I Don't Submit In My Marriage

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If you’ve gone to church for even ten seconds you can probably rattle off a handful of bible verses about the role of women and wives in particular.  How women are to submit to their husbands and that they should have a gentle and quiet spirit.

Traditionally, I've heard submission explained in terms of deferring decisions making to the husband, remaining quiet even if we as women disagree, and ultimately sacrificing our owns wants and desires.

If that's what submission is, I don't submit in my marriage.

But what I’m finding is that submission doesn’t look like letting my husband make the decisions.  It means not controlling the situation with my emotions (which can be very powerful!) and not controlling him with criticism.

I realize I’m treading in deep water here, but submission and allowing the husband to be the head of the wife or family has very little to do with decision-making.

If I’m shooting straight here, I can be controlling at times & I can dominate our marriage.

I’ve controlled our relationship for years and dominated our marriage in the few years we’ve been married and it has been so damaging.

You know that saying ‘if mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy’ that hits the nail on the head.

Women control so much in marriage and in families. 

Women are not weak. 

Women are not powerless. 

It’s quite the opposite in fact.  We are strong and incredibly powerful, almost frighteningly so. 

When we limit submission to simply deferring to our husbands as the primary decision makers and primary providers in our homes, we set ourselves up for some serious issues down the road.

When we feel like we can’t speak up, we can’t ask for what we want, what we need, or our opinion ultimately doesn’t matter, we default to other tactics.

Manipulation comes like second nature.  It’s an effective strategy we employ to get what we want or need because its so much easier than being vulnerable or perceived as needy.

Being critical of our husbands is an effective strategy for getting what we want because it is crushing and so painful that they will do almost anything to escape our harsh words and criticism of them.

Nagging them to death over something that is essentially our opinion or preference (i.e. thinking that leaving dirty dishes in the sink for >8 hours is equivalent to an eternity and is unsanitary) leaves them feeling like they can never do enough or they can never do it just right.

The damage we do by manipulating erodes trust and shakes the foundation our relationships are built on.

Criticism is the easiest and quickest way to get a husband to shut down emotionally and perform like a robot just to keep you happy and shut you up. 

Nagging creates tension so thick you can cut it with a knife.

We tend to think about controlling people and those who dominate situations as loud, obnoxious, forceful, and abrasive.

But as women and as wives, this controlling and dominating presence can be quite, subtle, and passive.  How dangerous and how damaging.

All this talk about controlling and dominating carries a negative force but what I’m finding is that the force behind it all can be incredibly powerful in positive ways.

We’re both opinionated and passionate people with strong first-born tendencies which can easily swing to controlling and dominating.

I’m finding that submission has less and less to do with decision making and being quiet but rather keeping these parts of my personality from swinging to the controlling and dominating side of the spectrum.

Submissions is being able to maintain my opinions while showing the utmost respect for my husband,

Submission is desiring him and the best for our relationship over anything else I want or think I could possibly need.

Submission is passionately loving him and allowing whatever I may be incredibly passionate about fall second in line to him,

My emotions, my words, and my attitude have a tremendous influence over our relationship and I want to use that in powerful ways.

When I submit by not criticizing, not controlling, and not dominating, the way our relationship functions and the health of our relationship is radically different,.  Our marriage is powerful in ways that are good.