Lately, an article that I read several years ago has come to mind - check it out:
Conversations of a Husband and Wife
Most of you probably know (from the absurd frequency with which I quote from it) that this is one of my favorite blogs. I love it. But when I read that particular article, I found it a bit... extreme. Okay, yeah, sure, I get the whole Christian "submission thing."
"Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord." (Ephesians 5:22)Yeah, yeah, yeah. Got it.
But... this blogger took it a bit too far, in my never-to-be-humble opinion. She wrote:
"I sat down in this chair last night, pen and paper in hand, lists of questions on my mind. I needed his input. I needed guidance. I needed to sit under authority."You're kidding me, right? Sit under my husband's authority? Get his advice when my own mind is just as bright as his, thank-you-very-much?
"I must be honest, some of the things that were on my mind involved him and perceptions I had about his priorities and the priorities of our household, but I knew I could not come into the conversation with both guns blazing, throwing accusations at him and trying to control the outcome of his answers.
"I consciously put myself under his headship and what followed was an amazingly insightful and blessed conversation that took a load of burden off my back and reset my focus as the lady of the home."This was a bit much for me at the time. I had come to accept wifely submission as a reality of the Christian life - you know, that after a long and vicious fight over [issue A], I would grudgingly give in and do what he wanted, all while giving long, exasperated sighs to let him know that I was only submitting because I was such a good wife, even though he was wrong and I was right.
But to seek his advice? To sit under his authority? To purposely ask for his input, direction, advice - and what's more, act on it?
Thank you, but no.
However, over the past few years, I have come so far with this issue, and I'm so glad that Amy had the guts to tackle it on her blog. I so needed to hear wisdom on that subject from a godly "older woman" (she is older in faith, if not in age).
I am now in a place where I actively put this advice into action, and it is such a blessing in my life. When I have issues that perplex me regarding our home, our schedule, our homeschool, or our life in general (and at least one of the above is usually a subject of confusion at any given time!), I have learned the habit of going - not to my friends or the internet - but to my husband. And the Lord has richly blessed this. Even when I feel that I have more "head knowledge" than my husband does on a certain issue, God blesses my efforts to respect and honor my husband as my (and our family's) federal head.
Additionally, I see my husband grow by leaps and bounds in his efforts to lead our family well as he sees me respect him and value and seek his opinion. When men are respected, they will move heaven and earth to be worthy of that respect.
Life is just better when I do things God's way.
In the same vein, I read another article several years ago that has been sitting on the back burner of my mind ever since. Go read it. (I'll wait.)
Submission and Silence
I found myself absolutely fascinated by Anne's discussion on the topic of the following verse:
“…women should remain silent in the churches. They are not allowed to speak, but must be in submission, as the Law says. If they want to inquire about something, they should ask their own husbands at home; for it is disgraceful for a woman to speak in the church” (1 Corinthians 14:34-35).Like most people, I have glossed over those verses without much thought, other than the occasional, "Okay, that was weird. Whatever." But as I have grown in my Christian walk, I have learned that the Bible was meant to be taken seriously. There are no irrelevant parts to the Bible, and we do ourselves a disservice by dismissing or ignoring any of God's inspired Word.
But seriously? Women keep silent in church? Not ask questions, but ask their husbands at home? You've got to be kidding! While it is absolutely clear in Scripture that women are not to teach in the church (i.e. be pastors or teach from the pulpit), I had never really paid attention to the "silent in church" bit.
But God said it. And He doesn't say things that He doesn't mean.
So over the past half-year or so, I have attempted to put this into practice! In other words, when I have a question about the sermon, I have made a conscious effort not to ask the pastor/teacher about it (or to look it up on the internet), but rather to save it and ask my husband at home. "So, hon, when the pastor at church today said such-and-such, I wasn't sure about that. What do you think?" etc.
And again, I have been blown away by how much this simple act of obedience has blessed our family!
When I come to my husband and ask him these questions, I can visibly see him grow spiritually as he realizes how much I trust him and his opinion, and how much I am relying on him (instead of another man or the internet) to answer my spiritual questions. I could never have anticipated how much spiritual growth would be occasioned by simply trusting my husband to answer my questions.
Again. Life is just better when I obey God's Word and do it His way!
Sometimes I don't understand the why of obedience until after I've obeyed (and sometimes not even then). Sometimes it takes a long time to see the blessing of obedience. As we tell our six-year-old, "Obey first and then ask for an explanation." But every time, God honors His Word, and He honors our family when we obey it.
I love watching how God leads and develops our family toward Himself.