|At my uncle’s burial — Loyola Marikina, February 2014
From my sister in the Lord and friend, Nikka. You can find this post in its entirety at www.peacefulwifephilippines.blogspot.com
“If I submit to my husband and rely on him to provide for our family, I might not be equipped to handle our family’s needs when he dies!”
“If I submit to my husband and make him the leader of our family, our children might not follow me when he dies!”
“If I submit to my husband and let him protect me from other people, I might get “too spoiled” and not be able to fend for myself when he dies!”
Death is an inevitable fact of life.
Everybody — the rich and the poor, the young and the old, male and female — WILL die. No amount of money, power or good will, can change that fact. One may delay it somewhat, as in the case of the ones on “life preservers”, but eventually, they too will succumb. There’s no going around it. It is our FINAL DESTINATION. We are all destined for death.
Biblical submission, to an equally, if not even more so, “imperfect” human being is already scary. With the thought of death in mind, it becomes even “scarier.”
Why should I submit to my husband when I know for a fact that he might die?! Isn’t that foolhardy, to“depend” on somebody who is a mere mortal like I am? How can I equip myself with the skills and talents necessary for survival, if I become a mere follower, and not the “leader” of my life?! Isn’t there a saying that: “I am the master of my fate: I am the captain of my soul”? Why should I agree to being somebody’s subordinate? I do not need a “master”. I do not need a “captain.” I can very well steer my life, the way I want it to go… on my own!!!
As I was writing this blog post, upon the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, I was reminded of the “most popular WIDOW” in the Philippines. She, whose husband died tragically, and who was left on her own, not only to take care of their five orphaned children, but of the whole country as well. She who led the restoration of democracy after two decades of martial rule…
When the word “HOUSEWIFE” is mentioned, I am again reminded of the “most popular HOUSEWIFE” in the Philippines whose husband was assassinated in 1983 when he came back to the Philippines from the United States on a self-imposed exile — that widowed housewife was none other than our 11th Philippine President, Corazon C. Aquino.
María Corazón Sumulong “Cory” Cojuangco Aquino (January 25, 1933 – August 1, 2009) was a Filipina politician who served as the 11th President of the Philippines, the first woman to hold that office, and the first female president in Asia. Regarded as the “Icon of Philippine Democracy”, Aquino was the most prominent figure of the 1986 People Power Revolution, which toppled the 21-year authoritarian rule of President Ferdinand Marcos andrestored democracy to the Philippines. She was named Time magazine’s “Woman of the Year” in 1986. She is the first President without any political experience as she had not held any other elective office.
|Mr. and Mrs. Ninoy Aquino with their children
Cory Aquino, who by her own account had no political ambition and even liked labeling herself as a “plain housewife”, became the eleventh Philippine president when her husband died.
|“Mrs. Aquino appeared to dislike her job and, at the end,
counted the days until she left office.
But she fulfilled a key promise:
She survived her term and presided over
the first peaceful transfer of power
in the tempestuous country in more than 26 years.”
She was not prepared. She was ill-equipped. She was very hesitant. She was very shy. But with faith in God, she forged ahead. There are mixed emotions about her administration, but I won’t delve into that. This blog is not about that. 🙂
- What is important to note here is that in the event our husbands do pass away, we will be okay. It may not be in our destiny to be the next president of our country, but suffice to say, we will be able to survive. We will be able to thrive. God’s Grace will be sufficient.
Why would wives submit to their husbands if their male counterparts in marriage will surely and inevitably die? What is the purpose of that? Doesn’t that encourage“dependency” and “parasitism” and teach the children “helplessness”? Shouldn’t we teach the children “independence”, “self-reliance” and “empowerment”?
From a practical world-view, it does seem that submitting to a human being, even if that is one’s husband is “foolhardy, nonsensical and to some, even irresponsible”
. But from God’s Point of View, Him Who created all of us according to His Image and Likeness and Who designed male and female as mirror images of each other, with the “woman made for man, and not man for woman” (1 Cor 11:9)
, following one’s husband “makes perfect sense.”
1 Corinthians 11:3
But I want you to realize that the head of every man is Christ, and the head of the woman is man, and the head of Christ is God.
For as long as one is married to one’s husband, he is the God-ordained leader. Wives are to be their God-ordained helpers. There is just no going around that. It is God’s Design. The clay cannot question its Potter. It’s just the way He made us.
Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine,but to teach what is good. Then they can urge the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God.
The only time we are “freed” from this commandment of subjecting ourselves to our husbands’ headship is when our husbands die.
|My deceased parents – Thea and Butch Cleofe
For a married woman is bound by law to her husband while he lives, but if her husband dies she is released from the law of marriage.
1 Corinthians 7:39
A wife is bound to her husband as long as he lives. But if her husband dies, she is free to be married to whom she wishes, only in the Lord.
In heaven, though, there are no married people anymore. Our husbands are no longer our husbands and we are no longer their wives…
|Mama and Papa visiting Papa’s deceased mother on their
wedding day – April 15, 1975
|“Together Forever, Together At Last” was the epitaph
on my parents’ grave. In heaven though, they
will no longer be husband and wife, but will be like
angels in heaven.
For in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven.
I never witnessed a “Biblical marriage” growing up. I was mostly surrounded by married couples, including my parents, who believed in the “equality of the sexes.” Whereas this is true, (we are equal in the sight of God in essence), we are NOT equal in roles. The Bible clearly points that out in the following verses:
These Bible verses on God’s Design for Marriage were so “shocking” to me because I did not know of them, or simply skimmed over them so many times. 🙁
But, it was only when I practiced it in my own marriage, that I got the surprise of my life! Not only does it “work”, it also has so many bonuses — peace, joy, harmony… all the fruit of the Spirit!
I have to warn you though that it is not in submitting, per se, that I was able to experience all those. It was in submitting to God first, then to my God-ordained earthly authority, my husband Dong, that I was able to experience a nearly “shocking” out-of-this-world kind of FREEDOM. It was when I let go and let God did I start feeling finally FREE from the worries, anxiety and depression that had bound me for years!!! The Peace that Christ gives is really not of this world!
If the Lord wills that our husbands die ahead of us, then so be it. “The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; may the Name of the Lord be praised!” (Job 1:21) But, we do not know for sure, when that will be exactly, so let us focus on the NOW. As long as our husbands are alive, let us follow God’s design for marriage. At present, if you, dear sister in Christ are married to a breathing, living human being, by virtue of marriage, you are commanded by God to respect your husband and his God-ordained leadership role in the family.
The argument on not Biblically submitting because our spouses might die is about as flimsy as:
…a student saying, “I will not study anymore, because there is a great possibility that I will die tomorrow. It doesn’t matter if I fail the exam!”
…a mother saying, “I will not give my children proper nutrition because they might die tomorrow. It’s useless to fix up something healthy!”
… a husband saying, “I will not love my wife the way she deserves, because she might die tomorrow! What’s the point? My efforts will just be useless. She will die anyway!”
|Serious Dong 🙂 – Jan 2014
When put this way, it does not make sense too, right? 🙂 Not doing something (Biblically submitting) just because somebody (my husband) has the possibility of dying (which is an inevitable fact of life) is just a “lousy” excuse based on any one of the following reasons: cynicism, ignorance, or pride. None of which are godly reasons. All of which are based on either disillusionment, lack of enlightenment, or fear. 🙁
However, in any circumstance, let us never forget that God’s Grace is sufficient. And it always pays to do what is right. It always is a blessing to do what the Lord wants us to do… Even if things do not turn out the way we want them to, even to the point of death, the Lord will still see us through…
|With our youngest child, Isabelle 🙂
In this season of my life, I am currently a housewife and a stay-at-home mom, with part-time work. 🙂 Having been a full-time career woman all my life, it does not make sense to simply quit and take on my Biblical role as helpmeet to my husband. What a “waste” it is in the eyes of many. But I am convinced that this is what God wants me to do right now. My ministry at this moment is our home. With all eyes set on Christ, in any circumstance, I know that God’s Grace is sufficient. Praise Him Whose Grace is boundless and Who renews it daily! 🙂
It is wonderful that the Lord’s Grace is given in new doses daily! “They are new every morning — great is your faithfulness!”
If you do submit, dear sister, you won’t become help-less.
You will become your husband’s help-er.
And the Spirit will help
you if you call on Him. Death did not make me fear submitting to my husband, Dong. In view of death and how short life was on earth, it even made me re-assess my life and my priorities. If I were to die tomorrow, what would I have wanted to have done with my life? My answer: I want to have made a difference in my husband’s life and our children’s lives.
With death in mind
, things do have a way of becoming clearer and simpler.
And for me, Biblical submission is my means towards experiencing a glimpse of “heaven” here on earth. 🙂
|Mr. and Mrs. Alfredo Andre P. Alejar – April 17, 2004
May we all be richly blessed! 🙂