Whew, rough week. A lot of things just didn't go well, and it left me asking myself why exactly I want to be a submissive wife. An easy mental response to that question is to tick off all of the external factors that are often connected: because it works, because it’s sexy, because my husband "deserves" it, because the reward is worth the work...
The above mentioned things are all legitimately connected to submission, and I am blessed to be able to identify them in my life most of the time. But the fact is that they are not always present; sometimes it isn't sexy. Sometimes it doesn't work. Sometimes Bruce doesn't seem so deserving, and sometimes there is no reward. So what then? There has to be some sort of motivation because submission requires a lot of mental strength, emotional clarity, energy, and most of all a lot of self control. So when those external factors fail you (and they all do at one time or another!) there needs to be a sustainable motivation beneath it all.
Have you ever read Proverbs 31? It's about a wife of noble character, and boy is it humbling to read. Paraphrasing destroys context to a degree, but here are the verses that always stand out to me the most:
Who can find a virtuous and capable wife? She is more precious than rubies.
Her husband can trust her, and she will greatly enrich his life.
She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life...
She gets up before dawn to prepare breakfast for her household and plan the day's work...
She is energetic and strong, a hard worker... her lamp burns late into the night...
She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future.
When she speaks her words are wise, and she gives instructions with kindness.
She carefully watches everything in her household and suffers nothing from laziness.
Now of course there are plenty of Biblical references that require a lot of men as well, but whew is this a lot; up before dawn, lamps burning into the night, energetic, wise, kind, dignified... as I've mentioned already, aspiring to these things requires a good deal of mental strength, emotional clarity, energy, and self control. But as a Christian I've noticed a theme in all of God's instructions: yes, He wants us to do the right thing simply because it is right, but being our creator He also knows exactly what will bring us long-term, personal fulfillment, and He wants that for us. Yeah it sucks to choose self-control, to be selfless and patient, to work all through the day. But it feels pretty amazing to build others up, to help loved ones, and to enjoy an organized home.
So personal fulfillment, that's a worthy and unwavering motivation. I'm aspiring to submission because I personally desire to be this type of a wife. I also want to be an example for my daughter so that she can also enjoy the kind of long-term fulfillment that these characteristics can bring. Of course we all have to make our own choices and discover things for ourselves, but I would love it if one day she decides to reject society's lie that submission means being a doormat without self-respect, and as a result sees for herself how fulfilling and energizing it can be to yield to another.
I can't always control the external factors, but I can always control me. Be the change you want to see in the world, right? If we all just focused on ourselves the world would run so smoothly. I may not be effectively submissive all of the time, but I can at least aspire to that, and keep improving myself: The struggle is definitely real! But I know I can rise above it, even if only for myself. I do after all love self improvement. And I’m worth it :)