God’s plan for me wasn’t to fall in love with my high school sweetheart, but to take a journey prior to marriage. I attended college, worked full time, and bought my first house just after I had turned 21. It was scary and yet exciting at the same time. I had to figure out how to take care of a house by myself. My parents were good with teachable moments, but nothing prepares you as much as being thrown in alone.
This began the journey of the next 7 years where I mowed my own lawn, painted, laid flooring, landscaped, built a deck, replaced all the windows, changed the U joint and alternator in my car, replaced the ball bearings on a boat trailer, and lit the old Octopus furnace each year myself. I had grown a tool collection that even a handyman would be envious of and I enjoyed every moment (well almost every moment…while finishing my hardwood floors, my dog and cat opened the door and laid down to leave fur impressions of themselves in tackiness of freshly finished floor).
During this time, I finished my associates, bachelors, and masters degrees while growing my career. I was independent…I was a woman that could do it all…hear me Roar!
Then one day, I ran into a young Engineer who caught my eye. Work isn’t really the place for romance, however after 9 months of small talk here and there; we discovered that we had matching trucks and a love for the outdoors. I got the courage to ask him to call me if he ever wanted to explore the nearby lake. He called the next day and on our first unofficial date, he caught a master angler fish and his future wife.
As our relationship grew and blossomed and we became engaged to be married, I remember thinking about some of the things I was losing and wondering if it meant I was any less of an independent woman.
I read the following Bible verse as we were preparing to become man and wife:
Ephesians 5:22 Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord.
I was having thoughts about my years of hard work, and how they were being reduced to the shadow behind my future husband.
I loved my future husband and wanted to be a good wife. I prayed for God to change my heart, my mind, and my eyes on submitting to my husband.
The first difficult step was wholeheartedly taking his last name. I gave up on the 29 years of the only identity I ever knew, and another jab was, going from a short, strong, last name to a lengthy, hard to pronounce, name with “ski” at the end. I laugh at this because I vowed never to marry someone with “ski” at the end of his name(I just didn’t like how it sounded) and yet God always has a sense of humor.
In our six years of marriage, I have discovered how much I loved being his wife.
Proverbs 31:12 She does him good, and not harm, all the days of her life.
Actually living by serving my husband has given me even more of a feeling of being a woman. It is so awesome to serve my husband as I would the Lord, taking comfort in knowing that my husband too has Biblical duties to live by.
Ephesians 5:28-29 In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church.
Marriage was designed by God with such beauty. It isn’t to minimize one’s importance or impact in the world, but to emphasize long lasting relationships to grow His kingdom of followers together. This makes for even a greater impact on the world than one would individually. If you struggle with this, I would encourage you to seek God’s help in changing your heart so that you can embrace God’s marriage design in its entirety.
Do you submit to your husband as you do the Lord? What difficulties do you have with this Biblical message?