"...going through sustained hard times weakens most men. For some reason, hardship seems to strengthen women..
"Wives, be subject to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church ... as the church is subject to Christ, so also wives ought to be to their husbands in everything."
If you don't know me, I happen to be what some would consider a strong woman. I was a strong-willed child. I have survived childhood, college, surgeries, emergencies of many kinds, I've escaped abuse, graduate school, I walked the Back Bay Fens alone at night ... I'm certainly not a weak or sheepish woman. The idea of submission raises the hair on the back of my neck ... something inside me says "Submit? If anything is going to submit here it isn't going to be me ... been there done that."
"She girds herself with strength
And makes her arms strong."
- Proverbs 31:17When times get hard, I get harder. I never imagined that perhaps my strength was a weakness in our marriage. Lord, why did you make me strong if I'm meant to be submitted to my husband who, unbeknownst to me, weakens under pressure?
The answer came to me quickly. I don't have to be a feminist. I don't have to charge off to work and leave my husband at home with the kids. God didn't make me strong to put down bad guys, slay the pig, and drag home the bacon for Tim to cook (though let's face it, he does bacon better than me).
"She does him good and not evil
All the days of her life."
- Proverbs 31:12Perhaps wives become strong so that, in submission, in that dreaded subservient position that requirement humility and trust, we have the muscle to lift our husbands up. To help them overcome the lie that they aren't going to get through this, that they've failed, to help them slaughter the lies the enemy is whispering to them night and day.
Without my submission to my husband, I am in danger of towering over him. Of overruling and overpowering him in his weakened state. Of tearing down our marriage instead of building it up. Of scattering our family like a snake in a henhouse instead of gathering them to me like a mother hen. Creating chaos and fear instead of warmth and nourishment ... a place to come back from refreshed rather than a final stop on the spiral to defeat.
"The wise woman builds her house,
But the foolish tears it down with her own hands."
- Proverbs 14:1God made me a strong woman so that I can build and uplift from a position of submission.