empowering women on a quest for more

To Love and To Cherish

VowsMy husband and I had the privilege of celebrating our 17th Anniversary yesterday.  While glancing at old pictures and strolling down memory lane, my mind focused on some specific moments:

“I know we’re accustomed to living in the Northeast on two incomes, but I could be a stay at home mom if we move to the South.  I feel led to devote myself to our children full-time.”

“I know we live in a great school district, but I think home schooling our kids will be even better for them.”

Each of these moments were completely out of my comfort zone.  However, I arrived there after I prayed and I felt the Holy Spirit prompting me to do something different and out of the ordinary. Ultimately, each of these instances have stretched me in ways I could not have imagined and yet, each has shaped me into becoming who I have been purposed to be.

But I could have never executed on any of those desires without a key factor, the theme throughout each of those moments: the support of my husband.  During each of these times, he heard me out, asked me to provide further details on how each would work, prayed about it, and ultimately encouraged me to follow through on each one.  Such support is not easy when sacrifices have to be made, especially financially, not to mention the bombardment of opinions of well meaning folks who thought our decisions were not so wise.

I am reminded of The Message version of Ephesians 5:25-28 which says, “Husbands, go all out in your love for your wives, exactly as Christ did for the church—a love marked by giving, not getting. Christ’s love makes the church whole. His words evoke her beauty. Everything he does and says is designed to bring the best out of her”. That’s what my husband has done for me and I’m so grateful because his support definitely has brought out the best in me, to pursue my passions, and strive towards fulfilling my dreams.

Just as my husband has shown Christ’s love towards me, I have learned to honor him as found in verses 22-24: “Wives, understand and support your husbands in ways that show your support for Christ. The husband provides leadership to his wife the way Christ does to his church, not by domineering but by cherishing. So just as the church submits to Christ as he exercises such leadership, wives should likewise submit to their husbands.” Many of us have misunderstood submission to mean being controlled or being a doormat when in fact, this Scripture reveals that submission is a voluntary choice to respect our husband’s sensitive and loving leadership.

To live out those verses has been quite a challenging one for me, especially when I thought I was right or knew what was best:

“I’d like to volunteer.  I think it would be most helpful if I did it weekly. It will be great!”

“The kids are getting older and increasingly independent.  It would help our finances if I return to work.”

While my husband realized I had good intentions, he prayerfully considered the time and energy I had to invest and shared that he didn’t think it would be in anyone’s best interest. Oh how I struggled when I heard those words! But I knew I had to make the wise decision.

As I learned to honor with God’s help, I have seen how I help my husband be the godly man, husband, and leader he is called to be. I have also seen how I come under my husband’s covering and protection when I submit, which truly has freed me to be who God created me to be: a good steward of my time, talent, and treasure.

Among the many teachable moments in our marriage journey, I thank God for showing us the principles of love and respect for one another as He has designed. I pray it encourages you in your journey as well.

~Joyce

 

 

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