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“Why Should I Have to Submit to My Husband in the Little Things?” – Part 2

Greg leading the way at Colonial Williamsburg in April 2014
Greg leading the way at Colonial Williamsburg in April 2014

For part 1, please click here.

Have to take a moment to celebrate –

Last October, this blog reached 1 million hits. Yesterday, it reached 2 million!?!?!?  Thank You God for all that You are doing and may Your Name alone be exalted here!

 

FROM PEACEFULWIFE:

Greg  doesn’t have a big preference in many areas. He is not controlling or demanding at all. In fact, he never asked me to be more respectful or to submit to him. Never. God opened my eyes to all of this without Greg saying a word. Greg often defers to me and gives me quite a wide range of freedom to make my own decisions. He loves to see me happy and I love to see him happy, too. I share my concerns, needs, desires, emotions, ideas, beliefs, values, thoughts and goals with him.  If he were to get involved in sin, I know that I can humbly, respectfully approach him about that. And I am thankful when he gently, lovingly tells me about sin he sees in my life. But now, I share things my perspective about decisions in a way that is most effective for him to hear – by me sharing briefly, without pressuring him, in a pleasant, friendly tone of voice with sincere respect. And I am willing to joyfully honor his leadership, even if I disagree with him now.

Greg doesn’t demand things of me. And he really doesn’t ask me for much at all. So when he does ask me to do something, I know it matters to him and is important to him. If there is an issue that is important to him, and maybe I think it is not a big issue,  I ask myself, “Will this issue matter to God when I stand before Him? Will He care where we sat or what paint color we chose? Or will He care that I showed respect and honor to my husband (as He commands me to do in Ephesians 5:22-33, I Peter 3:1-6, I Corinthians 11:3 and Titus 2:3-5)?”

When I live for Christ, I die to myself. I die to my will and living life for what I want. I must take up my cross daily and follow Him. Now, I live life only to bring glory to Jesus and to do His will.

I have learned over the past 5.5 years on this journey that my level of biblical submission to Greg and my level of respect for Greg are a tangible indicator of my level of submission to and reverence for  Christ. This is ALL about my walk with Jesus, my trust in Him, my faith in Him and my love for Him.

Jesus answered and said to him, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our abode with him. “He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine, but the Father’s who sent Me.” John 14:22-24

Nikka pointed out yesterday a verse that I believe is very applicable here:

“Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much.” Luke 16:10

God’s will is not about the individual details of the outcome of little decisions as much as it is about what is in my heart. What is controlling me, the Spirit of God or my old sinful nature?

And, here is a question I also ask myself –

How do I know that God is not leading my husband to do what he wants to do about an issue? If Greg is not asking me to blatantly sin, is it possible that God has inspired him to do something because God knows things I don’t know?

AN EXAMPLE:

I know a family where the dad asked his elementary school boys to tread water – for a long time. The mom thought he was being to hard on the boys. But the dad insisted they keep treading water. The next week, the family was at a river. Those boys were swept downstream. It took time for anyone to be able to get to them and both boys had to tread water for a long time.

My precious sisters, how do we know what is ahead? What if the thing our husband wants to do is something God is prompting him to do that we will not understand until later? Our God is sovereign! He is able to lead us through our men as we trust Him.

(If you have serious issues in your marriage – drug/alcohol addictions, uncontrolled mental health disorders, real abuse, please seek godly, experienced help ASAP. My blog is not written for those dealing with severe problems. There are times when a wife may not be able to submit to a husband who is not in his right mind. I don’t have experience with a situation like that.)

God does not give husbands any command to demand their way or to lord anything over their wives.

Godly marriage is not based on one spouse demanding something of the other, but on selflessness, sacrificial, voluntary and unconditional love and honor.  Biblical submission and godly respect for our husbands is not about our husbands at all, but is all about our love and reverence and obedience to Christ. And it is about bringing Him great glory and setting a godly example for those around us, to make the gospel as attractive as possible.

  • God commands us all as believers not to argue or complain so that we can shine like stars in the universe as we hold forth the word of life. Phil. 2:14-16.

A wife who argues, complains, is uncooperative with her husband and who insists on her own way (even in the “small things”) makes the gospel unattractive to unbelievers and to her own children. She makes the gospel less attractive to her husband if he is not a believer. She also makes it much harder for her husband to do what God calls him to do even if he is a believer in Christ.

One Bible teacher at church, Rev. Weaver, talked about fighting in marriage…

 “Only fight about issues that are more important than our obedience to Christ and are more important than the unity and covenant of our marriages.”

That kind of narrows down the “important” issues pretty significantly.

Obviously, there are very few things that are more valuable than those things. The only exceptions would be if our husbands are asking us to very blatantly sin against God. For what to do in such a situation, please check out my notes from Rev. Weaver’s class on Spiritual Authority.

The ironic thing is, that as we honor and respect our husbands, they will usually care more about our feelings and will do almost anything to make us happy. Husbands, almost all husbands, deeply desire for their wives to be happy. That is how many of them measure their success as men!  Did you realize that? I wish they measured their success by God’s pleasure with them instead, but many husbands gauge their success as men, husbands and fathers by the happiness of their wives.

Wow.

Usually, if we just simply, briefly, calmly, respectfully share our desires, a husband who feels very respected will bend over backwards to do what his wife would like. My husband does this now for me. It took awhile for him to feel safe with me again. But once he felt safe and knew I honored and truly respected him – he wants to do anything he can to make me happy. But the more we try to force or push our way, the more our husbands feel repelled from us and the less they care about our desires.

When we obey God, we get to experience blessings of God that we can hardly begin to imagine. And when we refuse to obey God, we will experience some very negative consequences. I am not saying we will all have lots of money and no problems if we obey God. That is not God’s promise. But we will have access to all the spiritual resources and treasures of heaven as we walk in total faith, trust and obedience to God, trusting Him to work all things out for our ultimate good and His glory.

Also, husbands do NO have absolute authority, God does.

They will be accountable to Him, to His Word and to those in authority over them for how they lead and manage their families. They will ultimately answer to God for every decision they make for their families, whether they obeyed God to love their wives unconditionally, whether they honored their wives as the weaker partner and co-heir with Christ and whether they were gentle, kind, understanding and patient with them and nurtured their wives as their own bodies.

Great questions!!

Let me know if these things clarify things for you. 🙂

** Husbands – We would love to hear your take on this issue to add a masculine perspective to our discussion. **

 

FROM THE WIFE AGAIN:

Thank you so much April! This was very helpful to me.

What I need to remember is that ultimately it is not between my husband and me, but between myself and Christ. I certainly don’t want to malign the gospel. I think I have overlooked Titus 2:5 in relation to the little things. It’s hard to remember sometimes that God cares about our little squabbles and petty disagreements but I know that He does. It is terrifying to think I will have to answer for all these things when I stand before God one day. I am so thankful that ultimately my answer is “Christ” but to see it all played out in front of a holy God? Eeek!

“Only fight about issues that are more important than our obedience to Christ and are more important than the unity and covenant of our marriages.”

Wow, that really does narrow things down!

I am going to take the time to memorize the Phil 2:14-16 verse. I grew up in a home where arguing and complaining were normal. Most of our “pleasant” conversations were complaint sessions. When I met my husband I would complain just as a form of conversation. It would make him so upset and it took me the longest time to understand why. It is so hard to not fall back into old patterns but by the grace of God I am working on it!

You are right that the more I do respect my husband, the kinder he is to me.

I don’t want to hurt him or destroy our marriage over stupid things. I don’t want to disobey God. I am starting to understand Luke 16:10 a little better. I think it’s the little things that are so much easier to stumble on because we aren’t on guard for them the way we would be with the big things. So if we can be blameless with the little things, the big ones will be no problem for us.

I do feel like God has been withholding blessings because my heart is wrong in my marriage. I am not trying to please God in order to get blessings, but I do see the connection.

I keep overlooking God’s protection of me in my marriage. I keep trying to submit but feel fearful that no one will protect me if my husband abuses his power (I don’t think he will). I need to remember that God is sovereign in all of this and has my good at heart. It comes down to my trust in God which is something I need to work on.

Thank you so much for talking with me April. Your blog is such a blessing!

 

RELATED
Spiritual Authority
Submitting Under Protest

Biblical Submission

Biblical Submission Does Not = a Husband is Always Right 

Biblical Submission – A Huge Key to God’s Peace
A Husband’s and a Wife’s Authority in Marriage

My Husband Isn’t Being a Good Enough Spiritual Leader

 

 

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