Changed the Title to Mutual Submission

Was thinking about submission. It really has a bad rap and I think, unfortunately, at the hands of those who are called to demonstrate it’s beauty – marriages.

My husband and I had a one night get away to Jacksonville. We often combine business with a little time away. St. Augustine is our favorite place in Florida. There is something about this old, spooky town. At the last minute, after plans fell through with friends he presented stopping in St. Augustine. I replied with a “most definitely” and so we did.

We decided on a place to eat, he picked Cellar 6, a quaint, cool and candle lit space, hence the name, cellar, because it feels like one. Of course they display on the second floor, viewed from the dining room, a huge cellar filled with wines from all over the world and some quite expensive.

20150306_185010I had the yummiest filet, cooked just right, full of flavor and so tender, not to mention the presentation. We enjoyed dinner in between the text messages from our social 12 year old trying to schedule her plans that included being with a friend home alone for the first time.

I am sure you are thinking by now what this has to do with submission, but I am getting there.

Our families are very close and the girls have known each other since they were babies. But we have some different views on parenting. Not so different that we aren’t like-minded, just see some areas of parenting differently, especially with regard to this stage of the game.

Normally, I will either approach my husband about the plans in question with the feudal assumption that he will say no; or I will just make a decision withholding information in effort to parent my daughter how I see fit.

This time, I felt the liberty, shall we say, to let the chips fall where they may. But this isn’t just because I have become a more “submissive wife.” Herein lies my very point before I tell you the rest of the story. Mutual respect and submission truly should characterize godly marriages. I don’t think when the Bible tells husbands to love their wives and wives respect your husbands that it means the wife isn’t respected or the husband isn’t loved for that matter.

Respect is simple. Yet I’ve struggled with it, and not just in marriage. In the military I recall only respecting a person because of their positional authority. Because they were my “supervisor” I had to respect the position, even when the person was not respectable, and at times I didn’t even do that. But that helped make a distinction for me especially with men in authority over me.

I realize now why the discrepancies in matters of respect – positional verses personal – are so challenging to me. It started with my father and mother – their marriage.

For my marriage, it wasn’t just about one thing that one person did to create mutual love and respect. It was about doing many things towards building mutual love and respect.

There was no formula, like simply “respecting my husband” that brought the freedom and care to our marriage. I feel truly blessed that God has so beautifully redeemed the hurtful, broken places in my life that affected my relationships with many including my husband.

This time instead of feudal thoughts, I felt more trust, more mutual respect when our daughter’s plan was presented. There was a moment of awkward silence that was uncomfortable and I realize there will still be times that I don’t agree or like the answer but that doesn’t mean I don’t respect him. It means that I can freely share my view, opinion and perspective on the matter, be heard, and if we don’t agree then we air on the side of deference until we come to mutual ground.

I don’t feel that by submitting or deferring to him I am any less of a person, in fact, I think often times it takes the bigger person to defer; and I don’t think it will always be me, the wife, that defers. Not only do I recall times that I expressed what I felt should happen, he submitted and it went well but of course there have been times that I submitted when I didn’t agree and it was for the better.

We decided together, after expressing our concerns, to allow her to “hang” with her friend even if that meant them being home alone for a time. We let her know our rules and the consequences of breaking them. And for the record we have been around this mountain and just about every time our eldest son (her older brother) did anything, he was caught, and in that I have reassurance (evil laugh).

After dinner, we learned that my favorite fudge place had changed locations. So in freezing and windy weather for which I was not prepared jacket wise, we quickly walked down St. George street through the nooks and neighborhoods of St. Augustine. We finally arrived at Fudge Buckets, now called something else. All I wanted was their yummy orange and cream fudge that tastes like those orangesicle popsicles and thankfully they had it and I was happy and cold!

The fudge was a sweet reward, literally, for trusting my husband’s heart in this situation. The result was more mutual respect and a happy 12 year old!



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