Apparently, I am a fair-weather wife when it comes to submitting

by melissa caddell on March 16, 2010 · 3 comments

in deep (well, deep-er) thoughts, happily ever after!, thoughts on faith

Interestingly, I thought I had conquered most of my issues with being, well, uh, ’submissive’ (*shudder*). Clearly, not so.

When we got married, I actually changed our vows so that I wouldn’t have to say ‘love, honor, and obey’ to ‘love, honor and cherish’.  Cherish, I could do.  Obey?  Hello?  What century are we in?

Yes, I get that even businesses need the one person to lead, to take the authority, to be the final answer.  Really.  I get it.  Kinda.

It was just that being raised in the 70’s and 80’s…well, I just didn’t get why my husband got to be the leader. 

God worked on me (as he tends to do when I am wildly wrong about something), and over the years, I started to figure out what being submissive meant, more or less.  It kinda grated on me, though, the whole idea of being under Casey’s authority.  I mean, who made him the leader?  (I can hear the more spiritually mature wives either chuckle at this or shake their heads at me.)

I liked the part about it where Casey was going to have to answer to God about stuff, and I liked that he was responsible for decisions and the outcome of those.  And I guess I mostly worked with it because I didn’t disagree with him on big decisions much.

Until now.  I had a moment yesterday when I flat out told him I wasn’t going to do something he thought we should do (in regards to our kids’ schooling).  It felt awful and selfish and, well, awful.  I can’t ever remember openly defying him like that in 15 years of marriage.  And I know he’s right, I just don’t like it.  His choice requires personal growth on my part and I am not a fan of personal growth cause it’s painful and has no guaranteed outcome (unlike birth, where you at least get a cute baby at the end).

I thought I had come so far on the submitting thing, but it turns out I haven’t.  I still cringe when I hear sermons about it in church, and even just hearing the word ’submit’ gives me a bugs-crawling-all-over-my-skin feeling.  So, it seems that I may have a grasp on it mentally, but it hasn’t fully made it’s way into my heart.  Ugh.

© 2010, melissa caddell. All rights reserved. If you steal my stuff, I will also be really, really mad.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Tracey, In Word Adorning March 16, 2010 at 9:34 pm

Melissa, I understand your feelings about submission. It goes against our human nature but the beauty of it is that it teaches us to be more like Christ. Trust God with submission and He will bring balance and boundaries to your relationship. He’s gotta submit to someone bigger than you do!
I found your blog through the Homeschool Examiner. How is it writing for them. Can you tell me a little about it.

2 Robin April 3, 2010 at 5:56 pm

You and me both, sister.

I think that personal growth is painful and I don’t like it. I try to say that I will be happy about it later on, but sometimes, the task of change is so daunting that I sincerely doubt my own words.

For me, self-improvement is like remodeling (slow and painful … takes longer than you thought and sometimes the walls end up band-aid color instead of terra cotta). I don’t know if I want Him to bring in a bulldozer and wrecking ball, though! I am absolutely holding God to the promise that the process of obedience will conform me to the image of Christ.

3 Wry Mouth May 1, 2010 at 4:49 pm

Submission theme, I think, is part of establishing some kind of tribal order in the family. It certainly is more complicated and subtle than most make it out to be, before abandoning or ridiculing the idea prematurely.

For those who must, somehow, feel equal to everyone else, it is wise to recall that God chooses people to lead (in this case, the husbands) quite irrespective of any innate talent for leadership. A casual glance through the Bible, beginning with Abraham and running through to the apostles, will suffice to demonstrate this is the case.

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