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.
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!!