Tuesday, June 5, 2012

To Submit or Not to Submit: Is there really a question? {Part One}


For many years, I would emphatically have answered yes, there is a question as to whether or not to submit. 

And I chose not to submit.

I don’t feel free to go into detail, but I can say I never learned submission. I never saw it exampled. I was never taught how a marriage works or what the roles of the husband and wife are. I went to Sunday school and youth group for years, and I can’t remember a single lesson learned. {Well, except for that time when a boy lifted his arm to answer a question and the tag of his new shirt hung down. I learned to make sure you always cut the price tags off your clothes before you wear them. Really spiritual, I know.}

As a result, I almost killed my marriage in the first few years with my dictatorial control.

We lived about an hour apart when we married. Even though he had a much better job as a computer programmer than I had as a glorified secretary, I absolutely refused to leave my job and move closer to his job. Thus, he moved, creating an unbearable commute for himself, and eventually left that job for one that was much less satisfying to him. He does enjoy his current position, but it was only after difficult years, difficult jobs, and a downsizing that he came to be a college professor.

I also decided I wanted to go to law school. I applied and was denied with my first attempt. {I know it’s off-topic, but I am still astounded that they don’t think English degrees qualify a student for law school. Law school is, in sum, reading and writing. That’s all I did in my undergraduate studies. Go figure….} My husband wanted to enjoy some traveling time before we started our family and I stayed home with children. Stay home? Was he crazy? I was accepted the second time and spent the next four years toiling at a day job and going to school in the evenings, summers too. Yet, here I am, living the dream I never knew I had – loving, nurturing, raising, homeschooling six children. I wouldn’t change my time at home for any size corner office. {Maybe for a judicial robe, but I get to wear that at home...with the children.}

My husband has admitted that it was a trying time for him.

So what happened? What turned it around?



His Word.

Halfway through law school, I finally began to listen to the whisper of God.

It’s not all about you.

At that time, we also attended FamilyLife’s Weekend to Remember conference, not because we thought we needed it but because it sounded fun and it was coming to our city.

Then, for three days, I sat, overwhelmed. The entire conference boggled my mind. Was this really what marriage was supposed to be like? The speakers made it sound terrific, but I was having a hard time wrapping my mind about the idea of being a team. Of working together. Of letting him decide.

I went home feeling shell-shocked. I prayed, I cried, I examined my Bible and went over and over and over the notes I had taken at the conference. It just couldn’t be right. I couldn’t let him think he had even an equal say, let alone allow a 51/49 division.

But I couldn’t deny the truth of Scripture.

“But I want you to know that the head of every man is Christ, the head of woman is man, and the head of Christ is God.” {1 Corinthians 11:3}

“Wives, likewise, be submissive to your own husbands, that even if some do not obey the word, they, without a word, may be won by the conduct of their wives, when they observe your chaste conduct accompanied by fear. Do not let your adornment be merely outward—arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel— rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God. For in this manner, in former times, the holy women who trusted in God also adorned themselves, being submissive to their own husbands, as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord, whose daughters you are if you do good and are not afraid with any terror.” {1 Peter 3:1-6}

Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body. Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything.” {Ephesians 5:22-24}

It was a revelation to me – just as my husband submits to God, I am supposed to submit to my husband.

In the end, it’s about love. When we really all-out, no-hesitations love God, we want to do His will. We delight in doing His will. Why should it be any different with our husbands? When we unwaveringly and whole-heartedly love our husbands, we want to please them. We delight in doing whatever they ask of us.

I apologize for the length of this post. It has become much longer than I intended, probably because submission has been such a struggle for me. I am still working it out. Please click through to Part Two for more of the story and Twelve Personal Truths for what I’ve learned about how to submit.

Thanks for visiting!


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  1. I am proud of you Meghan. I know its a hard thing to do when many around you do not believe or live like you. I believe submission is part of being a Christian. It is in God's Word. I don't believe God would have written it so many times if he didn't want us to follow it. We are the minority in these days but we can't give up on what God has said. I have seen how unhappy men are when they live with wives who don't live the Bible. there is nothing wrong with your husband having the final word. God made man first and we are his helper not his boss. I don't think he should control you or be mean to you, but if you love him in the right way he won't want too. I have been praying God would help me have a more meek and mild spirit. I don't want to do anything to hinder my walk with God.

    1. Thanks, Michelle. There is a responsibility for the husband as well, like you said, not to control or be mean. Husbands are to love their wives as Christ loved the church. That's a LOT of love!

  2. Oh thanks for sharing this!

    I would love it if you would share this post on the Feminine Friday Link-Up! I really think my readers will enjoy it!


    Susan Godfrey
    Finding Beauty - http://www.susangodfrey.com

    1. Thanks so much for your kind comment, Susan, and the opportunity to link up. I'll be there!

  3. I tried to comment on the submission scenario yesterday morning and then again in the evening, and for whatever reason, my comments were lost before they posted! I took that as a sign to hang it up and try again later, so here I am.
    I was interested in reading the comments that were added to your original post. After reading the post, my thoughts were that I would joyfully make picking up the requested items a part of my other stops for the day, and it would be no biggie. Especially given that there would be a 10-year-old boy who could do all the lifting for me. Would anyone seriously make a deal out of this?
    Evidently, others felt differently about the scenario, even suggesting that submission had nothing to do with it. In my comment that deleted last night, I added that, as an independent woman who at one time shuddered at the sound of the word submit, I would liken it to my relationship with Christ. Although I have in my head what I need/want to get done in any given day, I want my schedule to remain submitted to Christ. He has priority, and if He asks me to do something, that becomes the top of the list. My marriage is structured in much the same way. Greg's needs become priority to me, and I would do whatever it took to meet those needs. Not because I was forced to, but because our relationship is one of love, respect, and mutual giving. After almost 15 years of marriage, I have learned that submission is beautiful and freeing. I'm still rather independent, I still have an opinion, and I'm still my own person. Submission doesn't kill any of that, it just channels it appropriately.
    Your post today has mirrored the thoughts I had after reading the scenario. When our agenda is more important that meeting the needs of our husband, we need to take our agenda to God in complete surrender and ask Him to realign our priorities. In our kid-centered families, we forget that husbands still come before kids. :-)
    Thanks for your insight...I think this is a topic that will touch many women.

    1. You're getting ahead of me, Stephanie! :) You make many good points that are coming in the next two days. I fought submission for a long time, including submission to God's will, but when I finally...well, submitted, it was such a relief. Thanks for persisting in leaving a comment!

  4. My story is a lot like yours! God also used Weekend to Remember to save our marriage about 5 years ago. I certainly don't do it perfectly, but now I love submitting to my husband, and I'm so thankful that God loved me enough to show me a better way. The Bible is very clear about submission - it is cited multiple times. THere just isn't a grey area!

    1. Thanks, Megan, for your kind comments. Hope to see you again!

  5. I'm new to your blog (just found it today) and am enjoying reading right now and will continue to read on into the evening. It's a joy.

    Loved this post. Christ has set you free and he (she) whom the Son sets free is free indeed! Hallelujah.

    I love your writing style.


I so much appreciate your time and effort in leaving a comment, and I try to respond to as many as time permits. :-)