Thinking about submission…
I am not a feminist. I have never had a problem with the word submission. My husband and I went to a great marriage conference about a year and a half ago, and heard submission talked about in the most beautiful way, that if I had struggled with it in the past, I knew I wouldn’t anymore.
Not having a problem with submission, and being submissive are two totally different things though. I can be very
hard-headed strong willed. I can get exasperated when my husband, as wonderful as he is, does not do as I want him to do. Sometimes, he ask me to do things that I don’t want to do, and I let him know it. Sigh…
When I was chosen to be a part of the My Wife Life team for Sara Horn, I was excited. Cody was excited for me, too. The team quickly began discussing what submission meant to us, and then we started talking about what it meant to our husbands. One of the ladies put together a list of questions we could ask our husbands if we liked. I read over the list. As I thought about how he could, and should, respond to each one, my heart sank. I knew I wasn’t as submissive as I thought I was.
Before I gave him the list, I took a few days to observe myself. I told myself that I would not act differently, just take note of how I responded to him. Sometimes I did well. I responded to him in love and kindness. Sometimes I got really frustrated. Sometimes I wasn’t so loving and kind.
I finally wrote out a letter to him, something I have done often in our marriage because I communicate better that way, and apologized. I admitted that I did not see myself as his help-mate (at all times), that I realized that this was something I struggled with. I did not always enjoy serving him as his wife and helper, and that at times my attitude showed it. I closed it with the questions that only he could answer. I told him to please be as honest as possible, even if it would hurt me, because I needed to know what he needed and expected from me in order serve him, and our family better.
That was over a month ago.
I’ve gently asked him 3 times “honey, have you had a chance to respond to my letter I wrote you?”
He lost my letter.
So I gave him the questions again, and last night he
I told him that I loved him, and that he meant the world to me.
I thanked him, again, for loving me in spite of my faults.
I thanked God for knowing exactly what I would need in a husband, and for providing that for me through Cody.
Here are his responses:
1. What is a “submissive wife” to you?
When I think of submissive or submission, I always think of people in the military who follow a commander, general, or some other leader. That leader has an objective or goal to achieve and needs his troops to be in-line with him, striving for the same goal. On the flip-side of that, the leader also needs to consider the safety of his people and the best course of action for his regiment, because if not, he will soon be a leader with no one to lead. It’s a give and take kind of relationship between the person who is submitting and the person they are submitting to. If the person submitting doesn’t trust that the other will take care of them and lead them correctly, the relationship breaks down and distrust, bitterness, and tension take over. Also, if the person leading the submitting people doesn’t do his part, then lies, dishonesty, and resentment take over. So, in the case of a submissive wife, Ephesians 5:22-33 lay it out plainly. Wives are to be submissive to their husbands as the church is submissive to Christ and husbands are to love their wives as Christ loved (and loves!) the church and gave Himself for her…which is a lot!!!
2. Do you think I can be a submissive wife?
Of course! You are already are! I know you may not think that you are and I know I don’t make it easy sometimes, especially when I don’t make decisions, but on a whole, I think you are a very submissive wife. I’ve seen what other women say about and to their husbands and it bothers me. I am so grateful that you choose to be submissive even when I make it difficult to do so. Lots of women choose not to on purpose. They may not say it outright, but the things they say and do towards their husbands says that very thing.
3. How do you think I’ll change?
The change I think I expect the most is that, even though you already put me and the kids before you, I see you really understanding our love “language” better (yes, I know…different book :) ) and fine tuning your way of responding to us when we frustrate you and make it hard for you to want to submit to me. Like I said, you already are a submissive wife, but I know you and you are always striving to do better than you did the day before, so I know you’ll change for the better because you already want to.
4. How do you think you’ll change?
Easiest question. I know you need me to be more decisive about things, even the small, minute things like “What do you want for supper?” or “Where do you want to go today?”. I know those things drive you bonkers when I don’t give a straight forward answer. So, since I know that’s something you need from me, that’s the first thing I will work on, because I know it would make it easier for you to be a submissive wife if I would just take charge more often and not get so flustered about things.
5. How do you think our relationship will change?
I see it helping with the “keep everything inside and eventually blow up” thing that seems to happen every once in a while with us. I hate it when we get that way. I don’t like what it does to us. I know we always forgive each other and apologize, but I don’t know about you, but I would rather it not ever happen! I’m not saying disagreements and disappointments won’t come, but I think this is something that we both want to change.
*** Sara Horn’s new book “My So-Called Life as a Submissive Wife” releases AUGUST 1st. You can pre-order it through her web site (HERE) or find it at your favorite local bookstore.