A few days ago I spent sometime reading over at BlestwithSons. Having just recently spent some time with my nephew and his wife who sadly seem to be having marital problems, her post caught my attention. And since Bethany’s post, Under the Veil and Under His Authority, was the catalyst for Blest’s, well of course I had to go read her post too.
Both of these women, through their writing, shared wisdom on submission, a subject I have had difficulty with at times.
When I first came to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ, by his grace I hungered for his Word. It was in my quiet time in his Word that I was introduced to the concept of submission. This I am sure was necessary. Knowing me, if another woman had told me about biblical submission I assume I would have considered her to be brainwashed and if this teaching had come through a man, well clearly he would have been deemed a dictator. So God in His wisdom choose to teach me by His Holy Spirit through His Word.
Julian, although raised in a Christian home, was not a follower of Jesus. When he and I first met we would have discussions about religion, I from my Catholic perspective and he from his wealth of Biblical knowledge. He knew how to get to heaven, he just refused to repent and be saved. He had had the displeasure of witnessing much too much legalism and hypocrisy in his parent’s church and this had kept him from truly believing the Bible in which he was so well versed.
So after having been married for over 6 years, to have his wife suddenly accept the Lord, well let’s just say he wasn’t thrilled with the whole idea. God used my submission to bring Julian into relationship with him within eight months. The change in both of us, not to mention our struggling marriage, was incredible.
Yet even after witnessing the benefits of submission, and the very truth of God’s Word, there are still times when gradually I slide back into my old habits, my femi-nazi behavior. But God in his mercy has always been faithful to show me when I hit new lows. As the years pass, the lows have thankfully become fewer and farther between. I’m also happy to say that there have been breakthroughs and times when, against every fleshly feeling and emotion, I have submitted and seen God work in miraculous ways.
One such a time was in 2001, when after living in Arizona for only two sun-filled years, my husband declared we were moving back to Wisconsin. He was making half the income he had previously made living in the snowy north and my desires didn’t matter any longer, his mind was made up. I can remember that day, that argument, so clearly; I was sitting on my daughter’s bed sobbing. I tried everything I could to get him to change his mind, short of running out and getting a job myself. But he stood strong and I finally accepted the inevitable. Soon we were back in Wisconsin.
My greatest fear in moving back was that I would again plummet into the depths of depression, that I had somewhat managed to avoid in Arizona, once the gloom of a mid-western winter was upon us. Prior to leaving, I cried out to God about this and other fears that plagued me. I told him how insane I thought my husband was acting. I wanted God to change Julian’s mind; I wanted God to do things my way. It was during this tantrum-throwing that I like to refer to as prayer that God showed me how little I trusted Him. He brought verses to mind that clarified that my submission to Julian was in all reality submission to God. Without that clarification I just may have done something stupid, like put down my foot on top of my husband’s and demand that we stay.
The five years that have past since we moved back have been for me a time of renewal and rest. Julian on the other hand has gone through trial after fiery trial. He has grown in wisdom and in faith. And my great God, who graciously gave me peace concerning my fear of dealing again with depression, after a time of winnowing, healed me completely.
Recently I heard a pastor say that there are times when it is of the utmost importance that a wife bows her head in submission so that God has a clear shot when he smacks her husband upside his head. I’m pretty sure I’ve witnessed one of those times.