Friday, April 26, 2013

The Weaker Vessel

I stumbled across this post this morning and felt prompted it was time to share it.  I wrote it almost a year ago and tucked it away for when the Lord released me to share it.  I usually keep it light around here but sometimes.....well you just gotta put it out there.
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(written last July)
I have a little something on my heart.

Nick and I will be celebrating our 24th anniversary next month.  I can't even begin to tell y'all how much I love this man.  We have been together since we were 15 yrs old and I can't really remember what life was like not standing by his side.

People who have followed our family on Instagram and Facebook have often asked us what our "secret" is to the joy and fun that they see our family experiencing.  We always tell them the same thing.  It's Jesus.  I'm not casually throwing that out there saying....if you know Jesus then your life/marriage/and children will be perfect.  No way...    It's more than just knowing Jesus... It's doing marriage His way...raising children His way....living life according to how He has told us to in His word.  (and even then, things won't be perfect because He uses the trials to refine us.)

Here is our "secret"... "For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord.  Walk as children of light (for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth) finding out what is acceptable to the Lord."  Ephesians 5:8-10

Nick and I were married for a little less than 10 years before we both were interrupted by Jesus' saving grace.  We already had our three girls and life as we knew it was good....we were living life large.  It was all about us and everything decision we made was for our own gratification, void of God and certainly void of anything His word  said.

Then Jesus changed Nick's heart..then mine.  We both fell in love with God's word and began to read it and find out what God had to say about our lives.  We began to make changes in the way we lived because of the things we discovered in God's word.  This was a joy for us...not a doom and gloom big list of "no's".  We began to discover God's design for marriage and life  and y'all..... it was amazing.  The things we began to change in our home were blessings.... His way of doing things y'all is the BEST.

So I say all this to get to what is on my heart.  We have 3 daughters right?  We have tried our best to live an example before them of what God's design for marriage should be....  One that is filled with joy and laughter and physical affection...these things were always present in our home.  The girls saw their daddy treat me like a queen and I enjoyed treating him like the king of our home that he is....which brings me to the topic at hand.... submission.

It saddens me today how messed up in their thinking ladies are about this subject.  The very mention of the word gets some ladies fired up and ready to fight... trust me, I've seen it time and time again as we travel in our ministry and this topic comes up in Nick's preaching.  In my opinion, this subject is one of the most important things to be taught on in pulpits.  We have so many wives who are ignorant to what God says on this subject....which is leading to messed up homes....and a messed up society. But that's a whole other  post.

So back to my girls... Lydia was married a couple of weeks ago.  Her daddy married them as he did her big sister, Elizabeth.  And can I just say it was incredible?  Not just the daddy marrying the daughter part...yes, that is as special as they come.  But the the things he shared were so real and heartfelt and most importantly...full of Truth.  God's truth.  He had us laughing one minute and and then crying the next.  It couldn't have been any more  perfect.


And of course as he encouraged Lydia and Marcus with wisdom and exhorted them with the scripture, somewhere in the message He shared with Marcus that Lydia was the weaker vessel and she was to be treated as such....To love her and listen to her heart and lead her in what God says on a subject.  And he told Lydia to respect Marcus at all times... to honor him in their home and in front of people. He shared one of our "secrets" and that is the fact that Nick and I never belittle each other..we don't talk bad about one another or dwell on each others faults...not to each other and certainly not in front of other people.
Anyways...I could go on and on about what he shared.  The ceremony was so beautiful and God was glorified.

Now.... jump to the reception and to where I'm going with this. Everything was beautiful.  We were overwhelmed by all the friends and family that came to celebrate with us.  The church was packed...people were standing along the side of the building and in the back because we ran out of space.  Overwhelmed by the friends and family the Lord has blessed us with.


Now what I'm about to tell y'all did not put a damper on any of the glorious festivities... in fact, Lydia didn't even tell us until after they got back from the honeymoon.  But I'm so thankful for the foundation of truth that has been laid in our girls that has given them the ability to discern things for themselves.  And Lydia was able to see the deception and a person devoid of what God says on a subject immediately.

At the reception a lady comes up and congratulates her on how wonderful everything was and how beautiful she looked and then makes it a point to tell our daughter, "Oh...and Don't you EVER let ANYONE tell you that you are weaker than ANYONE."    And then hugs her neck.

Now as a follower of Christ ...let me say how sad that makes me that women everywhere are so ignorant of what God has to say on this subject.  1 Peter 3: clearly states "  Husbands, likewise, dwell with them (wives) with understanding, giving honor to the wife, as to the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life, that our prayers may not be hindered."  We are by design different than men.  We are equal in our value in this world and in the eyes of the Lord.  But He chose to make women different from men...he made us physically weaker in need of a protector.  I understand that is not a welcomed thought in this society and even amongst some Christian circles.  I understand that our society has changed so much and men have become so emasculated by over domineering women in their lives that the example of strong male leadership has diminished over the years.  I understand that.  But it doesn't' change what God's word has to say on a subject.   Whether we like it or not.

Don't get me wrong....at one time in my life, when the Holy Spirit wasn't residing in me, illuminating Truth to me, it would have ruffled my feather's too.  I was once ignorant of what God said on this matter too...just as I am still growing in grace and knowledge today...I get that.

So as a fellow sister in Christ it saddens me of the illiteracy of God's word and therefore ignorance of some people....particularly this woman.

But let me say as a mother...this incident makes me angry.

Lydia is a young woman who has just become a wife...about to start her journey with all its joys and trials that will follow.  And AT HER WEDDING...this lady feels the need to try to plant seeds of discord in this young brides heart.... This lady comes bearing gifts of worldly garbage that is useless to my daughter. Trash that needs to be thrown away. Unbelievable.  She tries to discredit what Lydia's daddy has taught her and emulated for her in our home ( that has worked beautifully by the way b/c its GOD's way) and  gives her "stellar advice" to basically never submit to Marcus if she wants to be happy.

What nerve.  Yeah...kinda got this momma bear riled up.

Ladies,  Submission is freedom.  Don't believe the lie of the world that tells you it demeans you, or lessens your value as a person.  God has given us boundaries to live within. And as a wife one of those boundaries is to be submissive to our husbands.  (Ephesians 5:21-19) It is a freeing thing....not bondage.  When we choose to submit to our husbands it is not showing weakness....quite the contrary!  It shows strength.

Knowing that God has chosen to design me as the weaker vessel does not threaten me or my sense of worth.  It does not make me angry and it doesn't make me feel any less of person.  Understanding that I was created with a different purpose and then learning to walk in that purpose has given me such joy in my role as a wife and mother.  I no longer compete with my husband on matters in life, I complete him.  We are a team and I am an asset to him.   We need each other.  It's a beautiful thing.

These are principles we have lived by for the past 15 years in our marriage and I can testify that it is only gotten sweeter and sweeter with each passing year.  Is it because we are special or perfect?  No way. It's because we have heart to honor God's word and He gives us the grace to do that each day.

I pray this foundation we have laid for all three of our girls in our home before them each day will be the very glue that binds their hearts to their husbands for many many many years to come.



ps. It has been almost a year since I wrote this post....we are approaching our 25th anniversary and yes.....it is sweeter than ever.  Praise God!!

29 comments:

  1. So beautifully written, my friend. I grew up in a home where submission and leadership were modeled perfectly (as perfectly as humans can). My daddy cherished my mother and she adored him. It is something I treasure! Your family is such an awesome example of God's grace! Thank you for sharing :)

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  2. It's sad that even Christians have a hard time with the concept of submission. You raised some good girls leading by example. So glad you're sharing this today.

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  3. Not even sure how I randomly found your blog several months ago, but I'm thankful I did! I love this post and I agree that this has been a concept that has gotten much debate with girls my age. I've never felt that submission is a bad thing. But I'm thankful you wrote this and backed it up with God's Word. Because He designed a man and woman's relationship to be like this!
    Anyways, love your blog and love reading about your relationship with your daughters and how God has moved in your lives. Also love that you said you are from South Louisiana! I am from Alexandria originally and am in grad school in Ruston :)

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  4. love this!! Thank you for being such a Godly example! You encourage and inspire me!

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  5. I think one of the biggest issues or problems women have submitting is that their husbands are "stand up guys" following that plan of Gods. You have a man that is playing the role that God intended for his and his family and so you are "able" to submit and have it be a freeing thing! I pray for it as well--but the reality is is that many passionate, christian, spirit filled woman are married to men who aren't or don't step up. There needs to be TWO (really Three) in this story, it won't work any other way.

    I'm so thrilled for you and your family that it's worked out this way for you all, it is God's perfect plan for marriage no doubt!

    xo

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  6. This is so true. Well said, and yes, as a christian and a pastors wife seeing being be void of understanding Gods word does saddened me. I see this so much in the church women wanting to almost be the head and its not scriptural. Thank you so much for all your words of wisdom and the light of Jesus that shines through your family.

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  7. I'm with Gina. Wives should hearken to their husbands as the husbands hearken to the Father. Where there is unrighteous dominion, the woman has every right to stand up for herself! Satan has succeeded in convincing the world that "it's all about US" and it has resulted in wars, abuse, lying, and everything else. And the Christians who are getting all worked up about Girl Power need to remember that even Jesus Christ came here to fulfill the will of his Father to fulfill all righteousness. There is happiness, safety, and joy in obedience. :)

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  8. damn good words.

    praise jesus for your gentle boldness. i love you.

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  9. This should be published! What a great entry! I, too, lived in a home where this was modeled before me my entire life. I've certainly failed often, but at least I know better. :o) And, Hubby and I are about to celebrate 42 years. Happy weekend!

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  10. Amen, amen, amen. I am absolutely submissive to my dear husband and it is the BEST thing ever for my marriage and my life.

    Did you know - I am so, so thankful that God put us together in that exchange. He found You for me and you pour truth into my heart.

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  11. Love your sweet honest words, always!

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  12. Oh friend, I LOVE THIS. such truth. this broken world gets over run with so many, I'm sorry, for lack of a better word, just plain stupid ideas. when God created man and woman he created us to like you said complete & compliment each other. Giving man rule over everything. RIGHT. I get my feathers ruffled when people try to disregard all of that. i mean, it's basically the first lesson in the bible. sigh.

    As you know, i, like you, was married young. we had to learn so many things the hard way (years 6 & 7 were doozies i'd love to tell you all about it one day)...submission IS strength.

    i big puffy heart your heart.
    xxO

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  13. Women and men are all the same, the difference is our social gender, how people treat us because of our biological sex. The strength is in ourselves, not depending on if we're a man or not. "One is not born to be a women, its something you become" Simone de Beauvoir. We are not weaker, we are learn by society to be weaker. Or maybe our worlds just different.. cause in Sweden women arent weaker at all. However, I have an open mind for your beliefs, I think you are a sweet family even though I dont agree at all to these words :).

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  14. Beautiful post!! One of my favorite quotes from my husbands favorite preacher, the late Adrian Rogers, is this, about Men and Women, " A sledge hammer is stronger than a tea cup, but you can't drink tea from a hammer." Its all about purpose. "God made us different that He might make us One." also a quote from Adrian Rogers.

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  15. Beautifully written. We too had our minister preach on submission at our wedding and it was received by some quite badly. However, a look at their marriage devoid of God was clear enough to see that they unfortunately were the ones missing out!
    Thank you for such a fantastic post that is a brilliant reminder of God's design for husband and wife. :)

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  16. I've been following on Instagram and thought I'd check out your blog today...I'm glad I did! This is a beautifully written post that is full of wisdom!

    Marissa xx

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  17. I can't even begin to tell you how good this is. I'm not married yet but God is definitely teaching me some stuff about marriage in advance. I learnt a lot from my watching my parents marriage but I didn't see any intimacy between them and they weren't really a good example of godly marriage. I'm so thankful that you have shared this and opened up your life and shared your experience so that I can see some of how a godly marriage should be!
    Francesca x

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  18. oh yes and amen! i think people also fail to read on a bit further and see how God calls husbands to treat their wives.!

    plus i may or may not pull the " i am weaker " card to get out of manual labor.ok i always pull that card.lol

    once again thanks for sharing your heart what and inspiration!

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  19. You really hit this right on the head! Love the encouraging way you share God's word and how it has been applied in your home. I am so thankful I happened upon your blog last year sometime. Your posts are some of my all time favorites.
    I'm going to be starting a women's bible study in our new church within the next few weeks. Do you have any good studies you can reccomend that will encourage our women and show them how much God treasures them?

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  20. There has been so much freedom for me in my marriage when I've relaxed and enjoyed the role of wife and not tried to take the role of my husband. We LOVE being a team! Also, the original language in the passage you shared about wives being a "weaker vessel" is very similar to "fine porcelain." It isn't that we are weak in the way the world sees weakness. Our husbands are to care for us like we are precious porcelain. I think that is absolutely beautiful and edifying. However, I will be the first to admit that I'm also physically weaker than my guy. In fact, my 13 year old son whips me in arm wrestling every single time these days, and I like to think of myself as a strong woman. :)

    Beautifully written, Stephanie. I hope you know I think you and Nick do an absolutely lovely job showing the world the relationship between Jesus and His bride, the church, through your marriage. Love to your whole family!

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    1. i love this comment, angel. and you, obviously :)

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  21. Hi Stephanie,

    I absolutely love reading your blog. It is always such an encouragement to hear your heart for our Savior. Sera Beth Pinkard is a sorority sister of mine and a dear friend, she told me that she is good family friends with you. I literally freaked out because I have loved your blog and read it regularly for awhile now! Just wanted to stop by and say hello!

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  22. i just found your blog and I am so in love--Love your posts and your heart for Christ! looking forward to following. I am new to the blogging scene, follow me at http://foreverconvinced.blogspot.com/

    :) xoxo Jess

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  23. Stephanie, This post is incredible..it speaks so much to the worldly advice that I have been getting non-stop since the beginning of my relationship with my husband.

    Submission is freedom. What a beautiful thing to remember!

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