Wednesday, January 18, 2012

submission - it's a beautiful thing!

Okay, so I said I'd be posting more often and had honestly intended to do just that. However, our internet went down the day after this post and we JUST got it repaired yesterday. (The internet repair guy pointed out that SOMEONE had run over the satellite pole "several times". I was quite surprised that he even commented on this.. I was absolutely under the conclusion that EVERYONE runs over EXTREMELY LARGE objects while mowing?) HA! At any rate.. I'm VERY HAPPY to be able to play online again.

On to more serious things..

I'd mentioned in my last post that God has done some TREMENDOUS things in my marriage over the past few years. It all started changing when we finally realized we were about to lose Brent.. Link completely fell apart and apologized for ________. (I'm not going to mention his mistakes/wrongdoings here.. I didn't come to point fingers.. I'm only sharing this because it's a HUGE part of where our marriage began to turn around) I forgave him, and apologized for my failures/shortcomings too. As I mentioned, I'm not here to share my hubby's faults, only my own - in hopes of sharing a truth that I've learned. A truth that breathed new LIFE into my marriage!

Fast-forward a bit.. not long after we lost Brent, God brought a couple into our lives. My sweet friend is one of those ladies who quickly speaks her mind - and does not withhold correction/rebuke. We began walking together which of course led to long talks. As we spent more time together she started sharing with me areas that she saw where I was NOT living out my calling as Link's wife. I was NOT a Titus 2 woman at all, at least not when it came to loving my husband the way God called me to.

It all boiled down to submission and how I responded to Link in moments of anger. (Back-talking, arguing with him when I didn't agree with what he said, or what he was doing.. the huffing, crossing of arms.. ANY physical symbol of not approving) Am I saying that we don't have the right as wives to express our feelings? Absolutely not! However, there are times for EVERYTHING. I learned that there is much wisdom in learning to practice self-control when I don't agree with my man rather than immediately contradicting him. (I'd seen many, many times in my life where the woman argues almost EVERY point with her man rather than praying and asking GOD to handle things) I'd been so used to arguing that it became my FIRST response even before taking a moment to realize that my hubby was actually RIGHT. (Now THAT'S embarrassing!)

The friend that I mentioned earlier gave me the book, Created to Be His Helpmeet, and was it EVER LIFE-CHANGING! Honestly, next to the Bible itself this is THE BEST book I've ever read! There may be parts of it that one may not agree with, but if you read it with a humble heart - HONESTLY SEARCHING for God's will for yourself, you WILL go away BLESSED and CHANGED! (You can also buy this book on the Kindle edition lists for $7.69.) I'm pretty sure that I've talked about this book here before, but it is such a TREMENDOUS part of my story that I just had to share it today.

I guess it all boils down to how I've seen the role of submission transform my own marriage. Have I got it down perfectly? Of course not! I'm still learning, I'm still growing, and I still find myself biting my tongue when every fiber of my being is screaming out to say something. I have learned that when my hubs is in the wrong - to start praying IMMEDIATELY! Who is more capable of changing his heart, God, or me? That's a silly question, isn't it? Yet, it's SO HARD to push down the flesh and just let God be God. The Bible says that God is NOT the author of confusion. (1 Corinthians 14:33) It also tells us that, "the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church, He Himself being the Savior of the body." - Ephesians 5:23. This just run so much more beautifully when we do things God's way. Amen? :)

I've just begun reading a new book today and have been encouraged with what I'm reading so far. The name of the book is, Feminine Appeal: Seven Virtues of a Godly Wife and Mother. (The Kindle edition is $7.99) I've been encouraged to re-examine Titus 2 and to step back and look at how I'm loving my husband and children. Believe me, I've learned the hard way that you never, EVER want to have regrets.

One last MAJOR issue that goes along with submission is that of respect. Here again, I find myself recommending ANOTHER book. (Sorry!) This one is called, Love & Respect. (The Kindle edition is $8.99) It was so helpful to me to realize that I show my husband love when I show him respect. Just as we (women) crave hugs, compliments, and kisses - our men long to be admired, lifted up, and RESPECTED! It shows a tremendous lack of disrespect when I immediately began to backtalk Link.. to challenge him. He doesn't NEED me to tell him how to do things. HE is the one God put in charge of our home. Again, if I feel he's wrong, I go to God with it. If I feel that this won't be an issue of contempt, and I feel safe (safe meaning that I feel like my comment/response won't lead to an argument) THEN, I will share my thoughts or opinions. If, however, I do feel that he'd feel challenged by my response --- I take it to God in prayer!

To sum up what I've learned:
  • God put the man as the head of the home - therefore he does NOT need woman to correct/rebuke/challenge him at every turn. If I disagree with something I can voice it lovingly, but after that it NEEDS to go to GOD in prayer! (After that it becomes nagging - drip, drip, drip!) :o
  • My man doesn't need or want me constantly telling him what to do, or how to do it. He is NOT my child, he is my MAN! (mmm-hmmm!) ;)
  • I was created to be HIS helper, NOT the other way around!
  • I should put into practice what I was taught as a small child: If I don't have something nice to say, I shouldn't say anything at all.
  • I should never, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, EVER-EVER correct him in public! If we're in public and he's accidentally giving out false information I can and should quietly share the facts. Doing otherwise might lead him to feel disrespected, or cause his friends to feel that way. (I sure wouldn't want him embarrassing me in front of my friends!)
  • The respect thing seems to be as much a need for a man as the show of love is to a woman.. I should ALWAYS let my sweet hubs know how much I appreciate and love him!
  • This is random, but since I've learned about that whole love & respect thing - all of those commercials where the woman blatantly disrespects her husband DISGUSTS me! It not only dishonors men, but it dishonors our loving GOD! People are watching us!

Please hear me say that I DO NOT feel like I have all of the answers. I'm ONLY sharing what I've seen in scripture and what I've seen in my own life. When I began to practice these principles, Link began to feel less defensive with me. We began to argue less and less.. he began to talk MORE.. we started to ENJOY each other on a level that we never have before. I can honestly say that he is a different man (giving GOD ALL the glory!) and I'm blessed with a marriage that I'd only dreamed of before! If you're struggling with the way you respond to your husband the way that I have and sometimes do, I'd like to encourage you to pray and study every scripture you can find on marriage. Study those on love, and respect, and how God instructs us as believers to live. It'll change your life, I promise! ;)


Holly said...


Reba said...

Love this. (I kept looking for a "like" button like on Facebook to click :) Thank you so much for sharing. I am so excited to see what God has done in your lives, especially at a time that many marriages actually face greater stress with such a loss. You are such an example of God's plan for marriage and love!

Tonya said...

Thanks, Ladies!

Reba, I giggled when I saw your "like" button comment. Girl, I keep wishing they had those on twitter too. HA! I also wanted to say that I appreciated your words of encouragement. You are right - sadly, many couples split after the loss of a child. We know so many who have and it's heartbreaking. I simply cannot imagine having had to go through something like that without Link. He's the only other person on the planet who loved Brent the way I did.. who felt the same loss I had. Yes, many loved and miss Brent, but he was a physical part of both Link and me. The boys had a brotherly love, grandparents had a grandparent love, friends had a friendship love. Link could truly and completely identify with my loss. As I mentioned above.. I just couldn't imagine doing it without him! I'm SOOOO THANKFUL for what God did in our marriage - that He gave us restoration during our greatest trial. There truly is nothing too hard for Him! :) Thanks again for your sweet comment!

Tonya said...

Oh, just to clarify.. I'm NOT one of those, "you could NEVER understand MY pain!" kind of folks. I DO know that everyone faces SOME sort of pain/loss on a daily basis. I know that there have been MANY to travel this route before us. I also know that our loved ones mean well and I NEVER take offense to ANYTHING that's said. When I said that Link was the only one that felt the loss I feel - well, I was just pointing that out to say that I couldn't imagine walking this road without him. I sure didn't want to appear to be ungrateful for the love that's expressed towards us! :) WHEW! There, I can stop worrying now. HA!

Susan said...

Hey Tonya!

Welcome back to the blogosphere. So good to have you back.

Looking forward to your next post already. (He He...!)

Love your heart and this amazing message.

Truly there is so much FREEDOM and liberation as we listen and obey to what the Lord has to say to us and then when we walk it out in obedience.

Yes...that word may be a hard one for some, but truly it can become the greatest source of joy and freedom in our lives.

IF...we allow it to be.

God knows what is truly best for us, if we would just listen, learn and truly obey.

Thanks for being real and sharing your amazing testimony!

Your story testifies to the fact when we walk upright and follow the word, we will exprience true freedom and joy and marriage the way God designed it.

Tonya said...

Thanks, Susan! I'm very thankful that I have YOU as one of my spiritual mothers. You are a Titus 2 woman, indeed! I wish I could spend time with you daily, gleaning God's truths from you! I love you so very much! :)

reginag said...

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