So I’m realizing that I stink at submission. And I’m seeing evidence of this in two areas of life – marriage and general happiness/well-being/acceptance of current circumstances. And truthfully, I’d rather write about the second area, because it’s easier and I don’t have to be so honest. But I think the first area needs the most attention. So here goes an honest post on marriage . . .
I think both Mark and I can say that marriage has not been easy. Not that we don’t love each other, because we love each other very much. But our marriage has not been a walk in the park. And part of me thinks that it’s because of how much we’ve been through in the past 5 years, and another part of me thinks that it’s due to our ages as we were quite free, independent spirits when we got married. Yet a third part of me says that it’s also due to our busy schedules. When you neglect anything, it suffers. Our marriage has suffered in the past few years. And I could list a thousand reasons why, a thousand things we need to do to improve it, and on and on it goes. But lately, as I’ve prayed through things, I’ve noticed that God keeps highlighting a certain area in my life – submission.
I’m not one of those compliant, yes dear, sweet wives. I’m kind of a handful. And I don’t say that out of pride. I wish I was a lot more flexible than I am. I wish I bit my tongue a lot more than I do, and Mark wishes that I was a lot more patient than I am. I tend to be a planner/controller/want-a-say-in-everything type wife, which might be fine if it was balanced? But not out of balance. So needless to say, for me, marriage has been a challenge. Trusting my husband to lead, to make the right decisions for us, to care for us, etc. has been hard. Not that I don’t trust him, because I do. But I’d just rather be the one in the driver’s seat. And we should have had a clue of this back when we were engaged and taking dancing lessons. At our first dancing lesson, within the first 5 minutes, I got corrected by our teacher for trying to lead. And it continued throughout our few weeks of lessons. I always try to lead. It’s a bad habit.
A year or two before I met Mark, my aunt was living with us for a short period of time. And she and I were discussing the latest guy that I was semi-dating. She predicted the dating wouldn’t last long (she was right), because the guy wasn’t strong enough. She stated that we were raised by a strong man, and both my sister and I are strong women who would need strong husbands. Again, she was right. My husband is a very strong man with strong character, and he’s been quite patient with me. Yet I’m realizing that as we approach our 5th anniversary I’ve got quite a few areas where I really need to stop getting in the driver’s seat and I need to just let my husband lead. And I wish it was that easy. I wish resting was easy for me. Yet this striving, doing, needing to know what’s going on side of me is a tough one to counter. And I see my eldest child dealing with it as well. He’s such a mini-me; it’s teaching me quite a bit about myself. I haven’t enjoyed wrestling with Ryder’s will and his constant, “no, I do it!” Yet I do the exact same thing. In my own way, I tell both the Lord and my husband that no, I’ll do it. But it’s not my place to do it. Submission is a matter of bowing my heart and my will and putting theirs above mine. It’s hard. And it’s the right thing to do.
So this morning, as I was in bed listening to all of my guys sleep, I was praying about my day. Praying about all the concerns on my heart, praying for all of us as we’re all tired and under the weather, giving my usual problems to God when it hit me out of no where that His grace truly is sufficient IF I’ll let it be. If I believe that and walk it out, I’ll find that His grace really does get us through. His grace really will cover my stubborn independence. His grace will cover the areas where I need to submit and trust. His grace is there if I tap into it. And that has stayed with me all day today. His grace is sufficient and is power is made known in my weakness.
So Lord willing and with His help, maybe 5 years from now, I can look back and thank the Lord for how much He taught me and how much I learned through this season of struggle and this season of just learning to rest and submit. Hopefully, Mark will be able to look back as well and see how far his wife has come . . . hopefully.