The Big Lesson I Learned About Submission

Rosilind admits that she thought she knew what's submission. Yet after being married 8 years, the Holy Spirit revealed this truth to her.
Rosilind admits that she thought she knew what's submission. Yet after being married 8 years, the Holy Spirit revealed this truth to her. (Charisma archives)

With a great huff I drove to our local grocery store and bought a big bag of Tide and a bottle of fabric softener.

I felt like the biggest cheater in the blogosphere.

After all, I had blogged about and written a book of my own tried-and-true recipes for chemical-free cleaning products. I had Tweeted and Instagrammed my lovely homemade, 2-ingredient laundry detergent that was significantly less expensive than anything I could buy.

I felt like my creativity and frugality were highly insulted. And all because he wanted his clothes to smell like laundry detergent.

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Hrumph!

And then that little voice said something that both made sense ... and irritated me.

Don't you hate it when that voice makes sense ... and still tells you that you're wrong?

Yea, me too!

Because I really, really wanted to be right this time!

This is what the voice said:

It's impossible to submit in the big things until you learn to submit in the small things.

The thing is this: its not about me, my blogging reputation or how creatively frugal I am. Because I can have all those things in tact and live in a home where there is constant tension because I refuse to submit my right to be right.

Or ...

I can submit my right to be right and assure my husband that his needs and wants are my greatest priority in the home.

And this is what I've been learning in 2015, as I've made a greater effort to be more present with my family.

I am learning that my husband's wants and needs—no matter how trivial they may seem—need to come front and center.

Not because it's a nice thing to do.

Not because he deserves it because he's a really great guy.

Not even because there are 100 reasons why I love him.

(and all of those things are very true, and they really good reasons, but they are not the reason)

The reason is because the Bible says that a wife should be submitted to her husband.

Wives, be submissive to your own husbands as unto the Lord. – Ephesians 5:22

In my mind I had always viewed submission as something a lot more spiritual than laundry detergent.

In my mind, I had divided the home into "his and hers." His being the car and garage, and hers being the home and whatever makes it function—such as the laundry.

And I'll be honest, I'm still not there yet. Next month we'll celebrate 8 years of marriage and I feel like I'm only just now "getting" this idea of submission that has always seemed so nebulous and foggy.

I used to talk about it a lot as a single person, because without a husband requiring my submission it was black-and-white.

Suddenly I found myself married and someone telling me what to do!

The nerve!

Oh—and for the record, I'm also 2 years older than him. A fact I have brought up a time or two, lest he forget that bit of leverage I have.

Not that age factors into this very important biblical principle. God frankly doesn't care if I'm younger, older or much older.

So, I stopped talking about submission almost entirely, because I felt that until I had begun to comprehend this complex idea of submission, it was best that I just be quiet.

And yes, it is complex. It's complex because it requires two people to lay down the rights and their lives.  The Bible tells women to submit to their husbands as unto the Lord, and the husbands to love their wives as Christ loves the church.

But it does not say that if our husbands don't love us as Christ loves the church that we can hang that over their heads as an excuse as to why we refuse to submit.

See how complex this is?

It requires us to surrender our will and our right. It requires us to lay down our lives.

So, today as I pull a load of nice-smelling, chemical-laden clothes out of the washer and prep them to hang on the clothesline, I do it with great love and surrender.

Oh—and thanksgiving because there is peace in our home.

I have given up so little, and received so much!

Rosilind Jukic, a Pacific Northwest native, is a missionary living in Croatia and married to her Bosnian hero. Together they live in the country with their two active boys where she enjoys fruity candles, good coffee and a hot cup of herbal tea on a blustery fall evening. Her passion for writing led her to author her best-selling book The Missional Handbook. At A Little R & R she encourages women to find contentment in what God created them to be. You can also find her at Missional Call where she shares her passion for local and global missions. She can also be found at these other places on a regular basis. You can follow her on Facebook, Pinterest and Google +.

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