Friday, February 7, 2014

He is the Head

It seems to me that quite a few of my recent posts have been about marriage lately. Not because I am an expert, or because Simeon and I are just so happy and perfect, but because it's what is on my heart. Lately, I have been thinking about a Godly marriage, and what being a Godly woman is. True, Proverbs 31 lays out a pretty good guideline, but I guess the part that I am really thinking and praying about is how do I become a Godly wife, without usurping my husband's God-given authority.

This has been one of our biggest controversies in our marriage. I complain that Simeon isn't being a leader, and it shouldn't be my place to lead us in devotions, or remind him to read, or to lead us in prayer...ect. I still believe that, but as I look back and look forward, I wonder how do I encourage Simeon that he wants to be a spiritual leader for me and our eventual family.

Something that I have a really hard time with is anger. Anger contributes to a slew of not only emotions, but actions for me. Essentially this is what my anger looks like, when I get angry.

Hurt-->Anger-->Defensiveness-->Blame on Other Party-->Grudges-->Self-Righteousness--> Self-Blame

As I was really realizing the pattern of my hurt that easily turns to anger, I was really struck by something. Why would Simeon want to lead me? For instance, there were many times in our first, and even second year where he had attempted to come to me with something he saw that was not helpful, right, or even good in me to try and lead me to becoming a Godly wife and woman.When he did approach me, it was always in gentleness and love. Sometimes it was with a selfish ambition on his part, but for the most part, it wasn't. Anyway, I become defensive, then I start blaming him for my actions, then I bring up all the times in the past that he hasn't or has done something, then I start going on how "At least I try". After all is said and done, that's when I start feeling bad and get into a rut of self blame and pity. Now why would a man want to lead that?!

So that was made really apparent to me in the past month or so. Simeon has since been scared to approach me with those issues since our first 2 years, and again, I get angry at him for not leading me. The realization, sent a whirlwind of thoughts through my brain. I tell him that I want him to lead me, but don't accept his direction?! Not only that, but I have then also reminded him of where he has failed. Where can he win with this situation?! My poor husband. (This is not to say that he is above fault in anything, but really, I am writing about my sin, my issues--not his. Christ wants us to be upstanding individuals regardless of the situations and people around us.)

As I have begun praying and asking God to allow me to respond in love, I was really struck by something. If I ask that Simeon lead me, then I need to allow myself to be led. Simeon's heart that he has for me is not for the degradation of me, but for the betterment of me. I need to allow myself to be shaped by my husband, under the hand of our God. If Simeon is selfish, degrading, or wrong in how I am to be shaped, then that is his to take up with God. As long as he is not asking me to do anything sinful, then I MUST allow myself to be molded in love.

Ephesians 5 is such a well known passage:
Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord.  For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior.  Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word,  and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church— for we are members of his body. “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband. "

'Husbands are to love their wives and make them holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, to present her...holy and blameless'. It really made me think, that the best way I can respect my husband, is to respect the washing he is doing to me. I need to respect his leadership as the head of the home. Simeon doesn't berate me, he doesn't demand submission, he doesn't demand that it's his way or the highway; He values my opinions, my thoughts, my heart (most of the time). I need to recognize that and not suit up for battle every time Simeon has something to say.

The final thought that I have had, is that in being disrespectful to my husband's leading, I have become the leader. I have trampled over his attempts to mold me. I have degraded him with his faults--which probably makes him question his ability at being a spiritual leader. I have let him know that I haven't forgotten his past grievous actions (in my eyes)--thus eliminating what confidence I could have been instilling in him. In making my voice heard, I have drowned his out to the point that he chooses to remain silent instead of getting into an argument. 

My heart breaks for my husband, but it breaks even more knowing what I have done more than likely diminished his confidence in being a spiritual leader in our home. I guess what I am trying to say in all of this, is that we as wives, especially me, need to make sure that we are not undermining our husbands. That we are ALLOWING them to be the Godliest of men, by allowing them, through Christ, to mold us. This does not mean that we are silent wives, who have no say in the marriage or in actions that hurt us or vocalizing sin--it just means that we are behaving as we ought to--respectful, pointing things out in gentleness and love. It also means, that regardless of our husband's sins, we must remain as above reproach as possible, and still remembering, that our sins are placed upon the same exact man and cross as our husband's are.

Where does this leave me? I am a plan-of-action sort of girl. I think that I must start being gentle, allowing him to see that he can talk to me. I also must be respectful of what he has to say. Above all, I must know when to speak and what to speak so as to allow no more hindrance. Please understand that this is solely from my perspective, from my heart. Simeon might not have anything to add or to say to this. In all of my writing, I try to be transparent..sometimes it is good, sometimes I show you the ugly side of me. I pray that you, once again, be patient with me.