Sunday, December 12, 2010

Against the Grain

I wrote last month about 2010 being a challenge for our family…. for my marriage. You can read about it here. My husband is running two businesses that each require his full time attention. Therefore on most weekdays he’s working early morning until really late night.

I have some guilty confessions…

I’ve compared him… other husbands are home each night having supper with their families, why not mine?

I've chastised him… how will you feel if we are in an accident tomorrow and die?

I’ve accused him… you’d rather be at work than with us.

That may look pretty bad, but the good news is this: even though I’ve entertained these thoughts and really felt the negative effects of them I have also rejected them. I’ve placed my hardship and my feelings before the Lord and He has answered me with old words renewed

“Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord

Ephesians 5:22 (NIV)

I discussed this verse some in Recalling His Purpose, but since it’s a daily process that all of us endure I thought it deserved a little more attention.

What Ephesians 5:22 does not say…

It does not say to submit to your husband only when you “feel” like it.

It does not say to submit to your husband only when he’s making decisions that you agree with.

It does not say to submit to your husband only when he’s meeting all of your needs.

Those truths are hard for us to swallow because with the influence of the world we have a false idea of what marriage “should” look like and when they don’t fit into our man-made mold we feel wronged. Our biggest problem in this area is learning when to simply be quiet. What happens is when we allow negative feelings such as my guilty confessions listed above to enter into our hearts, seeds of bitterness spring to life like powerful weeds. We become entangled with resentment and then as His Word says in Matthew 12:34 “For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.” We feel it and we spew it and it never goes well for us.

Now, what Ephesians 5:22 does say is simple: submit to your husbands as you do to the Lord.

That’s it.

How? Learn to identify the tendencies that allow you to get wrapped up in yourself and perfect the practice of being quiet and going to God with your troubles. Let Him remind you that He is your ultimate authority. That life doesn’t always “feel” great. That He still has a plan to prosper you and not harm you… but only so far as it brings glory to Him.

Look, it’s uncomfortable at times. I know. We live in a society that sells “it’s all about me” in every magazine, TV commercial and billboard and it’s so easy to trip unknowingly into the trap of believing we deserve better. But we serve a God that says “it’s all about Him” and in each of our souls we truly believe that.

For the record, I am not saying don't discuss your concerns with your husband, absolutely do that. I am simply suggesting that you let the Lord lead you in that process. Do it humbly and respectfully. And more than anything accept his decisions, let him be the head of your home.

We’ve all made the mistake of taking stock in our feelings. And we’ve all tasted the sweet victory of doing it God’s way. I’m challenged to tip the scales and move against the grain more consistently, to live a life completely out of balance for Christ. In my marriage more than anything because what happens here under this roof seeps into every other aspect of my life. It’s all divinely intertwined leading from one thing to the next with just one primary focus: Christ.

Submitting to my husband is no different than submitting to the Lord.

It’s obey or disobey.

Against the grain.


Today I'm linking up with Julie's Marriage Mondays at Come Have a Peace, please go and check her out...


  1. Bravo!!! my hats off to you Heidi for being so outspoken and saying what most women do not want to hear! It is not comfortable to hear those words let alone live them but as you I TRY to do this and have been rewarded every time.... Trust that God is at work even if you can't see it for the blindness we take on walking in the flesh. There is NO perfect marriage or husband and if you could interview "that" couple you may be shocked what they have had to overcome to get there... march on my friend eye's focused on the light the truth,,Our Emmanuel!!!

  2. "Let Him remind you that He is your ultimate authority." We cant ever forget that He alone is our authority. When we do this, everything falls into place. Submitting is hard for me sometimes. I have a mind of my own. But as long as God is my focus and I dont take my eyes off Him then the submitting to my husband is much easier. Also like the verse says, submit to your husbands as you do the Lord. It's never easy but its a choice we serve our husbands and our homes just like we serve the Lord-joyfully, respectfully, and continually.
    Thanks for the reminder.
    Love you!:)

  3. I admire your honesty here, for speaking the truth that so many of us feel from time to time. And for turning to God's word for the answer. It's tough teaching for sure. But we need to listen and heed.

  4. Why is it that the word submit sends uncomfortable chills up my spine? It's the humility of it. I know it's essential to strengthening my walk with God, but it is certainly not easy.

  5. Thank you for being so transparent and sharing your story. Submitting to our husbands can be hard! Yet that is what God tells us to do. So many women tune out when that S word is thrown out there.

    My biggest struggle is my mouth. When he sayss omething I don't like, I want to lash out. But I have to learn to hold my tongue. Thank you for posting.

  6. This is so true for me - "Our biggest problem in this area is learning when to simply be quiet." Just yesterday morning before church, I used my words to make a mess of things. Then at church, God gave me the opportunity to minister to another woman. I told her what I knew God was telling me. The best way to bring about change in our husbands is to be quiet and pray. Ouch! I need to remember that when I submit to my husband, I am also submitting to the Lord. I want to please my Father.

  7. What a great post! Glad to know that there are other women out there who struggle with this as well! Thanks for your honesty and wisdom spoken today!

  8. Awesome post, Heidi! I'm so glad to have found this blog through Marriage Mondays!

    So often there is a disconnect in our understanding when it comes to pleasing the Lord.

    We are easily mislead into thinking that we can be right with God and not be right with our husbands.

    Thanks for visiting!

  9. I'm so glad you put this into words! Coming from the wife of an intense work-a-holic, I completely understand where you're coming from. Matt is constantly traveling, when he's not, he goes to work in the dark and comes home in the dark. Week night "family dinners" are unheard of, but I just try to be as supportive of him as possible and keep the home fires burning, as they say. What it does is make us stronger and more resourceful, which isn't always fun :( Hang in there and keep your great posts coming. {{{hugs}}}

  10. Very well said! So true and can be so hard! Growing up mostly with a single mom, I learned women can take care of themselves and we don't need a man. So I struggle with idea of submitting even thought I know it is RIGHT. I don't always hold my tongue but I sure try. We can really destroy our men by the things we say. If they don't feel good about how they support their families, really negative things start to creep in! We need to build them up and make them know we support them, even when times are hard!

  11. This might be a little off topic but I think hard times bring out the best people, and we often want to push our man away instead of letting him come close, just so we don't have to deal with hurt.

    I'm recovering from brain surgery and my other half has had to put up with a lot. I'm pretty sure some days it gets to him as on others it gets to me, but he has stood his ground and I have seen strength and love, like no other.

    Blessings - Dora

  12. Thank you so much for the reminder. I feel like we are living the same life. It has been a tough couple of months and this just helped me realize that I need to be there for him. God is there for me and I need to listen to what he says. Thank you again.