Lizzie was an independent woman who had no problems managing her life and other people. She was successful in business and had a large group of friends whose company she enjoyed. Lizzie loved the Lord and was active in her church. She met Colton at a church retreat and she found him to be charming and kind. He captivated her. They married after a brief courtship and their life together began.
Soon she found that Colton had some flaws that began to bug her. He would start projects and never finish them. They had enough money to pay for them but he didn’t think anyone else could do the projects right. He had a call to the ministry. They also argued about the Bible and its interpretation. He said that he could never go into the ministry if he couldn’t sell it at home.
As the years went by, Lizzie quit talking to him about spiritual things and she would hire people to come in and complete some of the projects Colton had begun. Sometimes, Colton would let it pass. This time she went too far. It was a project he had been working on and pondering over. He came home to find it finished and it was all wrong. He was furious. He ripped out the competed work. They had a huge fight.
Lizzie went to the Pastor for counseling. He brought up submission and she flashed anger. Pastor asked her if he was abusing her physically or spending hours watching pornography. She said, “No, of course not.” But how can I submit to him? He is ruining out home. We can’t talk about anything in the Bible or your sermons. He doesn’t agree with me on anything and if he would just complete something- anything, I would try to submit! Pastor told her that submission was the key to Colton finding his ministry and to her freedom. Pastor tried to explain that she must quit focusing on the problems and start focusing on the Lord. Then God would show her how to submit to the man she married. She left his office adding Pastor to the list of men she didn’t want to submit to.
Lizzie hated the word submit. It wasn’t fair. She had always done her work with excellence. She completed tasks on time. She didn’t understand how anyone could let something be half done. She studied the Bible faithfully and had for years, yet her opinion was not valued. Pastor was a man and men just loved to tell women they should submit. She fumed.
Things were tense at home that night and Colton asked her what was wrong. She didn’t respond but got her pillow and went into the guest room and locked the door. Colton was hurt and confused.
As Lizzie lay on the bed, her heart pounding, she asked the Lord, “Why? Why do I have to submit to him? I love him – love many things about him, but he is ruining our lives.” She lay there, sobbing. Colton knocked on the door several times, but finally he quit and went to bed.
About midnight, she awoke with a start. There was a Presence filling the room. She saw the Lord Jesus at the end of the bed and he said, “Get up and go to bed with your husband. Give him to me and it will all work out.” And then He was gone. Peace settled on Lizzie. She got up, took her pillow and went into her husband. She wrapped her arms around him and whispered, “I love you.” Colton took her hand and they slept peacefully.
From that time, Lizzie supported her husband in everything. If he was working on a project, she would help him and amazingly, things began to be completed. She found herself in awe of how able the Lord was to deal with Colton when she quit pointing out his weaknesses.
They began to be able to share their thoughts and understanding of Bible passages. She found Colton much wiser than she had ever imagined. He had begun to listen to her and as a result, she was listening to him.
Submission led Lizzie and Colton to an intimacy they never thought possible. They are inseparable. Colton is now moving into his prophetic role in the church. Pastor smiles at Lizzie and nods his head knowing the great struggle that she had in trusting the Lord.
Lizzie not only struggled with submission to her husband, but further she was unable to submit to her pastor. He submission problem was rooted in bitterness and a deep distrust of men. A wife can get to the point of thinking she is entitled to do her own thing without thought of her spouse. If he is not strong in His submission to the Lord, he may just give in to her leadership and go into neutral. This is not what God has intended for us. We are to be a picture of Christ and the Church. It took a visitation from Jesus for Lizzie to change. What will it take for you and me?
Submission is a gift. It requires us to humble ourselves and recognize that we don’t know everything and we don’t have all the answers. It is part of the choice that Father God built into our lives. He made it possible for us to choose Him or reject Him. He made it possible to submit to Him or resist Him. If we can’t submit to God, we can’t really submit to anyone.
When we are willing, on our knees, to say, “Father, I don’t know what to do or what you want. Teach me,” we are in the right mind-set. He has said we are free – free to choose to go our own way. Free to choose to love. God will not take our hearts by force. We get to choose to accept Him and His leadership or we can choose to accept the leadership of another that will take us by force. The Scripture makes it clear.” Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one you obey—whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness?”
When a husband and wife finds true intimacy with each other there should be no more secrets between them. Submission is built on a trust factor into the unknown. It is abandonment of yourself into the love of the other. They each still have flaws but as they give up their right to change the other, and give them to God to deal with, life begins to change.
The Lord has wonderful things in store for those who choose intimacy. It is an amazing picture of the relationship He wants us to have
with Him. He even says so in the Scripture.
“For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” This is a profound mystery-but I am talking about Christ and the church. (Eph. 5:31-32) He calls the woman to submit to her husband as He desires the church to submit as His Bride.
He also says to ‘love one another, for love is of God.’ His ways are not our ways but His ways will bring blessings into our lives we never dreamed possible. “Submit ye therefore one to another.”
(As a caveat, I want you to know that there are circumstances that are too dangerous to submit to and that include physical abuse. There are other areas as well, but you will have to seek the Lord. I even hate to put this in here as I know there are some who will justify themselves in circumstances that are merely inconvenient and not dangerous.)
What and who are you submitting to? Is your love affair with the Lord leading you in your relationships with others or are you still trying to control everything and everyone around you. It really all comes down to trust and resting in the love of God. Can you take the first step today and begin to believe in what seems impossible? You can – will you?
- The reason I’ve quit praying for my husband (refusingtotiptoe.com)
- What Every Husband Needs from His Wife (joleneengle.com)