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Submission in my marriage

07/20/2016 - Author: Jennifer

Lessons for DeclanI have struggled writing this. Other bloggers have done it better. (I have linked two of my favorite bloggers at the end). I have to say that reading wiser bloggers have caused me to reevaluate what it means to be submissive, and I am grateful for them. I would love to meet them and thank them, but alas, this will have to do. Thank you Sheila and Sarah.

I don’t want to bash Matt. (He is better. We are better). I don’t know that I can fully wrap my head around submission. However, my husband Matt did write about it. I said I would. So here it goes.

What I have learned from smarter, wiser women who love God and live to serve Him:

  • Doesn’t mean he makes all decisions–compromise is to be made. In our early years of marriage, what Matt wanted, Matt got. He wouldn’t think of how it would make me feel or how his decisions or words affected US.
  • Doesn’t mean I don’t have an opinion
  • He isn’t smarter than me. 
  • I am not inferior. Yes, he is better at some things than others,  but we help each other in areas that we are better, not hurt each other or put each other down. 
  • I don’t have to feel guilty and it is not a sin to have opinions and even be right and my husband be wrong. 

What we did was emotional abusive and has fractured trust. I definitely do not believe that this was showing the love of Jesus to each other and the world. I still struggle and scratch my head at what we were led to believe. Growing up, nobody talked about husbands dying, but wives submit. I am not kidding. Nobody ever talked about Ephesians 5:25-32. Why didn’t the church say that women have value or worth other than to work the nursery? My husband’s actions were encouraged. I just don’t get it. I do not want my son to ever see this. I want him to value the roles that men and women have in church and the world. I want him to respect both genders equally.

The old ways of living out our intrepretation of submission has caused dreams to be crushed and caused low self-esteem.  I am sad to say that there wasn’t anyone until recently who tried to straighten this mess out. What I mean is that there was never any teaching or preaching against what Matt was doing and how we were living our marriage. Nobody seemed to be in a big hurry to correct how we interpreted it.

Since we have gone through marriage counseling, our marriage is healthier now that we are trying to value each others opinions.

What does submission look like in our marriage now? Since we have started the rebuilding of our marriage and I have gained insight from wise women, I believe that submission means helping each other out–be a team for the better of our marriage. It is believing that wives have a voice that husbands should respect (and dare I say adore and appreciate)? It means serving God together with our own talents and gifts. It means listening. It means compromise.

My husband Matt is way better and we have a healthier partnership. I am grateful.

So can I ask you a couple of questions? What does submission look like in your marriage? Were you raised with the word submission, and if so, what were you taught? I really want to hear your thoughts.

 

Be blessed 🙂

 

In which I disagree with Candace Cameron Bure about “biblical marriage”

http://tolovehonorandvacuum.com

6 Comments - Categories: Uncategorized

Submission – A Husband’s View

10/26/2015 - Author: Matthew

There is a lot of talk about submission.  My husband, Matt, is here to share his views. I don’t know why this has scared me to post this, but here we go.

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How can submission be bad?  It is in the Bible after all —

Ephesians 5:22 “Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord.”  There it is, in black and white.  That is what I thought early in my marriage — soon after I said “I do”.  I made sure that Jen knew that I was the leader of our household and she had to submit to my leadership.  I was not like that before we got married, but I definitely was after we were married. I honestly don’t know why. If we had an argument in which we reached an impasse, I would throw out submission.  If I felt I was in the right and she was wrong, I would throw out submission.  And, because she was led to believe that she was being obedient to God, she felt she had no choice but to accept that — at least for a time.
But, I slowly wore away her spirit.  She was no longer as carefree and easygoing as when we were first married.  Instead of treating her like a teammate, I treated her as an employee and I was her over-bearing boss. I treated her as if I was smarter than she was, almost like a child.  Finally she shared with me how I was making her feel.  Once I knew just how deeply I had hurt her, and how I was wearing down her spirit, it made me want to change my ways.
Then later on I also learned that Ephesians 5 did not stop at verse 22. I especially had missed the most important part for husbands: Ephesians 5:25 “Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her”.  When the full extent of the following verses started catching my attention, I was ashamed of how I had treated Jen.  I realized that I had been demanding that she sacrifice for me, instead of the way it should have been, me sacrificing for her.  I had been a dictator, not a servant leader.  And, I had been leading from my own desires, not chasing after the desires of God.
Now that I had these pieces of information (Jen’s hurt and Ephesians 5:25), I wish I could say everything was better.  But, years of thinking I had a right to absolute rule of my household did not go away overnight.  I was hard-headed and God had a lot of work to do on me.  It took more hurt on Jen’s part and marriage counseling to finally drill into me how much I needed to sacrifice. Even to this day there are still many times when I make Jen feel like far less than she is because of my arrogance and selfishness. And, the hurt that I caused over the years will not go away overnight.  That does not mean that Jen is not willing to forgive, it just means that healing and trust take time.
Husbands, it is our job to lead by example.  That is what Christ did for us.  He did not say things that He did not also walk out in front of the world.  I know that if I want Jen to feel love from me, it takes action on my part, not just words.  If I want to be a husband that she is proud to have lead our home, then I must first be a man after God’s own heart.  I must follow Christ and His example each and every day. I must serve Him and seek Him to know how to lead. Will I be perfect? No. But, that is not an excuse to not do my best — for myself, for my family, for the Church, and for the world.
And her submission does not mean she is a servant or a slave.  We are a team, fighting side by side as we face the enemy of our souls. There are many areas that God has gifted her in that I need help in and vice versa. I think that is what Ephesians 5:21 is all about, “submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ.”  This is also touched on in Romans 12:4 where we are told that For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function. By each of us following the others lead where we are weak, we make each other stronger — each part of the body of Christ.  And, above all we both need to submit to Christ and His authority over both of our lives.
Also, submission is not something that is demanded, it is something earned. If I demand submission from Jen, then that is putting her into the role of a subordinate.  That is not what I want for her.  I love her and I would rather serve her any day of the week rather than her feeling that she is being forced to server me.  And, even if she does not feel like an employee, I want to love her with the same sacrificial love that led Christ to the cross.  I must die to self each and every day, giving up my rights to living a life focused on me.  I must consider others as better than myself (Phillipians 2:3), especially my wonderful wife, Jen.
Do I have this all down pat? Once again, I wish I could say yes.  But, I am very much a work in progress. I hope you can learn from my bone-headed mistakes and arrogance. I am just grateful that Jennifer has stuck with me through my learning and growing. I want to be a husband that Jen can be proud of.  So, I will continue to work at it, no matter how hard it is, or how long the road seems.

 

 

1 Comment - Categories: Uncategorized

Learning to Fight

06/24/2015 - Author: Jennifer

This month, Matt and I will be celebrating 13 years of marriage. This is the first year that I have a goal. My goal is to fight correctly with my husband. Yup. Some background.

My husband and I were having an argument that I can’t remember about what. During it, I said that we don’t even want common ground, each of us just want to be right. Then my husband said “let’s fix that.” People, that shut me up. I can’t believe that this man actually wants to do this.

I have to be honest–I don’t know how or what that looks like in my marriage. It is sad. I won’t lie–it has broken me a little (a lot). Our arguments/fights are about proving who is right and no compromise. We don’t try to find even ground.

IMG_20140503_184239In the past, with our misguidance and misrepresentations about submission (that is another post for another time) and leadership in the home, what Matt wanted is what we did. If he thought it was right, we did it. Let me tell you, it is a hard place to be. I don’t have a lot of confidence. I don’t have trust in him (due to other things). I feel low. I know, I know, only I can make myself feel this way, but when you don’t have anyone telling you different and the person you love and vowed to stay married to for better or for worse treats you and your opinions like they don’t matter, well, a huge part of me died. It also doesn’t help when he has people who support him. (I am not kidding).

Sure, my husband is book intelligent, so yeah, he has smarts and knows stuff. Guess what? So do I and I crave for him to acknowledge when I am right or that I am better at some things than he is.

Don’t get me wrong. I don’t want him to keep opinions to himself or crush his ideas. Sometimes, they are great and helpful. I don’t want my marriage to be a dictatorship. I want there to be equality. There needs to be reconciliation.

How do we fight towards a solution? For us, I think it starts with being open-minded. I also need to believe the best of Matt. I need to choose to believe that he isn’t always being selfish, and that he really wants resolution or what is best.

So that is my goal for this year (and all of the years after). To learn to fight, but not because I think that I am right, but to come to an understanding. For Matt and I to be on the same page and not do battle to prove who is right.

Be blessed 🙂

1 Comment - Categories: Uncategorized

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