You know how, sometimes, you’re thinking about a lot of different things, and the many facets of those things, and when you try to articulate all the things that are collecting inside your head it’s too hard to express them? That’s me today.
I have had a lot of thoughts this week about marriage, and about being a wife. Specifically, why do married people flaunt how hard marriage can be, and why do wives take the Bible verse, “Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord,” (Ephesians 5:22, NKJV) in a negative, anti-women way? Whenever people ask, “How’s married life?” There always seems to be that pause, waiting for you to say how much harder it is than you expected. When you say it’s going well, they always follow up with, “Yeah, it’s great but it;s really hard. Sacrifice, man!”
God has also been teaching me a lot about what it means for me, Hannah, to be Tim’s wife. Not all husbands and wives are created equal—our humanity is inherently similar, but we are individuals. And, I believe that God made husbands and wives uniquely for each other. There have been several men over the years that I thought I could be compatible with in marriage. Not so. There is no other man who would be as patient, forgiving, and genuine towards me as Tim. No one else could fit into those nooks and crannies of who I am to make me whole. Tim is the real deal. I can’t imagine successfully maneuvering through life with anyone other than him. Father to the child inside me? No one else. No way. God created us for each other. I have no doubts.
However, how to be Tim’s wife is a position that I decided to take on with very little training, as far as Tim is concerned. I was not given in marriage to him ill-equipped for marriage by any means. I have been blessed with parents who have shown me an example of a godly marriage that is able to withstand the trials of life, the trials of humanity. My parents have been through it. If you know them, or any part of their story, you know I’m not exaggerating. You have no idea the peace of mind I feel, when a storm rolls in our life. I can look at the legacy of my parents’ marriage, and I think to myself, “I know this isn’t impossible.”
However, my parents are only human. The reality is that marriage is a conduit for reminders of the promises of God in His Word—promises to protect, provide, change, and make new. When Tim and I face a dark night of the soul together, we come through it because of the Word of God. It’s not because we say we’re sorry and promise to do better next time. It’s because the Holy Spirit reminds us of His Word, and Tim and I agree that we need to step it up together. One of us isn’t climbing the mountain faster than the other; we are doing it together. We help and support each other, and aren’t afraid to correct each other. We pray for one another. We came into marriage knowing it wasn’t always going to be easy, or fun. Sometimes, it would be really not fun, but God has been so perfectly faithful to us every time. We are challenged to grow and change, as individuals, but not separately.
There’s no hard time that Tim and I have gone through so far that I would look at and say, “Oof, yeah, this is definitely a reason to not get married.” I would never want to give anyone that impression, because marriage is incredible! I would never choose to be single, again. That season came, lasted, and went. I wouldn’t trade that time in my life for anything. I wasn’t ready to be married. There were things I wanted to do as an unmarried woman, and God allowed me to do them. Now, I’m a wife, and soon to be a mother, and I can’t imagine it any other way.
Being a wife…well, being a wife is a huge deal. God is teaching me a lot about being a wife. The importance of knowing my place in Christ is the biggest lesson I’m learning these days. The husband is the head of the home, he is the spokesman, he is the leader, but the wife does not sit idly by. She is right beside him, and she must walk in the authority Christ has given her as a woman of God.
This is why the fuss over wives being told to submit to their husbands doesn’t make sense to me. Nowhere in the Bible does it tell women they can’t have opinions.
Submission is an act of trust. Obedience is an act of trust. We submit to and obey God, because we trust Him. How empowering it must be for a husband to know that his wife trusts him. How empowering for him to know that she is praying for him, and walking in her own godly authority beside him, instead of shrinking behind and just going along with whatever he says or does because he’s the man? The Bible does not tell women to do that.
The Proverbs 31 woman has been on my mind a lot, too. How in the world is that a weak woman? She buys and sells land, she manages her home, she upholds the reputation of her husband by being the incredible woman that she is—not because her husband is making her say good things about him. Her husband praises her; he doesn’t hold her down. She is out and about, keeping busy and productive. She is empowered by her position as her husband’s wife.
My mom has more clarified and educated thoughts about this than I do, but this is where I’m at so far. Being a wife is a powerful thing. It is a responsibility, not just a title. Is it rewarding? Absolutely. Is it challenging? Definitely. Is it daunting? Sometimes, but Christ dwells in me, and He called me to be Tim’s wife. I was created for this role, for such a time as this—I don’t have to be intimidated. I just have to trust and obey.
What a lot of people forget, and what isn’t being talked about enough, especially in church, is this idea of waiting. Sure, Christians promote True Love Waits religiously (no, literally, religiously,) but whenever people think of waiting, they think about waiting to have sex until marriage. The concept of waiting for God to bring the right person that He handcrafted for you, is foreign to a lot of people. Or at least, the reality of it is. A lot of people bash the fairy tale for giving us “unrealistic expectations” but if God, Who could create the world out of nothing, can’t make a fairy tale real life, then what kind of God is He? I told the Lord that whoever I married would have to fall from the sky and land at my doorstep, and ask me to marry him, because there were no young men around me that I could realistically consider having a future with. Tim bought a plane ticket to see me a WEEK after talking to me. We knew we were going to get married a WEEK after he arrived at my doorstep.
ONE WEEK. I had been talking to this guy for a month and a half. I didn’t know how he squeezed the toothpaste tube, I didn’t know if he was more tidy or messy, I didn’t know if he left his underwear on the floor or put it in the hamper. But I knew he was it. I knew that for me, there was no one better suited for me. God created us for each other, and when we knew, we knew. The phenomenon is real, but not enough people talk about it like it is. God loves love! Read Song of Solomon, He’s all about it. Why wouldn’t God want us to be with the person He created just for us, who could love us as deeply, and that we could love as deeply, as the couple in Song of Solomon?
Maybe I’m really rambling now, but I guess the moral of the story, especially for single people, don’t let your doubt overshadow the mustard seed of faith you have for God to cross your paths with the person He is preparing just for you. Don’t let the struggles of others dictate how you see marriage. Marriage is a blessing, in the good times and bad. God is faithful through it all, if you choose to let Him be.