Tuesday, October 14, 2008

creative counterpart VII

Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything. Ephesians 5:22-24

I have mentioned in the past that I am reading/working through Creative Counterpart over at Lori's blog. And while I have not been as diligent as Lori has about posting a recap, I have been reading and pondering what I have read. (I ponder a lot. It's a Winnie the Pooh thing.) I meant to post about last weeks chapter but life intervened. So I figured I'd post about this week's chapter. Which is on submission. My favorite topic. Not. (this may be a very short post.)

I must confess that I have a lot of huh? moments reading this book. It is chock full of stuff that I cannot absorb in just one reading. I often go back and reread chapters to try get every juicy bit that I can out of them. The chapter on submission is no exception.

I suspect that most women have a false impression of what biblical submission really means. I know that I struggle with some of these issues. It's not that I want to rule the world (or my husband). I certainly don't feel that I am right all the time. I don't necessarily see myself as a prideful person. I think my fear of submission partly relates back to some past issues and partly comes from fearing that submission means that I will "disappear" if I submit to my husband's authority. However, Linda Dillow says that "God's plan for marital happiness involves a spiritual head and a creative counterpart. God's man and God's woman complete each other." She goes on to say that, "She has chosen to be submissive because God has commanded it and because she is convinced that only completion will result in a vital, fulfilling marriage." (page 121.)

While I am not sure that submission will come any easier after reading this chapter, it certainly confirms (and convicts) that this is God's intent for a healthy marriage. Linda goes on to list the barriers to a submissive spirit (the disobedient husband, arbitrary discrimination based on Sex, the squelching of personal identity, the four fears, and pride), the benefits of a submissive spirit (tension releaser, husband changer, and happy happy joy joy moments) and the limits of submission (yes, there are some.) I have to say that after reading this chapter, I do recognize myself in some of these issues and realize that regardless of what excuses I might be offering as to why I cannot submit, I am still being disobedient to God and disrespectful to my husband. I'll be praying for forgiveness and a submissive spirit. (and I'll probably be asking for an easy way to accomplish it as well. It doesn't hurt to ask!)

In the same way, you wives must accept the authority of your husbands. Then, even if some refuse to obey the Good News, your godly lives will speak to them without any words. They will be won over by observing your pure and reverent lives.
Don’t be concerned about the outward beauty of fancy hairstyles, expensive jewelry, or beautiful clothes. You should clothe yourselves instead with the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God. This is how the holy women of old made themselves beautiful. They trusted God and accepted the authority of their husbands. For instance, Sarah obeyed her husband, Abraham, and called him her master. You are her daughters when you do what is right without fear of what your husbands might do. 1 Peter 3:1-6