respecting my husband with the “s” word

On Monday I wrote about respecting my  husband with my time. That post made me think about all the ways I need to respect my husband. It’s not just with my time, but in everything. I was inspired. With that inspiration I decided that now would be a great time to evaluate the topic of respecting my husband.

I started with time, but now let’s talk about the “s” word. So many people don’t like talking about it, but it’s a vital part of marriage. Our husbands have a big calling. They are called to lead us and our (not my, but your if you have them) children and love us like Jesus, willing to lay down their lives for us. Whew! The men have a lot to deal with. What are we supposed to be doing while the husbands lead? (The answer is not fight for the leadership spot). The answer is to submit. *gasp* I know! It’s like a dirty word, but don’t turn on me! Stick with me on this one.

The Bible is pretty clear on it.

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Submission is “the action or fact of accepting or yielding to a superior force or to the will or authority of another person” (Oxford dictionary). A few things I’d like you to notice:

submission is an action– it’s not passive. We are told to submit to our husbands, which means that we must actively choose to put ourselves below them and follow their leadership.

submission is not slavery – it’s not a command to our husbands, i.e. “make them submit!” On the contrary, they are called to love us and we are called to honor them.

submission shows respect – we are yielding to his will or authority. When we think of leaders or any other person in a position, we know that we should respect them (like your boss or the president). It’s the same concept with your husband.

He is your leader. Respect him with submission. Let’s stop emasculating and fighting for his spot. Let’s show him respect with our submission (even if the “s” word makes us squirm a little).

Why can submission be a difficult concept to grasp and put into action?

respecting my husband with my time

I pride myself on my reliability. If I say that I’m going to be somewhere at a certain time, I’m there (although sometimes a few minutes late). But if I make a plan, I live in that plan. If I don’t feel like going, I go. If I’m tired, I show up. If something big comes up, I – at the very least – call or text someone and let them know so that they are not shocked and I remain reliable and not flaky and all the other things that are important to me!

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Given this information, you’d be shocked to learn that there is one person that I have been consistently unreliable with: my husband. Ugh. He gets the short end of my priority and the leftovers of my time. Not always, but more than I am proud of.

Why does this happen? There are many reasons, I’m sure. But none of them are good. None of them make it okay.

“…let the wife see that she respects her  husband.” Ephesians 5:33b

Well, there’s a not so subtle command. Notice that it doesn’t say, “let the wife consider respecting her husband when her schedule allows.” I know too many women who are like me. We fill our schedules. Follow them to the second. Then our husbands get tired, leftover wives at the end of the day. Our priorities need to change. My priorities need to change.

God’s commands to us are for our good. Some are easier than others, but all are possible when we are following him. God gives us many opportunities to glorify him in our relationships, here is one way: respecting our husbands with our time.

My first step in respecting my husband with my time is to be home when I say that I will be home. What’s one way that you can respect your husband with your time?

my ruined plans

Life regularly does not work how I plan. I remember the timeline that I made for my life at 16. Then the one I had at 18. Then 21. Then 24. And now. The difference between now and 16 is that I have no delusions (at least significantly fewer) that it will go as planned. Partly because, that’s life. But mostly because my life isn’t about me.

It’s a profound truth that I’ve said before. My life isn’t about me. When I was the most important person in my life, everyone else got the short end of stick. I was the ruler of my own kingdom. It didn’t matter what you thought, felt, said, or did. If I didn’t agree with you – or simply didn’t want to go along with whatever you said – then that was that. I was proud of my selfishness. I wore it as a badge of honor.

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This kind of selfish ambition is still praised in many circles. It’s the “follow your heart” philosophy that we’ve given into so strongly and completely. If I always followed my “heart” – heart meaning my emotions, feelings, whims – then I would have missed out on so much. My man and I fought through some hard times before we were married. We have not had the smoothest of beginnings. But we’ve had so many sweet times that I wouldn’t have gotten to enjoy. If I’d given into my selfishness, I wouldn’t have all the friendships that I do now. I wouldn’t have pursued some of them at all. I wouldn’t know so many wonderful people. I wouldn’t have gotten to know my amazing Savior again.

If I’d given up in the difficult times, then I wouldn’t get to enjoy my life now. So many “ifs…then” moments that I’d miss out on. No one gets to fifty years of marriage without some bumps, bruises, heartbreak, and failed plans. But how sweet is that 80-something year old couple, holding hands, and telling all their stories.

I hate when my plans are ruined (I am the planner type). But when they are being ruined by a God who loves me so that I can be more like him? I say, bring it on. He knows what he’s doing.

How has God ruined your plans to show you how much more he has for you?

the question of my joy

A friend recently asked me a question from an observation she’s made about my life.

The question: How are you always so upbeat and joyful?

The answer: I don’t want to give a church answer, but…Jesus.

I’ve been on the highest highs and lowest lows in the last year and a half. My friends have listened as I cried and yelled and tried to work out all my issues. Prayers have been raised for our marriage. But over and over I get up most days with a reason to smile. For me, throwing myself into Jesus with everything that I have is the way to joy.

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Knowing Jesus hasn’t just been about going to church. It’s not a Sunday morning fix. If I’m honest, Sunday’s are not always our easiest days. Sunday is just another day. It’s the every day, first thing in the morning, knees on the floor, Bible open, tea cup in hand meetings that have grounded me. I miss days – there is so much grace – but being with my Savior first thing, before the day gets loud and messy, has changed me. Hello Mornings has helped me with this discipline, but it’s not just that.

It’s realizing that it’s not about me. My life. My marriage. I know that I’ve said it before (and I promise that I will say it again), but it’s true. My life is not about me. So much pressure is off! I’m free to be thankful. Helpful. Loving. Kind. Hopeful. Joyful.

The tides will rise in my marriage (and all the other aspects of life), but my response is a choice. Will I be consumed by difficult times? Or lean into the hope that I have despite my circumstances? It’s difficult. My moments are less than perfect – sometimes I fail immediately – but there is joy in Christ. I have more than a reason to smile.

The question: How are you joyful when it’s all so difficult?

Here’s my simple answer: I can be joyful because of my Christ.

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy, and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.” Romans 15:13 (ESV).