Article Library of Christian Thoughts ∑ January 19, 2018
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The Dirty Little Word in Marriage
Married 11 years, Shawn and Joneen share their lessons thus far in marriage. In The Dirty Little Word in Marriage, they take a look at an often misunderstood but vital component of marriage.


After 12 years of marriage, Iíve finally heard it.  People had told me about it, they said it was something I should have known about from day one.  I guess I missed it all these years; that dirty little word in marriage: submission.

You may be thinking that you should stop reading now, but donít!  Iím going to share with you about me and submission; and I think it will entertain you because itís amusing to me.

My husband, Shawn and I married in 1999; I was 29 years old.  Now, to me, when I heard teachings on submission, I understood it.  No more explanation needed; "I got this.  Iím not actually going to do it, but I got it.Ē   You see, it was my husband who had the issue, of course it wasnít me.  Shawn wanted me to submit toÖwhat?  I needed a vision, a mission; submission means to come up under the mission of another; so Iím looking at him like Ė whatís your mission?  Ah, but no worries, my years of singlehood had taught me well.  "I got this, I donít need any help ~ I will define your mission.Ē  Is there any question in your mind how this has fared over the years?

Shawn and I have a good marriage, but Jesus did not die for our lives to be good, average or mediocre.  He came to give us life and life more abundantly (Read John 10:10).  So, after 11 years and 3 months of marriage, God is helping me to understand that dirty little word.  Here is what I am learning:

First, submission is not a dirty word! It is Godís divine plan for the Body of Christ so that the will of God is established on earth as it is in heaven.  God only has goodness for us and submission is part of that goodness.

Second, submission to God is first before you can submit to your husband.  My obedience is to God and therefore I willingly submit to my husband. Finally, whether my husband submits to me or not (Read Ephesians 5:21-33), provides a mission for me or not, I donít have the liberty to disobey God. 

The fact is Shawn has his own personal relationship with God and He is able to work in my husband just as He works in me.   My obedience to God demonstrates more to my husband than my demands, attitudes and sarcasm. 

Iím still in the baby steps of submission, the little things: Get Shawn a drink if he asks, help him work on his resume, etc.  Not that I wouldnít do those things before, but in my heart I would be grumbling.  Note: grumbling is not a mark of submission.  Submission is not just getting under the mission; it is a willingness to get under the mission.  Itís an attitude of the heart.  Again, I am learning, so itís a process and sometimes I mess up.  Iím fortunate to have a loving, forgiving heavenly Father and a loving, forgiving husband.  Iím pressing in for the abundant life in our marriage.

Onward and upward in Him!

Joneen

As Joneen stated, we got married in 1999; I was also 29 years old.  Thatís 11 years as an adult, learning and forming my opinions as to what marriage is all about.  11 years deciding what kind of husband I wanted to be and what kind of wife I wanted.  Some of my thoughts lined up with the Word of God and some didnít.

Our former Pastors would preach about submission and get lots of applause and Amenís from the men in the congregation.  Of course they would teach that the men should also submit themselves to their wives.  I canít speak for the other men, but my un-renewed mind didnít receive that part of the teaching.  I would think: "What is wrong with this woman?Ē  Because at times, it seemed like I was in a fight with Mike Tyson (the 20 year old Mike Tyson).  I felt like no matter what I said or did, there was always a counterpunch, a comment, or just plain resistance; so I would eventually just shut down.  This went on for many years; I now realize this is not how to lead or submit.

God doesnít contradict Himself, His word says, "Whoso findeth a wife, findeth a good thing and obtaineth favour of the Lord.Ē  (See Proverbs 18:22) I didnít see my favor or my good! I knew enough to know that God wasnít the problem and that His word is the truth, so it had to be me.

As I have matured as a Christian, I have realized that obedience is not optional.  As a husband that wasnít totally submitted and obedient to God first, I was struggling to lead my wife and family.  Iím sure she felt like she was being led over a cliff.   God to the rescue!

As I commit myself wholly unto Godís will, Godís plan for my life, He is continually leading and guiding me.  Teaching me to be the Husband, Father, the man of God He has called me to be.  I can now submit myself to my wife, taking no thought of protecting myself or my authority as the "Head of the Household.Ē  I am submitted to God first, so I can receive my wife as the blessing that God gave me and partake of the favor that is already set aside for me.

Joneen and I have a good marriage, but we are pursuing great.  We will not settle for anything less than what God says our marriage can be.

Keep going forward!

Shawn



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