It breaks my heart to think that during the earlier years of my marriage my husband may have felt like this at times. While I don’t like to look back and think of myself as particularly ‘quarrelsome’, I was definitely a handful…and a mouthful…a ‘pistol’ if you will…at times. While I have a great memory for details, I don’t always want to remember the details of things I’ve done or said that were not pleasant, or that did not paint me in a good light. And my demeanor or attitude during those early years are definitely best forgotten if I want to view myself as the perpetual good, husband respecting and God honoring wife. But my memory works well in all areas! And that means that I remember myself in the light of truth. While my husband is not perfect, he has been consistent in his display of patience and kindness towards me, at times doing so in the face of my anger and rage. I was young…and headstrong…and feminist…and foolish…and today and everyday I thank God that I am forgiven. While I was not an absolutely horrid wife, meaning I did laundry and cleaned and cooked and made the beds and …etc, I was not forgiving, or patient, or gentle, or kind if things did not go my way! I was a brat!!!! And he loved me….and he waited for me to grow up…and he grew up with me! 😀 And he understood, as I came to understand, that my heart had not truly submitted to God and His will for my life, and that I was taking that out on him. My desire, since I committed my life to Christ at the age of 16, has always been to live a life that was pleasing to the Lord. My fear since that time, has always been that I will fail. I have struggled for 23 years to become the woman He created me to be, even if I did not agree with Him. That’s why it was a struggle. Because I did not agree! And while I loved my husband from the beginning, at least based on the way that my 21-year-old mind perceived love, I had other plans for my life…and they were interrupted…and I was angry… But I didn’t really notice for a long time that I was taking it out on him. Now, I know the title of this post is “I was a Terrible wife”, and I was quite often, but my heart was to be a godly one….and it still is. But this was not natural for me. Again, I had the physical skills, but I’ve had to learn to develop the heart…and before I could develop a true heart for my husband, I had to develop a true heart for God, and a willingness to accept His will for my life.
I was a closet, unconfessed, unacknowledged feminist, and my feminist heart was at war with a desire to serve God within those standards. I wanted to love, honor, and respect my husband, but had unknowingly embraced the culture that taught that men were weak and not worthy of respect. I wanted to genuinely appreciate him and his endeavors to provide for our growing family, but I had subconsciously bought into the false teaching that, as a woman, I was complete all by myself, and did not need a man to do anything for me. I said I loved him, but I treated him with disdain at times, and my far-reaching vocabulary was used to do what my hands could not. I looked good on the outside, but inside was the heart of a woman who had no idea how to become anything other than what I was. While my wonderful husband insists that I was not that bad, I can’t give myself a break on this. I do not want to paint a picture of myself with an ethereal glow around the fringes and a halo above my head, and I don’t want you to do that either. Self-evaluation is a wonderful thing. And if we are believers, it is a necessary thing:
Examine yourselves to see if your faith is genuine. Test yourselves.
Surely you know that Jesus Christ is among you ; if not, you have failed the test of genuine faith.
2 Corinthians 13:5
Knowing that our marital relationships are to mirror the relationship Christ has with his church, how much more does this apply to our marriages than just to our Christian conduct in our church circles? The result of an ultimate decision to truly cultivate the heart of a godly wife, I am no longer a feminist who wears the mask of a Christian wife and mother. I genuinely love, honor and respect my husband, and I do it joyfully. When talking to young wives caught in a similar struggle to the one I’ve described, I tell them that in this case, the grass really is greener on this side!!! I would not go back to the me I was before I truly submitted to Christ for ‘all the tea in China!” 😀 There is more than freedom, there is abundant life found in loving and being loved the way God designed…and there is genuine joy. The things I viewed as drudgery before are now looked at with an appreciation. While this post may not hit the bullseye for everyone, I have full confidence that there are some who will read this today or somewhere down the road, and it will meet you where you are. I have been blessed with an amazing man to spend the rest of my life with. He has worked hard for the past 18 years to provide for us, and to make it possible for me to be at home training and educating our children. When he comes home from work, I take joy (even when I’m tired) in serving him. I take joy in making sure he has clean underwear and socks …and it breaks my heart when I am behind on any laundry but especially his laundry. I love cooking for our family and preparing his plate for dinner (we actually compete on this one :D), and bringing it to him as he sits and unwinds while talking to the kids. But guess what? He looks for ways to serve me as well…and we do it joyfully!!!!! We didn’t start out this way. We were two selfish kids having kids when we got married (I truly believe I was far worse). But God is faithful, and He met our desire to have a marriage that honored Him by empowering us to deny ourselves and pursue righteousness. The Lord also knew that I was desperate not to pass these perspectives to my daughters. The end result, is that we love God more than we do each other. Our primary goal is to please the Lord in everything we do and say, and that begins with how we love and treat each other. Do we have bad days? Yes! Are there times we just want to scream?? Absolutely! But we’ve learned to be gracious, and compassionate and kind……and very, very, VERY forgiving!
Were you born in the wake of the feminist movement AND post Roe v. Wade like I am? Did you find it difficult to get rid of the ideologies and mindsets once you came to Christ or were married? Have you struggled in some of the same areas I described here? Well, of course, by now you know you’re not alone. Feel free to leave a comment and let me know some parts of your personal journey. The Conversation of the Month is SUBMISSION and we’ll be here everyday 😀 Let’s continue to encourage one another! 😀
This entry was posted in Discipleship, Encouragement, Feminism, Homemaking, Kids, Marriage and Family, Parenting, Prayer, Wisdom, Women and tagged feminist, forgiveness, God's Will, Godly marriage, good wives, growing, honor, Life, love, marriage, obeying god, respect, righteousness, serve, submission in marriage, unfailing love, women.