Friday, August 29, 2014

Reach for your suits, ladies




It's the eve of my husband's birthday. It's amazing to me to realize that this will be his 19th birthday we've celebrated together as a couple. He was 16 years old when we started dating and I remember celebrating his 17th birthday together. And I remember how absolutely infatuated I was with him. Oh, that silky blonde hair, crystal clear blue eyes, his laugh, even his braces were cute. I adored everything about him. I was only 15. I wasn't allowed to go out on dates, but my parents allowed him to take their car (he didn't have one of his own) and take me on a date so we could celebrate his birthday. We went to Red Lobster. I felt so grown up, at 15 years old. There I was, in a restaurant, with my 17 year old boyfriend who drove us there because he had a driver's license. We thought we were so fancy and I was in a love so deep. Now that we have an almost 11 year old daughter, our view on that little scenario has changed quite a bit. New view: ain't gonna happen, little girl.

Infatuation in full effect: Junior Prom
Do you remember that feeling? That infatuation? It didn't matter if you were 15, 20, 25 or older. When you first met and began spending time with your guy, there was nothing he could do wrong, right? Everything about him was adorable, sweet, understandable and attractive. And then, after some time, some of his quirks aren't so cute anymore. But then, you're engaged and planning your wedding! Awww, he's so perfect again! Then you're married and he's your new husband! So what if he leaves a trail of clothes and can't find the hamper, it's so fun to do his laundry! Who cares if he misses the toilet every time he pees, at least he tried! And then a year or two pass and his quirks aren't so adorable anymore.

5 years later, infatuated again: Engagement

Ahhhh, infatuation. God's way of helping us to fall in love with the little things and Satan's way of blinding us and then pulling back a curtain as though he played a trick on us.

"Annnnnnnd, let me introduce you to the real man you married!"

Suddenly you're blindsided.
"Really? How hard is it to put his socks in the hamper??"
"Are you kidding me? We just leave dirty dishes in the sink? The dishwasher is 6 inches away!"
"More video games? Seriously? That controller gets touched more than I do."

And the whole time, Satan is just laughing and smirking and he is quite pleased with what's happening. Because what's happening? You want to quit. You want to walk away. You start thinking about that *other* guy you dated before you met your husband. You start playing the "what if" game. "Ugh, had I just stayed with my ex, he would've never talked to me like this. He would've cherished the very ground I walk on. He would've not only put his clothes in the hamper, but he would've done his own laundry!" Then you start distancing yourself from your husband. You start shuddering at his touch. His breathing is all wrong. Did he ever snore that loud before? You try to talk to your husband about what you're feeling, but he's as confused as a kid who asked for a lollipop and was given a banana. "Huh?" He's been thinking everything is great! But you tell him you're done you can't do this anymore, you want to leave. And Satan wins.

You forgot about all those little things God showed you about your husband when you first met or when you first married. Because while God used infatuation to show you the little things about your guy, Satan used infatuation to make you feel as though you were tricked into loving this faux-fabulous man.

I speak of this, only because I've been through it. And you know what? The longer you stay together, the more often it happens.

"Wait, so you're telling me not to be with my husband for a long time because I'm going to dislike him over and over again?"

No. What I'm saying is that every aspect of our lives is involved in a spiritual battle. Especially our marriages. The spiritual battle is a very real thing and it's happening all around us all day long.

"For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms." Ephesians 6:12

I know what you're thinking: "great. I can barely battle against the fatigue I feel each night, how am I supposed to battle evil forces? Do I look like a Jedi?" No, you don't. At least, not without God. But you sure can look like and fight like a Jedi (or a warrior princess if you prefer). How??

"Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil." Ephesians 6:11

Look at that. One scripture before we are told that we are going into battle, we are told to put on the armor God. Why? So we can stand firm against the devil. What's the armor of God?

"Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God." Ephesians 6:14-17

Ok, have your armor? Let's put it on.

1. Don't forget what you love
You fell in love with many little things about your husband. It may be many years you've been married, it may be only a few years. It may be less than a year! You may still be completely in love with and infatuated with his quirky, laundry leaving ways...that's awesome! Write it down. I'm not joking. Write it down. Make a list of all the things you first loved about him, especially in that infatuation stage. Was it his laugh, even though he snorted? Was it the way he'd play a video game to unwind after a long day? Was it the way he sniffs everything before he eats it? Whatever it is, write it down. Go back to the beginning and write it down.

Why? Because when you think about your husband in that light again, it will remind you of why you fell in love with him in the first place and before you know, you'll be smiling and giggling while thinking about him. And, bonus, you now have a list to look back on when you feel yourself struggling to love him and his quirks.

2. Don't forget that you have quirks, too
Ah, humility. So we meet again. Keep in mind that while things have changed with regards to your husband's quirks, I'm sure there are many things about you that have changed, as well. Don't forget that both men and women experience infatuation. He probably didn't mind that it took you an hour to get ready to go out; now he can't stand it and wants you to speed up the process. He probably overlooked the fact that you incessantly remind him of the location of the hamper, but now he's feeling as though you are more of a mother than a wife.

There are things about you that have changed, sweet sister. Don't lose sight of humility. Feeling brave? Ask your husband to tell you what made him first fall in love with you. Take note of it and try to be that again for him.

3. PRAY & be prepared
The power of prayer is incredible. And it's part of that armor of God:

"And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord's people." Ephesians 6:18

Being in God's word and being consistent in your prayer life is imperative. How can you fight a battle without first preparing? A king or a president doesn't enter his country into battle without first having prepared for it. Neither should you. Each morning you face an enemy. An enemy who is ready to take you down. Don't let him! Arm yourself with prayer, with scripture, with God. This is a battle that will be won if you let your King fight it for you. Pray. Be in your bible daily. Know scripture, memorize it, have it ready for battle.
_____________________

By the time you read this, it will already be my husband's birthday. In the morning, I'll bring his coffee to him, I'll have to step over the clothes he dropped on his way to his closet, I'll have to pick up the wet towel he left on the floor and I'll have to bring down the half empty water bottles he left on his nightstand. I'll shake my head at the repetitiveness of this routine, but I'm going to smile because I remember the feeling I had when he chose to spend his life with me. I'll remember the way his once long blonde locks used to get in his eyes, and I'll remember the way I used to practice writing his name next to mine while we were dating. I'll relish in the infatuation I felt 19 years ago, because God wants me to. That's why he allows the heart to feel it.  The infatuation is something that fades over time, but the love that grows from it is meant to last a lifetime.  It's a fight to keep that love, it's a fight to remember those months of infatuation.  It's a battle.  Not against each other, but against our enemy.  

Suit up, girls...we have a battle to win.

19 years later...
July 2014


Xoxo

Monday, August 25, 2014

Insta-motivation!


I don't know about you, but I love Instagram and I love seeing everyone's photos of their families, their selfies, their lunches, their memories - I just love it!  

I also love getting a daily dose of inspiration and motivation by seeing heart-tugging quotes or sayings backdropped by cute picutres or beautiful scenery.  It helps to lighten my mood, it makes me smile and it causes me to think twice...

For instance, my trainer (I pay her to torture my body, but really, she's more of a friend) will often post motivational photos on Instagram that inspire me to want to work my booty off (check her out: @personaltrainingbykellynave). I love scrolling through everyone's photos that make me happy and then BAM! I'm suddenly motivated to drop down and hold a 3 minute plank!  I can't do it, but boy, do I want to!

Well, in an effort to keep myself motivated while running the race for God, this blog will host an Instagram account for anybody who would like to have a daily dose of: "keep going, girl, you got this." 

Follow the blog on Instagram: @spirituallysingleblog

xoxo

Sunday, August 24, 2014

He chose YOU



He chose YOU. 
I'm not talking about your husband, although he did choose you to love for the rest of his life. But I'm talking about God. He chose YOU. The creator of the universe, of all living things, the alpha and the omega, He chose YOU. Before you were even a twinkle in your mother's eye, he said, "she will do great things for me."

In 2012, there were an estimated 7.046 billion people living on this earth. But He chose you to be the one to love your husband. I know we like to credit ourselves with the fine choice we made in the men we now call our husbands, but our paths to meet them were mapped out long ago. God knew the heart of your husband and He knew the heart that would be best for that man: yours. 

God has a deep love and appreciation for women. Let's look back at the first woman created, Eve. She was God's final creation. He made everything, including man, and yet, God felt that something was missing. 

I love this excerpt about Eve from the book, "Captivating," by John and Stasi Eldredge: "She is the crescendo, the final, astonishing work of God. Woman. In one last flourish creation comes to a finish not with Adam, but with Eve. She is the Master's finishing touch." 

Isn't that amazing to realize? You are God's finishing touch. Puts a whole new meaning to the term, "saved the best for last," don't ya think? God created Adam after his own image: strength, power, ability to build, create, work, and lead. Those are some awesome qualities. But then God created Eve, after His own heart: soft, compassionate, capable of love, tender, able to be lead. Both men and women were created after God's image, as well as His heart.

Think about your husband for a minute. Think about his personality, his needs, his sensitivities, and his abilities. Now, think about yours. Most likely, you have little in common and much in difference. And that's not a bad thing. There's a reason they say "opposites attract..." God needed it that way. 

My husband and I have many similar interests: we like the same music, we enjoy concerts, we like camping, we like dogs, we enjoy quiet nights at home, and many other similarities. Having similar interests makes spending time together enjoyable. Now, let's look deeper, into our personalities and our needs...ours are drastically different. In many marriages, some, not all, there is a difference of heart. My husband is what we call a "man's man." He can fix anything, he's strong, he's smart, he can build something out of nothing, he fishes and hunts, he's athletic, and he's a good cook (I'll credit the firehouse for that little bonus). My husband is an amazing guy. But he's not soft. He's not always gentle. His words aren't always thought through. He can't always see the good in people, which leads him to believe there's no good in God. He's the man God had in mind for me and I'm thankful for that. Now, me? We all know I lost my halo a long time ago. We all know I'm not gentle all the time nor am I always kind. But my heart is softer, my actions are more gentle and my optimism and compassion for people are traits my husband can't understand. But why can't he understand those traits? Because although those traits were already in my heart, they became more pronounced when I began my relationship with god. 

If God had chosen a different woman for my husband, one who modeled the heart of my husband, how would either of them ever know God? God knew that my heart would one day soften for Him, His word and His church. He knew that as time went on, my husband's heart would harden towards Him and His word. He needed to put the two opposite hearts together. God needed a woman with an open heart to be the window into God's love for my husband's closed heart. My husband may never come to having a relationship with God; we all have that free will choice. But at least I can try, each day that I'm with my husband, to show him the heart of God...because, after all, God created women to model His heart.

God needs you. He needs you to do His work. He chose you. He saw your husband long ago and said, "I have the perfect girl for you. And she is going to love you, but she is going to love Me more. And because of her love for Me, you will know who I am."

He chose YOU. He chose you because He trusts you with your husband's heart. He chose you because of your love for God. He chose you because even though your husband's heart may appear to be sealed shut, your husband is watching you impact the lives of those around you. God is using you in many ways to impact the heart of your husband.

Don't misunderstand his choosing you as pressure to be perfect...think about it like this: with over 7 billion people in the world, God plucked you out of the crowd and said, "this woman will do great things for me. I know exactly where I need her."

YOU. His final masterpiece. He created you, sat back and thought to himself, "Her heart will be softer than man's. Her beauty will be more than what is visible to the eye. Her touch will be gentle. Men will see Me through her spirit and her compassion. She is beautiful, she is My heart."

He chose you...His daughter, His masterpiece, His final creation. 
His heart.

Xoxo
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Monday, August 18, 2014

Oh, wise owl...or fool?


Next month will be the 12th anniversary of the passing of my father-in-law. 

Today, my husband felt the pain of missing his dad as though it were only a week ago.

It's times like this that I don't know what to do. I haven't lost a parent. I haven't felt that heart wrenching hurt for the longing of a parent. The mere thought of losing one of my parents brings me to tears. 


The night my father-in-law passed was incredibly tragic and it's haunted my husband ever since. My mother-in-law found him, laying on their bed, after suffering a heart attack. She called our home and we raced up the street. The entire way to their house I was begging God to keep him alive. My husband made it up the stairs in what seemed like only 2 steps. He immediately climbed on the bed, yelling at his dad, and ran back out to get help from the neighbors. I don't remember how, but somehow, I ended up alone in the room with my father-in-law and I was holding the phone with the 911 operator on the line.


"Hello? Hello?"
I could barely get out a whisper. 

"I need you to walk to the patient, ma'am, I need you to tell me where he is, I need you...." 
I don't remember anything else the operator said. All I remember is holding the phone to my ear as I climbed onto the bed and stared at his face, his empty stare, his grey color. 
I was shaking as I whispered into the phone, "he's already, it's too late, he's, he's, it's too late..."

The next thing I knew, my husband and another man were running into the bedroom, lifting my father-in-law off the bed to place him on the floor. And then, I watched as my husband began to administer CPR on his own father. I don't know how long it went on. I don't remember when the paramedics got there. I don't remember how long they were there. I don't remember many other details.


I do remember sitting in front of my husband at the hospital, knowing that our lives would never be the same. But I wasn't ready and I didn't know that my husband would never be the same.


We had been married just under 2 years. I was only 22 years old. I didn't know how to handle his hurt. I assumed he'd be able to move on. I pridefully didn't seek advice. I expected him to just be normal. And I didn't know that now we had a new "normal."


Let me sum up the next several years with one word: hell. He began to drink, we added a baby to the mix, I left God, I left church, overspending, another baby, pre-foreclosure, and then, separation. Divorce lawyers, split time with the kids, a new relationship, heartache. 


There were many factors that led to those years of hell. But the one thing I wish I could've changed: seeking advice. What was I thinking? Why didn't I seek advice? Why did I let myself assume that everything would be ok? Another single word: pride.



"Listen to advice and accept instruction, and in the end you will be wise." Proverbs 19:20


Huh, how about that. "Advice" and "wise" are in the same sentence. Pretty sure that's not a typo. Looking back (isn't hindsight always the best sight?), had I just asked for advice...maybe I could've handled his persecution better on bad days. Maybe my behavior would've brought out his heart, not his anger. Maybe I wouldn't have left God. Maybe I wouldn't have walked away. Maybe... I could go on and on. 


There is a reason God talks about seeking advice. Because our prideful nature tells us we don't need to. Our prideful nature says, "you don't need any advice, you know how to handle this. Nobody knows your husband better than you do, so there's no need to ask for advice. Besides, too many opinions will confuse you and make things worse." Another thing our prideful nature tells us, "don't ask for advice, it's ridiculous that you even think you need help, you're a big girl, figure it out. They're going to think you're weak. It's embarrassing. Don't ask." 



"The way of a fool seems right to him, but a wise man listens to advice." Proverbs 12:15


Hmm, I'm pretty sure God included this scripture in the bible just for me (thank you, God). Now, there are plenty of people out there who want to not only offer, but want to shove their advice down your throat. There are people who will wait for you to approach them and there are people who can see you need help and won't wait for you to ask (I love those people, by the way). I know what you're thinking: "Jenn! In your last post you just mentioned that opening up to many people can send mixed signals as far as what to do!" This is true. That's why when you are seeking advice, make sure you're seeking Godly advice, from someone you know has your best interest and salvation in mind. 


During my years of hell, I relied heavily on my two best friends. And they are some awesome women. And they were my biggest fans on Team Jenn. They gave me great advice...great worldly advice. Which I took and ran with because I myself had left God and was of the world. They kept my secrets, they rooted for my leaving, they bashed my husband with me, they fed me what I wanted to hear. They never told me I was wrong. You know who I didn't call? My two best friends that I had in the church. They had no idea what was going on...and partially because I didn't want their advice. Why? Because I knew they'd be right. And I didn't want to be wrong.


So, about that Godly advice...



1) God strongly recommends it 
Ok imagine you're about to launch your brand new, super trendy, designer shoe line Heavenly Heels. You're nervous and you want to make sure you do well. You don't want to put all your heart, time and money into something just to have have it fail right? Right. So you start contacting other designers, stores, accountants, advertisers, consumers, all the people who know this area of business because they will lead you in the right direction. You wouldn't dream of seeking business advice from a company whose line of light-up socks went down the tube, right? You'd go straight to the successors. The ones who have "been there and done that" and obviously made it work.


Your marriage is your designer shoe line. You have women in the church who have been right where you are. Your marriage problems aren't new, nobody is going to be surprised. Don't be embarrassed. You want to succeed and you know what? God wants you to succeed even more. Seek advice from the Godly women who hold your best interest and salvation in their own hearts. Don't turn to the light-up socks.

2) Listen... 
Ohhhhh. This is the fun step. It's one thing to ask for the Godly advice, it's another thing to listen to it. Example: today. My husband had come home late last night from fighting a fire up north, he was exhausted and he was in a delightful state of mind (can you sense the sarcasm?); he spouted off hurtful words, I spouted off hurtful words (remember a few posts back when I described what a gem I am? Yeah, I sparkled today); I was in tears, he was frustrated...what an awesome morning together. In the midst, I sent a text to one of my best friends, "what do I do? Send him back to work!" In the snap of a finger, she was responding to me with Godly advice, along with scripture and even a photo of a daily devotional she is reading. She said to me, "God has a lesson for you in this. Trust Him, but really believe He can do anything." I prayed. I trusted. I did my best to believe. And later today I sent her this text: 

"My lesson today: compassion. Jesus and God have the ability to know what's in our hearts. We don't. We don't know why someone acts the way they do. Treat them always with compassion. My husband opened up to me in tears, apologizing for the morning, because he misses his dad more than he can stand. He's so brokenhearted. There was my lesson: compassion."


Had I not gone to my girlfriend for advice, I could've stayed mad at him all day, in fact, it's my nature to do so. But going to her for advice wasn't the only thing I had to do...I had to listen. Once I did that, hours later God revealed to me the reason for my husband's sour disposition in the morning. Suddenly my heart of stone turned to soft compassion, I apologized for my behavior, and I cried with my husband and the hurt he was feeling.   
-------------------

Seeking Godly advice takes great humility. But when I think about my years of hell, all I can do is think, "why didn't you just ask for advice?" Simple. I was prideful. I already knew what they were going to say and I didn't want to hear it. Because I knew I wouldn't listen to it.
Don't let pride get in the way of making wise choices. Don't be the fool that God says we are if we think we know what we are doing (Proverbs 28:26). 

God tells us that we are wise to seek Godly advice...and even more wise to listen to it. 
Hang in there, sister...let's be wise owls together! Hoot! Hoot!  xoxo

Friday, August 15, 2014

Submission? You're joking, right?





There are many struggles in marriage. Regardless of religion. It doesn't matter if he believes or if he doesn't. Every marriage has its struggles. And doesn't it seem like everybody has advice (ironic that I'm writing and you're reading this blog of advice...)?  


When we start to open up about our marriage to friends, whether it be to friends who are believers or friends of the world, we are opening ourselves up to all sorts of suggestions:


"Don't let him think he's right!" 
"Girl, you just go home, pack up your things and leave."  
"I think you should pray about it." 
"Just don't say anything at all." 
"Smile and nod, that's what I do." 
"Honey, you got to tell your man that you run the household." 


Whoa. It can all start to conflict. And it's not always good advice! And before you know it, you're face to face with your husband and you have no idea what to do. Because Joan at work said to just ignore him, your hairdresser told you to talk to him, your best friend told you to leave him, your grandmother told you to pray and your neighbor told you to just let it be. It's no wonder that we are sometimes so confused! 


I'm not a marriage counselor. I've never been trained to counsel someone. I'm not the perfect wife, God knows I'm barely a good wife! The only thing I know that I am is God's daughter. And I know what He expects of me. 


I remember talking to my co-workers (I work with a staff of women, aside from two male physicians) and one of the girls was sharing about the fight she and her husband had been in for over a week. Each girl had a piece of advice, but it was all pretty much the same: "don't give in. Don't let him think he's won." Won what? Was this a battle? A war? Because she was mad at him, she stopped doing his laundry. Stopped making dinner. Stopped being affectionate. She had just cut him off. And he did the same. They were just two bodies under one roof. Now, I've definitely been there. I've definitely wanted to cut off and ignore the man who made me so mad. But, because I'm a daughter of God, I've been called to a higher standard.  


"I don't think you should cut him off like that," I bravely said to the group of angry lionesses. It was like a scene from a movie...they all stopped talking and turned to stare at me. 
"Even if Ryan and I get into an argument the night before and it's not resolved, I still bring him his coffee in the morning." 


The angry wife replied with, "what? Oh, no. That's not happening. I don't even bring him coffee when I like him." 


Then one of her angry-wife followers said, "yeah, this one [pointing to me] doesn't play by our rules." Hmm...what rules would that be? Ah, yes. The rules of the world.  


It's so hard, spiritually single or not, to be a Godly wife in a world that no longer views submission to our husbands as a good thing. In fact, I bet as some of you just read that word "submission" your mouth curled, you became nauseated and you are tempted to stop reading. In today's society, submission is defined as weakness. But in reality, submission takes great strength.  


Does my husband walk all over me? Does he treat me like a doormat? Thankfully, no.

God doesn't want his precious daughters whom He loves more than we could ever understand to be a doormat for anyone.

"Well then, why would he ask us to submit to our husbands?" Because ultimately, we are submitting to God. And we are imitating our Savior. 

Whenever I complain to my best friends about something in my marriage, I usually will finish my complaints with this: "...and don't 1st Peter 3 me."  I'm sure you know what I'm referring to: 


"Wives, in the same way be submissive to your husbands, so that if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives, when they see the purity and reverence of your lives." 1 Peter 3:1-2 


Yeah, we've heard this a time or two...
But wait, it says "...in the same way..." The same way as what?? Let's read a bit before this scripture: 


"To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that your should follow in his steps. 'He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth.' When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly." 1 Peter 2:21-23 


Ohhhh...so, in the same way as Christ. Now, I don't know about you, but when an argument comes up, I will talk and talk until my point is proven and accepted or my opposer just gives up. I want to prove why I'm right. I want to prove that he is wrong. I want to discuss the reasons why. And if I'm in the wrong, I will talk until I justify my actions. I will manipulate a conversation to take the focus off me. I will retaliate. I will make threats. I am nothing like the example Christ set for me to follow.  


Many of us think, "I don't have to be submissive to my husband. He doesn't follow God, so I'm sure God doesn't want me to submit to my husband." Hmm, let's look at it again:


"Wives, in the same way be submissive to your husbands..." (1 Peter 3:1).





It doesn't say, "wives of Godly men, in the same way be submissive to your husbands..."  It just says, "wives." God isn't being a mean guy about this, He has a reason why we should be submissive to our husbands, especially those who are not (yet!) believers: "...so that if any of them do not believe the word [hmmm....I think we know someone], they may be won over by the behavior of their wives..." (1 Peter 3:1).  



God has a clear purpose for our submission to our husbands: the hope of their salvation. Notice, He didn't indicate a time frame. He didn't say, "wives, submit to your husbands for one year and if he's not a believer by then, you can stop." Nope. He left it wide open. 
Could be one year, could be 7 years. It could be 6 months, it could be 20 years. It could be never. But the command is still the same: "wives, submit to your husbands..."  


So let's discuss submission to our husbands. The world views submission as weakness, and in particular, submission is for women who are incapable of independence or self-reliance. Our society is spearheaded by the idea that women no longer need a man and submission is being viewed as a cowering to authority. But that's not what God intended. When He created Adam, He created a worker. A man to hold the responsibility of caring for and tending to all that God created. Adam, I would imagine, was strong. He was a provider. He was a worker. Then God saw that it wasn't good for Adam to be alone, so He created Eve...and He used a part of Adam to create this woman, remember? God used Adam's ribs to create Eve (Genesis 2:21-22).  


I absolutely love this quote from Matthew Henry:
"Eve was not taken out of Adam's head to top him, neither out of his feet to be trampled on by him, but out of his side to be equal with him, under his arm to be protected by him, and near to his heart to be loved by him." 

God designed us to stand next to our husbands. Society tells us that we should rule above our husbands and the world's definition of submission is women being trampled upon by husbands. 


But that's not what God thinks of submission. Think of Christ when you think of submission. He was gentle. He listened. He put others above himself. He had compassion. There were numerous times he could've called on angels to prove to all that he was in fact the Christ. But he didn't. He was humble. He heard and listened to the concerns and disbelief of others. He was able to place others higher than himself and yet he was the King of Kings! And why? Why was his character as such? Because god asked him to be. And he was submissive to God. 


Ultimately, you are submitting to God and what He expects from you. 
In the same way Jesus submitted to Him. 
Imitate Jesus. Ask yourself the clich├ęd question: "what would Jesus do?" 
Would Jesus stop serving someone just because he was mad? Would Jesus cut off love and affection because someone disagreed with him? Would Jesus wage war on someone because they accused him of wrongdoing? Nope. In fact, we see the exact opposite of that when our savior is being crucified and he asks his Father to forgive the men who nailed his body to the cross (Luke 23:32-34). That doesn't mean you should pray, "God, please forgive my husband, he has no clue he's an idiot." God would take one look at that prayer and say, "oh, sweet daughter, it looks like we need to work on your heart first." 

But it does mean showing your husband the light of God in your response and treatment of him. 

Remember what we read in 1 Peter 3? It will be our Godly behavior that wins over our husbands. 

My simple act of bringing coffee to my husband speaks much louder to him on many levels. To my husband, it translates into meaning I want to serve him, I care about his needs (who doesn't need coffee in the morning?), I want to please him and I love him. When I deliberately stop bringing coffee to him because I'm angry, how does that now translate? "I don't want to serve you, I don't care if you need it, I have no want to please you because I don't love you."  So what's his natural response going to be? The same exact translation. And now the start of WW 3 has begun. 


But I can tell you, that the mornings after an unresolved fight, when I bring his coffee to him, I'm met with softer eyes, a gentle "thank you," and a man who knows I love him, I respect him, and my heart is softer and ready to hear the words of my husband.  Society would tell you to do exactly what my co-worker was doing: "cut him off. Don't submit to him until he throws up the white flag. Don't serve him. Why are you bringing him coffee in the first place?"  God tells you: "serve him. Hold his needs higher than yours. Respect him. Let him lead. Don't worry, I'm right here." 


Submission: denying yourself (Luke 9:23), considering others better than yourself (Philippians 2:3-4) and obeying God's commands (1John 5:3, John 14:23).

Imitate our savior. 


God calls us to a different standard because we are His. 
Submission is not a weakness. Only the weak are unable to submit. 


Xoxo 


*Do not misunderstand what I'm saying: if you are in a marriage that involves verbal or physical abuse, that is something that needs to be addressed by a professional, not by a woman writing a blog.