At the Well – Standing for Your Marriage

Then they can train the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God.”

Today’s topic At the Well is a subject that is near and dear to my heart. Today we are talking about marriage. We are actually going to look at a different aspect of marriage.

Chelsey asks these questions: What does commitment in marriage mean?  What kind of wife are we called to be to our husbands?  What are ways that we can Biblically stand for our marriage?

This morning I am spending some time At the Well.  This is new for me, but it is just another step in the journey I’m already taking.  Neat how God does that…

God has really been dealing with me in a very deep, personal way about my role and place in my marriage.  Through a variety of recent circumstances, I’ve pretty much been dropped to my knees, wind knocked out of me, chased by despair and feelings of intense anguish.  I have questioned just about everything I’ve ever known or believed in.  There’s something about grasping at straws that leaves you empty-handed…

Coming to the knowledge that my only solid foundation – and not just knowing it in my head, but understanding and accepting it – that my only solid foundation is in God alone, is bringing me to a place of total transformation.  I’m not saying this happens overnight.  But I feel like I’m that boiling pot of shiny metal in the blacksmith shop.  The junk is all rising to the surface and The Blacksmith is skimming it all off, purifying me.  Pouring me out into the mold, hammering away at me.  As the chunks fly, I am faced with my imperfections.  Some of which require some SERIOUS hammering…  My attitude, being the most difficult aspect to master.

This obviously affects every aspect of my life.  Including my marriage.  MY attitude, MY behavior, MY words, MY walk with God – those are the things for which I am responsible and accountable.  And My obedience to God and submission to my husband are not conditional upon Roy.  If I am not submitting myself to the Lord in every way, than my ability to be the kind of wife He desires me to be is impossible (Ephesians 5:22).

My commitment to Roy – must be completely based on my commitment to the Lord.  Being faithful and committed to my husband is part of my being a wife – but it’s not just about not cheating and not leaving – it means being SUBMITTED.  UGH – the word I dreaded for so many years.  This always stirs up something in me.  Does “submit” actually mean “obey” as in, I have to do what my husband says, when he says it, with the right heart attitude (the common definition for obedience I’ve known all my life)?  Does it mean I am a “second class citizen” who slaves at home all day – disheveled, unkempt, uneducated, unknown, disappearing into a void of nothingness, scampering about at every whim and request of my husband?  That may be how the world interprets God’s call for a wife to be submissive – but is that what GOD is actually saying?

Bob Deffenbaugh gives this interpretation of what a godly wife should do and be according to Ephesians 5:21-32. These paragraphs really spoke to me:

I doubt that any one word can sum up the essence of what the Scriptures mean by submission. Let me suggest several words, each of which identifies a certain element of submission. The first word is “surrender.” Submission is a voluntary act or surrendering one’s rights or will. The second word is” sacrifice.” The third is “service.” The service which is rendered those to whom we submit often involves a sacrifice. It costs us something to render service to the other person. A fourth term is “authority,” while a fifth is “obedience.” When we submit to one who has authority over us, we should evidence this submission, in part, by our obedience. Conversely, when we submit to those under our authority, we evidence this with sacrificial service. I final term is “priority.” Those to who we submit have, in some manner, priority over us, our rights, our pleasure, or our will.

I believe that the difficulty we find in defining submission is due, in part, to the fact that while submission is the same in its essence, it may differ greatly in its expression, depending on the context it is found. A wife’s submission to her husband is manifested differently than a child’s submission to its parents, or a slave’s submission to his master. One’s submission to a person in authority over him is expressed differently from his submission toward one who is under his authority. A wife’s submission to her husband is modeled after the church’s submission to Christ, while her husband’s submission is to be modeled after Christ’s headship over the church.

After reading this, I understand what it means when I’ve heard someone say, “It takes great strength to be submissive and to follow someone else’s lead.”  Once again, this is about VOLUNTARILY putting someone else’s – Roy’s – needs, desires, wants, requests above my own.  This is about me being selfless. Philippians 2:3 – Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. That is what Scripture says.  It doesn’t say I am not to have a mind or hobbies or that I am less valuable than Roy.  Nowhere in Scripture, from God’s point of view, is a wife’s value less than that of a husband’s value.

Submission is simply part of the ORDER that God wants in our lives – in our relationship with him, and in our relationship with each other.  If Roy & I are teamed up together but we are both struggling to go different directions, we will get nowhere.  Someone has to take the lead.  God ordained that the husband is to stand up and do that.  And even if he does not, my role as the wife is to be submissive to my husband, AS UNTO THE LORD.

So to sum it up – this calling to be a submissive wife, and that’s what it is – A CALLING – is about my heart and attitude being aligned with and fully surrendered to the Heart of God.  Sometimes Uncomfortable.  Always Challenging.  No room for compromise.  For me, for now – this is something to chew on every day.  It’s something I have to practice every day if I’m doing to be any good at it.  It’s not something I can fake – or just half-heartedly attempt.  And believe me, I cry about it more often than not.  But in the end,

I Peter 1:6-7 says “For a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials.  These have come so that your faith – of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire – may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.”


9 Responses to “At the Well – Standing for Your Marriage”

  1. Raye Ann Says:

    This is a beautiful time to rejoice in what God is doing in your life. What a beautiful post.

  2. momstheword Says:

    Beautifully put! So glad you joined us today. I agree, submission is not an easy thing…what, me submit? But it is when we surrender ourselves to the Lord that we grow, just like you said. I love Job 23:10 “But He knows the way that I take, and when He has tried me I shall come forth as gold.” Here’s to coming forth as gold!

  3. Laurie Adams Says:

    Thank you for sharing with us today AT THE WELL. You honed in on some great insights that we need to have if we desire to be godly wifes. One thing is that it is a calling. Elizabeth George has written some great study books that leads us to accepting the calling that God has placed on us as wifes. Thanks for sharing, – blessings, Laurie

  4. Patty Wysong Says:

    Wow! This is right on! You mentioned many things that are on my heart and gave me something to chew on: Submission is a calling. For some reason I had never thought of it like that, but you’re so right. Thank you!

  5. chris Says:

    great insight! submission is truly not an easy thing to do… but with Christ.. it can be done.

  6. Marsha Baker Says:

    Life isn’t all about the destination, but in enjoying the journey. You’re definitely on the right ‘path’ Babe – hang in there –
    One step at a time….God gives us just enough light for the step we’re on! Keep looking up – how awesome to know God is answering prayers!!!! XO

  7. A Damsel No Longer in Distress Says:

    Hello precious sister Debbie,

    Thank you for you kind comment! And yes, I completely agree with you re: submission. As a matter of fact, living and teaching this is one of my passions. If you’re interested, I’m writing/leading an online-meme Bible study on this, entitled A Wife’s Biblical Submission based on Proverbs 31:10-31. Much of what Mr. Deffenbaugh says is also what God spoke to my heart. Biblical submissions is not at all what the world thinks…it takes a very strong and wise woman to submit to her husband, not a feeble-minded fool. 🙂

    Welcome to the “Well” sister. I’m so glad you could join us today!

    Bless you,

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