When my second child entered kindergarten, along came the play dates. I would listen from the other room as the laughter and sharing would often turn to arguments and crying. They would come to me with the same complaint “she doesn’t want to play with me!” I would referee several times before finally calling my daughter and saying, “If you are going to invite someone over, you should play what they want. You can have it your way when you are by yourself, but if you want friends, you have to play what they want.” She would return to her friend with a new perspective.
I became a single parent just weeks before my 18th birthday and, by the grace of God, purchased our first home before I turned 20. Our lives were simple, routine, and run just the way I wanted. But there were many nights that I would cry to the Lord, “God, I just want someone to share this with.” I met the most enduring, committed guy, who was willing to share life with me, and we were married in 2005.
Fast forward a few years and we had many “play date” arguments of our own. One evening, God reminded me of my own parenting advice, “You can have it your way when you are by yourself, but if you want a husband, you may have to do what he wants.”
In an ideal marriage, submission goes in both directions. Sometimes you get your way, and sometimes your husband gets his. I think we should approach situations with a submissive spirit. We can voice our opinion and have a hearty discussion. But if there is an unresolvable issue, the Bible would direct us to submit to our husbands. The reality is that life with our spouses is not always a Mexican stand off. It looks like a million different opportunities to put someone else’s preferences above our own. Why is it so hard to extend grace and preference to our husbands?
God revealed to me that my marriage was my opportunity to demonstrate His sacrificial love to my husband. To be the arms of mercy when the world had left him feeling beaten down. To be the words of grace when he needed it most fragment. To forgive when it was tempting to retaliate. To surrender my way when I wanted to kick and scream.
I heard this phrase recently, “Marriage is a luxury you may not always have.” We are not promised tomorrow, but we are given today to love our spouses unconditionally and make their preferences a priority!
- Read Philippians 2:1-11 and John 3:16-17.
- What would it look like to consider your husband’s needs above your own?
- How can you honor his decision making and preferences in your lives?
Answer any of these questions either in the comments section below or join the conversation with our Facebook Community Group. #undividedwomen