Monday, October 4, 2010

Random thoughts on Submission

Submit- yield to oneself to the authority or will of another, to defer or consent to  abide by the opinion or authority of another, to place oneself under or behind.

Six years ago I didnt really understand what submission meant in a marriage. I understood in a general sense.  I knew I was to submit to John's leadership and I even understood it in a decision making context and applied it mostly.  But really the definition and illustration of what Biblical submission looks like has fleshed out for me over the last six years and will continue to for the next several decades.  Ephesians says not only to submit to your husband as to the Lord but also to submit to one another out of reverance to Christ. This means John is first, just as i place the Lord first above my desires and priorities, John is my earthly first.  This is easy to apply for me in big decisions or stressful situations. Submitting is even often comforting to me. I am glad that God gave me a wise, strong steady man to tuck myself behind in hard times or big choices.  Where i fail daily is submitting in the small things. Submitting to what time he walks in the door, submitting to how he raises the kids, submitting to how he loves me.  These are things that i often want to control, or "share my feelings" with so much that I am really trying to change the outcome of how he would normally do things.  Now don't get me wrong. I fully agree that wives should be sharing their opinions and feelings. I feel that is definitely part of our help mate role.  But i need to share and then leave it in his hands.  If he is the spiritual leader and authority for our household, i do not need to put my expectations on him and then get disappointed when it doesnt go my way. I often forget I am not first.  We have struggled in this mostly in regards to the work week.  I think one of the hardest things about being a business owner's wife is rarely can he turn his job off.  Even when he is home, he is responsible for that store and 50 employees and thousands of customer experiences there.  He loves it and so often he just enjoys thinking about it at home, new ideas, different ways to do something, whatever.  Also, it is no 9-5.  The beauty and burden of the job is that the hours are always changing.  He can go in at 5am one day and 11 the next. Which is hard for me since i am such a planner. Sometimes i think a predictable 9-5 would be easier.  Because even if he says he will be home at 5, something can always happen. An employee doesnt show up, health inspector arrives, rush hits, an employee pulls him aside to talk, he gets a phone call he has to deal with.  This is where my failure blows up and submission usually fades.... Of course I want him home so i can spend time with him, have help with dinner and the kids, whatever. But it is not in my control and it shouldnt be.  If i was fully finding my strength and enjoyment in the Lord then I could really be more flexible and understanding on this.  Its not all about me, my struggles and how hard my day was. But that is when I need to really submit most. In the small, everyday. It is a physical and mental battle to really submit at those times.  Not to push away my hurt or disappointment, but also not to let it rule my attitude and drop it on him the second he comes home.  He is worth too much to me for that.  Even more, God is worth too much to me to continually butcher his design for submission. Expectations can destroy a marriage. Luckily, I heard that Andy Stanley message before we got too far into marriage (iMarriage series I highly reccomend!). But it is something that continually needs to be at the forefront of my mind!
John heads out of town this week twice, and coming off of his trip to brazil a few weeks ago I have been feeling anxious about him going again. I really want to try this week to lean hard into the Lord, find my strength and satisfaction and value in Him and let John off the hook a little bit. I really want to free him up to just do what he does best and enjoy work, life and recreation. I really want to submit as I would if Jesus were in my house and getting home at 530 instead of 5. I know that God chose me to give his tangible love to John, and I need to continually remind myself of that.

1 comment:

  1. Wow! Well spoken and very humbling. I am challenged by your words and needed this reminder myself. Thanks for sharing this with us.