Adjustments, phases of life, transitions, or changes are all words with which we are familiar. These words represent times of life when we have had to truly lean on and fully trust in our Lord and Savior. It may be adjusting to marriage, bringing home a new baby with it’s screaming; endless diapers and little time for self; It may be taking our first child to kindergarten, or college, or to the altar to wed her “knight-in-shining armor.” It may be a growing time in marriage that feels insecure. It may be a sadness such as a death in the family and on and on it goes. There are many challenges as we live in the miry clay of life’s happenings .
Some wives just move into marriage and become a Proverbs 31 submissive and adoring wife. Some wives come from the work force where they understand that submission means one leader and that leader needs a helper. I didn’t come from such a background and I was certainly not the Proverbs 31 woman. I came from a home where I was independent and extremely street wise. Hence, one of the hardest challenges of life for me has been in the area of submission to my sweetheart and understanding my role as a wife.
We married as young people who knew absolutely nothing about marriage or how a home was to operate. I continue to marvel at how our Lord and Savior pours His grace upon us as we travel unknown territory. It is good to remember that we never “arrive” (or obtain perfection) until we get to heaven.
Charles H. Spurgeon said, “How can I look to be at home in the enemy’s country, joyful while in exile, or comfortable in a wilderness? This is not my rest. This is the place of the furnace and the forge and the hammer.”
When I was introduced to the Biblical mandate to submit to my husband in all things, I was scared, horrified and dreading the very idea of him leading me. It felt like the wilderness, like the furnace, like the forge, and definitely the hammer. Yikes! As a new bride I had very little knowledge of the Bible with its precious message of salvation, roles, and practical living through His Word. It has been a sweet savor to my soul.
Our marriage was just beginning to gel. I was learning the “biblical” idea of submitting to my husband, applying the principles to my marriage (my attitude), enjoying the children, and living in a home where my husband was the leader. Coming from such a distorted and abusive background this felt safe and protective to me. At the same time, I learned to use my voice, which just means I gathered my facts, thoughts, ideas, intuitions, and opinions and presented them in organized form to my husband so he could make a wise decision. We had just finished a remodel on our home, put in a pool, joined and became active in a very good church; we were enjoying many like-minded friends, and adopted our fourth daughter. In short, we were busy and enjoying life.
Arizona, Here We Come
One evening my husband announced at the dinner table that he had accepted a position in Arizona. I almost fell off my chair. A Scripture kept running through my head, “… husbands live with your wives in an understanding way” (1 Peter 3:7). So I presented my voice very thoroughly, I figured he couldn’t make a good decision if he didn’t have all the information. He chose to move.
Learning to use my voice was very freeing for me because I at least felt heard and even though he chose differently than I hoped, I had learned enough by now to trust the Lord to work through him for his family’s good. I was trusting God, not my husband.
Those few years in Arizona were a time of tremendous growth for our little family. We had no friends or family to run to when times were tough. We had each other. We raised chickens, turkeys, our own beef (and ate it) and the girls were able to have and show horses and they were happy and doing well. I learned to hook up a horse trailer and care for sick animals and grow a garden, which I enjoyed. It was a fun and a memory-building time for us. Our daughters, now adults, still talk about the memories of those few years in Arizona.
Deuteronomy 31:8 says, “The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” Amen!
Hebrews 4:14-16 tells us that God understands all of our burdens, our disappointments and defeats. ” …therefore we can come BOLDLY to the throne of grace to receive mercy in our time of need.” Praise His wonderful name!
Five F’s for Dealing With Challenges
Five F’s have helped me to clarify and accept challenges in almost any circumstance.
1. Face the facts.
God’s way is always the best way, but is not always the easy way. At times it screams of fear and insecurity. However, when exercised enough, it becomes very secure.
2. Find the plan.
Titus 2 tells the older women to teach the young women. Look for a godly woman to teach the principles of walking a few steps further than self.
3. Fix the joy.
Hebrews 12:2 tells me to keep my eyes on Jesus, the author and finisher of my faith Who for the joy …
4. Fuel the resources.
Attend a women’s Bible study; learn, apply and be ready. Your Arizona may be just around the corner.
5. Focus on the One who knows the beginning and the end.
He who has begun a good work will perfect it. He is a present comfort in times of need.
From my journey in submission, I have written a little mini book on the subject. If you are interested in my story in more detail, it is soon to be released in its revised edition through Shepherd Press on ebooks at amazon.com or I have several copies of the original printing from One Day publishers. If you comment, I’ll send it free.
Thank you for reading my story. Please comment and share a little of your story. If there is any way I can encourage you please let me know.