Sometimes submission sucks… Can I even say that on a church blog? My attitude towards submission has greatly changed over the past six years of being married to my wonderful husband. I once viewed submitting to Daniel as a mistake; clearly I knew a lot more than he did, and therefor I should be in charge, right? The truth is that my attitude towards submission didn’t show my belief in my personal superiority to Daniel, but instead I believed I knew more than God.
By God’s grace and the encouragement of His word, overtime my heart has softened, and I am thankful for such an awesome man to submit to. Over the years lots of his decisions have been amazing (like moving our family to Faith Bible and not having me pursue a degree). And honestly, some of his decisions have been really, really bad, but my decisions haven’t always turned out the way I wanted, either.
I’ve grown to trust my husband as I’ve grown in my trust of God. I know Daniel won’t make perfect decisions, but I also know that part of loving God is obeying His commandments (1 John 2:3).
All of this to say, I find my heart currently struggling to truly submit. The source of that struggle isn’t important, but it’s a deep issue that affects many aspects of our lives and ministry: how many children we have!
Neither of us are in sin in our opinion of what God wants, but in defending my desire and trying to convince my husband to do what “I” want, I definitely made him feel like he wasn’t willing to trust God like his super holy and godly wife (please note the sarcasm). My heart has not sought to submit and pray about this topic in our marriage. We didn’t fight about it, but comments about it and emotional pleas were becoming commonplace. Finally, my husband had to remind me of the advice that I’ve given to engaged and newly married women 100 times: “when you marry a man as a Christian woman, you are saying that your purpose in life is to glorify God through your faithful love and submission to this man. That means your dreams and ambitions, your wants and desires, they all take a backseat to what God has called him to do.” When he said it, I felt like a knife had pierced my chest. Daniel was right. I wasn’t living like a woman seeking to support her husband. I wasn’t enjoying the freedom of the roles God had given us. Instead my unhappy heart was growing bitter as I imagined holding this baby as my last little infant.
That was a few months ago, and I truly hope my husband has noticed a difference in my heart and attitude. When people ask me how many more children we will have and I say, “whatever the Lord gives us.” I truly mean it and recognize that what the Lord gives us may be determined by my husband. I also know that in the crazy post-baby hormone days, my heart may wish to wander from God’s truth, so if you think of us please pray for us in December when our little Delilah makes her debut. Please pray that I will enjoy the precious gifts God has already given instead of focusing on what I wanted in the future, and please pray that my husband can have the strength and wisdom to point me back to the cross when my attitude is not submission and gratitude, but selfishness and pride.
Editor’s note: For more on biblical submission, listen to some of Chris’s sermons from 1 Peter 3.