Am I living a God defined marriage?

As Christians, we often quote Ephesians 5:22-33 when we’re talking about God defined marriage. More specifically it’s always about husbands loving their wives as Christ loves the Church and people tend to focus on the submission part of it. 

Here’s the thing, if my husband is to love me like Jesus, then he deserves a wife who loves him like the Church loves Jesus. I thought about this a lot doing the 31 Days of Prayers for your Husband challenge by Jennifer Smith of UnveiledWife

So how does the Church submit to Jesus and show love to Christ? More importantly, how then do I apply this to my marriage? Today I’m breaking down what I think it means to actively work on a God defined marriage and what I’m doing as a Christian wife to be the wife God called me to be for my husband. 

Willingness

“And you, my son Solomon, acknowledge the God of your father, and serve him with wholehearted devotion and with a willing mind, for the Lord searches every heart and understands every desire and every thought. If you seek him, he will be found by you; but if you forsake him, he will reject you forever.”
1 Chronicles 28:9

The very first thing we need to do is be willing. As Christians, we willingly submit to Jesus. We have been given the gift of free will from God and what we do with that is up to us. We have to make a choice and that choice is empowering. 

We have to make a conscious decision to submit and follow the Head of the Church. Just as the Church makes a conscious decision to follow Jesus and His will, we, as wives, must decide if we’re going to submit and follow our husband. It’s a choice we have to make. 

It’s a choice I’ve made. Now, I’m not perfect at it by any means. My husband knows it and loves me and my faults. It’s hard to break out of that head strong and independent nature I have. But in those moments when I forget about the choice I’ve made, I’m thankful to have a husband who loves me like Christ loves the Church. While I may not be perfect, Glenn loves me just the same. He’s never held it over my head. He’s never made me feel bad about the wrong decision I’ve made. However, I made a choice. I made a choice to adhere to his counsel and advice. 

That willingness is something we have to decide on first.

Obedience

With willingness comes obedience. We may be willing to submit to Jesus but do we actually adhere to the things we’re taught? That’s a crucial step in this symbiotic relationship. My husband is the head of the household just as Christ is head of the Church. We don’t question what Jesus taught, right? We don’t second guess His capabilities. We don’t second guess the counsel He gives. 


While my husband is an imperfect person, at the end of the day, he is the final say. He makes the judgement calls. He offers the counsel for the family. As I have been willing to submit to him, I must be obedient in his decision making. 

That was something I had to really learn and work on. While I am naturally a submissive person in relationships, it was tough at first to learn to let go. 

However, once I did, it’s freeing. It’s freeing to know the final decision rests on his shoulders and he is acting in the best interest of our family. 

While I acknowledge his role is exhausting, I am thankful he has risen to the challenge God gave him to be a leader. 

With willingness comes obedience. We may be willing to submit to Jesus but do we actually adhere to the things we’re taught? That’s a crucial step in this symbiotic relationship. My husband is the head of the household just as Christ is head of the Church. We don’t question what Jesus taught, right? We don’t second guess His capabilities. We don’t second guess the counsel He gives. 


While my husband is an imperfect person, at the end of the day, he is the final say. He makes the judgement calls. He offers the counsel for the family. As I have been willing to submit to him, I must be obedient in his decision making. 

That was something I had to really learn and work on. While I am naturally a submissive person in relationships, it was tough at first to learn to let go. 

However, once I did, it’s freeing. It’s freeing to know the final decision rests on his shoulders and he is acting in the best interest of our family. 

While I acknowledge his role is exhausting, I am thankful he has risen to the challenge God gave him to be a leader. 

Active Submission and Obedience

Maybe this sounds nuts but you have to be active in your submission and obedience. Just as we attend Church every week, read our scriptures, and obey the commandments, we make a conscious decision to actively do these things. We make a decision to be active in our Church community. We are active in nurturing and growing our personal relationship with Christ and the relationship the Church body has with God as a whole. 

My gifts and talents are unique to me and I use them to grow the Church community. I am an active member in enhancing that relationship. 

I had to ask myself, “am I using the talents given to me by our Creator to strengthen my relationship to my husband?”

Sadly, not always. 

I realized I had to make a more personal and active effort in nurturing that relationship. Jesus is there with a listening ear and open arms if we actively decide to come to Him and humble ourselves. He is willing to show us the way we can further the kingdom with the gifts given if we come to Him. 

The same applies to our marriages. We can decide to be an active participant, using the gifts given to us to nurture the relationship or we can be inactive members who just let our marriage happen to us. Which would you rather have? 

I personally want the one I am actively involved in. 

 

active submission is a part of God defined marriage

Confident

Submitting to Christ, I feel confident. Christ is infallible. There’s no reason to doubt that decision. Just as I don’t doubt Christ, I shouldn’t have doubts about my husband. 

While Glenn is a human and is susceptible to making mistakes, there’s a way to accept his role as a leader while having conversations so we can be confident in the choices made. 

Say for instance, Glenn makes a family decision and I feel uneasy about it. I could throw a temper tantrum and incite a fight. Or we could have a conversation. 

I could simply say something like, “While I know you must have prayed about this decision, I have some reservations. Something isn’t quite right for me yet. Can we discuss it?” 

That’s all there is to it! I can affirm that Glenn is the head of the household and a true leader for us as a family while also getting the confidence I need to move forward. My husband, and I’m betting yours isn’t a monster. The world believes the dynamic means I am without thought and my husband is without capability or even a propensity to listen to my ideas but that’s not true. 

Christ wants us to feel confident in Him. He wants us to know He is truly on our side and has our best interest at heart. He does not shy away from tough conversations and moment of doubt. Even Jesus’ disciples had doubt. How often did we read in the Bible about “o ye of little faith?” The answer is a lot! Even walking alongside Jesus, His followers doubted. 

What I’m saying is that it’s okay to have doubt. It’s about being able to question a decision if you truly don’t feel at peace about it without ignoring the fact that your husband is the leader. Your husband wants you to be excited. He wants you to feel good moving forward. If you aren’t confident, have a conversation.

 

Completely

This is an all or nothing thing. We can’t submit sometimes. We can’t pick and choose. How exhausting would it be for us and our husband if we did things only partially. He’d never know what to expect. How can he possibly feel confident as a leader if he isn’t sure he’ll have support? 

He can’t. 

As Christians, we submit our whole selves to Jesus. We say things like “thy will be done,” because we trust Jesus wholly. 

That is the same attitude we must take with our husband. We have to trust him completely. We have to give our whole selves over. We can trust him because he is loving us like Jesus. We can be open and vulnerable because he has accepted a leadership role that is full of love from the best example. 

I have no qualms about giving my whole self over to Glenn because I know he is only acting in the best way he can under the guidance of a perfect God. 


Am I living a God defined Marriage?

What does this mean?

While I am by no means perfect, I am trying. God really laid it on my heart to discern what type of wife my husband needs and what type of wife God has called me to be. Yes, I struggle with each of these things sometimes, we all do but if I go to my husband and to God with a willing heart, I have confidence in my ability to be more like the woman and wife God calls us women to be. The more I can be like the Church that loves, honors, and respects Jesus, the better leader my husband can be. I would be doing him a great disservice to not actively work to be that type of wife. The type of wife who is not swayed by the world’s idea of marriage but striving to have the type of marriage that is a reflection of Christ’s love to the world. 

How are you actively working on your marriage to ensure it’s the marriage God called it to be?

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