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Does Being a Biblically Submissive Wife Mean I Can’t Say How I Feel and What I Need?

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Nope.

We CAN say what we want, how we feel, what we think, what our concerns are and what we need.

(Please keep in mind that when I talk about submission, I am always talking about the biblical concept, not the worldly definition. For more about biblical submission, please read here.)

We have total freedom to do this! I don’t know a healthy husband who wants a wife who has no thoughts, no opinions, no desires and no feelings. In fact, I believe it is our responsibility and duty to share these things many times – but in a way that is respectful and honoring to God and to our husbands and in a way that doesn’t involve sin. We can have pure motive as we give God’s Spirit total control in our lives so that eventually our only motives will be to love,  please and glorify God and to love, honor, respect and bless our husbands.

Do I do this perfectly?

Nope.

None of us will be perfect until we are in heaven.

Can God give us victory over sin?

YES!

MY PERSONAL WEAKNESS

God is continuing to transform me. I can ask Greg for things I want and need. And I do that every so often. I do fine if I ask for what I want and then drop the issue in my mind and heart and resolve to be content with or without whatever I asked for. But, for me, if I allow myself to dwell on my needs or marinate on thoughts about what Greg “should” do, I can get into trouble and slide into sinful motives very quickly. I have to remember that I cannot FORCE Greg to do what I want him to do. Truthfully, I can be pretty insatiable emotionally and spiritually if I try to look to Greg to meet all my needs. Only Jesus can truly meet my deepest emotional and spiritual needs. (Please note – I am not talking about severe marriage issues here! If there are very serious problems in your marriage – drug/alcohol addiction, mental health issues, actual abuse, infidelity, please seek godly, experienced help in person from someone you can trust!)

I started to slip a few days ago into obsessing about wanting Greg to do something. Maybe you don’t have that problem. But I sure do. I must always watch and check my motives and lay every thought before God, shooting down any ungodly thoughts, repenting of any evil motives and asking God to purify my motives and fill me with His Spirit. I have to have serious time in prayer and in God’s Word often – to maintain spiritual nourishment.

The second I take my eyes off of Jesus and begin to expect Greg to make me happy and meet some deep spiritual need, I start to spiral downward. I know that there are some things I cannot put into my mind. Even one sentence in a book, blog or sermon about “what godly husbands should do” (that is not something my husband usually does for me) can be a trigger for me, a temptation into sinful thoughts – pride, self-righteousness, entitlement, idolatry of my husband or of being in control, selfishness, resentment, bitterness, etc…I have to catch those thoughts immediately and repent and replace them with God’s truth and set my eyes firmly on Christ alone to meet my needs. Then my feet are on solid spiritual ground again – the Rock of Jesus. I do much better if I just don’t allow myself to focus on what husbands are “supposed to do.” Maybe you can read a whole book about how husbands should be godly husbands and it doesn’t phase you. That is awesome! But for me – I know I can’t go there. I also like to avoid romantic movies and books to avoid temptation to compare Greg to some fictional romantic lead. That way, I can be content with what I actually have and thankful for my particular husband and his strengths without adding fictional or unrealistic expectations to him.

I cannot personally approach Greg  about my feelings and desires if I have my heart set (with sinful motives) on what HE should do for me. It will inevitably be a disaster!

If I realize I am getting trapped in that issue of thinking about what Greg should do for me, I have to go to prayer immediately, repent to God if I have sinned in my heart and begin to focus on all of my many blessings and all that I am thankful for and all the things Greg does do for me and all the things I do respect about him. I must focus on finding ALL of my joy, contentment, acceptance, love, identity, purpose and strength in Jesus. I know I need to concentrate on what God asks ME to do. Then God gets me back in balance – usually – before I even say anything to Greg. This time, I did say a few sentences that started drifting toward sinful motives after I asked for what I needed and wanted, then realized what I was doing and repented. I have to have God’s power to do this. I can do nothing good in my own strength!

SUBMISSION IN THE BIBLE, FOR THE BELIEVER, IN MARRIAGE

Submission in the Bible began with the relationship between Jesus and God the Father. The Son submitted to the Father because He loved Him. They were equal in value and equally God, in fact, they are One. But, Jesus submitted to the position of authority of the Father. Did Jesus share His feelings, desire, concerns and needs with God? Absolutely!!!! He was a man of fervent prayer. Did God listen to Jesus’ prayers? Absolutely!!!!!! But Jesus said, “not My will, but Yours be done.”

When there was a conflict between Jesus’ will and God’s will, Jesus voluntarily chose the Father’s will because He loved Him and because He loved us. (Please read John 17 to read how Jesus shared His heart, needs, desires and concerns with God passionately, intimately, boldly, respectfully and lovingly.)

Submission for a believer begins with our yielding to the Lordship of Christ Jesus. Does He allow us to share our thoughts, desires, concerns, emotions and needs with Him? Yes! He already knows all of these things, but He delights in us connecting with Him and loves for us to pray to Him. (Please read “How to Pray for Our Husbands So That God Will Hear” for more about how to pray. You can also search “prayer” and “pray” on my home page for posts that may be helpful about how to approach God and how to pray fervently and effectively.)

If there is a conflict between our will and God’s will, a believer is to submit to God’s will. Ultimately, that is what we are all to seek above all else, God’s will and God’s glory.

Submission in marriage begins with a wife voluntarily choosing to honor her husband’s God-given leadership. A husband cannot force biblical submission. This is something a wife chooses to do out of her love and reverence for Christ.. Not that the husband is God. A husband is NOT deity! Some people think that if a wife submits to her husband, she is worshipping him as a god. No! That is NOT AT ALL what the Bible teaches! He is just a human being – a sinful and imperfect one – who has been given the position of authority and leadership in order that he might protect, provide for, nurture, lead and guide his wife and family. For more on all the different kinds of human spiritual authority (pastors, church leaders, government leaders, police, military, bosses, husbands and parents), please check out this post.

A wife is free to share her heart, her thoughts, her concerns, her feelings, her emotions, her needs and desires with her husband. And, she is free to share all of these things with God, trusting God to ultimately be the One to meet all of her needs through the finished work of Jesus Christ.

 

If a husband and wife don’t or can’t agree, then a godly wife voluntarily chooses to honor her husband’s decision, trusting God to lead her through her husband.

SHARING OUR NEEDS AND DESIRES

The key for a godly wife is that she is sensitive to God’s Spirit and His prompting about exactly what to say, when to say it, how to say it, when to not say anything and what is worth talking about vs. what is not worth talking about at any given time.

When a godly wife does approach her husband to share, she does so from a place of:

  • spiritual strength – being filled with the power of God’s Spirit and all of His fruit (love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control – Galatians 5:22-23)
  • God’s love motivating her – I Corinthians 13:4-8
  • refusing to use sinful motives or sinful words or actions to attempt to get her way (she does not resort to humiliating, criticizing, demeaning, belittling, making fun of, bossing, controlling, being violent, arguing, disrespecting, complaining or judging her husband. She does not allow herself to be motivated by resentment, fear, bitterness, hatred, apathy, vengeance or anything that would grieve the heart of God. For more details on the sinful nature, please check out Galatians 5:18-21 or II Timothy 3:1-9 )
  • knowing her old sinful nature is dead and buried with Christ so she counts herself dead to sin and her old self but alive to God through Christ Jesus (Romans 6)
  • total submission to Christ as Lord (James 4:7-10)
  • being ready to extend the same lavish unconditional love, grace, mercy and forgiveness that she received herself from Christ (Matthew 6:14-15)
  • God’s wisdom which is much higher than the wisdom of people (James 1:5-8)
  • seeking God’s will above her own (Luke 12:31)
  • seeking to honor, bless and respect her husband and to obey God (Ephesians 5:22-33, I Peter 3:1-6, Colossians 3:18, Titus 2:3-5, I Corinthians 13:4-8)
  • leaning on God’s wisdom and not trusting her own understanding (Proverbs 3:5)
  • meekness – this is strength under control or “bridled strength.” The picture is that of a wild stallion who has been “broken.” His will has been broken so now he uses all of his strength to accomplish what his owner/rider instructs him to do. This is what we do for God. Our will is to be broken and we submit our will to His, allowing Him to control our lives, our thoughts, our desires, our actions and our circumstances and giving Him total access to everything we possess. (I Peter 3:4)
  • no fear, because all of her trust is firmly placed in Christ, so she overflows with His peace because she trusts in God with great faith (I Peter 3:6, Hebrews 11:6)
  • faith that God will use all things for her ultimate good and His ultimate glory even if she does not receive what she wants in a given situation (Romans 8:28-29)

There are times when a wife knows God is prompting her to wait and not verbally address an issue. This is particularly true when a husband is far from God. In such situations, God’s commands for wives are to win her husband without a word by their reverence, purity and godly behavior (I Peter 3:1).

There are times when a wife knows that God is definitely prompting that she needs to say something specific right now. There is not a formula for knowing what to say and when that I know of. This is about us growing in our relationship with Jesus and learning to depend on and trust in Him and learning to hear and listen to His voice alone. This means we have to spend TIME with God in prayer, seeking His presence, seeking His truth, asking Him to change us and feasting on His Word. THAT is where our power source is. If we try to do this without the power of God’s Spirit and His Word, we will not have the spiritual nourishment and strength we need and we will be much too weak!

SHARE:

How have you learned to share your heart, needs and desires in a godly way in your marriage? What are your temptations that trip you up? What approaches don’t work with your husband? What approaches do work and bless both you and your husband?

RELATED:

Stages of This Journey

Learning to Respect and Give Up Control Is a Process

Biblical Submission Does Not = The Husband Is Always Right

Submission Means We Hold the Things of This World Loosely

The Secret of Submission

Can You Overdo Respect or Submission in Marriage?

Fear Fuels Our “Need to Control

To Speak or Not to Speak

The Frustrating Quiet Phase (this is only a phase early in the journey, it is not a permanent thing!)

Confronting Our Husbands about Their Sin

When My Spouse is Wrong

 

She Submitted to Her Husband Without Knowing Christ Yet

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I am so thankful for this precious sister in Christ who was willing to allow me to share her story after she read my post earlier “Am I Giving Marriage Advice to Non-Christians?” Especially if you are not yet a believer in Christ, I hope you will read her story! I don’t know that every wife’s story would look like hers, but, I believe her story will bless everyone who reads it! God used her to sharpen me yesterday. I am so excited to share,  I couldn’t wait for Monday, I just had to run it today!

When I was first married I believed in God, but my own fairy tale version of Him. I was raised Catholic, going to church and Sunday School every week, being confirmed into the church and everything but had never been encouraged to read the bible, to study scripture, or to learn His Word. I knew about the submission part of the Bible, but thought it was culturally irrelevant. My mother was quite a feminist and although she loves my father and they’ve been married for over 30 years she treats him with little respect. And he just takes it.
My marriage got off to a very very rough start. I wanted very much to be in control. And I thought my command-man husband was just mean and awful because he wouldn’t yield to me. I was better, of course (even if only in my own mind), so he was wrong, and I thought I had just made a bad choice in marrying him. It was often times more like a war zone then a marriage. Regardless in 2 years we had our first daughter and I accidentally got pregnant again (I love how God works). Things in our marriage were spiraling even farther downward. I was depressed, hurt, angry and lost. I remember just calling out to God and asking for help. I still wasn’t a true believer but I was desperate.

First I stumbled across the Love Dare, and started to try it. Not out of faith, but because it was either that or divorce and through it all I was still desperately in love with my husband so I did not want divorce. My husband responded very positively to the first few dares. It wasn’t long after that that I stumbled across the book The Surrendered Wife. I decided I had nothing to lose and gave surrendering everything I had. It was remarkable the change I saw in my husband. It was like night and day. And there was an even bigger change in me.

When I saw that this part of the Bible I had despised so much was actually a very powerful truth my whole world started to change.

All these ideas I’d had about the Bible and my false image of God started to crumble. I started to listen to my husband. Just many little things here and there. My husband had a deeper faith and understanding of God then I ever did, that I never knew about. All along I had believed I was superior to him in spirituality even when I was so far away (from God). All these lies I had believed started to crumble and I started to see the truth.

It still took a little while before I gave my life up to the Lord. But I believe that it was submitting to my husband that brought me to where I am now.

I believe submission is a powerful truth, something that anyone can benefit from, so I do hope that those that don’t believe, but want to improve their marriage might give it a try. In this submission, I hope it opens their eyes to the glory of our Lord as it did mine.

I know that the Lord led me on this path, I needed a husband just like mine that didn’t give in. I needed to see that His Word was true, even before I believed.

My marriage is now amazing. I adore my husband and see him in a whole new light. And he adores me in return. We now have 4 beautiful children, and have chosen to let the Lord bless us with as many as He sees fit. We have chosen to home school our children so now I get to raise them with the truth of Jesus.

Maybe an unbeliever doesn’t get to reap all the rewards from submission, but in my case I got the greatest reward. I was saved, I was given a relationship with God, and a love that I never knew existed. This brings tears of joy to me as I type.

 

FROM PEACEFULWIFE:

This journey to become a godly wife is ALL about us and Jesus. Healing for our marriages and blessings for our husbands and children are secondary. How I pray each of you might find this joy, hope, faith and peace in Christ that I have found and this sister of ours has found! That is my greatest prayer for each of you!

RELATED:

How to Have a Relationship with Christ

I’m Right. I Know Best. I Should Be the Leader!

But, I’m a GOOD Person!

A Lightbulb Moment for a Wife Who Loves Control

Ways Husbands Lead That Wives Often Don’t Notice

My Husband Won’t Lead in Our Marriage

My Husband Isn’t Being a Good Enough Spiritual Leader

A Husband Answers a Wife – Why Won’t My Husband Lead?

Are Women Morally/Spiritually Superior to Men?

“Wasting” Myself

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May 28, 2013 – our 19th anniversary. Picture taken in front of the church where we were married in 1994.

There is an incredible chapter in Watchman Nee’s “The Normal Christian Life” about “wasting ourselves” for Christ. If you haven’t read this book yet, PLEASE, PLEASE read it! I believe it should be a must-read for every believer.

Nee talks about Mary who, in the eyes of Jesus’ disciples, wasted that extremely expensive perfume on Jesus in John 12:1-7. And Luke 7:36-50.  Particularly, Judas (the one who betrayed Him) was upset, rebuking Mary for her act of love and telling her that she could have sold that perfume (it was worth 1 year’s wages) and given the money to the poor. Jesus, however, commended Mary for what she had done, saying:

“Leave her alone… it was intended that she should save this perfume for the day of my burial. You will always have the poor among you. But you will not always have Me.” John 12:7 

There are times, Nee says, that God will call upon us to “waste” ourselves on Him.

The world, and even other believers, may say that what we are doing is a terrible waste of our time, talents, resources and abilities.

But there are times when God wants us to Himself. He may remove us from a place of ministry for some period of time. He may isolate us. He may incapacitate us. He may ask us to give up that which is most precious to us – as an offering to Him – without us knowing in advance if we will be able to retain the thing we hold so dear or not.

Nee describes a minister whose lifelong dream had been to have a Ph.D. He wanted to be called, “Doctor,” more than anything in the world. He wrestled with God saying, “I could bring You so much more glory and honor if I was Dr. So-and-so.” So he pursued his doctorate in divinity (I believe it was). Then, he lost the Spirit’s power in his preaching and could not understand why. He could come up with no message for his church each Sunday anymore. He went to God. God put His finger on this man’s pursuit of his degree. The man argued and argued with God, justifying himself, and kept on pursuing his doctorate until 2 days before his graduation.  He knew God was telling him NOT to get that degree. So, finally, within hours of achieving his lifelong goal, he surrendered his dream to God and did not finish getting his doctorate. God was pleased. His ministry was later greatly blessed. God showed this precious man that He wanted the glory, and that this minister having a doctorate would bring too much glory to the man instead of to God in his life.

Sometimes the world around us, and even our family and Christian friends, may say that we are wasting ourselves when we obey Him when He calls us to:

  • spend much more time with Him in Bible reading, study and prayer than time in ministry
  • stay home with our children or work just part time so that we can be with our children more to bless them, love them, nurture them and raise them to love and know God and His Word
  • prepare to be a housewife instead of going to college
  • be friendly to those who are socially awkward or outcasts
  • minister to the homeless, orphans, the poor and oppressed
  • sell all we have and follow our husbands to become missionaries in another state or country
  • give up a lucrative career to care for our husbands, our children, an ill family member, the poor or to do ministry
  • put our husbands and children ahead of ministry
  • spend less time at church so that our husbands and children do not feel neglected by us
  • remove some activities from our plate or our children’s schedule
  • take an unglamorous, low paying job, being content in obscurity
  • take an unglamorous, behind the scenes position of ministry in the church. being content in obscurity
  • cooperate joyfully with our husbands if they ask us to sell our home and our possessions and radically downsize to be able to give more to those in need and to be able to spend more time in ministry
  • submit joyfully to an unbelieving husband in order to seek to influence him for Christ
  • treat my unloving husband with honor even if he never changes
  • not have the same priorities as the world (sports, entertainment, romance, money, beauty, popularity, etc…) but to seek Him first and to truly desire to obey His Word even if we seem weird
  • dress modestly instead of showing off our bodies to men who are not our husbands
  • drive an old car instead of going into debt to have a new one
  • not give our kids smart phones even though “everyone else has one” if we and our husbands believe that is what is best for our children
  • act with integrity at work even when no one else does
  • suffer with a prolonged illness as He uses that time to draw us to Himself and to refine us
  • submit to our husbands’ leadership even when we don’t know how things are going to work out and our friends/family accuse us of having been “brain washed” or “joining a cult”

(These are just examples. They will not each apply to every wife and some things may apply at certain times but not other times in our lives. We must carefully hear what God is whispering to each of us individually at that time. He does not call each person to the same assignments He gives to others.)

WASTING OURSELVES ON GOD

God often kept His apostles in prison for long periods of time. That may have seemed like a waste to some. But we would not have most of the New Testament were it not for those times. When Paul first came to Christ, He spent 3 years by himself studying and learning and drawing near to Jesus. That was a time of training that God used to equip and prepare him for his ministry. Think of the story of Joseph in Exodus. God gave him two dreams to show him that he would rule over his brothers and parents when he was 17 years old. And then Joseph unfairly suffered for 14 years as either a slave or a prisoner. And yet, God had him in the exact place He wanted Joseph to be in order to become the 2nd in command to Pharaoh when the time was right. Moses spent 40 years in Egypt as the Pharaoh’s adopted grandson, then 40 years hiding in the desert before God called him to lead His people out of Egypt.  What seems at first to us like a waste of Moses’ life was actually very practical preparation for the job God had for Moses to do.

I don’t know what treasure God may call each of us to give up. In some ways, this is a daily thing of dying to self. I don’t know how much time God may set aside in our lives to have us all to Himself. But I do pray that we might each be ready to give all that we have to Christ even if He is the only one who benefits. Some women think, “If I obey God, and it doesn’t result in me getting what I want (a baby, more money, a bigger house, a husband), I am wasting my time!” But, if we are walking in obedience to Jesus, and we are lavishing ourselves on Him – that is NEVER a waste of our time or effort! He is WORTHY!!!!!!!!   As we give Him everything – He is pleased. We have an “Audience of One.” God’s opinion is the only one that matters. His approval is all we must seek.

What thing is there that you are holding back from God in your life? What is it about which you say, “You can have everything in my life, Jesus,  but not this”? I beg you to be willing to surrender control of that thing to Jesus and to be completely submitted to Jesus as LORD of every single thing in your life. You cannot begin to grow powerfully in Him until you are willing to do this. We must ALL die to ourselves and we must ALL be willing to lose our lives and everything we have in order to have Jesus.

WASTING OURSELVES ON OUR HUSBANDS:

There are often parallels between our submission, love, reverence for and devotion to Christ and our submission, love, respect for and devotion to our husbands. I think that is so fascinating!

There have absolutely been times when I thought to myself, “Greg is just watching TV. He doesn’t seem to care if I am here or not. He hasn’t asked me to stay with him. I could be spending more time ministering to wives online rather than ‘wasting my time here’ watching some TV show I don’t care anything about.”

But this summer when I had my blogging/social media break for a month – God revealed to me that I need to be beside my husband at night even if he is “just watching TV” and even if he is not having a big conversation every moment. Yes, there are great needs in the world and there are always women who will desire counsel and prayer. Those things are very important. But, even though my husband may never actually say, “I want you here with me in the evenings,” that is my place. He was able to better articulate this to me during my blogging break than ever before. When I make myself available to him, it gives him the opportunity to share things with me if he wants to. We have greater opportunities for intimacy on every level. Every night may not be a big deep discussion.  Every night may not be physical intimacy. That is ok. By my being there and making my husband my greatest human priority after the children go to bed, I bless him. If I am blessing my husband just by being in the room with him in the evenings, that is not a waste of my time. Even if he doesn’t really talk about it much. This makes our marriage much stronger. I am ministering powerfully to my husband just by sitting with him and cuddling with him while he watches TV.

Greg actually told me this past week as he had his arm around me, smiled and patted my hip,

“I really like you being right here.”

Wow.

Some of you may hear words like that every single day. Greg doesn’t make comments like that very often. Maybe 1-2 times per year. He doesn’t use adjectives like “really” and he doesn’t straight out say “I like” anything or verbally gush over things. Usually, if he likes something, he will say something like, “That wouldn’t bother me.” Or “I assume that would be ok.” So, I was floored. This was a VERY strong statement coming from him.

I am so thankful that I listened when God clearly told me in June to slow way down and focus more on Greg, our children and on Him.

In addition to making myself much more available to Greg in the evenings, I have found that if I stay in bed a little longer in the mornings, an extra 30 minutes, instead of rushing to go have my quiet time or answer comments as soon as I wake up, we have greater opportunities to connect on every level in the mornings, too. (Of course, this doesn’t work if I have to get ready for work, also.)

I try to ask Greg about once per week,

  • “What can I do for you this week?”
  • “How can I bless you?”
  • “What would you like me to stop doing?”
  • “What would you like me to start doing?”

I am a DOER. I like to DO STUFF. I feel productive and purposeful when I am DOING. I like moving and getting things done. I don’t like sitting still and “going nowhere”!

Interestingly, what Greg almost always says when I ask him how I can bless him is:

  • Relax!
  • Just have fun!
  • Enjoy the kids.

These things do not come naturally to me. I’m pretty awful at relaxing. I tend to want to say, “No, I mean, what actual THING can I DO for you that would really bless you?”

But now I am beginning to understand, when I relax and enjoy him and the kids, that DOES bless him. Greatly. It is dawning on me more and more just how important I am to this man I love and respect so much and that there are many ways he appreciates me ministering to him that he may not articulate with words, but that are extremely important to him and to our marriage.

And, imagine this… maybe this is more of what God wants from me in my walk with Him, too?

“Be still and know that I am God.” Psalm 46:10

SHARE:

What does your husband ask you to do that you may tend to brush off or think of as being “unimportant” or “a waste” of your time? I’d love for you to share!

How can we “waste” ourselves in a beautiful way on God and on our husbands – or maybe a better term would be – LAVISH?

Husbands,

What are some ways you would like to see your wives lavish themselves on you that may seem “wasteful” to others but would greatly bless you and your marriage? We’d love to hear from the men on this.

 

A Wife’s and Daughter’s Submission and a Violin

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From a sister in Christ. Thank you so much, Free Indeed, for sharing your story! It is SO inspiring!

Wonderful post! Just the facts, ma’am! This stuff is so important!!

Since you asked, I’ll share a recent obedience/submission story:

A few weeks ago, our family was at a garage sale and our daughter (8) found a used violin with books for a great price! She loves all things musical and we are homeschoolers, so (in my mind) I thought it was a definite go! How much fun we could have with that!

I agreed with her – only that it was a great price, NOT that we should definitely get it – (an improvement for me) – and told her to go ask her Daddy about it.

My husband said, “No,” to the violin because our daughter had struggled to obey him just the day before several times and he didn’t feel like she deserved to get it.

She was very disappointed, and so was I. BUT I did not argue with him, and I encouraged her not to, as well. Instead, I took her aside and told her to trust her Daddy to lead our family. I prayed with her that if she was to have a  violin, one would be provided for her somehow and if she wasn’t, we could forget about it and focus on the instruments we do have for now.

She seemed to forget about it soon enough, enjoying our keyboard and guitars like she usually does throughout the week. She mentioned it once or twice, but i reminded her that we are blessed to have what we do and if the Lord wants us to have one, He will provide one.

Fast forward about 3-4 weeks…

My husband and sons went to help his musician brother move out of state. When they returned, my husband had a surprise for our daughter. This makes me cry typing it now, but it was EXACTLY the same violin – for FREE! (Nothing special, just your average middle-school beginner violin, but still the same.) My brother-in-law had received it in a trade with some other stuff and had no need for it and no room to store it in his new place. So, he asked my husband if we’d take it.

My daughter and I prayed prayers of thanks to the One who knows us and loves us and takes care of the little things for us. And I praised HIM because my daughter (and I) got a lesson in patience and a tangible example of how obedience and submission works! God can still meet our needs (and sometimes our wants) if we will just trust HIM to provide for us and trust HIM to lead us through these human leaders He’s given us. It doesn’t always look like this, and sometimes we don’t recognize it, but sometimes it DOES and sometimes we DO. And it’s fun to be pleasantly surprised and cared for!

SHARE:

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I would love to hear more stories about how God used your submission to Him and to someone in a position of spiritual authority in your life, even when you didn’t understand it at the time, to bring about good in your life or your family’s life.

 

 

 

 

Submission Means We Hold the Things of This World Loosely

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“If anyone would come after Me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow Me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for Me will save it. What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, and yet forfeit his very self?” Luke 9:23-25

What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they one from your desires that battle within you? You want something but don’t get it. You kill and covet, but you cannot have what you want. You quarrel and fight. You do not have, because you do not ask God. When you ask, you do not receive because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures. You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world is hatred toward God? Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God? Or do you think Scripture says without reason that the Spirit He caused to live in us envies intensely? But He gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says: God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and He will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves before the Lord and He will lift you up. James 4:1-10

First, I submit fully to Christ as a believer in Him. I relinquish control over my life and yield control over everything in my life to Jesus.  Then, because I want to obey God and please Him (because I love Him more than anything or anyone), I submit to my husband’s  God-given leadership (Ephesians 5:22-33, Titus 2:3-5,  Colossians 3:18).

When Jesus is LORD of my life, getting my way is no longer my primary goal. Bringing honor and glory to Him is my primary goal now – even in my marriage.

DYING TO SELF, CARRYING OUR CROSS DAILY

This is a concept that is central to being a true disciple of Christ, and it is a painful and unpopular one. “Dying to self “is much overlooked in our Western churches today because we prefer to hear about “health, wealth and happiness” – not the biblical concepts of suffering, sacrifice, obedience no matter what the cost and total submission to Christ as LORD of all in our lives.

As disciples of Jesus, we cling to Jesus alone. We hold everything else loosely. When there is something we want, we ask God for it in faith. We also ask God to help us examine our motives to be sure we are not asking with wrong motives. We learn to lay each issue at the feet of Jesus, being content with whichever outcome is the will of God regardless of our own will. We learn to seek His will far above our own.

This is what Jesus means by carrying our cross daily.

  • We lay down our will.
  • We lay down our desires.
  • We remember that our sinful nature was crucified with Christ on the cross and that we learn to count ourselves dead to sin and alive to God through Jesus.
  • We lay down all that we are, all of our plans, our dreams, our health, our money, our jobs, our husbands, our children, our future, our talents, our wisdom and everything that is ours and we place it on the altar before Christ. Meaning – we trust Him fully with all of the things that are most precious to us.
  • We are willing to give up anything He asks us to at any time.
  • We cling only to Jesus. We count Him as the only thing we MUST have. He is our Greatest Treasure. He is our LIFE. We truly desire Him far above anything else in this world,

This is hard. It is a very painful process. Submission to God’s will was difficult and painful for Jesus Himself in the Garden of Gethsemane. How much more difficult and painful will it be for us as sinners to die to self? Yet, our submission to God and faith in Him is His measure of our love for Him. If we are willing to obey God and trust His heart – even if He asks us to be willing to surrender our greatest and dearest relationships and treasures on this earth – the end result is maturity in our faith and great joy and fruitfulness in Christ!

Each of us have different priorities and different things we hold very dear.

For the rich young ruler – the thing that was most important in his life was his money and his wealth. He was not willing to sell all he had and follow Christ. His money and belongings were more important to him than Jesus. Jesus doesn’t necessarily call each of us to sell all he has and give to the poor and follow Him. But –

He does call each of His followers to be willing to give up anything and everything for His sake at any time and to put nothing above Him in our hearts. Ever.

That is how we show our deepest devotion and love is for Him alone – that we believe He is worthy of any sacrifice He might ask us to make.

Check out the response of God’s faithful servant, Job, when he lost all of his 10 children and all of his wealth in one day:

Job got up and tore his robe and shaved his head. Then he fell to the ground in worship and said: Naked I came from my mother’s womb and naked I will depart. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised.” In all this, Job did not sin by charging God with wrongdoing. Job 1:20-22

God tests our faith by trials (James 1, Job and I Peter are about this). Many times He will ask us to be willing to give up whatever is most precious to us. These tests force us to purify our motives, refine our faith and to grow into maturity as we must wrestle with being willing to give up the things of this world that we love most to demonstrate that our love for God is greater than our love for anything or anyone else. The Lord certainly tested Abraham when He asked him to sacrifice Isaac on the altar to Him to prove that He loved God more than the promised child. And then, what an incredible thing – God did not actually require Abraham to go through with the test – but God Himself DID  sacrifice His only Son to prove His outrageous love for us.

WHAT THINGS DO YOU HOLD MOST DEAR?

Each of us have different “hot button issues” and fears. What may be a great test of faith for one of us may not be difficult for another. But we each have certain things that we don’t want to sacrifice and surrender to God. There are all kinds of things that we may feel we “must have” to be happy in this life. When we are tested, God may call upon us to be willing to give up something of this world that we hold dear. Many times, the thing may be a “good thing.” It may even be a gift from God. But God wants to see us be willing to choose Him and to obey Him over having what we want in this world. If we are not willing to surrender something and we are unwilling to give it up in obedience to God, then, we are likely dealing with an idol, something that is more important to us than God.

THIS IS PART OF THE PROCESS OF REFINING OUR FAITH AND PURIFYING OUR HEARTS

He fell with His face to the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from Me. Yet not as I will, but as You will.” Matthew 26:39

To give up something we hold as precious requires us to spend MUCH time wrestling in prayer, MUCH purposeful surrendering and submitting and yielding to God. It can be agony. Have I had to do this with certain issues? Yes. Will I have to do it again many times in my life? Definitely! But this process forces us to learn to lay down our will and seek only God’s will as Jesus did in the Garden of Gethsemane. This is HARD! It is PAINFUL!!!!!!!

There is no shortcut here as we learn to trust God completely, depend on His sovereignty and goodness and His unspeakable love for us.

We learn that God is truly going to do what is ultimately best for us and what will cause us to be more like Christ as we walk through the fiery trials. We learn that this is the path to maturing in our faith and learning to depend on the sufficiency of Christ. This is how we learn to be content in any circumstances no matter what the outcome of any situation.

I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through Him who gives me strength. Philippians 4:11-13

This is where we learn to experience the supernatural peace of God, as we give God the freedom to give and take whatever He knows is best in our lives. We learn to lean not on our own understanding but to wholly depend on God and His wisdom. We learn to live in constant submission to His Spirit and His Word. We long to delight Him and to know Him more. The things of this world grow “strangely dim” as we focus on Christ and eternity. We begin to store up treasures for ourselves in heaven because that is where our hearts are. We become willing to suffer for Jesus even if it costs us dearly and we learn to count suffering for Him as an honor and blessing. We learn to be willing to literally lose our own lives for Him if He calls us to do that. We cleave to Jesus and cling tightly to Him. And we are willing to let go of everything else, seeking only His will and all of His will. We ask Him to change our hearts to want what He wants and to hate what He hates. This is the process of being pruned, refined, tested, tried and sanctified as God conforms us to the image of Christ.

My full submission to God means that my life is not about me, it is about God’s greatest glory!

There are times when God will ask us to be willing to do things we REALLY do not want to do. Submission can be very painful – our submission to God and to our husbands. Sometimes a husband may ask his wife to do something that she completely disagrees with. I believe that she can and should share her heart, desires, thoughts, ideas, perspective and feelings respectfully – just like we share our hearts, needs and desires with God in prayer. But then, if he still believes it is the best course of action and he is not clearly asking her to sin (by God’s definition not hers), she can submit to his leadership joyfully, trusting God to work through her husband’s leadership to bring about His will in her life even when she doesn’t understand. She knows that she will understand in time and that God is able to use every circumstance to bring about His will and to do good in her life for His glory (Romans 8:28-29).

* If a husband is asking his wife to clearly sin, please check out Spiritual Authority.

SHARE:

I would love to hear from some of you who have submitted to God and your husband in a time when you did not agree, but you rested in the sovereignty of God and then later saw the wisdom in your husband’s decision and in God’s ability to lead you through your husband.

If there are specific issues that are particularly difficult for you to submit to God and/or your husband about, let’s talk about it together!

PS:

For wives whose husbands tend to be very dominant and strong, you will want to check out the comments on last week’s post. There are some beautiful gems of wisdom there from other wives who are learning to honor God and their husbands in such situations when their husbands are angry.

RELATED:

A Real Life Example of Biblical Submission and Respect

How to Make Your Husband an Idol

The Idol of Control

My Secret Idol – a wife wants her husband to be saved more than anything

How to Stop Idolatry and Truly Live for Christ 

Things that Fuel Discontentment in Me

Contentment Only Comes from Having Christ as Lord

Waiting Becomes Sweet

Fear Fuels Our Need to Control

Husbands Share Their Masculine Perspectives with Us

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I asked the men some questions earlier this week and want to share some of the responses I have received. I want to share all of them!!!  But some, I want to reserve for my book. 🙂 I’m so thankful for the husbands who are willing to share a masculine perspective on these important issues. I know that many of our own husbands may not be able to voice how they feel about these things, or maybe, they have, but we just haven’t really and truly heard them. I believe that hearing from other husbands can be a powerful tool for wives to better understand men in general and for us to begin to understand our own husbands with much greater clarity. I would love for us to put ourselves in these husbands’ shoes as we read their stories. These are the questions I asked:

We are talking about what it means to our husbands when we as their wives honor their leadership even in the “little things.” I’d like to invite you to share what it means to you when your wife willingly and joyfully follows your lead.

  • What does it mean to a husband when his wife trusts him in small things, even if she doesn’t understand exactly why he is doing what he is doing. If you have a specific example, that would be exceptionally helpful!
  • What goes into deciding where you believe the family should sit – are you thinking about the safety and security of your family at a restaurant, in a theater, at church, etc.?
  • Would you like to talk about a time when something that seemed small to your wife might have seemed big from your perspective?
  • What does it do to a husband when his wife argues with him constantly about small things and insists on her way without taking his feelings, perspective, insights, preferences and wisdom into account?
  • Would a husband feel respected and loved if his wife willingly follows him in the big decisions but doesn’t cooperate with him in little things?

HUSBAND #1:

When my wife trusts me with the little things, then it helps improve the confidence that she will have my back on the big things. In my heart – it creates a different perspective. Her concession on a decision makes me want to consult with her more. It creates a sense of oneness. Aside from God’s word – nothing makes me feel stronger as a man than knowing that my wife has confidence in me.

  • What does it do to a husband when his wife argues with him constantly about small things and insists on her way without taking his feelings, perspective, insights, preferences and wisdom into account?

It quickly creates an environment where the husband can start to believe that he does not have much value in his wife’s life or their marriage. Two things that impact me the most:

1) Not listening with I am trying to share my thoughts and feelings with her.

2) Unproductive comments that are meant to take a shot at me while I am taking ownership for something that has gone wrong.

I remember a time recently when I messed up. I was sharing where I felt like I had messed up, how I thought it impacted her and that I was sorry for how I handled the situation. As I was talking to her – she picked up her phone and started to look on her social media. I asked her if she would stop and listen to what I was trying to say. She told me that I was being controlling and high maintenance. I explained that I needed her to hear me out. She told me that I was being a baby.

It becomes easy to believe that my thoughts and feelings are less important that her social media. And if I am showing emotion, then I risk being called names. So…why should I make the effort to take ownership if this was the response I was going to receive?

I know that it might seem silly to create a safe place for husbands to communicate, but it does make a difference. I believe that I have always done a fairly good job with sharing my feelings; however that still doesn’t always make it easy to open up. I think that one of the greatest gifts that God gives us through marriage is the security that two people can create together. It is important that both spouses become intentional in their words and actions to create security. It starts and continues in the little moments.

Husband #2:

  • What does it do to a husband when his wife argues with him constantly about small things and insists on her way without taking his feelings, perspective, insights, preferences and wisdom into account?

When this occurs, it makes me feel insignificant. I feel totally disrespected. It would be as if I was her child instead of husband. I’d start to ‘shut down.’ There would be no need for my input. I do think about what our children are gleaning from this if they see it occur.

  • Would a husband feel respected and loved if his wife willingly follows him in the big decisions but doesn’t cooperate with him in little things?

This would feel like ‘quid pro quo.’ There would still not be any ‘respect’ felt because it would be contingent upon the size of the decision.

Husband #3:

  • “What does it mean to a husband when his wife trusts him in small things, even if she doesn’t understand exactly why he is doing what he is doing”

For me it helps build my confidence in myself to allow me to make wise decisions for all the matters I take care of.

  • “What does it do to a husband when his wife argues with him constantly about small things and insists on her way without taking his feelings, perspective, insights, preferences and wisdom into account?”

In my first marriage this was a problem. Knowing how good my marriage is now, lets me know that the needless arguing made me doubt most of my decisions and had me apologizing for those things that were not my fault.

  • “Would a husband feel respected and loved if his wife willingly follows him in the big decisions but doesn’t cooperate with him in little things?”

Obviously its more important to cooperate on big decisions then the little ones. But not cooperating on little items may get tiring and diminish anyone’s confidence after time.

Husband #4:

Note: I share this not to complain about my own situation, but to help others. I understand that I am equally accountable for creating my own situation.

To be honest, and a conscious level, my primary concern in choosing a seat is having a plausible answer to the question to, “Why would you want to sit there?” Unconsciously, I’m sure my own personal comfort plays a role (I’m 6’5″, and wary about having to sit in cramped spaces for long periods of time).

I can’t claim that physical security plays heavily in my mind, at least at a conscious level. Again, this is probably luck/privilege of being 6’5″. I’m not really a “tough guy,” but bad guys don’t know that, so I and the people with me aren’t going to be the first choice of targets. Maybe I subconsciously choose spots where I can keep an eye on things, but I don’t find myself vigilantly scanning crowds for signs of danger.

This is especially true at events (like church) that I value and wish my wife would value more. I want to make it a pleasant experience for her, and probably bend over backwards to a fault to make it so.

One event I recall that was especially devastating as my daughter’s swim meet.

Note: This story probably makes me look better, and my wife look worse, than is truly reality.

I arrived early with my daughter and all of our gear. I was scheduled to “work” at the swim meet, so I would be putting our stuff down to claim a spot my wife would sit during the meet.

Now, I had to figure out, where should I put it? What was most important? To be close to where our daughters would be with the team? To be next to her friends that she could talk to? To be in the shade? To not have a long walk to leave?

I chose based on what I thought was the proper balance of these concerns, and apparently got it wrong, since my wife laid into me about how thoughtless I was in choosing the spot.

Now, I could take criticism for making the wrong choice. But the idea that I was “thoughtless” about something I had invested a a great deal of time and worry into was particularly devastating.

Again, this is a dynamic that I had a significant part in creating, and this story is probably not a fair representation of our marriage.

But I think it paints a vivid picture of the impact the manner in which we discuss these “little things” can have.

And I guess the impacts on me:

1.) It leads me to dread/avoid future occasions like this where I will have to make a decisions my wife will have to live with.

2.) It leads me to not want to invest much thought and consideration into these future decisions. If I’m going to get clobbered anyway, why bother? In a way, it becomes a self-fulfilling prophesy.

I’m not claiming these are the best/healthiest responses, but we are human.

 

Encouraging Our Husbands to Be Men of Courage – by Nikka

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Nikka
From my precious sister in Christ, Nikka, from the Philippines. You can find her at www.peacefulwifephilippines.blogspot.com
1. Live a virtuous life.
Kind words and gestures can soften a hardened heart than any harsh word or judgmental remark towards another can (Proverbs 15:1). As wives, we are encouraged to be “pure” and “reverent” not only to our husbands, but most importantly to God. We must strive to always bless our spouses with words and in deeds.
  • Actions speak louder than words.

If you are married to a believer, your own Christ-like behavior will further encourage your husband to deepen his relationship to God. 

If you are married to a non-believer, your own Christ-like behavior will encourage your husband to want to know the Reason behind your loving words and actions. It will encourage him to also want what you have — that is, a relationship with Jesus Christ –– in his own life.

My husband Dong noticed a change in my behavior just a few short weeks after the Lord regenerated me and created a new Nikka in September 2013. So much so that he said sometime in October last year that:

“I am enjoying this, whatever it is you are doing. I am reaping all its benefits. I wish for more married couples to experience this. I want you to blog about your journey. Write your own version of the Peacefulwife’s blog for the Philippines. Our country is in dire need of role models to follow. I am sick and tired, too, of hearing about husbands and fathers saying that the worst thing that can happen to a man is to get married and have kids. Why do most men feel that way? Shouldn’t we feel happy that we got married and have children?”

 
2. Practice self-restraint and let your husband lead.
A man will feel more manly if he is allowed to act and think like a man. A wife wearing the pants in the marriage and ordering him around does nothing to encourage and affirm his manhood. In fact, it emasculates him and demotivates him to fulfill his God-ordained leadership role in the family.
My husband Dong clearly got badly affected by my controlling behavior, before the Lord regenerated me and showed me the error of my ways. Below are some of the things he emotionally told me in various occasions:
“It is not that I am not doing anything. I am just confused and paralyzed as to what to really do. Since you are doing so well, I feel that my own contribution would be useless.”

“I don’t know why I am like this but if you are doing something already, I feel like I should just support you. Parang gumagalaw ka na e, ikaw na muna. (You are already moving, so I just let you lead.) “

“I don’t know what my role is in this family anymore! Siguro dapat umalis na lang ako (Maybe I should just leave!)… but I pity the kids, they need me.” 

“All of these are your choices! If I were in charge, we’d still have a good life, but maybe a simpler one! You think I cannot lead our family? You think that you can do everything by yourself! Masaya ka ba na ako nasa baba tapos ikaw nasa taas, di tayo nagtutulungan? (Are you happy that you are on top and I am left below, and we are not helping each other?)  Shouldn’t marriage be about helping each other?

 

We must let our husbands lead us. The way to encourage them to become the men of courage God wants them to be, is by being the woman in the marriage. By this, I mean, to step aside, let God work in your husband, and focus on your own role — that is as his helper and supporter, not his boss or leader.

                                                      Bible Verse to Live By:

Titus 2:4-5

4 and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, 5 to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled.

3. Be his best friend and prayer warrior.

Why is it so easy to forgive or look over our girl friends’ faults but so hard to not judge our husband’s failures? By virtue of marriage, we are ONE with our spouses, which is not the case with our friends.
We do not have a covenant with our friends, although Jesus did teach us to “love your neighbor as yourself” (Mark 12:31). Why then is it so hard to apply this to somebody whom we promised “to love and to cherish, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better or for worse, for richer or for poorer, in sickness and in health, till death do us part.”? It does NOT make much sense, right?
 
It is easier for us to excuse the faults of others, but we are very, very quick to condemn our husbands!
 
In order to encourage our men to be men of courage in the home, we cannot be their worst adversary. The home should not be a battleground or a hell house, where even before they step inside its premises, our husbands would first have to breathe in and breathe out, and say, “Alright, here we go again…” as though they would rather be anywhere else but home! 
 
It should be a respite from the daily stresses of life; a welcoming embrace; and not THE most stressful part of their day; a penance! They should have the COURAGE to fight for their wives and families, NOT the “courage” to emotionally wrestle and fight with their wives who constantly berate them!
 
Cultivate a deep friendship with your husband who (if both of you are lucky), would be with you for many, many years still. What would you rather do, sleep with your enemy or sleep with your best friend (Assuming that your husband is your best friend.)?
And more than simply developing a friendship with him, you should also be his prayer warrior. We should always pray for our husbands. Since we are one with them, praying for them is also praying for ourselves. Let us always maintain a spirit of humility whenever we do lift our husbands up in prayer, and not a judgmental, self-righteous attitude. Prideful hearts are opposed by God, and so don’t be surprised if one’s “prayers” are not heard or answered when in this sinful state.
Just recently, my husband shared with me his heart, saying:

“What I love about us is that we are the opposite of each other. We help each other become better people. What I lack, you have; what you lack, I have — so we learn from each other all the time. It never gets boring. I wouldn’t want to be with somebody who will just say “yes” to what I have to say all the time. I want somebody with substance, who can contribute to my improvement.”  

 
Bible Verses to Live By:

Ephesians 4:2-3

2 Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. 3 Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.
James 4:6
 

But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says: “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”

4. Be positive and hopeful. Not negative and judgmental.
Minus my bondages and issues (in the past), I was actually quite cheerful. It did not take much to make me smile or laugh. I think I have been blessed with a sweet disposition, but there would be numerous times in the past, when that bubbly exterior would be clouded by depression, anxiety, worry and fear. The world was still very much in my spirit and the devil piggy-backed on my very many insecurities.
We would be having a remarkable time, when out of the blue, I would remember for instance, that I was anxious about the bills we had to pay, or that Dong did not have the job that I wanted for him, and I would immediately, as though a needle pricked a balloon, stop smiling and sulk. Oftentimes, I would just cry.

When I was extremely happy, Dong would tell me, “Sigh. I wonder how long this would go on,” knowing that I could easily slip into depression just after a very happy experience.

Or when I was quiet or giving him the silent treatment because of perceived hurts against him due to my unfulfilled expectations of him, he would tell me, “What is wrong?! What did I do wrong again this time?”

These were some of the things Dong told me at the height of my controlling behavior, and before I gave my life to Christ in September 2013:

“When you are sad, I feel like a failure. Because for me, my role is to make you happy.”

 “I am afraid that you will find yourself another man who has more money, who can provide for you or make you happy!”

There was one crazy PMS episode (I have since conquered my PMDD with God’s Help since my conversion!!! Before, I would usually border on the side of psychotic and crazy.)  when I was crying myself silly in the bathroom. He was so frustrated with me! He said in a loud voice,

“What is YOUR problem?! I am already employed, right? Why couldn’t you be happy?!”

That time, I was like, “How did THAT enter this conversation? How does my being depressed have anything to do with my husband being employed?”
Apparently, in my husband’s mind, if he would do what I wanted, which was to be in a “stable” job, I would be happy… and yet I wasn’t! Nothing would please Ms. High-And-Mighty Nikka. Nothing was enough. I was a bottomless pit of discontentment! 🙁
Now I have realized after the Lord opened up my spiritual eyes, that there is a reason why we are called“Ilaw ng Tahanan” (Light of the Home). We lighten up the home with our joyful and cheerful attitudes and dispositions. Our homes should be a haven for our weary family members, not a hellhole or a place to detest. Now, I am joyful and able to bring joy to my husband and family 24/7, as the Spirit continues to fill up my heart with peace and joy, which stems from finally turning my life over to Jesus Christ. 🙂

Bible Verses to Live By:

1 Peter 1: 8-9

8 Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, 9 for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls.

Proverbs 15:13, NIV A happy heart makes the face cheerful, but heartache crushes the spirit.

 Proverbs 17:22, ESV A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.

 
5. Be his Number One Fan.
We should be our husbands’ supporters, cheerleaders and encouragers. Usually, we believe in the abilities of everybody else’s but theirs! How did that happen?!

By being their Number one fan, too,  we are only called to cheer them on, not to coach them or tell them what to do.

I used to think I was my husband’s number one “cheerleader”. A cheerleader who told him what I wanted him to do in the way I wanted it done. For sure though, I would be clapping for him and congratulating him, if and when, he had done it “right” (based of course on my standards)! That’s not cheering, that’s jeering! That was not encouraging, that was dictating! That was not helping, that was demanding!
I see this particular scene played too often (as I was guilty of this too in the past) — Somebody tells you about your husband’s faults and instead of defending him (if the charge isn’t true) or just keeping quiet (if the charge is true) so as not to disrespect him in front of the accuser, you even side with that person and go into a fault-finding spree!Just because we can point out their flaws does not make us saints. In fact, that makes us “judges”, which the Lord clearly detests, for “nobody is righteous, not even one” (Romans 3:10-12) , and save for God’s Grace and Jesus’ Redemption, we would all be rotting in hell.
Dong blurted this out to me at one emotional discussion we had in the past, after I told him that he was not doing his best to help me provide for the family:

“I am very limited. But I know I am not a bad person! I know I am not lazy. I just don’t have energy to do a lot of things. I know I am not a people person. I know I am not one who would climb the corporate ladder. I wish I were, that would simplify things, but I am not. I am very simple. Just having you and the kids makes me happy. But you cannot write that in your resume —  “Contented father and husband.” “

We should be our husbands’ helpmeets, their helpers, their better halves. The Bible clearly tell us what the role is of wives in their families.

RELATED:
Nikka’s interviews with Dong, her husband
April’s Interview with Greg – Understanding a Passive Husband’s Mindset

If I Biblically Submit to My Husband, I Might Become Helpless! What if My Husband Dies?!?

 

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.

                A “self-proclaimed” plain housewife“… 
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.

 Titus 2:3-5

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
                       Romans 7:2
 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

                                         

 Matthew 22:30

“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!
UNBELIEVABLE!
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! 🙂

                                          Lamentations 3:23

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! 🙂

Can a Wife “Overdo” Biblical Submission? – By Nikka

2011

By my dear friend and sister in Christ, Nikka, from the Philippines. You can find her blog at www.peacefulwifephilippines.blogspot.com

Let me begin this post by saying that I am an “ALL or NOTHING” person.

My husband usually teases me that I may be “bi-polar”.

I  am either TOO HAPPY or TOO SAD.

I am either TOO INTENSE or TOO UNPLUGGED.

I either LIKE something or HATE something.

I have to give it my 100% best or I don’t give it my time of day.

There is usually no middle ground with me.

I am awful at MODERATION.

Trying to find a BALANCE is an art that I am constantly trying to master.

So, given this “character flaw”, can I overdo this submission bit?

Can a wife overdo submission?

The answer is YES.

A wife can overdo submission and cross over to being a DOORMAT.

Photo Credits: Classy Career Girl

Thank God, I do not desire to be anybody’s foot rug, so on this particular important life-changing decision, if I am to err, I will err on the side of caution — caution against being an abused wife.

First, let us define some terms once more.

Biblical Submission, according to reason4living.com  is:

“… an act of the will — it is the result of a choice, a decision.  The act of submission can only come from a choice that a person makes.  Submission cannot be enforced upon a person.  Either a person submits of their own free will or they do not submit at all.  Submission is a gift that one person chooses to give to another person.  By contrast oppression is the act of extracting something from a person against their will.  Submission and oppression are, therefore, opposite qualities of a relationship and not even remotely similar.
With 3rd baby, Reuben

The submission of a godly wife is a glorious thing that is intended to help her and her husband to have a contented life together.  Problems in life and in marriage are more or less inevitable but when a woman is submissive to her man it is much more likely that those problems can be resolved harmoniously, without unpleasant quarrelling and without bitterness and resentment.  Those people who look down on biblical submission as if it were something demeaning, degrading or humiliating are merely showing that they have no understanding of what biblical submission is and that they are quite ignorant of its power.

If you are a Christian wife who has been feeling uncomfortable with the Biblical command that you submit to your husband, then I hope these statements have perked up your interest and given you a glimpse of the bright cheerfulness ahead. Being submissive to your husband does not mean that you should be an empty-headed bimbo, or that you should have no opinions of your own, or that you should be like a doormat.
If you are a Christian husband I hope that you will take care to understand the nature of submission and be careful to understand your responsibilities in response to your wife’s submission to you.  A submissive wife is not a justification for an abusive husband. God commands men to love their wives with the same kind of love that he [God] gave to his people … that’s a pretty tough assignment to give a mortal man and it doesn’t include the possibility of abuse.”
(Italics and bold letters are mine.)
Family Picture – 2010

Sadly, I was one of those “ignorant detractors of submission.” I did not have any godly role models to follow and no godly marriages to pattern my own marriage from, that’s why “submission” to me was an alien, scary and outdated concept.

Had I known then what I knew now, I would have saved myself from a LOT of heartache in our nine years as husband and wife. Three of those years from 2009 to 2011 were the most difficult emotionally. They were when I was most controlling and my heart was at its “fullest” in terms of bitterness, resentment, fear and fault-finding. 🙁

What then is a DOORMAT?

According to Merriam-Webster.com a doormat is:

– one that submits without protest to abuse or indignities or
– someone who is treated badly by other people and does not complain

Photo Credits: Ann Cutting 

April explains it well in her blog post on “Doormats Don’t Glorify God Either”. I will share with you an excerpt of that article:

“It is true that being bossy, condescending, controlling, scolding, critical, negative, nagging, argumentative, contentious, etc… as a wife is extremely dishonoring to God.  But having NO thoughts, NO opinions, NO dreams, NO feelings, NO input, NO personality, NO contributions to the marriage and family as a wife  – well, that doesn’t honor God either!

To label being a slave or doormat as being a ”submissive wife” will also repel many people from the gospel of Christ!  A wife MUST be her own full, strong, vibrant person in order to properly complete and complement her man!  There may be specific situations where we keep our thoughts to ourselves and allow our husbands to make decisions on his own – we must be sensitive to God’s Spirit, of course.  But most of the time, our input is extremely valuable in our marriages – it is our motivations, and our respect for God and our husbands that are the key.”
(Italics are mine.)

Photo Credits: The Snooze Letter

To add, Nancy Leigh de Moss, author of ‘Lies Women Believe’ wrote that there are four LIES ABOUT SUBMISSION.

Lie Number 1: “The wife is inferior to her husband.”

The Scripture teaches that both the man and the woman are created in the image of God, both have equal value before God, and both are privileged to be subjects of His redeeming Grace through repentance and faith (Genesis 1:27Galatians 3:281 Peter 3:7) The responsibility of the wife to submit to her husband’s authority does not make her any less valuable or significant than her husband.


Lie Number 2: “As head of his wife, the husband is permitted to be harsh or dictatorial with his wife.”

Husbands are commanded to love their wives as they love themselves, in the same selfless, sacrificing, serving way that the Lord Jesus loved His Church and laid down His life for it (Ephesians 5:25-29)

Nikka and Dong – Dec 2010

Lie Number 3: “The wife is not to provide input or express her opinions to her husband.”

God created the woman to be a “helper suitable” to her husband. That means, he needs her help. He needs the input and insight she is able to bring in various situations. It also means that once a wife has graciously and humbly expressed her heart on the matter, if her husband chooses to act contrary to her counsel, she must be willing to back off and trust God with the consequences of her husband’s decision.

Lie Number 4: “The husband is always right.”

The apostle Peter specifically addresses women whose husbands “do not believe the word.” The husband may be unsaved, or he may be disobedient to God in some area(s)of his life. According to 1 Peter 3:1, the number one means of influencing such a husband is not through tearful pleading, irresistible logic, or persistent reminders; rather, it is through the power of submission:

                                             1 Peter 3:1-2

3 Wives, in the same way be submissive to your husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives, 2 when they see the purity and reverence of your lives.”
8 months pregnant with our 3rd –  March 2010

So, to the question, can a wife overdo submission, the answer is a resounding YES.

Can a husband overdo dominance? The answer is YES too.

7 months pregnant with our 2nd -2007

To somebody like me who is an ALL or NOTHING sort of gal and who finds it hard to stay on middle ground, you might think that now that I am being submissive, I might risk becoming ‘TOO SUBMISSIVE.’

One good thing, I think, from being used to getting my way AND being bossy (hehe), is that I couldn’t for the life of me imagine having no opinion, no say, no input on anything. I have never been a doormat and I am not going to start now. 🙂

But to those wives who are more passive than aggressive, who may have problems with self-esteem, of questioning authority or of simply speaking their mind, I pray that you find it in yourself to come out of your shell and be that significant other of your husbands. You are significant! You are important! Your thoughts and feelings matter!

If you have given up your influence on your marriage, you might want to read April’s post on that. She gives some practical tips on how to move from becoming a DOORMAT to becoming a wife who MATTERS to her husband. Click the link here.

I guess in life, for us to be able to function at our most comfortable and healthy level, one really has to find the right BALANCE. That, I am learning now as a former controlling and now converted peaceful wife. 😉

There is one passage though in the Bible, wherein being neither here nor there is considered contemptible, and that is with regards to our FAITH.

http://sfodan.wordpress.com

                                                      Revelations 3:16
So, because you are lukewarm–neither hot nor cold–I am about to spit you out of my mouth.

                                    Rebelasyon 3:16

Kaya sapagka’t ikaw ay malahininga, at hindi mainit o malamig man, ay isusuka kita sa aking bibig.

(For a more detailed explanation on this verse from Revelations, please click this.)

Finally, and here, I am overjoyed to know that I can use my ALL or NOTHING nature to its maximum capacity – giving it my ALL rather than NOTHING….

I can go OVERBOARD with my LOVE FOR GOD! 🙂  

Photo Credits: Framed Art



               Matthew 22:37
Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’

                   MATEO 22:37

At sinabi sa kaniya, Iibigin mo ang Panginoon mong Dios ng buong puso mo, at ng buong kaluluwa mo, at ng buong pagiisip mo.

This one I can NEVER overdo. 🙂

This one I can give my 110% best! 🙂

Photo Credits: Nice Ideas For All

May we all be richly blessed! 🙂

RELATED:

I Don’t Want to Lose My Voice in My Marriage!

Biblical Submission Does Not = the Husband Is Always “Right”

The Powerful Concept of Submitting Under Protest – Part 1

The Powerful Concept of Submitting Under Protest – Part 2

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