Saturday, May 30, 2015

Submit to my Husband? Me?!? 3 Helpful Books

Friends, I entered our marriage in 1983 thinking that the concept of submitting to one's husband was arcane at best. Well...truthfully, I entered our marriage thinking that "submit" was a four-letter word. I thought the concept was ridiculous, despite the fact that I was a Christian. I was thoroughly steeped in our culture's view of a wife's submission.

When we'd been married about 17 years, I was blessed to build a friendship with a fellow homeschool mom who knew her Bible a whole lot better than I did. As the bond between us grew, I began to see a sweetness and tenderness and respect in her attitude toward her husband that I lacked. This dear friend and I spent much time together during that season of our parenting. Our husband's jobs had taken both our families to England for a season. As homeschooling ex-pats, we didn't have many British friends. Thus we spent nearly every Wednesday afternoon together. Our kiddos were similar ages and spent hours playing imagination games together. And Sheila and I talked and talked while enjoying tall glasses of Diet Coke over plenty of ice. My curiosity regarding submission was peaked by her quiet example.

Eventually I began to ask how she had made peace with this biblical concept that our culture HATES, and she led me to books that opened my eyes to God's teaching. I was astounded. Having my ear attuned to the siren song of our culture had resulted in me sailing all too close to dangerous rocks as a wife. I was harming our marriage by insisting on my own way, instead of living God's way.

I kept reading. I also purposed to dig into God's word for myself. Slowly, I began to change as a wife. And our marriage began to change -- for the better. If you were to ask Mr. R, he would say that our 17th year of marriage was a real turning point in the unity between us. He is so grateful for Sheila's influence on my spiritual walk.

I'd like to tell you that once my eyes were open, my arrogance regarding leading in our marriage and home disappeared. But, that hasn't been the case. The "Eve" in me keeps wanting to lead my husband away from God to the forbidden fruit. Any time I take the reins in our marriage, our marriage and family suffer.

As a result, I have continued to look for books that remind me of  GOD'S WAY FOR A WIFE. The Lord has blessed that search. The three books listed here have blessed me and my man! Wives, I highly recommend them. I also want to encourage young women and teen girls who hope to marry some day to read these titles. Your marriage will start off with a far greater beauty and grace than is possible when the wife fights submitting to her husband!

Is There a Moose in Your Marriage by Nancy Cobb and Connie Grigsby
This was one of the first books I read that made submission seem not only understandable, but doable.This book is written by two women whose marriages had suffered desperately until they came to understand their role as wives as God commands. It's a delightful read, spiced with humor and yet profound in its counsel. This book really opened my eyes to HOW I could submit when my nature fights against it. I have reread this book numerous times.

Fierce Women: The Power of a Soft Warrior by Kimberly Wagner
This book rocked my world just two years ago. After all my study on submission, I truly thought I was a living in an ongoing way of submission to Mr. R as the God-ordained head of our household. However, I had slipped into subtle ways of undermining his leadership... I was undermining him in ways to which I was completely blind. Reading this book brought a strong-yet-tender rebuke from God. Kimberly shares the story of how the fierceness she failed to recognize actually changed the personality of the man with whom she'd fallen in love and married. As I read this book, I was startled to realize that I am a fierce woman! I, too, was changing the personality of my beloved husband... and not for the better! I would actually credit this powerful and biblical read with helping to lift our marriage out of a pit we'd fallen into after more than a quarter century as husband and wife. Kimberly clearly expounds on how we can be women of great strength -- world-changers even -- while also being godly, submissive wives.

My So-Called Life as a Submissive Wife: A One-Year Experiment and Its Liberating Results
by Sara Horn

Last year some time, I actually grabbed this book at a truck stop on a lark. I was just curious to see another Christian author's take on the biblical concept of submission. The book is a fun read. Sara writes with much humor about her year-long experiment with truly trying to obey God's word regarding submitting to her husband. I don't want to give away too much about what she learned, but one change that slowly began to emerge was that the more she submitted, the more her husband stepped up and filled the spiritual-leadership vacuum that had frustrated her for 14 years. I found this to be a convicting quote:
"What God says, He means. We need to read His word. Not take the word of other people who read it but read it for ourselves...
"Do we follow God or do we follow ourselves?
"Think about it.
"If we're just following ourselves--if we ask God's help only when we want it and ignore the rest of what He says--we don't really have a relationship with Christ. We just have a bunch of rules we've made up and pretend to follow until we don't want to. But a relationship with Christ means giving all of myself.
"Serving God isn't easy. But He loves us. Unconditionally. Relentlessly. And it's not that hard to follow Someone who loves you. Knowing Him and serving Him makes things much more clear." (Pg. 114) 
It is my prayer that these books will bless you as they have me. Jim and I are in our 32nd year of marriage and more deeply in love than ever. I thank God for the wisdom with which He has filled each of these authors who have helped me to be a far better wife to my man.

May God richly bless you and keep you, friends,
Denise Reynolds

No comments: