NIV "Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything......"
This is enough for now. The passage goes on the talk about the husband's role in the marriage. God has been showing me how to stop here. I used to be very quick to continue reading and then judge for myself whether Chris was living up to his end of the bargain. I reasoned that unless he was doing his part, I was under no obligation to submit to him. After all, what if he is going in the wrong direction?
What God has taught me in the last few days has freed me up completely. I am so excited to give Chris the burden of leading! A wise friend pointed out to me that I have no control over others. All I can do is follow God as best as I can and leave the rest to Him. I have to make decisions for myself, trying not to sin while doing so. So, the Bible teaches to submit to Chris as I submit to the Lord. This means to follow his lead. It means that when we are making decisions for the family: parenting techniques, views on having children, budget, holidays, etc. etc. the list is endless, I am to ultimately let Chris make the final decision.
I have been trying to be cautious of this over the last couple of days. Just in this short time, I have been amazed at how many opportunities I have had to ask Chris what he thinks about something and if he would decide for our family on that matter. Even in the midst of football season and not seeing him much, I have been so excited to have this avenue to show him this kind of respect. The results are very positive in our relationship, too. We are much happier and united in a way that has never happened during football season.
Don't get me wrong and think that this is completely easy. When there is a topic that I feel strongly about and it is obvious that the Lord has not convicted Chris of it yet (or maybe ever), it is hard to give it to the Lord. By the grace of God, He has shown my heart how to trust in Him, not my husband. By letting Chris make the decisions, I do not feel as if I am on some uncertain train ride heading for an inevitable crash as I used to. By trusting Chris to make decisions, I am trusting in God. Our God is sovereign. He is mighty. He loves us completely and will never leave us. He is our guide, our protector, our provider, and our friend. He IS!!!!
What God has really taught me, is that I have never really been trusting Him. It has all been lip service. If I truly believe that He is who He says He is and have faith in that, my life should reflect that.
It reminds me of a story I heard in college of a tight rope walker who was crossing Niagara Falls. He asked the crowd if they believed he could do it. They yelled, "Yes!", and he crossed over and back. After several more amazing tricks, he asked the crowd if they believed he could carry someone sitting in a chair across. The crowd all cheered and yelled, "Yes!" The man then asked for a volunteer. No one would sit on the chair.
I have realized that a lot of my life, I have been in the crowd, yelling that I believe. Now, God has shown me how to have faith. He has shown me how to sit on the chair and not only believe, but have FAITH that HE will carry me across.
Here is the rest of the passage in the NIV.
"...Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy...In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself." (NIV)
Thank you, God for your teaching. Thank you that you are always working in me. Thank you for showing me true understanding of your Word. I pray for continued knowledge and understanding as I read your holy Bible. Teach me to be more like your son, Jesus Christ, everyday. I pray that as you teach me, the lessons would not stop with me but be testimonies of your greatness, bringing you glory as more people find joy in following you. I love you, Lord. Amen.