June 2, 2010

Called to Submission



Oh how difficult this one is!
Really D.I.F.F.I.C.U.L.T.!
But so necessary for a godly and fulfilled marriage.
We as women are called to this ~ it is not an option.
It is Obedience.

In light of last week's post on the subject of marriage,
and in light of those friends of mine in unusual circumstances...
this post is somewhat of a sequel.

What do you do if your husband is not a Christian?
What do you do if he doesn't want to pray?
Or doesn't want to lead the family in devotional times?
What do you do if he is on a "different page" spiritually.

I have encountered dear ladies in most, if not all, of these situations.
Oh how we need the LORD's wisdom and grace!
How we need HIS strength in all these things.


God is gracious and merciful and it is HE that keeps us ~
not US who keeps us!
How blessed we are that HE does not leave us to ourselves!
The marriage advice we were given has held us in good stead over the years. Oh there are times it has been hard ~ nearly I.M.P.O.S.S.I.B.L.E. to follow ~ but with God all things are possible ~ how precious that truth is!

The key thing is to be sure your own heart is right with God. Be sure you are not harbouring any unconfessed sin. Seek God on this matter. He is faithful and will show you the areas that need attention in your heart. If your husband is not a Christian, it is your responsibility to pray for his Salvation and live before him in a meek and gentle way.

"Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives; While they behold your chaste conversation coupled with fear."
I Peter 3:1-2
See also I Corinthians 7:10-16

What if he doesn't want to pray or lead in Family Worship?

You are not called to be his conscience ~ what a liberating thought.
Pray quietly for him and live sweetly with him ~
remember that with the LORD all things are possible.
Ask the LORD privately to convict your husband of the need to be leading you in this way and wait patiently for the LORD to do the work.
In the meantime and as you are able, teach your children ~ do not neglect their spiritual well-being. Just do it in such a way that you are still submissive to your husband. You will need great wisdom to know how to implement this. How precious that God will give that wisdom as we ask Him for it!

"If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God,
that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not;
and it shall be given him."
James 1:5


Oh and the "different page spiritually" ~ that's a tough one!

I would caution you as a wife to be very careful about abandoning your husband's protection and guidance in your walk with the Saviour. Obviously if he is not saved, that is another matter and you will need to seek out godly counsel to know how to deal with that. Be sure the counsel you get is Scriptural and sound ~ not just man's opinion. We as wives are called to follow our husband and he is called to lead.
It is God's design.

"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.
Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ,
so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing."
Ephesians 5:22-24

How do we begin?

Begin with prayer.
Maybe your husband is waiting for you to encourage him in these things.
Maybe all it will take is a suggestion from you. It would be best to approach this subject when you have time to share your heart. Pick your moment...likely when it is just the two of you. Try to be encouraging and build him up. Some suggestions for where to begin?

We love Spurgeon's "Morning and Evening". It is a devotional written by a godly pastor from the 1800's. You will find that there are two readings for each day of the year...you may want to just read through one reading at a time ignoring the dates. Whatever way you do it I am sure you will be greatly encouraged. Although it was written over 100 years ago, it is so relevant for today! Much like God's Word...it's never out of date.


How to pray together?

Read a Psalm or a few verses of Scripture and pray it for your spouse, your children and your family members. Pray what you read back to God. If it is praise you are reading, use it to jump start your own praises to God. If it is supplication, use it to fuel the prayers you are praying for others.
Some examples of wonderful verses to pray through are Colossians chapter 3,
I Corinthians 13:1-7, Matthew 5:3-12
and Psalm chapter 1.

Another great resource is Sermon Audio where you can download sermons to listen to that will fortify and edify you both. Maybe suggest that your husband pick one he would like to listen to together and set aside a time to make it happen. Sometimes all that is needed is a little encouragement.

Again, this post is in no way meant to discourage. There are as many situations as there are marriages out there. I pray that it will be an encouragement to your heart in whatever situation you find yourself. I do not think for a moment that I have arrived in this area. To further illustrate my feelings as I write this post, I would like to quote the following passage of Scripture:

"Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect:
but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which
also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus.
Brethren, I count myself not to have apprehended:
but this one thing I do, forgetting those things that are behind,
and reaching forth unto those things which are before,
I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus."
Philippians 3:12-14

There is always HOPE.
Look to the LORD...He is able to do far above what we ask or think!
Be encouraged with the words of the LORD to His people found in the Old Testament:

"For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end. Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you. And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart. And I will be found of you, saith the LORD:"...
Jeremiah 29:11-14a


15 comments:

Mountain Mama said...

Wow. Timely. And while I can easily say I submit far more to my husband today than I did 7 years ago, I am reminded there are areas that could use a "tune up."

So nice to meet you!
Blessings,
Tami

Traci Michele said...

I love Spurgeon! I'll have to check out that book!

Great post!

Thank you,
Traci

http://www.ordinaryinspirations.blogspot.com

Heather of Swallowing A Moose said...

Preach It Sister!

Your most right... 'with God all things are possible!' Praying for our spouses- saved or not- is an honor. An it's those prayers of promise that radically change the course they are sometimes on.

I reflect on Rahab and the scarlet cord. How much more under this new covenant do we have?! That cord was her guarantee. Jesus is ours! An through His blood our entire families can have salvation. We just need to pray for their responses to this act of love He's completed. May it be "YES!" one thousand times over "YES!"

J said...

Camille,
I love this post and need this encouragement - particularly about not being his conscience. It is God's work in his heart that will draw him closer to his heavenly Father, not my nagging. Thank you for your boldness and for point me to the cross.

Has Debi Pearl also written some homeschooling books? Or discipline related books? I think I've heard of her before. I think I'll order a copy of that book.

Thanks, Camille. I love you sweet friend! Who ever thought God would determine that our paths would cross...I'd never have guessed! And yet here we are and I am so thankful for a sister pointing me to Christ.

Jenn said...

Beautifully written and great ways to bring our hearts in line with the Lords. You included some wonderful guidelines, thank you.

Heather said...

Camille, this is a very thoughtful and profound post. I too, have read that book by Debi Pearl along with a bunch of my girlfriends. We affectionately refer to it as "The Scary Wife Book"! We love it but laugh together at how difficult it seems to follow some of the ideas... which are scriptural. All this submission stuff would be so much easier if we removed selfishness from the equation. I often think, if I just put my husband's needs before mine, how much better our marriage would be! Of course, those women who are already doing this and still have poor response from their husbands, have experienced the power of God being their husband and the Holy Spirit being their guide. May the Lord guide and bless us all as we endeavour to take up this challenge.
Thanks for sharing your honest reflections.

love, Heather

Sharon said...

Camille,

Thank you for this exhortation. It is such a privelege to be a daughter of the King and to surrender to Him. He knows what is best for each and every one of us and will never leae nor forsake us. Sometimes it can be difficult to submit but ultimately we are submitting to the Lord.

Christ sets such a wonderful example in obedience in Philippians 2:8 "Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross." Wow, how awesome is that?

I am so very thankful for His word in my life and His unconditional love for me. Thank you Camille for this admonishment :)

Have a blessed day in Him!
Sharon

TRUTH SHARER said...

Obedience is key for every aspect of our lives of faith in Christ as we learn to walk that out.

I have been reading a calendar devotional that I have on my kitchen sink by Elizabeth George and for more than a month now she has been talking about a wife's role in marriage - as under the headship of Christ. It has been good to continually prepare my heart - even though right now - being a widow - Jesus Himself is my husband. I loved your post on prayer in marriage already.That is MY #1 characteristic of a good marriage - one where they pray together!

Thanks for continuing to share on this important issue - especially in light of our society these days that is so self-absorbed - even in marriage.

blessings, Stephanie

Camille said...

Welcome Tami ~ Lovely to "meet" you too! Oh I know well that "tune-ups" are required in my heart...how gracious our Loving Heavenly Father is to lead us along in these wonderful truths!

Dear Traci ~ We *love* Spurgeon too...I hope you do get that book...it is a gem! :)

Dear Heather ~ Oh yes! May the LORD give household Salvation! AND may HE give patience to those who wait. :)

Dear J ~ How wonderful that the LORD is teaching you these truths so early on in your married life! I would encourage you to get your hands on Debi Pearl's book...it was such a blessing to my heart. Yes, she and her husband, Michael Pearl, have written many books on discipline, etc. As with anything, I would caution you to use discernment and the Scriptures to weigh whatever information you find in a book written by mere man/woman. I cannot endorse everything they have written without that cautionary statement in place. Having said that, I would definitely order that book...it is a gem and with the LORD's wisdom and HIS Word to guide you I think it will be a blessing. I am thankful for your friendship J...nothing is by "chance"! :)

Dear Jenn ~ You encouraged my heart today...thank you! All glory to HIM from Whom all blessings flow! :)

Dear Heather ~ OH how TRUE!! We must be unselfish in our marriages...so difficult to do without the help of the LORD, but so rewarding when HE enables us! Let's pray for one another as we seek to honour our Saviour in these very tangible ways! :)

Dear Sharon ~ I so appreciate your input here...yes...we ultimately are submitting to the LORD in our marriages! AND to think what HE submitted to in order to save us...while we were YET IN SIN!! Marvelous grace!

Dear Stephanie ~ How precious to realise that the LORD is your spouse and will be in eternity...it's wonderful to look to HIM as our all in all!! AND yes, we all have such tendencies to being self-absorbed...may the LORD deal with that in my heart!

Blessings to you each!
In Him,
Camille

Cheesemakin' Mamma said...

This is a wonderful, brave post, Camille. You did a really good job explaining what us Christian wives should be doing.

Thanks for your sweet comments on my latest post :) I just love you!

Camille said...

Dear Jackie ~ Thanks for your sweet encouragement! Any bravery in me is from the LORD...HE is the ONE that gives the needed grace to do ANYTHING!

As for the comment on your post ~ I meant what I said...I'm so glad it was a blessing to you. :)

With Love,
Camille

Laura at By the Bushel said...

So nice to meet you! We've just moved, and I'm short on 'blog' time, but look forward to getting to know you more... what a beautiful post, what an encouragment to all women, who want to be there for their man. Being the woman God wants us to be, even when we're not on the same 'spiritual page'. Thanks for this post, I'm sure I'll be looking back to it & referring it- be blessed this beautiful June month- see you at A Holy Experience! - Laura

Camille said...

Welcome Laura! So lovely to "meet" you as well. What a blessing that we have the LORD to help us do all these things we are called to! YES...I will look for you at Holy Experience. :)

Blessings,
Camille

Terri said...

Amen. Thank you, Camille. I love your heart, and am so thankful for you!!

Camille said...

Dear Terri ~ You are a blessing to me too...the LORD makes no mistakes. That "random" search I made about TWO years ago that led me to your blog was of the LORD...I find that so interesting!! Nothing is by chance with HIM! :)

With Love,
Camille