I wonder how many times Eve stood outside the entrance of the Garden of Eden . . . and wished she had done things differently. If she did, she would not be alone. I have been there with her – although not at Eden!
There is a subject that has been on my heart for quite a while now and it seems God won’t let it settle into dust. Perhaps someone can learn from the mistakes I’ve made in this area of wifely submission. And if you are getting that familiar grip in your stomach at the mention of that word . . . I’ve been there. In fact, sometimes it’s still there.
When we first got married, I did the martyr wife thing. I was supposed to submit because that was what God told us to do in Ephesians 5:22. But many times, I was only sitting down on the outside . . . while standing up on the inside. My struggles turned internal and for years they built up. I would feel bitterness well up within me and it would take days of praying to give it over to God. Selfishness began to take hold in my heart.
Then through a series of events, God showed me a very horrible truth in my heart: I had effectively put my husband where God should have been in my life.
I had somehow elevated him to the status of somewhere above humanity – yet I also knew how very many mistakes he could make, thus making it hard for me to submit. I was not able to handle his critiques because my pride would be hurt.
I cannot describe for you the freedom that came when I realized that a woman does not have her identity in her husband . . . but in her Savior.
This profound truth changed me. I began to see my husband as the Godly leader of our home – not the dictator. My husband had not changed, just the fact that I had put him back down on the human level – and God back up where He rightfully belonged – this changed everything.
I am an eternal soul. The choices I make down here will affect me eternally. My husband is one of those factors God uses to mold my soul for His eternal kingdom. Do I let Him use my husband or do I rebel against the hand of God in this?
The truth was this: I had been more concerned about my pride than I had been about my eternal soul.
Now we get to the real concern I have had recently. With this blog, I have done some teaching. Believe me, I did not set out to be a teacher, a speaker, or anything else. I grew up being a good fly on the wall – so this blog has in many ways forced me way outside my comfort zone! Yet, I also realize that while God can work through this blog, Satan can also weasel his way in sometimes too.
I know how easily I can be deceived – especially as a woman who sometimes acts on emotions. But after I began to view myself eternally and my husband as one of those messengers of God in my life, he became one of my safety nets against deception.
Let’s say I have a concern about something and want to either write about it or even go talk directly to someone about it . . . I am learning to stop first and ask this Godly man of mine. Does he think it’s necessary? Does he feel the same concern? Does he see anything that might be taken wrong about this if I present my concern? Is my concern a Biblical one?
I’ve had to wonder what would have happened if Eve had consulted Adam before eating of the fruit? There is so much prevention in the “before” . . . and so many consequences to face with the “after”.
I want to send out a loving caution to any woman who is a teacher, a speaker, or a leader in any way. Be very careful to consult your headship before putting forth a new or serious teaching of any kind. I have seen many times where a woman was teaching a “new thing” that did not seem Biblical – nor did I see where her husband was directly involved in the studying and teaching of it. This grieves my heart . . . for I know how quickly this can be a recipe for deception among us women, our homes, and eventually, the church.
I do not mean this harshly or accusing, but only because I have personally had to deal with this in my own heart.
If you are a young bride, take my advice and remove your man from his “god-like” status in your heart. He will hurt you up there. Put him down where he belongs with you and give your entire heart, soul, and mind to this God of the Bible. Then is when you will truly see how valuable your man is to you! Consult him, ask his advice, and lay aside your pride when he is God’s messenger to make you a better person.
And please remember, these men I am talking about are not the cheating, abusive kind. Those should be dealt with by the Godly leadership in your church. But I am talking about the faithful ones that many of us have in our homes every day!
There. Now my heart feels better with this confession of sorts.
May you all have an incredibly peaceful Christmas season!