When you think of marriage, what are the top five things that pop into mind? Before my husband and I tied the knot, here was my list. Having my family together under God, spending the rest of my life with my best friend, travel, building businesses and brands together, and simply being in love and having fun with the love of my life. Negative thoughts never crossed my mind because I didn’t envision a negative future with James. But one thing he and I both agreed on was doing our best to model our union after what is described in the Bible. So although we were inseparable and confident in our future together, we sought premarital counseling to make sure we were headed in the right direction. During the class we took, one lesson stuck out like a sore thumb… SUBMISSION.
I’d heard about submission times before, especially during church services, but I never received the information in-depth. Before, submission sounded like the wife is supposed to wait on hands and knees for her husband even when he was in the wrong. In my mind, submission meant doing everything your husband asked or told you to do. What added to this notion was the fact I’d heard James and my friends’ boyfriends say this famous line… “You don’t know how to submit!” I would have a healthy savings for how many times I’ve heard that line before. The problem is both men and women don’t know what submission really means.
Here is my take on it in a nutshell. Submitting means yielding. A definition that I saw on Webster’s Dictionary for yield is “to give up and cease resistance or contention.” In a class at church, I was given this example. When you are driving and a lane is merging and/or ending, someone has to yield or there is going to be a big accident. That accident can be fatal. In this case, your inability to yield to your spouse can be fatal to your marriage. Many people hate using biblical guidance toward their marriage, but it has been the foundation of my husband and I’s marriage. It says clearly that wives are to submit to their husbands, and husbands are to love their wives as the Lord loves the church. So at the end of the day, we have to change our perspective and look at submission as ultimately submitting to God. In addition, men can’t look at submission as treating their wives like doormats.
I find looking to the Lord to be easier to be honest. When I know my husband is not making a great choice, I submit to God by closing my mouth and letting him be the leader of our household. Prayer becomes my best friend because I instantly want to yell obscenities at that man. In my mind I say ” Help me Lord because I feel myself losing all sense of control!” You don’t know how many times I’ve used my imagination, froze time and body slammed him like the wrestlers do in WWE. I love my baby though lol.
It’s important to know that if you have married a man of God, you cannot interfere in the plans God has for him. You have to intercede through prayer. I’ve seen this work for me firsthand. It’s when we start going off at the mouth and telling our husbands what to do when he makes decisions out of spite to show and prove that he is a man and knows what he is doing. Ultimately, our husbands are looking for partnership and respect, not for another mother. It’s not our place to nag and yell and tell him what he’s supposed to be doing. How will a man ever be able to lead if we’re always stepping in?
I’m still working on this til this day! My latest struggle has been knowing when to “watch my mouth, but not losing my voice.” I sometimes confuse stepping back with not being able to voice my thoughts all because I over think the process of surrendering to my husband. The fact that I do this on my own, and he looks at me crazy when he notices it means it’s a problem. I have to remind myself, “Tiana, watch your mouth, but don’t you dare lose your voice!” Timing is so important in this case. Sometimes you have to shut up and let God do the work. That takes trusting Him to handle his son. Also, submission doesn’t mean you don’t get to share your thoughts or feelings. It’s a matter of how you express your feelings. If you go into a conversation with negativity, the outcome will be negative.
I’ve noticed that men want women to be submissive BEFORE marriage, and it does NOT work like that. I really think we confuse submission with respect. A woman should not submit to a man she is not married to. There are ways where he can show that he is able to lead, and she can show that she can take direction. Some men think that a woman is supposed to just do what he says, but he shows no promise as a leader. That man needs time to develop. And then there’s the woman who is hyper-independent and doesn’t want a man leading her in any way. That woman needs time to develop.
All in all, submission is something you have to tackle daily. It’s not simple, but it can be pretty easy to yield to a man who has shown the ability to lead you and your family in the right direction. Everyone makes mistakes so you have to loosen up a little in order for him to grow during the times he fails. For my single ladies, when you are looking at a man as your potential husband, ask yourself can you submit to this man for the rest of your life? If he spent all of y’all money and the lights were cut off, could you still make his dinner, light some candles and feed him?