The more I listen and watch people, the more I see a frustration in marriages that just doesn’t need to be there at all.
Maybe I see it because I’ve been in a unique position most of my life. Maybe it’s so apparent because it’s just so different from my own marriage. Whatever the reason, it honestly makes me sad to see what could be an amazing experience, end up being a hurtful competition or a neglectful, negative situation.
Recently my husband had an interaction on a social network with someone who said it is awful for Christians to live the Biblical description of marriage where “…wives submit to your husbands…” *gasp!**howoldfashionedancientandbackwards!*
Ok, at face value, that taken out of context description of a wife’s “role” does seem a bit antiquated or third world-ish. So, I guess I want to take just a moment to address that specifically.
In what ways do I personally “submit” to my own husband? Do I ever resent “having” to be submissive? Does that mean he “rules” over me and our children? Am I afraid to be independent, or modern, with a “healthy” perspective on my own self-esteem and self-reliance? The answer to this last question is, No, I am not afraid to be any of those. In fact, there is no fear at all in my marriage. He doesn’t keep me ” in check”, or “barefoot and pregnant, in the kitchen”.
I practice “submission” by not hiding things from him. I do that because I don’t want hindrances in our relationship, or stumbling blocks. I can’t think of anything I haven’t told him about my past, or things I’ve done since he and I married. I am open and honest with him. I don’t resent living a submissive life with him, because he also reciprocates. He doesn’t hide things from me.
This is actually what got me thinking about this subject: I see a lot of women get hurt because of things their husband’s or boyfriend’s have hidden from them. I see so many marriages break down because of this lack of communication, and a rise of this competitive “spirit” that often sets them up as each other’s enemy.
My husband is not my enemy, he’s my very best friend. In fact, most of our marriage he has been my only real, true friend. He knows me better than anyone else, except our Creator.
My husband treats me with dignity, kindness, respect, generosity, equality, and love. Why does he do that? Because that’s how our God has taught him to treat me. I choose to submit things to him because he sees things from a different perspective than I do. I choose to be submissive because he is fair, honest, and he’s accountable to our God for me and our children. I choose to submit to him because we are equals, and he chooses to submit himself to me. We share our lives, our burdens, our concerns, with each other. We don’t consult with friends outside of our marriage, we don’t gossip with our complaints about one another. We don’t hold value of a friendship above each other, we are each other’s best friend.
That’s exactly what I see missing in the marriages that end in divorce and hatred. They forget to be friends.