Monday, March 13, 2017

The Dreaded "S" Word

Let's get real ya'll. This week in church we talked about that verse. You know, the one that makes you cringe and wonder what the heck Paul really knew anyways? Yup, we talked about the "wives submit to your husbands" verse and things. got. real.

Here is a little of my history with the dreaded "s" word.

In college I was always miffed by discussions about what a Christian woman and wife was supposed to be like. Anytime I heard the word "helper" I gagged a bit. It was interpreted as inferior, quiet, and just there to help the man be the best he could be. Every time I had to listen to one of these talks I was all, "yea no thanks. I am strong and powerful and I don't want to just be a little helper in a maid's outfit!" I was not a fan of the interpretation I had been given and I was not afraid to make that known, for the interpretation I was given was an incorrect one.

After college I went to India on my own for a month, all adventure and independence. While there I attended a wedding. The wedding I did not understand much of because it was mostly in a different language, but one part I did understand was when the pastor literally put a "veil of submission" over the bride's head. Again I was all, "Oh hell no! Ain't nobody going to put a veil of submission over my head!!" (I lose all sense of correct grammar when I get worked up.) I solemnly vowed not to have that in my wedding in any sense. After all, I am a solid feminist and independent woman. 

Then, eventually, I got married. It was a surprise to all of us. He took quite the time in getting here. I still chastise him for not coming sooner. Our ceremony was beautiful and my father, as our officiant, talked about our future, our equality, and our vows to one another. It was absolutely the happiest day of my life.

And then our marriage truly began.

Gosh, that first year was TOUGH! We were both strong-willed and stubborn, and a fight never ended in acquiescence. We each started off right and we ended the same way, no matter what it meant for our mutual well-being. We were two independent people who came together and each believed that we knew what was best.

In the beginning of my marriage I had something to prove. I had been on my own before he came around and I had survived, thrived even. Yes, I mostly ate vanilla wafers and peanut butter for dinner, but it didn't KILL me! I knew how to take care of myself and I felt a need to prove to him that I was not suddenly incapable just because he had joined my life.

And sitting there in the back of the room was that word, that word that I hated and despised. It was equivalent to the "f" word or worse if Cameron ever dared to say it in the midst of a fight. It was the ace in the hole when he wanted to really make me mad. Submission meant inferiority to me and that was not what I wanted from my marriage.

But. . .

Through the grace of God I suppose I began to slowly, and painfully, learn about the true meaning of the "s" word. I came to understand that it is indeed not a word of inferiority, but a word of strength and power. It did not mean acquiescing to the will of my husband, but having a husband worthy of trust and respect, so that I know the decisions he makes are in our best interest.

In my marriage submission does not mean that my voice is not heard. My husband listens carefully to my opinions, my fears, my ideas, and he gives me an equal voice in any decisions we make. Submission means that I in turn give him respect, that as he loves me and is not harsh with me, so too do I support him and strengthen him through my respect for him. He is passionate about providing well for our little family and he needs me to hold him up and support him well so that he can be the strong and amazing man that he is.

Submission is not a bad word and it is not the opposite of feminism. I guess as I have gotten deeper into my marriage I have realized that "submission" has been given a bad rap. In truth, it is about being a better team together. 

Now, don't get mad at me for this post. Don't call me (mom) or text me worrying that I am now living in 1960s Beaver Cleaver's house. My husband is proud of the strong woman that I am, and he loves me for all of me. We try to run a household that honors God and honors one another, and he is a man worthy of my respect. We both have so much to learn when it comes to loving each other well, but each day that we push forward we get a little bit closer.

I told you this post would be a doozy. 

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