Several weeks ago I read such a great response in the Facebook Group by Martha Bush, specific to Submission and obedience. I asked her to share her perspective with all of us today since we are camped in the books of Peter. This post is authentic and powerful. Thank you Martha. Hugs, Lynn
Submission vs. Obedience
Travel back to the 1900’s with me to the home of Smith Wigglesworth and his wife, Polly.
Prior to his salvation and fame as a minister, Smith harshly persecuted Polly for her faith, and demanded that she not go to church. She didn’t obey his command, instead would make his dinner and head for church every Sunday.
One night, Polly came home from church later than usual. Smith scolded, “I am the master of this house, and I’m not going to have you coming home at such a late hour!”
Polly quietly replied, “I know you are my husband, but Christ is my Master.”
This made Smith so mad that he locked her out of the house.
Now, I invite you into my home where I faced the “likes” of Smith Wigglesworth.
My husband had always supported my faith until God gave me a new direction - - resign my job as a school teacher.
After several months of praying, studying God’s Word and counseling with my pastor, I went to my husband to discuss the new direction with him.
He immediately responded with a firm, “NO!”
Usually not one to rock the boat, I rocked it this time, and began my journey.
For the next several years, I faced intense opposition from my husband.
Submission vs. Obedience
1 Peter 3:1: Wives, be submissive to your husbands.
The question is, “How does submission play into stories like Polly’s, mine, and yours when faced with persecution of our faith, or verbal and emotional abuse within the home?”
I’d like to share a few points I learned on my journey trying to figure this out.
- Stronghold: People Pleaser
I had been a people pleaser since childhood, and I brought this stronghold into my marriage. A “go with the flow” personality, I had no identity of my own.
My husband is the opposite - a good moral man, but very opinionated who likes to be in control, which explains why he responded with a firm “NO” when I discussed my new direction with him.
Normally, I would have done anything to keep peace, but this time was different. I knew I had heard from the Lord and must obey.
Galatians 1:10: Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ. (NIV)
Acts: 5:29: We must obey God rather than men. (HCSB)
- People Pleaser to Special Possession
Once the people pleaser stronghold was broken, my self-esteem had to have a makeover. It was time to shed the puppet on a string/doormat mentality.
Also, got myself a new name tag - - You are a chosen people, His royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His wonderful light. (1 Peter 2:9 NIV)
- A man’s enemies will be members of his own household. (Matthew 10:36 NIV)
My home became a battleground establishing who comes first – God or family. My husband said, “Things were great as long as you just went to church, but you had to get fanatical; I want my wife back.”
- For we wrestle not against flesh and blood. (Ephesians 6:12-13)
Though my husband’s opposition was hurtful, I finally realized it wasn’t him coming against me; it was the devil himself trying to wear me down with harsh words through my husband.
- Arrogant, Sarcastic, Brass Attitude
I came out of the people pleasing pit swinging. I had no problem pointing my finger in my husband’s face and saying: “Let me tell you something, Buddy. You no longer intimidate me; my feelings and opinions count in this marriage. Stuff it!”
Oh yeah, it felt goooood to be FREE!
But---my mind flashed back to my daddy. It was as though I could hear his gentle, but firm southern voice talking to me.
“Girl, I didn’t raise you to act like this. I’m fixin’ to give you an attitude adjustment. Get your Bible and turn to Galatians 5:13 and read it.”
Dear brothers and sisters,
you have been given freedom:
not freedom to do wrong, but
freedom to love and serve each other.
On the next post, I will tell how God adjusted my attitude as it relates to submission vs. obedience.
A longgggg journey, but time well spent in examining my marriage, seeing where I had missed it from the start. It wasn’t easy, but necessary.
Have you examined your marriage?
- Are there strongholds that cause friction?
- Have you lost your identity?
- Is your husband exercising a demanding authoritative role as the head of the household?
- Does he value your feelings and opinions?
- Does he ask you to sin?
- Is his sin affecting you and the kids?
Please share what you have discovered in the comments.
Blessings to you.