Last night I shared something with my husband that had been weighing on my heart.
Something that choked me up as I spoke it aloud;
“Thank you so much for what you do for our family!” I stammered as warm tears poured down my cheeks.
You see, it had dawned on me that I live quite a privileged life. Not only because of the favor of the Lord we enjoy, but also because my husband works really hard in response to that favor.
I basically get to sit at home in the presence of Jesus all day, reflecting on His goodness and then write about it whenever I feel so inspired (which is often). It has it drawbacks like anything else, but there are many wonderful things that I enjoy. For one, I don’t have to miss time with my children to go to work. I can be here for all the incredible, frustrating, and incredibly frustrating moments that bind a family together over the years.
None of this is without struggle, on my husband’s part or mine, but I want to focus here on his sacrifice. His selfless sacrifice.
Peter doesn’t work out of selfish ambition. When I thanked him for all he is doing (presently, it entails being away on deployment for long periods of time), his response was simply, “I asked God for a big family and I got it. Of course I’m going to take care of you.” All his hard work is a response to the grace of God shown in an answer to prayer that my husband had prayed since childhood.
Now… the backstory on why his dedication is so moving for me:
I have been without a provider.
I have been without protection.
I have been a young girl without a father.
I have been a mother without a father for my own children.
I have been a mother with a father for my children, but that man was actually relying on me to provide and he was happy to remain unemployed as I toiled in the strip club several nights a week.
I always thought there was something better. A better quality of man out there. A better way to run a family.
Then I met Peter…
This man has done nothing short of everything in his power to ensure the financial security of our home. It has never been for the purpose of being affluent or achieving some lofty, social status. It is all done in and for love. My wildest dreams are coming true, in large part, because of him. On top of being the breadwinner, Peter has been the iron that sharpens me and the embrace that comforts me. The voice that holds me accountable and stands by to soothe the delicate part of me when I finally breakthrough my pride, and my anger turns to tears.
This is what a Godly man looks like.
He is not perfect. But he is my leader.
I struggled for a long time, trying to shape Peter into the man I thought he ought to be if he were going to lead our home. If he were going to lead me. I’m not going to follow just anybody, you know. You had better know where you are going, because I sure do!
I wasn’t so sure he should be leading me.
Every so often, he was right about some important things, but Peter didn’t seem to have the adequate vigor for the Lord that I deemed necessary. He didn’t measure up to my standard of leadership. He didn’t qualify.
Then I reread this scripture:
“Wives, submit to your own husband as to the Lord, for the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church. He is the Savior of the body. Now as the church submits to Christ, so wives are to submit to their husbands in everything.”
The verb “is” became the game changer for how I treated my husband. Embracing this truth is the very thing that allowed me to shift from a nagging wife who accused her husband of trying to control her, to being a woman who cries in overflow of gratitude for the sacrifice that he makes.
The truth is, Peter IS the head of our home.
“Is” is considered a verb is because it “expresses existence or a state of being.” The Lord didn’t say that he could lead if he was a good leader, deemed worthy by me on any given day… He said that my husband IS the leader.
Leader is his state of being, not a thing I decide for him.
My willingness to walk in submission to my husband ultimately became an issue of my willingness to submit to the Word. And while I can argue with my husband all day, often getting my own way after wearing him down… you won’t ever find me arguing with the Word of God.
It was in this place of surrender that my marriage began to find true peace.
I could write on this all day (and I will again soon, I am sure of it), but for today I will leave you with this:
Husbands, love your wives as Christ loves the church… but wives, if he does not do this, he IS still your leader and you should honor him as such. The Word does not return void. Apply it without prejudice to your own life and watch it transform everything!
I have seen this myself, that even in our hopelessness, the Lord is faithful and just to fulfill His promises.
Love each other well and without selfish ambition, my brothers and sisters. You are the reflection of the living God who has created us. The world is looking to you, to us, for example of how our Father loves. What will they think of Him if we tear each other to pieces while claiming victory in Christ?
Follow Him, follow His Word, without reservation. That is the only way to bring about true revival that we long for.
Until next time, may the Lord keep you in His perfect peace and in harmony with one another.
*This is not a disclaimer where I will advise you to leave if you are in an abusive relationship. God can heal that too. If you don’t believe He can, however, you should leave because He probably won’t. If you do believe He can bring healing, you need to seek counsel immediately and ensure your continued safety while your spouse begins a process of healing and restoration in the Lord.