I’m a fan of submission, submission to the Lord of course, submit ye one to another, and submission in marriage. Such things get a bad rap in the modern world, but as I often try to say, “just read the instruction manual. It explains everything.”
The concept of submission in marriage can be tough on women today because there are people in the world perverting scripture, perverting the entire concept of submission and making it all ugly, a dirty word that any rational person would reject outright. If you want an example of what I am talking about, Night Wind wrote another good post.
However, I happen to believe submission in all it’s forms, as it is written in the bible, including submission in marriage, is a very woman affirming, healthy, fruitful, blessing. A gift. In marriage it actually has very little to do with men at all, although they clearly reap the benefits of having a more peaceful wife who does not give way to fear.
A great definition of submit is simply “to yield.” We all submit at traffic lights. We submit the floor to someone else when we are all trying to speak at once. That’s the softest definition of “submit,” to yield.
I want to share a praise, an answered prayer, some gratitude for the Lord and His willingness to heal us, and a tale of how powerful submission can be.
A couple of years ago I had to pull out the instruction manual again, also known as the bible, because my husband had some health issues. He gained a lot of weight, got sleep apnea, and his blood pressure shot through the roof. His older brother had recently died and his other brother had a massive heart attack, so there is family history here and I’ve been in health care long enough to know we were in dangerous waters. Also, my hubby doesn’t do doctors, so that was very frustrating.
When I joke about shooting him with a tranquilizer dart, I’m not really joking. That is how we get animals to the vet when they refuse to listen to reason, isn’t it?
Anyway, I shared my concerns and my fears with him, and started trying every trick in the book, sneaking veggies in, trying to drag him out for walks, nagging, and sure enough he just got more resistant. God kept whispering “Submit, let it go. Drop it. It’s his health, it’s his authority.” That is so, so hard when the outcome is so important to you.
It was bad, I was checking to make sure he was still breathing at night. Untreated sleep apnea can be really dangerous. So the idea of letting it go, of just submitting to where hubby was taking his own health and trusting in the Lord, was exceedingly painful and not so easy. I took a leap of faith however, listened to what the Lord was saying to me, and I did it. I just poured on lots of affection, celebrated our time together, and surrendered to God’s will and to hubby’s will. I prayed a lot, but I didn’t nag, share my anxiety, or give any indication that I was concerned or that I didn’t trust him to know what he was doing. I just placed him in God’s hands, laid hands on him while he was sleeping, and prayed for healing.
That was two years ago. He has somehow managed to lose 50 pounds, his sleep apnea seems to have gone away, and his blood pressure has dropped out of the red zone. God is faithful indeed, and so good to me. I’m really grateful to see my hubby breathing so well, no longer flushed by high blood pressure, and just all round happier. He seems to be on a good path.
It’s fascinating to me, if I had not been obedient to the Lord, the outcome may have been much different. At the time I didn’t see any of that, but basic psychology would probably suggest that the fastest way to make someone resistant is to try to control them. Often one of the easiest ways to create defiance and rebellion in men is to go all maternal on them. That was exactly what I wanted to do too, go all maternal on him and be in complete control.
To have not been willing to listen to what the Lord was whispering to me, submit, may have caused my hubby to get worse, it could have caused me extra stress, anxiety, and harmed my own health, and we probably would have been arguing all the time and not enjoying one another at all. Not a good outcome. At the time however, I wasn’t thinking about any of that, I was simply feeling distress and anxiety. I wanted to fix what was wrong and the Lord said, sorry, it’s not yours to fix.
It’s hard to explain how monumentally challenging it is to say and to truly accept, Okay Lord, you and your Word come first. You come before my husband, before my own children, before life and death itself. The Lord gives and the Lord takes away. Blessed be His name.