“In your anger do not sin”[a]: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry,” Ephesians 4:26 (NIV)
I talked last time about how I thought I was a submissive wife… except when it came to two areas in my life that I passively declared off limits to anyone else’s control.
However, God loves our family too much to keep letting me sabotage our marriage because of an unwillingness to give up control in those two areas. He used Ms. Cassidy’s book, The Peaceful Wife, my love for Him and for my husband, and the fact I truly desire to be a submissive wife in all areas to show me where I was wrong.
It started on a Sunday afternoon when, without any words spoken, I knew I had messed up. Not life-altering messed up, but I had dished out some consequences without first consulting my husband. He was present, he should have been the one to step in and deal with the situation (and would have if I had asked) but instead I took over and the end result wasn’t peaceful. There was tension in the air that could’ve been avoided, and deep down I knew I was wrong.
I waited a little while and then when my heart was ready, I apologized. I truly did want to obey and submit to my husband. I did. I knew I needed to surrender this area of control and that was the hard part. Not because Bill’s unreasonable or a dictator. He’s one of the most fair people I know. It had nothing to do with Bill and everything to do with me.
That’s when, on Monday morning, God asked me the question, “You have a choice, Cheri. You can keep doing things your way or you can make the choice to give up control and do things my way. Which will it be?”
However, God doesn’t just ask a question and then walk away. He reaches out and reinforces His truths. It wasn’t a coincidence that on that morning three chapters for three different book projects I’m working on were waiting for me in my inbox. There was a similar theme in each of the chapters – Biblical submission to a godly husband despite the wife wanting a different outcome. Submitting when she didn’t agree. Submitting because it was the right thing to do. Submitting because God instructed her to and because she trusted her husband. And her Father. Mostly because she trusted her God.
Right then, I thanked God for the blessing of a godly husband who loves our family so much he is willing to do the hard stuff so that I don’t have to. I chose then and there, that even though there was still a part of me who wanted to be in control, I was willing to surrender and submit because God knows best.
It wasn’t a few hours later that God showed me how truly loving Biblical submission is. My Father knows that we as wives and mothers have enough on our plate as we are the main emotional thermometers in our households. He appoints our helpmates, our husbands with the job of carrying the heavy loads so that we can be a support, a partner in prayer, someone with an opinion but who doesn’t have to be responsible for the final outcome. That is freeing, not restrictive. Bottom line, I would much rather live a life with my partner, my best friend who loves me, truly loves me and wants the best for me and our family than to be in charge and be alone.
While I had to grieve the death of my will, it took less than the hours in a school day. It could have taken much longer had I fought the choice God gave me, but because I honestly do want to obey God in all areas, I gave up my way and chose to do it His way right away.
Come back tomorrow and I will show you the bigger picture that God revealed to me after He allowed me to choose submission or control.
© Cheri Swalwell 2016