“How am I supposed to trust him when he has messed up so much???” The question asked by sincere wives at the end of their rope and if I (Nicci Kilcoyne) am being honest, at one time (or two), from my own heart. Submission is hard when you don’t trust the one you are submitting to.
Biblical Submission When Trusting Your Husband is Hard
When I found myself asking this question in my own marriage, I well remember the inner struggle. I was fearful and resentful of some of the leadership choices my husband had made concerning our household. The thought of submitting to him again sent me over the edge. I knew I was supposed to submit to my husband, but I couldn’t figure out HOW to do it without having a horrible attitude.
So, I began to pray.
I studied the bible hoping to find a loophole to tell me that I didn’t need to submit to my man. Just as I suspected, there was no way around it. I was expected to submit to my husband.
God, however, began to do a work in my heart. He gently reminding me that I wasn’t exactly the model Biblical wife either. When I measured myself against the Word, I was coming up VERY short!
Out of this knowledge, as you can imagine, I became much more merciful toward my husband. As I prayed and sought counsel from the Word, God took me to the mother of all submission scriptures: 1 Peter 3:1-4
For the modern woman, this scripture can be a little hard to swallow and digest. Submission requires a complete laying down of self. The culture I was raised in balked at the idea of such a concept!
God drew my attention to verse 5 which reads, “For in this manner, in former times, the holy women who trusted in God also adorned themselves.”
“…Who Trusted in God…”
It occurred to me that biblical submission had nothing to do with my husband and EVERYTHING to do with my faith in GOD!
Could I always trust my husband? Even if I wanted to, the answer was “No.”
But could I trust God? Absolutely!
If you go back to the old testament and read the accounts of Abraham and Sarah, it doesn’t take long to see that Abraham made some decisions that directly affected his wife Sarah– and not always in a positive way! I poured over their story and realized that Sarah needed faith in Someone much bigger than her husband. She needed faith in an almighty God in order to get through the journey they were on.
Ladies, we are no different!
Marriage is filled with two very imperfect people. But if they will put their trust in a perfect God, all will be well.
I determined that day to heed the Word of God by stepping into Biblical Wifehood. I would not give into fear every time my husband made a decision I didn’t agree with.
That didn’t mean I just blindly followed though: it meant I was now placing my active faith in God, not necessarily my husband.
It meant that I was going to be in prayer more. I am standing in faith for my husband, his growth and his relationship with the Lord and much more.
Submission Encourages Growth
I soon had an opportunity to put into practice what the Word of God asked of me. My husband made a decision that directly affected the area of our finances. This time, I did not freak out and arguing with him. I respectfully told him I did not agree, but that I was committed to submitting to him. I would help him and to be pray for him in any way I could.
He went ahead with his decision and we lost quite a bit of money. I was not angry with my husband, because my trust was in the LORD. Also, I didn’t run to him afterward to tell him “I told you so”.
My heart actually hurt for my husband. I prayed for him in a way I had never prayed for him before.
You see, submission encourages growth. Not long after the situation, my husband came to me and repented. He told me all the things God was teaching him through this experience.
God added wisdom to my husband that day. He gained a greater dependence on the Lord and a greater sensitivity to me and so much more.
It was worth every penny that we lost.
My husband began to step into a greater leadership role within the home because of it and not ONE fight occurred between us. Quite the opposite- we became closer than ever.
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God was working in me too.
During that situation, I battled fear, anger, resentment, anxiety and all the usual emotions. But this time I battled it all before the Lord and you know what?
He cared for me.
He gave me scriptures to pray. Got put compassion in my heart for my husband. He was young but had the world on his shoulders with a wife and 3 small children at the time.
I learned that I really could trust God with my every need. Even though we suffered loss, God sent some side work to my husband to make up for some of what we had lost. I learned that every scripture is in the Word for a reason. If we are willing to follow what God says, He will always show up and honor His Word.
God will always use our submission (our obedience to His Word) to grow us as wives.
A Bigger Picture
Sometimes, we do not see the results we wish to see because we do not choose to obey God’s Word.
There’s a bigger picture here.
How many times have I have cheated God out of showing up big for me? I was too fearful or un-submissive to heed His Word.
How many blessings has my family missed because I thought I knew better than the scriptures? I am now working hard to fully embrace submission.
I know God wants to be glorified and I do not want to hinder anything He wants to do.
As wives, we have to begin to ‘see’ with eternal vision and trust God in the midst of our submission.
(***I would like to say, that under no circumstances is this article condoning abuse, and the scriptures do not condone abuse. If you are in an abusive marriage, please seek professional help to ensure your family’s safety and well-being.)
Are you struggling to submit to your husband’s leadership?
I encourage you to take a cue from Sarah and the women of old. Put your trust in God and allow Him to minister to you and your husband through it all. God always honors faith and obedience to His Word. He will bless your marriage and show up big, if only you allow it
Nicci Anna Kilcoyne is a daughter of God, wife to husband Daniel and homeschooling mother to six kiddos on the East Coast. She also blogs at www.fvwoman.com (Fruitful Vine Woman) where she shares her heart about living life in the context of biblical priorities, usually with a cup of coffee in one hand and dark chocolate in the other. Life is full but Biblical, Fruitful Womanhood in a Modern World and encouraging women along the way is her life goal.