I didn't post on last week's chapter entitled "Intimacy: The Wife's Response." There were several reasons for this. One was, I ran out of time last week to write a coherent post on the subject. Another reason was that I didn't feel completely comfortable writing a post on the subject of s*ex on this blog where my mom, grandmother, daughter, her friends, and my husband's coworkers would read it. ;) But, for an excellent treatment of that chapter, read Leslie's synopsis, her thoughts, as well as some links to some other well-written posts on the topic here.
So now this week we tackle the other "s" word! Submission. Equally as off-limits in some circles, and a subject that I know many women don't want to discuss. (I'm sure a movie titled "Submission and the City" would not sell as many tickets as the current movie is selling, LOL.) I have already written some of my general thoughts on the topic of submission here, so I won't give any other background in this post. But in case you don't have time to click over and read what I already wrote, I'll summarize in one sentence: You cannot and will never be completely in God's will and plan as long as you remain outside of His protective authority by submitting to your husband. There. I said it. As Seinfeld would say, "That's a pretty big matzo ball hanging out there."
And it is! But I believe it's true. Thankfully we have authors like Martha Peace who not only write about this truth, but expound on just exactly how to do this. But we'll have to wait for the next section of the book to get to the "how." In this week's chapter titled "Submission: The Wife's Joy" she mainly talks about the "why." The overarching "why" is because that's the way God (a God of order) has chosen to maintain order in His creation. And there is JOY in following God's plan. It's that simple! (For a complete synopsis of this chapter, and a listing of Martha Peace's main points I encourage you to read Leslie's post here, or even better, pick up a copy of the book, The Excellent Wife and join in!)
This week, particularly today, I have been struggling with back pain. I am not completely immobile, as I have been in the past when my back "goes out," but I'm close! I've been having this problem for over ten years. What I found out when I first experienced this excruciating pain was that something was "out of alignment." The doctor discovered that I have one leg that is slightly shorter than the other. It was amazing to me that something so slight could cause me to be completely immobilized by pain! In fact, this morning it hurt so badly I could not even lift the carton of milk out of the refrigerator. I didn't share this so that I would garner your sympathy (though I could use your prayers as my son and I are leading VBS group this week and I can hardly walk!) but rather because it is a very vivid example to me of what happens when our lives are "out of alignment" by our coming up short in a very important area of our walk... submission to our husbands. I can be obedient in every other area of life, endeavoring to be a "doer" and not merely a "hearer" of the Word on every point but if I don't follow God's plan and be "subject to" my husband "as to the Lord... in everything" as Paul says in Ephesians 5:22-24, I will not walk in fullness of joy. Something will be missing, and I will know it. By God's grace, that "something missing" will be joy. It's His grace not to allow complete joy in a believer's life when one is not following His plan, otherwise you might not be prompted to make the necessary changes in your life.
In subsequent chapters, Peace will outline the "how-to's" and "what-if's" associated with submitting to our husbands. I look forward to that discussion. But for today, let's consider the fact that it is simply God's command for wives. According to 1 John 5:3 His commands "are not burdensome." This command seems particularly burdensome for many women, including me for many years. And that need not be. In fact, I have found it valuable in my own life in recent years to take time to examine why certain commands feel particularly "burdensome" for me. (For an excellent treatment of 1 John 5:3 as it relates to marriage and other relationships, read John Piper's sermon here.)
I encourage all of us to long to experience the true joy that comes from a life yielded to God's plan.
For some great reading on this chapter and links to others who have posted on it, visit Leslie at Light Came.