teaching me.
My husband didn’t have much growing up.  His parents couldn’t afford to send him on ski trips with his other friends, his parents couldn’t afford snowmobiles like all the other families near by. Growing up in Canada near a lake, those things were things most families had and enjoyed together.  He doesn’t want his children to not have things because he couldn’t offer those opportunities. My husband also enjoys making memories with his family..another wonderful thing I love about him.  He wants a boat…not so he can escape and go fishing… but so we can enjoy quality time together.
So he told me about a month ago that he put a down payment on a boat. Inside I felt nervous, but I smiled and said,  “That is so great!”  He couldn’t wait to tell me all about it.  I prayed again knowing if this was not God’s will, God would change his heart or it would not work out.  (From Peacefulwife – LOVE THAT BEATUIFUL FAITH IN GOD!!!!) Last week, my husband called me while I was driving home from work  (he never calls me by the way…usually just waits until I get home from work to tell me things).  He said, “We officially have a boat and can pick it up during your next school break.”
It’s very hard for me to just jump up and down when a big part of me is not so sure this was the best financial decision for us.  BUT I did…I said, “Honey that is wonderful. I am so excited. That is great!  Please know that I really do think this is great and fun and our family will have a lot of fun boating together.”  Usually, I hold back those feelings and express the negative emotions first.
When I got home that day, he continued to talk about how excited he was and all the fun we would have together on the boat. I agreed and added that the girls would have a great time and mentioned several things we could get for them like tubes and life jackets.  This was also very hard for me because I usually just smile and nod (when he’s sharing something exciting and Im apprehensive about). I didn’t let my emotions take over though and I shared in his excitement by adding to it.  It felt really good to do that eventhough it was very unnaturual for me.  
I kissed him goodbye and he left for a photo shoot.  I proceeded to take care of the girls and quietly thanked God that HE enabled me to handle that well.

I praised God for my hardworking husband and how God was sovereign over my life! And how God would always take care of me and my family! 

My husband  got home shortly after the girls were all tucked in bed.  I was in the kitchen making his dinner.  He greeted me in the kitchen with a kiss and said, “Honey, I just want to thank you for not jumping on me about getting a boat and letting me get one.”  I smiled and said, “Honey, lots of men have hobbies, like hunting and fishing and playing sports, etc. I am just so thankful your hobby or your interest includes spending time with your family.”  He smiled and said, “of course it does.” 
I quietly in my heart thanked God for helping me in all of this!! A year ago, I would have NEVER handled things this way. I would have robbed him of this joy. I would have sucked the life out of him.  He would have probably demanded he get the boat and I would have missed out on all the intimate moments leading up to it.  
I also thank God for teaching me this:
We may never adopt children from Uganda.
We may never go on a missions trip as a family.
But God is allowing me to partake in an amazing adventure with my husband. I know men most want and need their wife to partake in an adventure together.  I am learning to be his helpmate. I am learning to trust God like never before!  And in all of this, I hope that God will allow our marriage and our family to bring Him Glory! 
And yet, perhaps this is just the beginning for our family! The beginning of us serving Him him and honoring him in untold ways.  I know that I believe in an amazing God who has this adventure planned for us. I pray deep in my heart that He would allow us to bring Him great glory.  I also know my role as a wife and as a mom and as a child of the King.  I pray that God would continue to empower me through His abounding grace to be a wife:
  • that has loved one of his sons well
  • that has been generous and kind
  • that forgives him when he sins
  • lifts him up when he’s discouraged
  • comforts him when he’s sad
  • shares in his glory when he succeeds
  • that encourages him to become all God intends for him to be. (Sacred Influence, Gary Thomas)
It was yesterday that we drove three hours – giddy and excited – to pick up our new boat.  My husband was delighted. That morning he said I have been excited for this day since I was a child. I said, I’m so thankful to get to be a part of it with you. And then as we drove home with the boat towing behind, he took my hand and said five sweet words I’ll never forget,

“Thank you for trusting me.”


I DO trust him, but even more so, I trust a faithful God!!  I have abounding peace and joy today!!
Thank you for letting me share this story with you because you are a huge part of this change in me!!!
I love how this wife shared her opinion and feelings in a respectful way.  I love how she prayed and trusted God’s sovereignty to lead her through her husband.  And I love how she trusted his leadership and got to experience such emotional intimacy.  It will be interesting to see how God uses this in their lives for His glory!
Do you have a story about how respect or biblical submission blessed your marriage? I’d love to hear it! (Husbands, if you want to send me a story about how much it means to you when your wife trusts your leadership and cooperates with you and respects you – I would love to hear that, too!)  

16 thoughts on “Joyful Submission and a Boat

  1. 30 years ago when I surrendered myself to my husband I was not coming to it from religious doctrine. I knew Paul’s directives but had put them aside as archaic and irrelivent in our modern world. But for 2 years our marriage had been a wrestling match. One day my husband asked me to dance a waltz with him,why not? So as we danced around the living room he said, see how beautifully we dance together when I lead? Hmm I thought,back to became the easiest thing I have ever done, not because I did it perfectly but because it felt like a huge weight had been lifted from my shoulders. No I was not raised within a church and I still don’t belong to any denomination but I do have a wonderful personal relationship with God and I also have a wonderful relationship with the love of my life. Yes to honour God I honour my husband but through honouring my husband I have drawn closer to God.

    1. Barbbrendan,

      I LOVE LOVE LOVE your story! Would you please allow me to share the story about your husband asking you to dance a waltz with him? That is so beautiful! Thanks for sharing!

  2. I loved this story and the attitude of the wife. So beautiful….to go beyond our emotions for the sake of another…and to be surrendered in that way… 🙂

  3. That was a great story! Thank you for sharing. I don’t think we realize just how important this whole submission ‘dance’ is for us girls. I know for me, even after being married for 26 years, it IS still, the hardest of all lessons to actually and practically walk in. Sure it’s easy to read but living it out on a hourly and daily basis … THAT cracker tastes totally different. Thank you April, for having this wife share her story!

    1. Robyn,
      Ha! I love the way you put things. So cute. Yes, living out submission definitely tastes like a different cracker than reading about it. 🙂 I love hearing many different wives’ stories about respect and submission first for Christ then for their husbands – because there are so many ways it plays out in real life. I think that submission to our husbands is possibly the biggest test and challenge of our faith as Christian wives. Is God REALLY big enough to lead me through this sinful man? Quite an exercise in faith in God’s sovereignty. Thanks for your comment, Robyn!

  4. So awesome! It’s amazing when we give our husbands the space to be themselves and pursue their dreams rather than controlling or condemning them – they really come to life! I’m so happy for this wife and her journey and I think my heart is tender and happy for her husband as well that he could experience and share this dream of his and rather than being squashed could be fulfilled in far more ways than one! What a GREAT testimony for this couple!!

    1. Emily C,

      I know! And how does this precious wife know what his ability to fulfill his dream for a boat might do for him? It may make him a lot more compassionate towards her feelings about a lot of things. It may cause them to meet people who will be instrumental in something God wants to do in their lives. It may give him the confidence he needs as a husband to know his wife fully trusts him and that may make him take his relationship with God a lot more seriously and his decision making much more seriously.

      I think it will be the most amazing thing when we are in heaven and can see what our obedience truly did behind the scenes. And MAN, will we be kicking ourselves for the times we didn’t trust God but did things our own way. Thanks for the comment, Emily!

    1. Mandi,
      Oh it DID make me cry! 🙂 This couple was in a very different place when I “met” her last summer. God’s work is awesome. My favorite part of this ministry is that I get a front row virtual seat to watch him mold women into godly women with beauty that is of great worth in His sight – that gentle and peaceful spirit that does not give way to hysterical fear. PRECIOUS!

  5. Mandi and April: No “almost” here — this story did make me cry. God bless this woman. My own experience seemed to be always the opposite, so I can confirm that if this wife had been negative in response, she really would have sucked the life out of him. I can only imagine the glow her husband is feeling from her trust — a glow that is even more satisfying to him, and will be longer lasting, than the satisfaction he has in the fulfillment of a life-long dream. He’s a blessed man today.

    1. David,

      Thanks for sharing your heart on this story. Hearing from the men about how they are impacted by disrespect, respect, control and submission is really helpful as we learn to obey God!

  6. beautiful! i LOVE our God who can help us act & discipline ourselves & trust like this wife did!! i hope i have such wisdom when these things come up in my marriage. i want to honor my husband & not crush him like i used to. “the wise woman builds her house but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down”
    God is helping me even today. i listened online to Focus on the Family’s radio broadcast from April 11 with Patricia Ashley about being a godly wife. it was excellent i highly recommend it to other ladies on here.

    a less than great conversation popped up with my husband & i had the temptation to follow my flesh, but i cant fool myself into believing that God hasnt already had a firm chat with me about how He sees my disrespect, so i zipped my dang lip.

    so i prayed, felt peace, then later just said “it hurts my feelings when you say… about me” and my husband heard & i was ok. MUCH better than the usual crying & emotional torrent!

    1. Great example, Sarah! Thank you for sharing! I am glad you are sharing your feelings, but in a way that your husband can hear and not feel disrespected. Good job!

    1. Fawn,

      It is by far my favorite part of this ministry – getting to see God changing and working in women’s hearts and in their marriages. I am so incredibly blessed!

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