"Wives, submit to your own husbands, as is fitting in the Lord. Husbands, love your wives and do not be bitter toward them." Colossians 3:18-19
This has been on my heart to write for many months. I know many women who have such trouble with this verse. One of the things with bothers me is to hear other women downgrade their husbands in front of others. He doesn't understand me. He doesn't love me. He is lazy. He is not helping me as he should. He didn't say the right words to me today.
As a woman, I would in no way want to trade places with my husband. From him working in the cold, the hot, driving thousands of miles for his job, cutting wood, taking care of our cars, taking care of our finances, he is continually sacrificing to give to me and our children. He always has and he will continue to do so.
Today he is out selling his favorite gun, so we can pay for our sons school books. That to me is love. When he works tirelessly to provide our needs that says love to me. When he cleans out my car, when he cooks dinner when I cannot stand any longer, when he helps me endlessly at home, when he gives from his heart he is showing me his love. When he carries me into a hospital, when he would hold my hair back when I threw up, when he gives until he is worn that is what love is. Love is not keeping score of what I do for him, for what he does or does not do for me.
When I am focused on Christ, and when I realize no one can love me as He does, and when I am where I need to be, I see the love that my husband pours out to me. It isn't about what he doesn't do, its all about what he is doing. For me to submit to my husband was a learning process. Its not about fetching slippers, getting him a drink, taking off his shoes, and beckoning to his every call. Its not about him being over me, or having control over me, it is not about me at all, its about God. To love Christ I must submit to Him, and when I do, when I am living in Him, I want to serve my husband too.
I have taken his socks off after a long day at work. I have left him notes of my love and thanks. I have given him my time. When he is mowing the grass if I bring out to him a glass of cold water, he feels my love. Being a man is hard, and I wouldn't trade places for a moment. As my husband is looking for a job daily and the burdens of his family are on his shoulders I pray for him. I lift him up daily, leaving him at Christ's throne.
We cannot look to our husbands for happiness and to meet all our needs. That job is filled and it belongs to Christ. We seem to set our expectations of our husbands to a whole different standard than for us. Am I always doing all I can? Am I always doing my best? Am I giving my 100% to my husband? I need to keep myself in check before I go looking at what my husband isn't doing. Its easy to point the finger, but when it comes back to us, its not always looking pretty is it? For me to be at home, home schooling our son, taking care of my mother, I cannot lose focus and try to make all about pleasing me. Its about giving, its about sacrifice, sacrifice is love.
As we raised our five children, my husband was working hard long hours across the country at times and it was me with all our children. I never for one minute thought he didn't love me for not being there. He was doing his part. There are days when we get to spend the day together. There are days when I am close to him laughing and sharing. There are those special moments when I get to watch him doing the dishes, taking the dog out, and walking in our garden looking for the vegetables he planted and canned without my help.
For me as my illness grows at times I cannot do all the things I once did with the energy, but there are days that my husband cannot do anymore, he has done all he can, and that's when I step in and do for him. Marriage is giving and receiving, its not always 100% on each part. Sometimes it may be 80% for him and 20% for me or the other way around. Instead of speaking of the things are husbands don't do, keep them to yourself and pray for your husband. Pray God will give him strength, pray God will use him for His glory, pray for him to be the man of God he is to be. A praying wife is a loving wife. A complaining wife is not love, its making it all about me, and its not. I hope my husband is very proud of me, but for God to be proud of me means much more.
If I am pleasing God, I am going to be the wife I am to be. I often pray for my girlfriends to be the wives God has called them to be, and to give them wisdom and strength. We must understand happiness changes day to day, but joy in our hearts is from God and is always there if we are walking with Him. We are submissive to our God, to our country, to the police, to our bosses, to those in authority over us, so why is it so hard to be submissive to our husbands? It should be a joy not a job. We should want to please the man who loves us, and when we are pleasing God, pleasing our husbands, God is going to bless us, and our husbands will feel our love from the cold drink we give them, the hot cup of tea at night, to the dinner we have for them.
I am forever thankful for my husband, he shows me his love in so many different ways. But it is not my husband who completes me, it is God my Savior who completes me and Him alone. I am amazed how my husband humbles himself, and how he strives to take care of his family. I feel his prayers, and I feel his love.
Our marriage is far from perfect, we have those days in which all seems to fall apart, but our love forever stands. I love him more today than I did eighteen years ago. Marriage grows, it changes, those high school moments are different now, love means different things. To have him hold my hand while I am in pain, for him to kiss my forehead while laying down to rest, to have him put me before himself is love, but also is taking out the trash, making a fire on a winter night, and although he hurts he keeps going for he knows the task at hand has to be done.
Before we speak ill of our husbands in front of others, think of what we are doing, are we pleasing our husbands in every way possible? Are we giving without expecting? Are we loving as Jesus would have us do? Submissive is not a word we should fear or dislike, its a word that describes our love for Christ and our love for our husband. For me to try to be the head of the house, for me to try to be the leader, for me to do that is to take away from my husband and for who he is. Just as we should submit to the wisdom of our elders, to authority, is a process of maturing and growing with Christ.
Submissive is voluntary not forced. Our husbands should love us as Christ loves the church. If a husband is to be a godly leader, he is to be a servant leader. His role is to lead his wife, but to do so by taking everything about her into consideration and by using his position to give her the greatest opportunity to succeed. As we should be lifting up our husbands and helping them grow, helping them to be the man Christ created him to be.
"Wives, likewise, be submissive to your own husbands, that even if some do not obey the word, they, without a word, may be won by the conduct of their wives, when they observe your chaste conduct accompanied by fear. Do not let your adornment be merely outward-arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel-rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God. For in this manner, in former times, the holy women who trusted in God also adorned themselves, being submissive to their own husbands, as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him Lord, whose daughters you are if you do good and are not afraid with any terror."
1 Peter 3:1-6
"Wives submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body. Therefore, just as church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything."
For us to honor our God, we must to honor our husbands in love with respect. Marriage is such a beautiful gift, make the best of each day with love and giving with a joyful heart...