So Adam and I are teaching a small group of newly weds (and one engaged couple). This is our second time doing this since we moved to Austin and WE LOVE IT. There is something so fun about talking marriage-stuff in a Godly way. This week we talked about one of the toughest subjects (I say one of the toughest cause we still have your past, finances, sex, and in-laws. Maybe I'll write about those too, whatcha think?). We talked about submission and headship.
It's a difficult subject for two reasons.
One because it's thought to be pretty old fashion and out of date. I mean come on after the women's suffrage movement and the recent equality of woman in the work place, is there room still for a submissive wife? And to be honest the woman I picture that comes to mind when I hear the word "submissive" is not the woman I want to be.
And two because deep down in every woman we REALLY don't want to be submissive. We (women) have a very deep desire to NOT be submissive (more on that later).
Let's start at the beginning. In Genesis 1:26-31 we see that God created man and woman differently but VERY equal. There was no man does this and woman do that. We were equally perfect. And then sin entered the world. We chose to live separately from God and so we had consequences to our sin.
Men had to toil and work for the first time in ETERNITY! And woman had to have painful childbirth AND (yup even I overlooked the next part). In Genesis 3:16b it says
Your desire shall be for your husband,
and he shall rule over you."
For the longest time I just saw this part of the verse and thought, yup we will desire to have a husband, makes sense to me. But if you read Genesis 4:7 ("If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door. Its desire is for you, but you must rule over it.") you see that "desire" means more like wanting to control or dominate or rule over. So after the fall, woman will want to rule over, control, and dominate their husbands. INTERESTING huh??? Because of sin we will FIGHT being submissive. So it makes sense that when we (woman) read all this stuff about being the helpmeet of our husbands our first thought is: "Yeah no thanks!"
So now that we have this new knowledge hopefully the rest of this post won't be too hard to read.
Definition of Headship: The divine calling of the husband to take primary responsibility for Christ-like servant leadership, protection, and provision in the home.
Definition of Submission: The divine calling of the wife to honor and affirm her husband's leadership and help carry through according to her gifts.
So, our husbands have to stand up and be the leader of our family, but then we have this job of being honoring and affirming. NO where does it say that we roll over and listen to everything our husband says. NO where does it say that we say "Yes sir" to every command our husband gives us. NO where does it say that our husbands should ever command us to do anything that leads to sin.
I've been wrestling with what it means then to be the Biblical wife for a week now. And here is what I've come up with. Being the wife God has called me to be does not mean that I'm a weak woman. Not at all. It just simply means that I NEED TO SHUT UP sometimes. You see, I'm a natural leader and since God made me that way it is not bad. But I have to be careful that it does not crush my husband's leadership role in our family. I have to WATCH OUT and not dominate or rule over Adam. I have to stand back and LET HIM LEAD. I don't have to blindly obey him or be some weird timid little woman, not at all. That is not the woman Adam fell in love with. Nope I just need to SHUT MY FACE. It really is a lot easier that I thought.
The second thing I do is pray. I'm a helper and cheerleader and a kind of inspirational speaker for my husband. And the best way I can do that is if I am praying for him daily. I can't be the one who changes my husband's heart when it needs to be changed, it has to be the Holy Spirit. I can't nag him when I want something done, I need to speak to him about my needs and what he can do to help me, step back and SHUT UP, and then pray for my husband.
SO what do you think??? Agree? Disagree? Did I at least make you think?