A WIFE’S SUBMISSION – PART 5 – THE FREEDOM OF SURRENDER.
One by one, I put on every dress that was hang in our closet, yet nothing felt “good enough” on me. Some felt too slouchy, drooping, too tight, too buggy, “quite old”, not as captivating. I wanted a dress that would stir some deep quintessence in me. One hour later, I was still stuck. Staring blankly at my dresses now lying on our bed.
I finally settled for a shift dress. It looked perfect, though, it could not cover my heart’s nakedness. My heart was so heavy. My face felt dull even though I wore an expensive concealer on me. My lipstick was perfect, yet my lips were so imperfect. I walked with a strength that couldn’t impact.
My heart was drowning and so was our marriage.
It took the hand of Christ to realize that I too was a cause of our misery in our marriage. Nagging was my sickness. I needed an urgent antidote.
Marriage was a great gift from the Lord to us. My husband was far from being perfect, but so was I. No amount of yelling would churn the change I so craved for.
The writing was on the wall, it was not in my place to change him, for only God could. It was time to put down my boxing gloves, strip down my armor and let God deal with my selfishness, my pride and my self-centeredness. I was to honor my husband’s God given position.
I needed a new garment. Strength and dignity – Proverbs 31:25, were the garments I was missing from my closet. I thought I had them, but marriage exposed my lack.
It was Christ’s fashion brand that didn’t fade nor pale. These are the garments that would clothe my heart, as I stripped down my self-righteous armor, and exchanged it for my freedom to live though Him, love as Him, and laugh at the future to come.
I needed to let go of the control that I closely guarded, and trust in the Lord of marriage. It was time for me to grow, and gird my loins with the glory that only He gives.
Stripping down meant that I would be ‘exposed’ – but in that, lay the lesson God needed to me learn. Marriage is journey of TRUST not CERTAINTY.
Fellow wives, there is freedom in submission. Not the freedom that makes us reckless, because we are “armored”, but a freedom that transforms our hearts and gives us a fragrance that allures. A fragrance that not only attracts attention to ourselves, but retains whatever comes close to us.
Am taking about a type of surrender that leaves room for God to deal with our husbands no matter where they are on the continuum of faithlessness to faithfulness. For only God can deal with the hearts of our husbands – but we have to make way for His Word to pummel them.
You and I are creatures made by God and given the free will to choose. God will never force us to follow Him nor surrender our will to Him. He wants us to do it out of our own volition.
That is what he calls us to do in our marriages. Submission is out of your own free will. You see Abigail let God deal with her foolish husband. At no point did she disrespect Nabal, step out of her marriage, nor uncover his foolishness. The bible calls her a wise woman. She was clothed with strength and dignity and the Lord found it too precious to be wasted by Nabal. He struck him dead, physically.
Wives, there is freedom in surrendering – the kind of surrender that trusts in God.
The Bible says that we submit as unto the Lord –Ephesians 5:22. It is virtually impossible to submit fully to a human being without some sort of conflict. We are two different beings; we process things differently. A man can never be a woman. The Lord knows that and that is why he graciously instructed us to submit as unto Him.
The Lord, changes our perspective as we behold Him, even if our circumstances may well remain the same. The Bible says that those who behold Him will be radiant – Psalm 34:5. The Lord becomes our beauty regimen, penetrating skin deep. He offers the needed cushion even when our opinions or idiosyncrasies conflict. We can safely say, “I do not agree with you on this, Hunnie, but I will support you as we keep praying for the Lord’s guidance.”
In that, you move from a place of contending to a place of a freedom, free to continue moving on as you wait on the Lord to change your husband’s mind, heart, and deeds.
I am not oblivious of the sad state of affairs of husbands who are controlling, not submissive to Christ, abusive or simply passive in their marriage. It doesn’t surprise the Lord that such men exist, but he looks on to us, to see if we turn towards Him for the beauty surgery only He can give.
It is not easy living with either of the men aforementioned. If its abuse, I highly recommend being safely tucked away as you both seek godly counsel, but, what about a husband who is mean, controlling, simply passive, stalled and doesn’t do anything? How do you approach that?
There is hard truth that God offers us. We might want to have an easy way out of a marriage that doesn’t seem to go as we had envisioned – but that hard road is the road the Lord gives.
If you are a follower of Christ, you well know that we ought to carry our cross and follow Christ on the narrow path. There is no man, on the face of the earth, who has ever been moved into a permanent motion through yelling, acting out, cajoling, screaming or arm twisting him. He may move at first, but the tempo will not hold up longer than it started.
I have been there, done all that, and nothing worked.
So how do we do it?
First, we need to know and believe that submission is not a place of being termed as less. You are your husband’s equal, a fellow heir of grace, a delicate vessel of honor. You don’t have to fight to be equal because you already are in Christ. He is not superior to God’s Word either, and God’s Word towers high over what culture or society says.
Secondly, we are to submit to our husband’s as unto the Lord. As well behold God, and take in the beauty regimen He prescribes, He changes the lenses through which we see our husbands. He stands supreme above all. Therefore, we ought to submit to their God given place of responsibility, his position, not only our husband’s practices, deeds, or when we ‘feel’ like. It is a non-negotiable factor with God. He will answer to God on behalf of His family.
Christ too submitted to the Father’s will, it did not make Him any less. In not honoring our husband’s God given position, we add a malady to any already ailing marriage, and cease to be a healing catalyst. We draw instead of giving.
Our might cannot suffice the journey of submission. We need help to be helpers to our husband! That, brings us to the third point.
1st Peter 3:5-6
For this is the way the holy women of the past who put their hope in God used to adorn themselves. They submitted themselves to their own husbands, like Sarah, who obeyed Abraham and called him her lord. You are her daughters if you do what is right and do not give way to fear.
Here, God gives us His antidote for husbands who are ungodly, passive, controlling or even during those tempestuous times in our marriages – when we cannot seem to agree on anything.
God says that our purity and reverence in how we lead our lives is enough to win our husbands over without switching on Family TV or directing them towards teachings that should “chastise” them.
Our purity is gotten from putting our hope in the Lord and ADORNING ourselves not only with outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of our inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight. – 1st Peter 3:5. We should clothe ourselves with HIS STRENGTH and DIGNITY – Proverbs 31:25.
That strength, will cause us to LAUGH without the FEAR – fear of living always ready to fight. Fear of being controlled, fear of being made small, fear of not being good enough, fear of not being attractive enough, fear of being cheated on – because you know who has your heart. You Know who beautifies you! His beauty regimen not only attracts but retains! The Lord who is supreme above your husband.
If we know our God, then our beauty glows from inside, out. We will not be defined by the superficial cosmetics that “make up” our faces because we already have an identity.
If God smote Nabal, then He can move the galaxies, still the sun, and level high mountains for His Precious Daughter, a woman fully surrendered to Him.
“But I have done everything, and he is still not changing.” God knows your heart. He knows that you have submitted fully, yet your husband is still adamant. He knows. He is very interested in having your husband as his masterpiece. However, that process, shouldn’t bring you to appoint of giving up because ideally you are not looking at your husband, your eyes are fixed on Christ. He is your rewarder – Christ.
There is no guarantee that your husband will change in a month or in a year, but the truth is that grace is always transformative. A wife’s inner beauty is the sure way of bringing a permanent change to her husband.
“Why should I be the only one to submit and give?” Well, the world will tell you that you should give ONLY IF, and our humanness claims that too. Husband are required to submit to their wives and to live with them in understanding. God doesn’t give them a lee way to walk on their wives selfishly…but when nothing seems to hit home regarding your husband, move from that space, and let God deal with him.
When the Lord makes us carry crosses that we didn’t ask for, then we should remain faithful to Him who called us. Keep being faithful, for in your faithfulness there is a reward. Do not be tempted to step out of your marriage because your husband isn’t as loving or as attentive. We are to model Christ at every season of our marriage. It is still part of our sanctification…and hard seasons come to crush new wine out of us.
Do you know that birds flap so much while eagles flap enough to catch the air current? From there, the winds take over, and they soar.
You are still in the Potter’s hands. He offers you His leading hand. Simply trust Him to lead you even in dark paths. If you are dealing with an impossible marriage, then it is time to say, “Lord, I cannot keep flapping, I need to soar on the current of the HolySpirit, I trust in you!”
Give God the space to deal with your husband and your marriage. No more yelling, snooping, demanding, shouting, fighting, let it all go and let GOD.
You will be free to move into God’s sphere as you surrender to Him. Unclench your fists, surrender…
Submission as wives in CHRIST…