March 25, 2010

The one about submission...

I referrence the Easter delima in my confessions post on Tuesday - but here's the whole scoop.  We alternate Thanksgiving and Christmas every year, in theory at least.   We've only had to married holidays together, but he asked for Thanksgiving again this year with his family so that he could attend a Ohio University football game the day after.

For whatever reason, other holidays just haven't been discussed.  So when Jay called me at work and said he wanted to go visit his family for Easter this year I was surprised.  And sad.

We discussed it, and he said he wanted to see his Pawpaw who isn't in good health and all the family would be in.  I reminded him that he was the only person that lived out of town so whenever he came to visit "all the family" was in. 

That's when I might have got a little harsh.  You know the whole "speak the truth in love" verse?  I'm better at the first part than the 2nd.

I told him that Easter was for Christians celebrating the rescurrection and for children hunting eggs - since he is neither Christian nor a child, I should get Easter my way.

I know what you're thinking - what a great spirit for a Christian to have.

Anyway he didn't seem to see it the same way and we were at an impass.  I spoke to my mother for advice and she had none.  None immediately any way.  The next morning I had a voicemail on my work phone that James 1:5 was her only bit of wisdom.

It was a relief because I know James.  This isn't the scripture on the wife of noble character, nor is it the scripture on being a submissive wife.  Like any good Christian - I googled it to see what the verse says.

James 1:5 (New International Version)

5If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.

Ask God.  Not your mom.  Not your friends in Bible Study.  Or your bloggy friends.  But God.

Most of the time I ask everyone but Him their opinions.

Spin class at lunch was my first real opportunity to pray about it, an I wondered if the entire class would be spent in prayer.  Sure, my instructor my think I'm weird sitting on my bike with my eyes closed, but if I pedal hard enough she'll just think I'm really focusing and giving the class my all.

The conversation went something like this.  Okay so I'm adding the words from God, when mostly it was just an impression.  But totally what He would have said outloud if that was the way He still talked to us.

Me: Dear God, please give me wisdom in this situation.  I want to spend Easter here, celebrating your death and ressurection.  I want to spend it watching the Princess and Little Man hunting Easter eggs.

You're asking for wisdom?  I gave you a whole book, what more do you want?

Me: Yeah but...

Read the book - submit to your husband.  Its his call.

Me: Yeah but...

What happaned last time you didn't follow the book?
Me: I married and unbeliever, which landed me here - begging for permission to worship you on a Holy holiday.

You chose this.  So deal with it.

Me: Yeah but...

Talk to the hand.

Okay so that last part wasn't really there.  But it was like a brick wall all of a sudden went up.  I prayed for wisdom.  He gave it to me, reminding me of the heirachy He has established for us.  What more was there to say.

Here's the thing that I never understood about submission as an immature believer, as a single woman.  Its not about the man being better than me.  Its not about him being smarter, more knowledgeable, or more capable at decision making. 

Someone has to make the final call in situations like this, and God gave us an easy default.  If we don't like the decision our husband has made?  Tough luck - shoulda thought about that before you married him.

In our conversation, God never once said "go to West Virginia and spend Easter with Pawpaw".  He just said Jay got the final call.

So Monday night over dinner - I pleaded my case one more time.  Reminding him that we can go up to WV later in the month.  That we could help the Princess and LM hide Easter eggs.  He restated his case, then changed the subject. 

I didn't want to push a decision because what if I pushed and didn't get the response I wanted?  I also didn't tell him that he got the final call.  I just resolved in my heart that if he was insistant we'd go.

Then last night he got a phone call from a buddy wanting to go fishing this weekend and I wanted to do a happy dance listening in.  He was basically telling this buddy that he would be here for Easter but would be gone to West Virginia the next weekend.

Me: I couldn't help but over hear you tell Mike that you'd be going to WV on the weekend of the 10th?

Jay: Yeah, that's what we decided upon right?

Me: I just wanted to make sure before I cancel with the girls.

(I had a girls night at my house scheduled for the 10th - totally worth moving to get Easter.)

While I would love to say that my husband did this for me because he wants to make me happy.  Or because he adores my niece and nephew and wants to hunt eggs with us.  I suspect it has more to do with Easter weekend working best for Mike and Jay wanting to go fishing.

Either way I don't mind - I was obedient AND got my way.  And as Miley Cyrus would say - that's the best of both worlds!


  1. I think that is a reasonable compromise. You will still be able to see all of his family but now he has a little incentive to stay here for Easter weekend.

  2. Marriage is all about compromise. I love the scripture that your mom gave you. Good post!

  3. Such wisdom! A submissive heart is a good thing ~ & it worked in your favor, too! While I don't believe that a wife should obey an unbelieving husband if he is telling her to sin, I definitely believe that the whole submission thing is in the Bible for a reason!

    I'd also like to add the following verse as an encouragement to you that your submissive heart is making a difference to him & can lead to his salvation:

    In the same way, you wives must accept the authority of your husbands, even those who refuse to accept the Good News. Your godly lives will speak to them better than any words. They will be won over by watching your pure, godly behavior. (1 Pet 3:1-2 NLT)

  4. haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa...this is me laughing at your conversation responses from the big guy. Too cute!

    Glad it worked out, for whatever reason it did!

  5. It's so hard to submit. Good for you for being willing to listen. I'm so happy it worked out!

  6. Very hard to learn submission! Especially if you're a bit on the strong willed side like me. lol

    One thing I've learned, and I'm sure you're learning too, is that submission also means that after pleading my case once it isn't such a great idea to keep bringing it up in the hopes that it will change his mind. If your husband is anything like mine he KNOWS what I want, and very much wants to make me happy, but making me happy isn't always the best decision for the family. Sometimes I have to trust that he has wisdom that I lack, and leave it to him and to God.

    However, when you're married to an unbeliever I also think that when you know something is of God then it's ok to press how important it is, and do not follow him into sin. Such a challenge!!!

  7. submission is tough. really tough. especially when you are so used to calling the shots in your own life, and then suddenly you have to submit to someone else. i struggle with that so much.

  8. Submission is so hard. I struggle with it too. I'd rather do it my way the first time. So glad it all worked out! :)


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