So you’ve committed to submission

Posted on October 8, 2012 by

Congratulations!  You’ve committed yourself to obey God’s commandment to submit to your husband.

I’m probably supposed to say that at this point, all is daisies and roses.  Maybe.  Maybe not.  Maybe you need some help.

First thing – you should pray.  Seriously.  You’ve committed yourself to obeying God – do you think He might be interested in helping you out a wee bit?  Ask Him.  Oh, and plan to do a lot of ‘talking out’ – because God is now your first place to complain about your husband.  Not your mom, not your bestie.  In fact, unless something major is going down… you should *never* complain about your husband to your mom or your bestie.   You are no longer on your own team.  You’re on Team FamilyName.   So.  You start with prayer, and you realise that you’re going to be spending a good chunk of time in prayer – over your marriage.  Hooray!  Your relationship with God is tighter and more honest already!

Second thing – communication with your husband.   This part can be tricky, especially at first.   But every journey starts with the first step.  Ask him for something he’d like you to do.  Then do that.  As much as a life-overhaul, over-enthusiastic, let’s change the world tomorrow person as I am… just start with one thing.   Find something that’s important to him, and make that a priority.

That never gets completely natural, by the way.   I still struggle with prioritizing what my husband has asked me to do over my own to-do list.  Not – at this point – that I don’t want to do what he asks, just that I feel like a terrible person if I’m not also doing everything on my list *too*.   Keep your goal in mind – and realise that you are bringing glory to God with your obedience, even if “obedience” in this case means taking a nap when your husband decides you need one, and you think you really ought to clean the kitchen.   Take the nap.

Third thing – just be nice.   I wouldn’t put this in here, except apparently it’s news to some folks.  Have you tried treating your husband as a respected guest?   Just – normal, not your boss’s mother in law.  Someone whose company you enjoy and you want to feel happy and at home.   Speak with kindness, smile, serve graciously.   Be relaxed – but show respect.   (This is not mutually exclusive).   I think of it as treating my husband like I’d treat a woman guest in my home who was a few years senior to me.  Not a dozen, just maybe three to five.  I’m going to listen to what she has to say, but I’m still going to laugh with her.

Fourth – respect.  Again, treat your husband like a slightly senior female friend.  That means you think before you argue.  Oh this was hard for me to learn!  And then I went too far to the other extreme and never opened my mouth.    What you do is *think* about what he said – the suggestion he’s made – and think about how it makes you feel, how it will affect your life/lives, and then give your input.    Maybe whatever it is is inconsequential – he wants to paint the wall green.  Go buy some green paint.  Maybe he wants to move to Zanzibar, and you don’t have a babysitter in Zanzibar and you’re going to be really sad without date night.  “Honey, what are we going to do about babysitting?”  Give him your *concern*, let him handle it.   He does deserve to know if something is going to really upset you – he has to live with you, after all.  But he doesn’t deserve to get whined at if something isn’t to your exact specifications.    You are not in charge – and you’re not in competition with him.  Your husband is your team leader, you’re Team FamilyName now.  You should be working together for a common goal.  (Honestly, most of your goals should be argument free, at least at the macro level.  “Keep our children safe”  “Food on the table”).

Fifth – Take this new role seriously.  There’s very little in today’s society that will prepare your mind and heart for marriage, prepare you to give the gift of a good wife.  You’re going to have to be on the lookout for ways to improve yourself.  There are a million and one blogs that will give you a headsup – but remember that everything has to go through *your* husband.  My husband might like an after-dinner cup of coffee – maybe yours would really rather have half an hour of peace and quiet.

Sixth – Your husband married you.  He must be reasonably fond of you – don’t lose yourself.  Be what God made you to be, improve yourself in the ways that God calls you to improve, and bring that goodness home to your hubby.  You don’t have to be so serious, or act like you’ve been naughty.    Even if you have, the best way to show inner change is to effect consistent outer change.    Pray!

You’re being a true participant in the counter-culture as of this moment.  Enjoy your wild rebellion… against the world.