re·form: (r-fôrm) v. re·formed, re·form·ing, re·forms v. tr. 1. To improve by alteration, correction of error, or removal of defects; put into a better form or condition. 2. To cause (a person) to give up harmful or immoral practices; persuade to adopt a better way of life.
ma·ma or mam·ma also mom·ma: n. (also m-mä) Informal. Mother.

5.11.2007

Submission Part 2: How I Became A Submissive Wife

I've shared some of my background on here before, but I'll give a brief run-down now.

My family life growing up was rough, to say the least. My parents were not good role models for me and my family of origin, although I love them, has never been something I wanted *MY* family to resemble. I knew that at a very young age. I remember as young as seven thinking to myself, "I don't want to be like my parents." That may sound harsh, but really, you had to be there.

Because of that, I set out to be successful. I did well in school. I knew school was my escape from home then and that it would be the only way I'd be able to escape when I got older. I knew from a very young age that I wanted to go to college. I knew I'd have a wonderful career and make lots of money. I knew those things would keep *MY* family from going down the path my family of origin travelled and I thought it would fix my family of origin.

Yeah, I was a dreamer.

As the oldest of three children, I had to take care of my younger brothers and help around the house. I did try to escape those duties and was sometimes successful, but sometimes I had no choice but to obey.

By the time I was 16 and was a senior in high school, I had no one to help me apply for college or to encourage me to continue my education. I had no one to show me the way. I HAD to do it all alone.

When I was 18 and in my sophomore year of college, my mom left. My dad fell into a deep depression and was unable to work. Half the time I did not even know where he was. Here I was, trying to make something of myself, working to pay for school, having to track down my dad for money for the rent so we had a place to live AND having to try to keep my brothers in school. I gotta say, that was not a fun time and I tried to find every possible way to escape.

I transferred to another college for my junior and senior years of college. There again, I had no assistance with that process. I also only had grants and a student loan to pay my way; along with whatever measley money I could earn working part-time at Sears. I had no idea what would happen to my brothers. I cared, but as an 18 (almost 19) year old, what could I do?

I completed my college degree in mass communications when I was 20 years old. During my time in college, I had dated a very abusive boyfriend and had also found the strength to break things off with him (in spite of his repeated attempts to kill me and my family). I managed to graduate with only $4500 in student loand and I had landed a job as a graphic designer. I was on my way to the top.

I share those things because they all contributed to me becoming a VERY VERY VERY independent, strong-willed person. By the time I finished college I was at the point where I'd take orders from NO ONE ever again; especially if those orders got in the way of my success. I had come to believe that there was not a person who would help me do anything and if I wanted something done, by golly, I had better do it myself. If anyone else tried, they'd mess it up.

Fast forward a few years to maybe 1997 or 1998. I was working at a magazing publishing company as the promotions coordinator. I was 22 and was on my way to making art director of one of the publications. I had a good job with GREAT potential.

Around that same time the Southern Baptist Convention made the news by speaking out on the role of women in the home. They said that they believed women should submit to their husbands.

Now, I was a Christian, but I had been out of church for a while. I couldn't deal with the guilt/conviction over my own sin so I ran. There was a man whose office was accross from mine and one day he brought up the topic of submission. I looked him dead and the face and said, "There is NO WAY I would EVER attend a Southern Baptist Church because they are a bunch of wack-os."

Honestly. That's what I said. He asked why and I told him that no man was ever going to tell me what to do in my own home.

God has a GREAT sense of humor though. Let me just tell you! By fall of 1999 I wasn't just a Southern Baptist, I was ENROLLED IN A SOUTHERN BAPTIST SEMINARY!!!! HA HA!

See shortly after that conversation on submission, the guy who I had been dating (and bossing around) and I broke up. I've mentioned that I met Ed in a bar. I don't know if I mentioned that shortly after I broke up with *that* guy, I was dancing at said bar (you can go to a bar JUST to dance and not drink) and Ed was there with a friend. This friend was a nice guy who danced with me and challenged me on a few things.

We were chatting and this guy asked if I attended church. I threw out my old line about not having found one yet. Then this guy asked me how long I had been in the area. I told him about 2 years. He looked me dead in the eye and said, "That's no excuse." In a bar ya'll!!!

I was in church the next Sunday and rededicated my life then. I found a church home and started studying like crazy (all the while developing a strong friendship with Ed). As I studied I changed. I became more aware of what was important and what wasn't. I sought out different types of people to be around. I wanted to be a godly woman.

When Ed and I FINALLY started dating, I began praying EARNESTLY for God to give me wisdom about our relationship. I learned about submission and what it is and isn't. I learned about men and their roles in the home. I yearned for a strong spiritual leader as my husband.

The tricky part was/is that I was/am a very strong person. I remember praying so hard that God would show me if Ed would be able to be a spiritual leader over me. See, I was smitten, but I didn't want to marry some pushover and Ed was so nice (and ya know nice guys can't be strong).

Around that time Ed began to share his thoughts on wanting to be a strong spiritual leader if he was to ever get married again. He began to show me his strong side. I began to allow him to feel like a leader instead of having to lead the way.

Then I went away to seminary and learned even more. Throughout our dating relationship, God showed me how to step aside and let Ed lead.

That's not to say that we didn't/don't have our rough spots on this issue. In fact, on our way to our LAST pre-marital counseling session we got into a fight over the directions to the church that were going into the wedding invitation. We almost called off the wedding over that. He wasn't gonna give and neither was I.

When we got to the counseling session and shared about the fight with our pastor, our pastor (whose name is Pastor Love, by the way) just looked at us and laughed. He told us it was good we were going into marriage *knowing* that we are both strong-willed and are both leaders.

We still have our bumps, but I can say without a doubt that the times when I do put aside my need to be right or to be served or to lead or whatever, are by far the sweetest times in our marriage.

So that's the long version of how I went from hardcore, independent, strong-willed woman to a most-of-the-time submissive wife. Hopefully by the time I'm 90 I will master this submission thing.

2 Comments:

Blogger Debbie said...

It's amazing how God has a way of bringing us back to a place that we said we would never go back to, huh? :)

As I was reading about your life, and I thought of my own. Difficult circumstances have a way of making us stronger and into the people we are today. Not that I, or anyone else wanted to ever hear that. Trust me, at the time of mine, I would have chosen the easy way out. That's because I didn't have the knowledge of the saving grace of Jesus at the time. But Thanks be unto to God who gives us the victory!!

I have enjoyed reading the past few post and I also wanted to thank you for stopping by my blog. Blessings to you!!

1:16 AM

 
Anonymous PinkJeweledCat said...

WOW! Did I EVER need to read this post. God is SOOOO amazing! I'm in a place of rest right now. God purposefully placed me in the desert so that I could rest and get more intimately acquainted with Him and His will for my life. While I'm here, He's been giving me some really great reading material. Most of it has been through the testimonies of other bloggers, such as Heather, and through the humor of other bloggers, such as BooMama (which is where I found your blog).

My husband believes in God. He just doesn't have any intention of trying to live a righteous life right now. This has been such a hurdle for my faith. At one point God simply told me to treat my husband as though he were already the head of my household, so long as it didn't cause me to sin. If I could do that, God would take care of the rest.

It's not always easy for me, because while some of the facts of our lives vary, our personalities were much the same. I also tell people that the best thing my parents taught me was what NOT to do to and with my children. I loved them always, even when I didn't like them very much. It's been hard, and I still struggle with being submissive to my husband. But I'm going to believe in God's promise that my actions will one day win over my husband. I'll be coming back to read more on your submission lesson. Ta for now dahling!

3:09 PM

 

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