My prayer is that by exposing my own heart that you have somehow been ministered to. The first part of this post can be read at The Joy of Being a Submissive Wife.
I’m sure you’ve read those stories where it takes 3 people in similar situations and it compares how each person handled their own situation and what the outcome was. I’m going to do a more personalized version of that story : )
Wife 1 was submissive but after a while she wasn’t submissive out of love. Her husband was demanding. He was cruel verbally at times. Yes, he provided for the family. Yes, he loved his family. But a healthy relationship requires so much more than that. She submitted to keep peace, not to show honor. She used to love this man she married but under the bridge of their life together had passed children, electric bills, jobs, years of her husband working night shift, hunting trips, shopping trips, cold shoulders, and eventually cold hearts. She was no longer submissive. She was openly resentful. Her heart was void of love for him. After twenty years of marriage and five children, she left. Wife 1 attended church her whole life, even during her marriage, even though her husband didn’t.
Wife 2 was by no means submissive. To anyone. Ever. Life had shown her that she couldn’t trust men. She couldn’t depend on men. Or anyone. She had to do this alone. No one was ever going to get anything over on her. She was a woman! Hear her roar! She loved her husband fiercely. But she was not about to be pushed into his mold. She was the woman she was, the same woman he chose to marry—why should she change? She would perform acts of love for her husband, because she really loved him. But once he started being demanding, all bets were off. She would only do what she wanted to do, when she wanted to do it. She was a master at holding grudges. She could go days without speaking to you. No eyes have ever smoldered the way her eyes smoldered. She is still married. She still loves him and defends him. She’s just not going take any flack off of him. Or anyone. Wife 2 isn’t too keen on the idea of church.
Wife 3 was the daughter to wife 1 and the step-daughter to wife 2. Wives 1 and 2 were both married to her dad. Wife 3 loved both women and had been raised by both women. This young tree had been bent. Wife 3 got married at 17 and incorporated traits of wives 1 and 2. Wife 3 was divorced within five years, even though they had sat on a church pew for all five years.
Wife 3 got married again. Nothing had changed in her heart. Wife 3 was on the brink of divorce a year and a half into her first marriage. After leaving her second husband, Wife 3 decided to give it one more chance. They had a one year old son together. Wife 3 woke up and started getting ready for church that next Sunday morning. Husband of Wife 3 said “What are you doing?” Wife 3 replied: “I’m going to church. True subjection to God is the only thing that can save our marriage.” Husband of Wife 3 got up, got dressed, and they all went to church. That has been 9 years ago, and they have not looked back. They know what’s back there, and they don’t want it.
50% of all marriages end in divorce. When you marry, you have to die to self. It is a long process. Don’t give up on your marriage. Seek to fulfill and increase your relationship with Christ. The more of Christ you have in you, the less self you have. Although we are taught to go and teach the gospel, when it comes to winning our husbands we are directed to set a quiet witness before him.
Wives, likewise, be submissive to your own husbands, that even if some do not obey the word, they, without a word, may be won by the conduct of their wives, when they observe your chaste conduct accompanied by fear. – 1 Peter 3:1 – 2