Getting married was an eye-opening experience for me. I had lots of ideas of what married life would entail and how my life would change once I got married. After returning home from the honeymoon I was surprised how much changed. I basically believed that being married was similar to being single, only there was someone around to share life with. In the time period before I got married I lived alone for the most part with a few roommates here and there. So I thought I was aware of the problems that might arise once I got married.
I did not take into account that in marriage the two are not just separate roommates. The two are to become one. The two are now something completely different from what they were before they got married.
One of the ideas I thought I understood had to do with the idea of leadership. I have held the belief for a long time that in marriage there must be a leader. I also believed that leader should be the man of the home. I thought that coming under that authority of my husband would be a rather smooth transition once I was married.
My assumptions were wrong.
Before I got married I had a lot of freedom. I was working full-time. I owned my own house. I could come and go as I wanted and I could buy what I wanted. I didn’t have someone telling me what I should do, or shouldn’t be doing with my time, money or energy.
I was surprised how much say my husband wanted to have over the details of my life. I fought against his leadership. I grated against someone telling me what I needed to be doing and how those things should be done. My husband was rather shocked by this turn of events as well. We had discussed the topic of leadership in marriage before we got married, and we both believed we were on the same page. Until we actually got married.
The problem my husband and I faced, and still struggle with at times is the idea of what leadership is supposed to look like. I believed a loving leader husband would look one way, and my husband believed that it would look another way. Both of us were wrong. We both were holding on to worldly ideas of what it means for the man to be the leader of the home. Both of us have been tainted by the culture around us, believing the lies of what a “submissive” wife looks like and what a “leader” husband looks like.
We are still working out some of these issues to be honest, but I am learning a lot as we work through what the Bible actually says about leadership and submission.
I have learned one thing that I am sure of: We are called to lay down our lives for those around us. Thinking about the full weight of that really a big concept. Laying down my life for my husband can mean all sorts of things in different ways.
- Not yelling at my husband when I am angry
- Controlling my snarky response when I feel I have been mistreated.
- Allowing my husband to make the final call on a decision that we are not agreeing on.
- Agreeing to not cut my hair because it is my husband’s preference.
- Allowing my husband to make some tough decisions for our family that may make my life harder.
These are just a few ways that I personally can lay down my life for my marriage and for my husband. I am not saying that following the Biblical idea of submission is an easy thing to do, but I am saying it is Biblical. We are called to say down our lives for those around us. The argument could be made that this verse is not specifically referring to husbands and wives, but I would say that it still applies, because if we are to behave this way towards strangers, how much more should be behave this way towards our husbands.
In a culture were so man women are looking to a book that portrays submission in a distorted sexual behavior, it is important to be reminded what it means to be Biblically submissive. There needs to be a leader in our home, but it should not look like what the world is telling us male leaders look like.
God requires a lot of our men, and he is calling our men to be leaders that step out and guide their families in powerful ways. God will hold them accountable for what they do and what they do not do. God will hold us as women accountable for our behavior towards out husbands as well.
So I pray that as we as women find the strength to come under the authority of our husbands, and to lay down our lives for those around us, including our husbands, that we will grow closer to Jesus Christ who is our ultimate example of laying down His life in order to reconcile us to Himself.