Thursday, June 7, 2012

To Submit or Not to Submit: 12 Personal Truths


Thanks for hanging in with the previous posts – the set-up question and parts one and two of whether or not we wives should submit to our husbands.

As promised, here are my twelve personal truths I’ve learned in this ongoing journey of submission.

  1. I choose to do whatever my husband asks of me because I love him, I love God, and I choose to obey His Word.
  2. It is not wrong to have an opinion.
  3. It is not wrong to share my opinion.
  4. A wise husband values his wife's input. {BTW, my husband agrees with that statement – and the entire series.} “Without counsel, plans go awry, but in the multitude of counselors they are established.” {Proverbs 15:22} Or, as poet John Donne penned, “No man is an island.”
  5. It is not wrong to question his decision as long as I am mindful of my attitude. Am I truly motivated by seeking assurance that he has considered everything that ought to be considered, or am I harboring a critical spirit? There are many places in the book of Psalms where David questioned the Lord. “How long, Lord? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me? How long must I wrestle with my thoughts and day after day have sorrow in my heart? How long will my enemy triumph over me?” {Psalm 13:1-2} Yet, David had a whole heart for God.
  6. If he decides differently than I would, I shouldn’t nag him.
  7. If he makes the wrong decision, I should accept it and go on with life. I won’t waggle my finger with an I-told-you-so or remind him of his mistake.
  8. I will keep in mind eternal consequences. How much will it matter a year from now, five years from now, twenty years from now, that he made a mistake? How much will it matter whether or not I got my way? {Of course, the answers to those questions depend on the circumstances.} What will our relationship be like in those time periods if I nag and disrespect him? Can I stand before Jesus Christ some day and justify my demands on my husband?
  9. What submission looks like depends on the husband and wife. What one husband sees as disrespectful and unsubmissive, another husband may see as flirty and witty.  This is why we need to be so careful that we don’t hem ourselves into a box that defines the minutiae of submission. We especially need to be careful that we don’t watch a husband and wife interact and decide that she is unsubmissive or disrespectful or too outspoken or mousy or saucy or brainless or a thousand other descriptions. For me, as long as I am doing the will of my husband, however he wants that will carried out, I am being submissive. {Let me repeat the caveat from the last post. This does not apply to something that is illegal, immoral, or is contrary to God’s Word. For example, I would not tolerate a husband hitting me or making me rob a bank.}
  10. When in doubt, I will leave it out. I won’t correct, I won’t criticize, I won’t condemn if I have any doubt whether I should or not. This is what I would want from him. “So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.” {Matthew 7:12}
  11. If I am in doubt, I will simply ask him what he wants me to do in particular situations. Some husbands are commanding. Some husbands prefer to hand off some decisions to their wives.
  12. I will pray for my husband. I will pray for all the details of his life and my relationship with him.

Do you have any to add? I like reading your comments, but please keep it kind and respectful of others. 

Thanks for reading, and I hope this week’s posts have encouraged you.

~Meghan

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23 comments:

  1. Meghan, this is fantastic. I've been loving your series--and the little talks about submission my hubby and I have been having the last couple days. :)

    I think number five is one of the biggest ones. Our husbands really, REALLY need us to always be respectful of them, even when we disagree with their choices. This is almost always very hard for me: how do I voice my disagreement and/or disapproval in a way that communicates that I still respect my husband even if I don't like the choice he's making? It's not easy. But it's so important to do.

    Thank you for number eight...I really need to keep that one in mind. How much do things matter in the "big picture"? Are they really worth me pushing to have my way? What is the God-honoring thing to do?

    You've given me a lot to think about...I'll definitely be coming back to this post! Thank you!

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    1. Jaimie, number five is the most difficult for me as well. But don't we do it (control our reaction) with our parents, friends, children, even God? We wouldn't tear into a friend if we thought she was making a poor decision. (At least, I hope not.) When we become as comfortable with someone as we can be with our spouse, it's easy to make them our dumping ground.

      Thanks so much for your encouraging comment today!

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    2. SO true. I think that's it...we're so comfortable with our husbands that we feel like we can treat them any old way. Because they love us no matter what, right?

      I've found that I always treat worst the ones I love the best. That shouldn't be!! Instead, I want to strive to show my love the best to the ones I love the best.

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  2. I really like your twelve personal truths. I think it's always easier for a wife to submit when she knows that her husband values her input and listens to her and takes into consideration what she has said. As to the wives, we can really tear our husbands down by the way we react to their decisions. Sometimes even if the man makes the wrong decision, our responding in the wrong way can have longer lasting and more serious consequences in the relationship than the wrong decision that was made.

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    1. "Sometimes even if the man makes the wrong decision, our responding in the wrong way can have longer lasting and more serious consequences in the relationship than the wrong decision that was made."

      That's such a good point. Sometimes we, as wives, think it is more important to be right than to be edifying. At least I do -- am I alone in this? Thankfully, the Lord has been working on my heart and mouth in this area! :-)

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    2. Sounds like a quorum, ladies -- we need to be mindful of our attitudes. Another truth of submission: I will pray for myself, for my willingness to submit, and for an attitude of respectfulness toward my husband.

      Thanks so much for the comments! Hope you stop back by sometime soon!

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  3. Love ALL of these...GREAT POST! Hopped over from Consider the Lilies.

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    1. Thanks for stopping by -- and I love the idea of Five-Minute Friday! Hope to see you again!

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  4. Great post! Found you via linky party at Finding Beauty.

    Could you provide some clarity on how a woman should respond if her husband asks her to sin? I think that would be helpful, especially to some newly marrieds.

    http://princapecos.blogspot.com

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    1. That's a HARD question! I think so much of it depends on the husband and wife, what their relationship is like, and what specifically he's asking her to do. I am not a counselor or a pastor, just a woman who loves the Lord. Although I've wondered what I would do or say if my husband said he wanted to rob a bank and move out of the country, I've never been able to come up with a solution that satisfied me. If you'll give me some time, let me think about it and study the Scriptures. I'll post something soon.

      Thanks for the comment and the thought-provoking question, Suzanne!

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    2. Suzanne,
      Personally, I would just say that he was asking me to sin and I wouldn't fall in line, OR perhaps he didn't realize what he was requesting of me was sinning, that way it wouldn't bruise his ego too much. Either way, try not to make a fool out of him but just be honest; imagine if Bathsheba did that with King David!

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    3. Thanks for responding, Jolene. With your kind wisdom, you have such terrific answers!

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  5. Submission one of a wife's toughest callings. Yet I remember reading "Created to be His Help Meet" and she states that we are called to submit to our husbands and that they are responsible to the Lord for how they lead and guide their families. (Like a Pastor is with his "flock".) I am only responsible for the submission to my husband. That makes it much easier for me :) Stoppin by from CtL :) www.simplyhelpinghim.com

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    1. Agreed completely! If you study the Scriptural requirements of husbands, they actually have a much more difficult job than we wives do. Glad I'm not a man!

      Thanks for sharing, and hope to see you again!

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  6. Loved your list, Meghan! We are ultimately submitting to the Lord, that's all that really matters, not if we're right, or how much of a mistake he might make or whether we've been wronged, etc. If our mind is set on pleasing the Lord, then submission will become easier with each passing day. Thanks for linking this up with The Alabaster Jar.

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    1. Yes, Jolene -- when the going gets tough, focus on the Lord! Of course (mental note to self), focusing on Him before the going gets tough is also wise. Thank you, as always, for the link up opportunity!

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  7. I like no 4!!!!! ;D

    In all seriousness, this is an excellent post with lots of wisdom to apply.

    Thank you

    Wendy @ ECTaS

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    1. Thanks, Wendy -- and thanks for the follow!

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  8. This is a great summary of what submission should look like. Absolutely love it, will reshare it on FB. :) Found your blog through Teach Me Tuesdays. Thanks!

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    1. Thank you so much for the kind words, and thanks for the FB share! Hope to see you again!

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  9. Thanks for sharing this! I also just wrote a blog like this that is very similar. :) I did it b/c this is hard one for me honestly! :) Be blessed! http://lholmes79.wordpress.com/2012/06/07/wives-submitting-to-husbands-this-strikes-a-nerve-in-many/

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    1. Thank you, Lauren, for stopping by. Many women struggle with submission, just as many men struggle with leading. Just another reason why we all need grace! Hope to see you again.

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  10. This post is so great. I have been married for three months now and realize more and more that it is so much about my attitude. So often when I'm choosing not to submit it's not because his decision would be questionable before the Lord but because it's not to my liking. It's not what I feel comfortable with and so I start nagging and criticising him and make him feel like he's a bad leader.
    So it's no surprise that I found out that the "quality" of my submission is tightly linked to my walk with the Lord I have at that moment. In times I feel spiritually far away from God because of a lack of communion with him I also won't be a very godly wife, let alone encourager in the faith.
    It's really so much about letting Jesus rule my heart and be the ultimate lover of my soul.

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I so much appreciate your time and effort in leaving a comment, and I try to respond to as many as time permits. :-)