Kate’s last two posts dealt with the challenging and let’s face it, controversial issue of submission in marriage. I admit, reading Kate’s words in these two posts, “Submission= Freedom! Huh?” and “Handing over the Reins” was a powerful experience for me, why? Because she was openly speaking the guy’s language of love: respect! I don’t care what Aretha Franklin said, RESPECT sings in all men’s hearts! Hearing that my wife feels, I am capable to lead is a huge boost of respect.
And yet, as I read Kate’s words one sentence stopped me cold.
“I finally understood God’s heart for me as a wife was to be Brad’s helper and to submit to Brad as the head of our family…”
Kate continued from there talking to wives about how following God’s plan led her to feel freedom, but to be honest I froze right there, at that incredibly heavy statement.
Seeing those words in print, WOW! and GULP! were the two sounds that my brain seemed to make as I reread those words quite a few times. You know what emotion I felt right after the glow of love and respect? FEAR! Guys, a wife following the Biblical model of Ephesians 5 is a huge responsibility!
When my wife said “I submit to you as head of our family” I was challenged by the huge, enormous, almost incapacitating duty of that statement. I said almost incapacitating; because I remember what totally incapacitated looked like.
Kate shared her perspective of why we didn’t follow these Biblical roles very well in the beginning of our marriage. She said that for her it was about control. I have to add that if it wasn’t for her control we might have never made it. Kate was in a position of needing to control because I had abandoned my role. I don’t just mean my role as head, I didn’t have that yet; I mean that I abandoned my role as a responsible adult, let alone my role as husband. I was engrossed in one thing, myself.
I wanted respect without responsibility!
I look back on those times now and see just how very selfish I was. I complained when I didn’t get time to watch every TV show. I moaned if Kate even mentioned the piles of MY clothes on our bedroom floor. I whine anytime she even dared discuss our finances, and I will admit it now, I overslept on purpose so I could sometimes avoid church, in my attempt to avoid God’s leading in my life.
All this time, I wasn’t leading; I was barely participating.
I wish that I had a formula that I could give couples to move from point A to point B. The only thing I can tell you is that as God started moving and changing Kate, I started to feel more convicted over my lack of stepping up. I knew it for years, she had told me and (very nicely) complained about it for years, but it continued. It really was only when Kate started to put into practice ways of lifting me up that I felt God’s lead to step up.
You know what’s funny, when most people think of a submissive wife; they have a picture of a guy demanding his wife to get in the kitchen and make her man a sandwich. Yet, when God started moving in our marriage the exact opposite happened. All the sudden I began to see the ways that I needed to help out around home. I began to understand what Ephesians 5: 25 really means, “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word”
Being the head, is giving your wife the ultimate picture of Christ. She should be able to see Him in you every day! I have yet to have a day that I fully meet that goal, but I wake up trying every day!
How have you shown the love of Christ to your wife today? Let us know in the comments!