Tonight I wanted to respond to my wife’s post from last weekend about submission. I know that submission has to be hard for her. During a difficult time near the beginning of TheChallenge, one of our counselors had us take a personality test – and it had a scale for dominant/submissive. She scored herself over 90% dominant, and I scored over 90% submissive. That is our “go to” behavior, crafted out of our brokenness, which ultimately fails as God brings us back to Him.
Chandra was so good at leading when we were younger that I just sat back and let her lead. And she ended up almost working herself to death. . . literally. She couldn’t (wouldn’t?) take enough time off work to heal after several surgeries, and in 2009 ended up in the ICU on a ventilator for a week. She had to learn to stand, walk, write, text, and use a computer all over again. Her immune system was compromised, and her health has never been the same.
It’s amazing what happened to me when I was forced to support my family after years of leaving it to my wife to do. When she could no longer work, I had to pick up the slack. Thank you, Jesus, for the strength and courage to just take over!
I know I have the ability, and I might even be gifted at leading. But the enemy had me convinced I was terrible at it. I constantly second-guess myself. At times I have even been frozen with fear and indecision. I’m sure that’s why Chandra stepped up to lead when we were younger, and my passivity allowed it. But as the leader that God expects me to be now, I can no longer just stand by and let her lead. We have both learned that she was not made to lead, emotionally or physically, and when she tries it has terrible effects on her health and on our relationship.
So God calls me to lead, and her to follow, both of us with His help! My wife shared this verse last week:
“As the church submits to Christ, so you wives should submit to your husbands in everything.” Ephesians 5:24
I have heard many sermons on this verse by pastors who meant well, I’m sure.
But what about the verse that follows:
“For husbands, this means love your wives, just as Christ loved the church. He gave up his life for her. . .” Ephesians 5:25
How can we ask our wives to submit to us if we don’t submit to Christ? When I am allowing Jesus to live through me, submitting to His will for my life, my wife lines up right beside me, under my arm, to live in submission to God’s will for our lives. So I ask God every morning to help me lead my wife and my family. I ask Jesus to live through me and love others through me. And day by day, by practicing courage and compassion I am becoming a leader, submitted to the One who leads me.
And Chandra, you are way better at submission than you give yourself credit for! I love the woman you have become through submission and your relationship with Jesus.