The Lord has been speaking to me about my place as a woman, a wife, and a mother. There is also a little feeling that I should write these impressions and share them with you.
Modern women are encouraged to push for success. They are told to be self-confident, assertive, and bold. To stay home and assume the responsibility of keeping house and caring for children is considered weak, unfair, and a wasting of talent.
But what does the Bible have to say? Instead of self-confident, assertive, and bold, I find the words, “sober…discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good” (Titus 2:4-5). We are admonished to love our husbands and children. My Bible has a side note that says the word love can be translated as pity. The picture these words paint is of a quiet, peaceful, compassionate woman.
Discreet means showing good judgment, especially capable of observing prudent silence (Webster’s Dictionary). Do I watch my words? Does this story need to be told? Is it sensational, or could I get support for my opinion here? Too often, my desire to be well-liked and interesting has prevented me from being open to the Spirit’s promptings. This only brings regrets.
“Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body” (Eph. 5:22,23). First, is my submission to God what it should be? Is He supreme in my life? Are His wishes followed with unquestioning obedience? Then it seems the Bible is telling me the same standard holds true towards my husband.
I have tried to follow the things my husband asked me to do. If he didn’t say anything, I thought I was free to do as I felt. Then these verses reproved me. I seek for God’s direction and want His perfect will. Should I do that with my husband? For example: I asked him what situations were appropriate for sandals. I was surprised to learn he had been uncomfortable with some places I have been wearing them, but he didn’t feel an open door to talk with me about it.
The last part of the verse says “he is the saviour of the body.” I do not know what all this means. Disobedience, disrespect, or disregard for my Savior’s wishes would bring serious questions about my salvation. Is the same true about my attitude toward my husband? The church can always fearlessly follow Christ; I do not believe the church would say Christ does not understand or maybe is not right. My husband is human. He can and does make mistakes, but he is given a solemn responsibility for me. The church’s submission to Christ is the example given for wives to follow.
I find it requires more of a surrender of my will to teach my daughters to honor and respect their father’s wishes than to submit to them myself. When peer pressure complicates their desires, it is tempting to say Dad’s direction is just an opinion or ask him to justify his position. Although some sharing can help me understand what he is really asking us to do, I need to be careful my mind is open to what he is saying. Most of the time, it is best if we can discuss it when the children are not listening.
It is my desire to be keen to the Spirit and fill the place God planned for me. The consequences of my choices follow me through life and into eternity.
From Messenger of Truth, Vol. 111, No. 18, September 4, 2013