Thursday, May 28, 2015

Submission in Marriage: Where the Rubber Meets the Road

A few weeks ago I was at a Bible conference, enjoying a meal and conversation with a couple ladies I have known for a long time. We got on to the topic of wives and submission. And one of the ladies said about me, "oh yes, she is a submissive wife." I kind of gulped and said that I try.

Seriously. I should have kept my mouth shut.

Fast forward a few days. We're on a run together when Mr. Hippie said that he was feeling conviction about my Harry Potter books.

Like, he wanted me to get rid of them. My Harry Potter books.

Unlike everyone else in my family, I own only about 20 books, 7 of which were those books. I had saved up birthday and Christmas gift cards, and had accrued the whole set in hardcover over the period of a couple of years.

Mr. Hippie had been okay with that. He was okay with me reading them. He was okay with me reading them to the kids. He was okay with watching the movies. Until he wasn't okay with them anymore. Personally, I blame it on his BSF teaching leader who cited Harry Potter in one of his lectures on witch craft and such.

But, I digress.

Let's just sum up that day (and maybe the day following while we're at it) as not very pleasant. Here he was making me give up something of mine, that I enjoy. He wasn't willing to give up anything that he valued. He didn't offer to replace my books. He was wanting me to sacrifice quite spectacularly.

I cried. I was hurt. I was angry.

I also submitted. I got rid of my gorgeous set of hard cover Harry Potter books.

Because what else could I do? For me, there really was no other option. I was compelled, by who I am and what I believe, to submit. Submission was what I vowed on my wedding day. Submission is what God requires of me in our marriage relationship. I claim to be a woman who submits to her husband. I claim to be a Christian who obeys Scripture.

Mr. Hippie isn't a tyrant. He isn't hard nosed. He isn't abusive. He isn't impossible.

He is my husband.

But when the rubber hit the road, I sure didn't want to submit to him. I didn't like submitting when (I think) I was right and he was wrong.

We, here in America, the land of the right to liberty, have a somewhat fuzzy understanding of the concept of submission. We think it means to yield-when we are in agreement. But, as soon as we differ or it costs us something, we part ways.

We leave churches, relationships, and jobs, because we don't understand or practice submission.

By definition, to submit is to accept or yield to a superior force or to the authority or will of another person.

There is no in agreement clause. There is no sacrifice caveat. There is no if it's easy fine print.

Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything. (Ephesians 5:22-24)

Ephesians 5 doesn't tell me to submit to my husband when I agree; it just says, submit.

It doesn't say to make his life miserable, hope to change his mind, and drag my feet. It says, submit.

Submission is choosing to yield when I don't want to. When I don't agree. When it is hard. When it costs me.

Not My will, but Your's, be done.

That was costly submission, right there.

Mr. Hippie and I got things worked out. I love him, and I know he loves me. I know he loves God, and I know he loves our kids. I know he was doing some of his own submitting-to God. And, while I may not still agree that Harry Potter is evil, I will stand behind my husband in his decision. I will support him. I will submit to him.

And for the record, Mr. Hippie did end up compensating me for my books. Which made me cry-again.

Is there an area where God is calling you to submit? What are you going to do about it?