Sunday, January 29, 2017

Unconditional Submission

Well Sunday night has arrived, and here I am. A few hours ago I was complaining about all that needs done this evening when Bruce suddenly said "so when during all of that will you be working on your blog?" His tone made it clear that he wasn't really asking a question at all, so I rearranged my priorities and found the time. As usual he is right- the things that seem important often aren't, and the things I never get around to are sometimes the things that need the most attention.

This is a common theme, his directing me in a way I disagree with only to find later that he was pushing me in exactly the right direction after all. It reinforces to me the logic behind God's directive for the man to be the leader even though both are of equal worth. Women really are better at several things than men, but that goes the other way around as well. And it turns out that this emotion and intuition that enables us to do so many things gracefully and effectively can sometimes get in the way of leading. Similarly their logical cut-and-dried approach actually enhances their capacity to make the right call for the family.

Ok I'm waxing religious here, but bear with me on this line of logic. Really God's model for us is pretty damn simple, but left to our own devices we've managed to complicate and convolute it beyond functionality. Even the directive to submit is simple. Ephesians 5:22 says: "Wives, be submissive to your husbands... the husband is the head of the wife, just as Christ is the head and Savior of the church..." Of course it also goes on to direct husbands to love their wives in a seriously self-sacrificing way, but both directives are clearly and undeniably independent of each other. It's not an if/then statement; it's unconditional. Society encourages us to lose sight of the unconditional aspect, but it's this aspect that is really the key to making it all work so beautifully.

Think about the simplicity of unconditional submission. Maybe it's because I over complicate everything, but I find serious freedom in this simplicity. For the first five years of our marriage I grappled with the task of determining how and when Bruce was worthy of my respect. Society shouted so many things in my ear... don't be a doormat, HE needs to respect YOU first, if you don't demand respect then you have no self-respect, you have it harder than he does anyway... It was exhausting. When I really honestly evaluate that time in my life, a major part of my heart was always aching to simply submit, but my brain prevented me from following my heart, making things incredibly complicated. Nowhere in the directive does "worthiness" factor in, and rightfully so. This is exactly why our general unworthiness is gently but emphatically made clear throughout the entire gospel; we are never truly worthy of His grace, so we can never under any circumstances feel qualified to judge. He knew that the world would only work right if people really knew they had no right to judge (of course it doesn't actually work right because we don't ever actually remember this!). But in the same way, He knew that a merit-based marriage would be doomed to failure, where an unconditionally committed and selfless marriage would only beget more unconditional love and selflessness in return.

Yeah it's still a struggle. But when the internal dialogue changes from "I would be submissive if only he would..." to "I need to be more submissive right now" everything becomes infinitely simpler. So much simpler than I understood it to be for so long. Once we quiet the voice of society and make the first move to swallow our pride, the rest is easy. I'll be honest that actually committing to doing this sometimes starts with a not so great feeling of obligation, and sometimes it really is a struggle the whole way through. Nonetheless, it almost always ends with a peaceful calm that simply feels right. Hmm... in this way I guess the whole process is actually a lot like the process of getting a really sound spanking ;)

7 comments:

  1. What a beautiful post, Kate! I so agree with you, when it feels right, there is definitely a sense of calm. Happy Bruce encouraged you to post. Have a great week.

    Hugs and blessings...Cat

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    1. As always I so appreciate the support Cat. I've kept your previous encouragement in my head as I try to better commit to blogging. So really thank you- it means a lot :)

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  2. Great post ;)! You are so right! We shouldn't let the society decide what we really want and how we actually feel! Before DD i believed that to much. And now, yes, it simply feels right to submit to a loving husband :). Hugs Bibi

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    1. Glad I'm not the only one who had bought into society's distortions more than I wish. Thanks for reading :)

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  3. You definitely struck a chord with me. "I would be more submissive if only he..."is exactly how I have been feeling lately. "I need to be submissive now." Has given me a reminder of what submission is Truly about.

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  4. You definitely struck a chord with me. "I would be more submissive if only he..."is exactly how I have been feeling lately. "I need to be submissive now." Has given me a reminder of what submission is Truly about.

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  5. I am so with you on needing a reminder here and there. Submitting is certainly not for the faint of heart!

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