More play days necessitate more reruns. This post originally appeared November 5, 2007.
Even though I think it an important, Biblical concept, the word makes my eyes roll back in my head. It causes me to picture a giant with his thumb on my head, smashing me to the ground, all the while chuckling, "Heh, heh, heh." That's not MY husband and honestly, I'm not sure I know any husbands like that. Isn't there a less volatile word we could use?
I submit for your consideration (pun completely intended) one word: TRUST.
My computer's dictionary defines trust as "firm belief in the reliability, truth, ability or strength of someone or something".
I can already see my husband standing taller.
Now I know it can be hard to submit to a guy you see in his underwear every day, but can you TRUST him? Can you trust that the man who comes home to you each day, the man who has CHOSEN to share his life with you, the man whose own body warms you to sleep every night, has your best interests at heart? Can you love him enough to believe in him? He may not even think he has it in him, but if you do, he'll want to try harder. And when life tears him down and he needs a boost, he'll come running home to refill.
I must admit this hasn't (and doesn't) always come easy for me. In the early years of our marriage I "submitted" to my husband by thinking I knew more than he did without telling him. I was very quiet and gentle in my "suggestions", yet he saw right through it. He sensed my distrustful attitude. And it made him feel he didn't quite measure up. There's something very sad about that. The world is tough enough without feeling like a failure at home too. I love him too much to do that to him any more. I mess up quite a bit and when I can't let go of doing things my way I have to remind myself this attitude says to him, "I know better. You can't handle this. I don't trust you." That isn't fair. He works very hard to make me happy. I want to do the same for him. I want him to find his home truly HIS, a place where he can be loved and accepted and respected and TRUSTED. Providing such a place may mean sacrificing what I want, but doing that over and over makes him work just as hard to please me.
My husband says submission would not be an issue for women if men truly loved their wives and served them like the Bible teaches and I think he's right (See, men DO have good ideas!). My husband loves me by helping me and listening to me, valuing my opinion and making me a priority. He makes me want to love him more and I do so by trusting him. It's no easy task on anyone's part, but it produces a cyclical effect that strengthens a marriage and provides great security.
It doesn't have to be a dirty word. It is not holding women down. It is building men up. And when men are strengthened, they carry us up with them.