Tuesday, January 13, 2015

When Submission Saves a Marriage

"Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. 
For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. Now as the church
submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands."
Ephesians 5:22-24

Over the past few years, God has really been putting a desire in my heart to submit to my husband. For the most part, it has seemed like more of a desire to have an opportunity to submit, because my husband has struggled to lead. I don't say that to tear him down, but it is the reality of our situation. I never really could understand why submission was something I felt like I needed to work on so much. I mean even when I was trying to get my husband to take lead, he didn't always, so how could I submit? That's the question I frequently asked myself and God. I prayed for his leadership more than anything else, because somehow I knew I needed to practice submission.

I knew I needed it, because I know I can be controlling. I know that I naturally tend to dominate, which is why we have marriage role issues.

I never knew this would be why.

Because here we are at a crisis point. From where I stand, all I can see is the broken pieces of my heart raining down all around me. We talk and some things get clearer, while others become more confusing and all I understand is that trust has been broken. While I fight to know why, to make some sense out of all of this, I just can't understand. Why is this happening? Why has God allowed this? Will trust ever be restored? Can it? These questions roll through my mind over and over until the tears break loose. Then I pull myself together and it starts all over again.

We're at a point where changes need to happen in order for us to move forward. Decisions need to be made. Submit in everything. During a discussion about one of these decisions, I found myself saying to my husband, "I don't trust you, but I will submit to you." The look he gave me was one of surprise, as if he couldn't understand why I would do that. In all honesty, I was surprised as well that those words even came off my lips, but even more that I knew I was willing to submit. I wasn't fighting the need to submit at all. I knew he needed to make this decision and I needed to be willing to accept whatever decision he made, especially if I wanted things to move forward.

Later I realized that even during this crisis in our marriage, I had willingly submitted to my husband's need for sex. Not begrudgingly. Not with a bad attitude. Not numbing myself. Not selfishly. But with a loving attitude.

I don't say this to puff myself up. In fact I'm only writing all this because I'm sure somewhere down the road I'm going to need to remind myself that this is why God had been working on my heart of submission.

All this time I didn't understand, except that I knew it's what God wants. I knew neither of us were really living out the appropriate roles in our marriage. I knew what the Bible said. What I didn't know is how this would save our marriage.

We're not out of the woods yet. Not by a long shot. But I know that as long as I'm willing to submit, to my husband, but more importantly, to God, we have a chance at restoration.

The tears are coming yet again, but this time it's because I am so thankful that our Father in heaven knows what we need and He never fails to provide. He knew I needed to be ready, so He prepared my heart.

For those of you who may struggle with submission, all I can say is, I never knew it would bring such joy. I never realized it would bring such peace. But obeying God always does, and that is what we need to remember most. Obeying God is where we find joy and peace.

*I would appreciate if you would respect our privacy regarding the details of our marital issues.