I was groomed to expect, pursue, and occupy a senior leadership role in the church since I was 16 years old. I ‘preached’ my first message from the Lord (one of anguish, disappointment and impending judgement) the morning after wholly committing my heart, mind and soul to the Lord. My pastor, and elderly man, saw nothing wrong with the Lord speaking through a 16 year-old young girl. He communicated with me that the Lord will always use willing, available vessels to do His work. So I spent years making myself willing and available. I soon began to believe that Deborah, one of Israels Judges, was not the exception but the rule. As I got older most of the women I knew in the church served faithfully there, but spent little time serving at home. I never saw or attended a class or workshop on Biblical submission, though I heard it talked about or referred to from the pulpit occasionally. In truth, I rarely saw it lived out, and as I grew up, I had no working model to look to. It seemed that women believed they were honoring God and obeying His word by serving in the church, and going through the motions of service at home. Men were not truly respected, and I have learned that we can ‘submit and serve’ on the surface, but still communicate the lack of submission in our hearts. The women I had been raised to look to as examples were strong, like me…good orators, like me…not afraid to speak in front of people, like me…bold for Christ, like me…and they all had a title; minister, evangelist, and as I got older, pastor…unlike me. So the eventual progression for me was an obvious one, right?
When I got married, though I loved my husband, I was not submitted to him at heart. The vows had been genuine, but not entered into with a clear Biblically based understanding. I was a definite product of the feminist culture of the generation that preceded me. I was a woman. I was not only capable, but more capable than most men. I would easily accept the help of men, as long as it was understood that I did not need it. I was headstrong, manipulative, angry at times, petulant, could be over bearing, and fully admired and accepted in church circles as ‘anointed’…without a heart of submission. I was advised by a couple of older women (literally 2) whom I respected, that I needed to go home and submit to my husband (this was said when I attended church without him because he did not agree with me on the church we should attend). Funny, I submitted to their instructions but not his.
Years later, when Ukali began to pastor a small, local church. I served alongside him as I had tried to do for years in life, business and ministry. I wrestled for a while with the ‘normal progression’ of my life. Surely when God took over and began to dismantle my dreams he did not intend to take all of them? So where I was no longer pursuing a career in the judicial system, I was pursuing leadership in the church.
I was ordained as a pastor in 2005…and as confident as I was that this was a part of my destiny (prior to the actual ordination), after it was official I was even more confident that something was wrong….Where I had been instructed for the duration of my life to use my gifts and talents to lead in the church and in the community and in the government and secular market place, I had never been instructed or trained in how to use those same gifts and talents to serve in my home…. I plan to share more later, but for now I will let these questions and answers complete this post.
The following questions were posed by my friend, and I will share them and the answers with you as part of this post :-D.
Early in our marriage I had an eye-opening, heart changing experience that I want to share with you. We had guests over for dinner, and although I can’t remember the details of our conversation, there is one part of it that I will never forget. That would be when the young man in response to something said, replied, “That’s OK, because we all know who wears the pants in this family.” ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ And my heart dropped, because I knew immediately that he was not talking about my husband! I desperately searched to discover what had I done…what was I doing… that would cause other men to look at my husband as less than a man of honor? Now, I understand that we live in a day and time where to hear that said is a compliment to some women… but I wasn’t one of them. Those words sliced right through me!!!! They cut through my strong personality, quick-witted, take charge exterior…and they broke my heart! What was so bad about those words? Why would they cause me so much distress? Very simply, I was devastated to hear those words, not just because of wat they said about me, but because of what they depicted about him…my love…my sweetie…
As terrible as it was to hear that, it was one of the best things that could have happened (Isn’t God amazing?!?!?! He knows EVERYTHING!) Those words, spoken very casually as if that was normal and acceptable, were the beginning of an end for me. Let me explain…
While most women don’t view being perceived as a non-submissive wife to be a bad ting, I believe that would change drastically if we looked at the word very intently…which I did…and I DID NOT like what I saw at all. Let’s take a journey through a brief word study, shall we? The words below are all words that can be accurately used to describe a wife or a woman who submits to Gods authority (for the single woman), and the authority of her husband.
The definition of Submission;
to submit – the action or fact of accepting or yielding to a superior force or to the will or authority of another person
• archaic humility;
submission to authority
yielding (relinquish, bequeath, give up te struggle)
Bequeath (pass down or on to, entrust to)
docility (Latin dociles, from docere meaning to ‘teach’, apt or willing to learn)
Now, these are not words that we are particularly fond of. Their imagery is one of weakness, and who wants to be viewed as weak? But as much as we may not like these words, I have a feeling we will be dismayed at the next list. While the words above are all used to define or explain submission, the next group of words is used to define a lack of submission. We will focus on just a couple of words from above (the ones in bold) looking at antonyms 😀
to submit; yielding (relinquish, bequeath, give up te struggle), Bequeath (pass down or on to, entrust to),
docility (Latin dociles, from docere meaning to ‘teach’, apt or willing to learn)
The following words can accurately be used to describe a woman/a wife who refuses/resists submitting to God and her husband;
out of control
Whoa!!! That’s a lot of strong, descriptive words!!! Now lets pick a couple from both lists and compare.
A woman who submits to her husband’s authority as instructed to by God’s Word (1 Peter 3:1-2) is viewed as meek (quiet and gentle), compliant, docile (apt or willing to learn), and subservient. On the contrary, a woman who refuses to, or is resistant to the very idea of submitting, she is unfavorably viewed as recalcitrant, uncooperative, intractable, obstreperous, truculent, insubordinate, defiant, rebellious, willful, wayward, headstrong, self-willed, contrary, perverse, difficult. Now, you tell me what Christ loving woman wants to be seen as any of the above words?
So, when my heart should have been set on honoring God, and my husband and demonstrating a willingness to submit to both, my heart had actually been trained to pose as a good wife but silently resist and defy authority. While my husband thought he was marrying a gentle, quiet young woman, and a wife who was willing to learn, he had actually married a woman who was unruly, unmanageable, disorderly, undisciplined, uncontrollable, rowdy, disruptive, mutinous, riotous, out of control, turbulent….and she didn’t even know it! But other people could see it, which was why that heart slicing observational comment was made about me wearing the pants in the family…
Praise god my story doesn’t end there!!!! And neither does yours!!! While there is no honor for an unruly woman, God’s word says there is praise and honor for the virtuous one! Do not fear…The God we serve is faithful!
“And I will give them singleness of heart and put a new spirit within them.I will take away their stony, stubborn heart and give them a tender, responsive heart so they will obey my decrees and regulations. Then they will truly be my people, and I will be their God.” Ezekiel 11:18-20
Did you get that? When we choose to truly turn our hearts back to God He will;
1. give us singleness of heart
2. put a new spirit within us
3. take away our stony, stubborn heart
4. give us a tender, responsive heart
Why will He do this!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!
SO THAT WE CAN SUBMIT TO (OBEY) HIS DECREES AND REGULATIONS
Ladies, I have seen God first hand do exactly what he said he would do in me…and if you are feeling trapped in this horrible cycle than I want to encourage you that he can do the same thing for you. Don’t forget, I am sharing my story this week, but your turn is coming. I want to hear from you. Has your heart been changed? Let us know and take advantage of an opportunity to encourage others with your story! Join us tomorrow for the next video blog! Have a good night and I’ll see you tomorrow
“And further, submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. For wives, this means submit to your husbands as to the Lord. For a husband is the head of his wife as Christ is the head of the church. He is the Savior of his body, the church. As the church submits to Christ, so you wives should submit to your husbands in everything. For husbands, this means love your wives, just as Christ loved the church. He gave up his life for her to make her holy and clean, washed by the cleansing of God’s word. He did this to present her to himself as a glorious church without a spot or wrinkle or any other blemish. Instead, she will be holy and without fault. In the same way, husbands ought to love their wives as they love their own bodies. For a man who loves his wife actually shows love for himself. No one hates his own body but feeds and cares for it, just as Christ cares for the church. And we are members of his body.”
How many of us have ever actually thought of our husbands as THE greatest gift, outside of salvation, that the Lord in his providence saw fit to bless us with? I am sure that a lot of us don’t think of them that way, because if we did,we would treat them better than we do. Look at the way we treat gifts that we place a high value on; we package them with bubble wrap, or foam to ensure that they don’t get broken, or we put them away in a protected place where our children and any other potentially harmful elements can’t get a hold of them. When they get dirty or dusty we don’t display them to the world in that state, but we polish or wash them clean before we put them on display…and if they are injured, broken in a place, or cracked, we turn that part away from the gaze of any onlookers, so that in the eyes of others their value will not be diminished. We love and take care of our gifts, and we want everyone to know what our thoughts are about them…who gave them to us…how much they cost…and how heartbroken we would be if something happened to them. We communicate all of this, sometimes, without saying a word. But what do our lives and attitudes…and even our words, communicate about the gift…the prize that God gave us to demonstrate to us how much he loved us? It breaks my heart when I hear women destroying their husbands, their gift, with their words. It breaks my heart when I see women treat their husbands coldly or indifferently, because he had the audacity not to follow one of her commands, or to do things other than the way she suggested. It breaks my heart to see the pain and humiliation in a mans eyes, masked by a laugh or a smile, after his wife has shared a story that communicates how vast his baffoon skills have become. It breaks my heart to see the look on a mans face when he has been cut off at the knees, in front of family, his children, or in the company of friends, by the words of the woman chosen by him to be his helper. It breaks my heart when I see how the relationship changes when Adam realizes that his helper has helped to cause him more pain and despair than he ever imagined possible… even to the point of negatively impacting his relationship with his father…Does it break your heart????
And I know ladies…I know…He’s NOT perfect! And he doesn’t treat me the way I should be treated…and he can’t keep a job…and he’s angry all of the time…and he doesn’t spend any time with me…and when he comes home all he ever wants to do is watch sports or hang out with his friends…and I don’t know if I still even love him…or like him… And I think I would have been better off if I had married _________________! And the list goes on!! But guess what? We’re NOT perfect! And we don’t treat him the way he should be treated…and we may not be able to keep a job…and we may be angry all the time…and we may not spend any time with him…and when we are home all we ever want to do is watch our shows, talk to our friends, stay on the computer (facebook)…and they may not know if they still loves us…or likes us…and they may think that they would have been better off married to ____________! ….
That last one hit a nerve I am sure, because we allow ourselves the freedom to think whatever we want to think, but are ready to do a “drive by” if we even think that they are thinking the same things!!! But let’s take a minute and think about something; What if the only way for our marriages to change is for us to change? What if the only way our husbands hearts towards us will change is for us to change our hearts towards them? And what if the only way for us to change our hearts towards our husbands is for us to change our hearts towards God! And what if the only way for us to change our perspective on God was to open the Book he left on record for us and read the Word of God as opposed to listening to the world and what it say about our marriage?
Genesis chapter 1 tells us that God spoke EVERYTHING into existence except man. For with Adam God took his time and made (to construct, build, assemble, put together, manufacture, produce, create, form, fashion, model) him! And then from the rib of man he made woman!!! Did you get that??? He spoke EVERYTHING ELSE INTO EXISTENCE but he MADE US WITH HIS VERY OWN HANDS!!!! And then he gifted us to eachother!!! Adam was God’s greatest creation and made to have genuine fellowship…relationship with the God of the Universe!!! And Eve…. Eve was woman…also hancrafted by God…but made differently than man, because part of her man was used to help make her!!!! She would be unmade without him!!! And ladies, so would we today! Think of it this way; Eve was the FIRST and BEST gift Adam was ever given…given specifically to HELP him live out the lives God had commanded him to live by walking beside him and learning with him, and looking at him with the same wonder that she saw when he looked at her. We are designed to look ‘up’ to him in honor and respect…to be the reminders always of the man God created…HANDCRAFTED them to be!!!!!! And he is commanded to be the vessel that God would always be able to love us through…. But something went wrong… and the place we just talked about is the place we are constantly fighting to get back to… Adam is raging for battling with Eve because when he looks at her, he no longer sees the respect due him simply by being handcrafted in the image of God. And Eve is crying out in the way she walks, and talks, and dresses…and controls and demands…for Adam to notice…to attend to…to love her the way her creator promised she would always be…. But our starting points are wrong…our perspectives have been skewed by the Fall….
Is it just me, or do the words found in Proverbs 31 paint an amazing picture of the kind of women, wives, and mothers we all aspire to become? Reading these verses over and over again has become somewhat of a habit for me. They are definitively inspiring, as well as encouraging! We have heard it said that repetition is the best form of learning, and nowhere do I find this more true than in the repeating of the wisdom and information found in Gods Word. When it comes to topics involving Biblical Womanhood, we can never think that Gods Word is outdated or no longer relevant. It is even more relevant today than it was when it was written! Back then women understood that God created them to;
- Be the helpers of men, not the leaders of them (Genesis 2:21-24)
- Be “fruitful and multiply”… (Genesis 1:28)
Now, as we can see throughout Scripture, and particularly in Proverbs 31, this is not an exhaustive list by any means. But it is the foundation for the ‘why’ of women as seen in Genesis. Do we think that men are intrinsically attracted to women just because? No. They are attracted to us…to everything about us…because we are the only created entity that was designed and hand-crafted just for them and from them!! And because of this, when we understand why we were created, and for whom, then the relationship between a man and his wife/a woman and her husband becomes a awe-inspiring expression of Christ and His bride. I don’t know about you, but to me that is a beautiful thing :D.
I don’t think a lot of us ever get to that ‘beautiful thing’ part though. Our view, a lot of the time, has been shaped by a feminist dominated culture that teaches, consciously and subconsciously, to hate God and the men who are created in his image. The word submission is literally looked at as a four letter expletive, and marriage has become all about ‘my happiness’ rather than ours. Like Eve in Genesis 1:16a, our ‘desire is to control our husband’, and if we are not surrounding ourselves with Biblical teaching and influences, we will set out to do just that, and we won’t even be aware of it!!!
The woman that we read about in Proverbs 31 was submitted to her husband in every way, and their lives were blessed by her submission and through it. All of her endeavors and business dealings (and there were many) flowed out of her desire to ‘help’ her husband and be a blessing to her family. In the article, The Impact of Feminism on the Family, shares:
- “As the women’s movement turned fanatical and ugly in the 1960s and 70s the focus began to shift from reform and equal opportunity. The feminist leaders – humorless, militant, pugnacious, and angry with their particular lot in life, launched programs that were anti-God, anti-capitalism, anti-family, anti-birth, anti-heterosexual and fostered a virulent hatred of anything having to do with males. They no longer wanted to equalize the status of women, but instead wanted to irreversibly alienate women from men and vice versa….Home and traditional family values are no longer accepted answers to the questions, “Who am I?” and, “What am I here for?” The preeminent purpose for some women have become their careers, and they decided against the value of home and family.”
This is what we are up against. This mindset is the one that permeates our culture, and indoctrinated us and our children. The feminist movement has been so successful that even men have relinquished their God-given roles and authority as the leaders of the family, and moved behind their wives, or out of the picture completely! As women who are committed to living God honoring lives, we must understand that honoring our husbands is all part of that. We must also understand that though this ‘honoring’ is not restricted to the home, it does start there.
The following excerpt is from THE BOOK OF HOUSEHOLD MANAGEMENT, by Mrs. Isabella Mary Beeton. The book is available as a free Kindle download, as well as at http://www.mrsbeeton.com/index.html. It’s an oldie but a goodie, and it’s filled with wisdom and tons of recipes for foods I have never heard of :D. While Gods Word is our foundation, you’ll find this book to be a great companion to what we have in Scripture. Enjoy!
“AS WITH THE COMMANDER OF AN ARMY, or the leader of any enterprise, so is it with the mistress of a house. Her spirit will be seen through the whole establishment; and just in proportion as she performs her duties intelligently and thoroughly, so will her domestics follow in her path. Of all those acquirements, which more particularly belong to the feminine character, there are none which take a higher rank, in our estimation, than such as enter into a knowledge of household duties; for on these are perpetually dependent the happiness, comfort, and well-being of a family. In this opinion we are borne out by the author of “The Vicar of Wakefield,” who says: “The modest virgin, the prudent wife, and the careful matron, are much more serviceable in life than petticoated philosophers, blustering heroines, or virago queens. She who makes her husband and her children happy, who reclaims the one from vice and trains up the other to virtue, is a much greater character than ladies described in romances, whose whole occupation is to murder mankind with shafts from their quiver, or their eyes.”
A lost perspective? Yes, but not a dead one. It is definitely being revived! ❤
Is a woman who hyphenates her last name (keeping both her maiden and married name) not submitting fully to her husband?
This is a question I saw recently on Facebook, as well as the comment I posted in response. I wanted to share this with all of you in hopes of getting your feedback.The question itself was genuine, and not meant in a negative way. A new bride was sincerely asking for the opinions of those she knows. The slew of comments that followed were, in some cases, heartbreaking. They lead me to do a little research into the ‘new’ movement where husbands are taking on the last names of their wives as opposed to the wives taking on the last name of her husband. Read both the question and the comment I posted in response… Out of the 26 responses to this question, mine was completely ignored by all except the writer of the original question… So, what are your thoughts, and what Bible verses/principles/cultural depictions of the people of God do you use to support your view?
“I have not read the other comments…so no offense intended if there is any…when we choose to BECOME ONE with a man, we are doing just that…becoming ONE…in order for that to work we both must die to our own selfish ambition and become a different person…a blending of the two…part of that for Eve is the taking on of her husband’s name and what that represents (wo+man=woman)… what it communicates to the world around us. It communicates that we are women who are under authority and consider it a blessing to be covered in life by first, the Lord, then by our earthly fathers whose name we bear until our marriage, and again that covering and protection and provision is passed to our husbands, and is signified by the taking of their name. (1Peter 3, Ephesians 5) It is a sign of honor and respect as well as encouragement and edification to our husbands. It demonstrates love and trust. That said, it is anti-feminist and is another aspect of marriage where we (Christian women) tend to take on the mindset of the world and follow their cultural trends rather than the culture designed by the Word. But it’s minor..no big deal…just a hyphen…but the – communicates the opposite of what our marriages as believers are supposed to communicate to the world we live in. It doesn’t communicate unity or oneness or sacrifice, it communicates division, and a reluctance to really take on our husbands name and hang on to our own is communicating that Eve is still alive and well. We (women) are the greatest influencers in the lives of our husbands and our children, and everything we do will either communicate our obedience and submission to God, or our rebellion and disobedience to Him. So does God’s word explicitly tell us not o use a – in our names when married? No, but it does tell us to submit to our husbands as unto the Lord. Have we taken on Christ’s name? Do we hyphenate it so that we can maintain our independence/identity with our old sinful nature and our new nature? Do we even think about these ‘minor’ issues in light of our marriage relationships mirroring our relationship with Christ? And if we still can’t come to an understanding, it’s always a great ides to ask our husbands how it would make them feel, really, and what it communicates about our hearts for them. Some women hold on to their last name because they have children prior to marriage or from a previous marriage and don’t want their kids to not have the shared identity of their last name…. I understand these cases as well, but we have to understand that the relationship between a man and his wife is the ONLY relationship on earth that is called to represent the relationship that Christ has with his bride…it is to supercede all others…
This is the post. What feedback do you have? Agree. Disagree. I would really like to know 😀 And what about men taking on the last name of their wives???? Have you even heard of that? I truly look forward to hearing from you!