Being a Godly wife: My Stint as a Guest Blogger
My amazingly handsome husband Jason Burns recently asked me to write a blog for his blog on a woman’s perspective of being a Godly wife. It’s in time with our current message series at Access, entitled “Love, Marriage, Baby Carriage.” Here’s what I had to say:
When my husband asked me to be a guest poster on his blog, I was immediately excited. When he told me that he wanted me to share a woman’s perspective on what it means to be a Godly wife, I was even more excited. The truth is, that until recently, I cringed right along with most of you when I read Paul’s command to women to “submit to your husbands as you submit to the Lord.” Yikes! The word submit in and of itself has been enough to cause a general consensus of panic among women for ages. I know this, because, I’ll shamefully admit, I was amongst those very same women. It’s not that I don’t love my husband. It’s not that I even want to rule over my husband, it’s just that there’s something about the word submit that rubs against our being and threatens our identity as women.Maybe it’s because we have seen terrible examples of this term being used to twist and manipulate women, and we fear it will become that in our own lives. Maybe it’s because we fear losing control and so we cling to the little bits of power that we feel we are able to retain. Since we’ve begun our “Love, Marriage, Baby Carriage,” series, though, my eyes have been opened and I no longer fear the idea of submission.Let me tell you why.First of all, the commands on how to live out a Godly marriage DON’T end there. It’s not just a command for women to submit and then a pat on the backs to the husbands. No. That’s not it at all. In fact, one can argue that the admonishment to husbands is even stronger and more challenging than the all-dreaded “submit” that women are given. Men, you see, are commanded to love their wives as Christ loved the church and to “love their wives as their own bodies.” Wow. You see, as scary as submitting may seem to you as a wife, the exhortation for men to love us as their own bodies and as Christ loved the church (which was to the point of death!) makes the idea of submission far less scary. If a couple is equally committed to the idea of living out their marriage in light of God’s Word, then we don’t have to fear submitting, because we’re not submitting to a tyrant or to someone who is ready to lord that power over us. No, instead, we’re submitting to someone who loves us with their whole life, and who is ready to lay down his life for us. Submission may be a hard concept to grasp, but knowing that I’m submitting to a man who is as committed to me as Christ is to us makes it a whole lot easier. It doesn’t make me afraid, but instead, it makes me feel honored. Yes, I said honored. I feel honored to be able to submit to a man who is equally committed to me and who loves me with such a selfless love that he makes his life about me and my wholeness. It’s not a chore, it’s a privilege, because in doing so, I’m able to give back to my husband a little of the respect that his life is bringing mine.The other thing that takes a bit of the heat off of the big, scary submit command is the idea that submission does not mean I give up any hope of having a voice or an identity. Quite the opposite seems to be implied from the text, in fact. Ephesians 5 tells women to submit to their husbands as they do to the Lord. I don’t know about you, but I have never once submitted to the Lord with unfavorable results. Instead, I have found new freedom and new joy when I’ve turned my life over to God’s hands. When I submit myself to the Lord, I am more free to be myself (my true self) then I would have been if I continued on in my own flesh and insistence. By submitting to the Lord, I find myself. If God likens my submission to my husband to my submission to Him, then I am more than happy to oblige. God always makes it worth my while when I turn over my will and resistance to Him. I don’t fear it. So in the same way, I can submit to my husband in Christ, and know that he will honor that submission, as he is striving to walk out his own commands from Scripture.The thing is, these commands only frighten us when we take half of them to heart. As a whole, though, they’re a beautifully concocted equation, designed for ultimate enjoyment and success in marriage. God always knows what He’s talking about, and His Word has laid out the road map for us to follow as a Godly couple. We don’t need to fear living out His commands. We can trust Him. As a woman, I find great security in knowing that God took even more time to admonish our husbands in Scriptures concerning marriage. It means that He knows and sees our needs and desires, and wants to see us thrive and grow into the best version of ourselves that we can be.It’s been an honor to share my thoughts here on Jason’s blog. I love him, and I love you all, too.