In chapter 4 of Let It Go she referred the “S” word, yes that dreadful word “submission”. “Wives, submit to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord” Colossians 3:18
Marriage was modeled to me by my parents. My mother loved the Lord and she taught me to love the Lord, to pray, and to always follow the Lord. She had married at the age of seventeen after knowing my father for six weeks. She was saved at a revival and later that week my dad surrendered to the Lord’s calling to not only accept Jesus as his saviour but to become a preacher. However, when I was two, my dad had some major disappointments and he walked away from the ministry. My mother and grandmother prayed every day for fifteen years that my dad would return to the Lord. When I was seventeen, my dad almost died and through that experience, he rededicated his life and serves the Lord to this day. My mother went home to the Lord in 1977 but she died knowing that her marriage had been redeemed just as my father had been redeemed and renewed. He is 86 years old now and still preaches whenever he can.
At seventeen, I learned that God answers prayers but even though I prayed that my father would be restored, however, when he was the spiritual leader of the house, I wanted to rebel so the next best thing was to graduate and get married. I was engaged and this seemed to be the only logical way out.
I was eighteen when I married my husband. In high school, I had two goals: One was to graduate from high school and the other was to marry my high school sweetheart. If marriage is like a dance, we didn’t dance very well together. We had two beautiful sons. When things were going wrong I prayed that God would change him. As the years progressed, despite the good times many things went wrong and if one was to fast forward at twenty years of marriage and I was sure that God had given me permission for a divorce. I was able to provide for myself as I had become a nurse and I did not have to stay in an unhappy marriage. If you read my other post “Got Plans” it wasn’t God’s plan for me to divorce my husband, instead it was for me to reconcile. I did not “love” my husband at this point much less did I want to submit but I had a Great Big God and I did love God. Psalm 103 was my testimony.
My mother’s mom, my beautiful grandmother taught me as a child and then as an adult to pray, to love God’s word. She also told me to never learn to clean catfish but that is another story. She always quoted Proverbs 25: 21-22 (NIV), “If your enemy is hungry, give him food to eat; if he is thirsty, give him water to drink, in doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head, and the Lord will reward you.” So when I knew there was to be no divorce, the grass was not greener on the other side of the fence, I practiced this principle. Then, in 1995, I forgave my husband for every wrong I could think of during a time of prayer, following the prayer guide by Neil Anderson, Steps to Freedom. Galatians 5:1 (NIV) It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery. My slavery had been unforgiveness and once I really forgave my husband. I began to realize that God had turned my hate into like, like into love. It wasn’t a romantic love in the beginning, I think it was a friend love.
I love to dance. From chapter 4, for the dance to fall into place, the woman must follow the man’s lead. At first, I didn’t want to follow his lead. But I learned not to argue when you are in pain, you are tired, and when you are wrong. My choice of submission was in obedience to God, I forgave my husband as God had asked me to do first and then my feelings toward my husband began to change. I had to find the dance steps that worked in my marriage and I had to quit comparing my marriage to what others had and this was a hard lesson. I learned to not speak poorly of my husband. He was always my biggest supporter but I didn’t see this through the hate and I had to learn to be his biggest supporter. In the Message Bible, Colossians 3:18 says, wives, understand and support your husbands by submitting to them in ways that honor the Master.
I like to do acrostics: SUBMIT, s=serve; u=understand; b=believe; m=miracles; i=intimate, t=trust.
Lord as I serve you, help me to understand my husband, help me to believe in him and show him the ways I believe that he is the man you gave me to marry. Lord, thank you for saving my marriage, that was a miracle. Help me to grow closer to you and to be more intimate with you. I know when I am intimate with you and follow you, I am able to be more intimate with him. Lord as I trust in you and your word, let me show my husband that I trust him. Remove my rebellion, my need to have things my way. Yes Lord help me to submit to him and not manipulate him to get my own way. Lord, I trust you to answer my prayers, enable him to be the man you have called him to be. Lord, forgive me because I quit asking you for a spirtual leader, but I am asking that now. Lord, I am willing for my husband to be my spiritual leader so that I may follow his lead as we dance. Amen.