We taught on "submission" and "loving your wife as your own body" yesterday in our Young Married Sunday School class. Actually, we did an open forum, with Jeff & Elizabeth Connor, my honey and I on a panel. I'm a fairly strong-willed person, and I definitely have a stronger personality than my husband. However, he is the one with the stronger will when push comes to shove. Some of the young women in the class who have exceptionally dominant personalities struggle big time with the "submission" issue. They want their own way ALL the time. At least I've outgrown that by this stage in my life. However, even the most submissive of us find that there are certain issues that, when we disagree with hubby, we find it very hard to acquiesce. Like issues concerning the children, for instance. Some young men in the class said they gave in rather than have a confrontation with their wives, because the women were so strong (and "strong" equals "cruel" sometimes). Sorry, guys, but that's wrong, too. One reason women want to take the dominant role is that they don't feel their husbands can be trusted to make a wise decision. Maybe history has proven that he's prone to jump in with both feet before he has really thought things through. But does this excuse a rebellious wife? I don't think so. The Bible didn't make exceptive verses for women with domineering personalities (believe me, there have been times I've wished It did). Men only become leaders in their home by actively accepting the position and loving their wife and family as Christ loved the church. That's huge!
It would be wonderful if, in every home, the husband assumed his place as the loving, caring, Godly head, and the woman, with total honor and respect, moved in right beside him on the authority chain. Unfortunately, most of us struggle a bit more with the positions than that. We're all somewhat egotistical. We all want our own way. And marriage is never an equal 50/50. Often, it's 100/0! But God's plan works, when we care enough about our marriage and our home to put it into practice.
Every home goes through stages, like chapters in a book. Often, the first few years are times of insecurity because you're just getting to know each other, you're getting established in your career(s), and you're adjusting to paying lots of bills. Then the children come, and you're adjusting to life with some little people to guide, train and care for - very time consuming. The children grow up and leave, and you're, once again, learning to live with your lifetime love - just the two of you. As you age, more changes come. You aren't as healthy as you were yesterday, and things have to slow down a bit. Concessions must be made. Patience must be practiced. So, wherever you are in your life and in your marriage, there are adjustments. As Gary Smalley says, "The only one you can change is yourself." Be a good "changer". Don't stop growing. For people like me who are stubborn, opinionated and resistant to change, that's a hard pill to swallow. But I'm learning that life goes much better when I do things God's way. Now, that doesn't mean that I do things exactly YOUR way, but I'm following God's voice and His Word in my own life and in my own circumstance.