I was visiting Sheila Gregoire's blog today ~ To Love, Honor and Vacuum ~ because every Wednesday she does a little something special with regards to marriage called "Wifey Wednesday" (kinda like our Wellness Wednesday posts) and while I was checking out the responses to what she'd written, I stumbled upon a comment left on another blog that made me prick up my ears....or...er...I guess that would be my eyes.
Anyway, it was this part of a specific comment really resonated with me and I wanted to address it today.
"Stating that it’s a wife’s job to make clear (as in understood by the man) that he IS valuable and safe with her can place a tremendous amount of stress when she’s following all the prescribed rules of wifely behavior and he still doesn’t respond the way she’s told he will."
IMHO, this is the very reason why the word 'submission' imparts an immediate (proverbial) punch to the stomach for so many woman. for so long, the church and books and women's bible studies, etc. have taught wives to have a quiet and gentle spirit towards their husbands, submit to their authority over her, and be sure you have sex with him whenever he wants because 'your body is not your own'.
If this worked, then I daresay the divorce rate within the church would be a lot lower.
In the context of marriage, there's no where in the bible that a wife is called to unconditionally love (agape) her husband or to lay down her life for him; that's a husband's role towards his wife. A husband is called to be many things for his wife and then she's called to respect him and with respect comes submission. And when a husband is fully submitted to God and to his wife, it's an organic response for his wife to be submitted to him and God as well. He needs to go first, though - not the wife. He is a source of life for her just as Adam was a source of life (literally) for Eve.
We once heard someone ask this question: "What would make a bigger difference in the furthering of God's kingdom - 10,000 evangelical events or 10,000 husbands loving their wives with a Christ-like love?"
And this is why: Michael loves me whether I deserve to be loved or not. Unconditionally. I don't always have to be on my game for him or only talk with him about an issue when he's in a good mood; he lives with me in understanding. I'm a proverbs 31 wife because I have a proverbs 31 husband (yep, he's there and I encourage you to reread that proverb with fresh eyes). I respect Michael and am submitted to God and him because he lives his life respectably and in submission to God and me. He pursues me every day as a groom pursues his bride and we are completely safe places for one another.