Thursday, February 14, 2013

Let It Go week 2

How neat is it that this week in the Let. It. Go.  study with Melissa Taylor we are reading about Managing Your Man!

I have been blessed with 6 wonderful years of marriage to a man who is my best friend.  Sounds great doesn't it?  Problem is that I have been married for 16 years!

Mr. Sunflowers and I met when neither of us were Christians.  We worked together and a year after our first date we married.  It was a rocky start with both of us trying to be the boss and neither of us willing to compromise - on anything.  We both worked and kept separate bank accounts.  The bills were split in half, he had his truck, I had my car and we might as well have been room mates.  We fought and argued a LOT as you can imagine.  The fact that I had a child from a previous relationship meant that he had a ready made family and we to this day have no idea what it is for it to be just the two of us.  (My daughter was 8 months old when my husband and I began our relationship.)

I must admit, I had issues with submission, both before I came to know Jesus and after.  What a nasty word I thought that was.  Why should I be this meek little gal who gave in to everything my hubby wanted?

There are two problems with that.  First, as a Christian, I am not to submit to my husband because of my husband.  Col. 3:17 tells us that whatever we do, in word or in deed, we do for Jesus.  Not only do we do it, but we give thanks to God while we do it.  You see, we are submitting to our husbands because they are so totally awesome (even if they are so totally awesome!) but because we are told to (Col. 3:18) by God and when we obey we are honoring Him.

Second, submission isn't weak!  Not by a long shot.  Sometimes it takes a lot me to bite your tongue and obey than it does to throw a little hissy fit and go your own way.  Anyone can do their own thing and it doesn't really take a lot of strength to thumb your nose at someone and say, "No way Jose!".  When our Bible says the wife is to submit what it means it to put ourselves under.  It is a choice, an action, and expression of will. Is your husband always going to be right?  Probably not.  Is his way always going to be better than yours?  Again I have to say probably not.  But here is the reality - someone has to be in charge and God said that isn't you.  And do you know what?  I am glad it isn't!

He may get the final say, but he also gets the responsibility that goes with being the one in charge.  He is accountable for what happens in the family.  He is charged with being the example of Christ.  That alone makes me content to let him be in charge!

So what does Karen have to say about this?  She has 5 key points to remember:
1) Realize that the act of submitting is always a choice and action of the wife.  LOVE this!  He can't make you, you have to want to!

2)  Know that backing off and not controlling your husband will feel very foreign.  We are advisers to our husbands.  We should still be contributing to the decision making process but we need to remember that the final decision is his to make.

3)  Recognize the subtle difference between manipulation and influence.  Okay, still trying to find the line on this one.  I think it goes to intent.  If the information we are offering for our husband's consideration is truly just information and not us trying to stack the deck then it is influence.  If we are stacking the deck to get our own way then that is manipulation.  Anyone have any thoughts on this one?

4)  Find the unique dance steps that work for your marriage.  This is the second biggest thing that finally brought us to happier ever after.  (First was beginning a relationship with Jesus.)  I just knew what I wanted my marriage to look like.  I wanted that Leave it to Beaver home where mom cleaned the house, cooked, handled everything with a smile on her face while dad came home from his 9 to 5 job and doted on his wife, his kids etc.  Reality is I hate wearing heels, have no idea how to wear nice clothes and scrub the bathroom, couldn't cook a lick when I got married and 9 to 5 has NEVER been my hubby's work hours.  So I tried to model our marriage off of the marriages of people I knew.  That didn't work either.  We had to figure out what our marriage was supposed to look like and go from there.  Once I quit trying to have everyone else's marriage and started focusing on mine things started falling into place.

5).  Recognize when you need dancing lessons from a pro.  Every marriage has problems at times.  Sometimes you get so wrapped up in what is wrong you can't see what is good.  Or you get stuck on what hurts you that you can't see what you are doing that hurts them.  There is no shame in asking for help.

When I stopped trying to be the one in control and started recognizing God's plan for my marriage and following it I began having the marriage I had dreamed of.  We still have our ups and downs, and I still forget to Let it Go sometimes, but that is where grace comes in.

Until next time,


Lauren (OBS Small Group Leader) said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

How true that sometimes our happily ever after marriage takes time to develop? I've been married 13 years, and not all of them have been good years. Thank you for sharing!

Erin Cuomo said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Awesome story! I just love how you described submission as not being weak, but actually requiring more strength at times to hold your tongue or to release the control to your husband. You are absolutely right! Submission is a strength that takes time to build. So happy you have found your dance!
Erin Cuomo, OBS Group Leader

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