Listen Sis, I’m no expert in marriage, I’ve only been married for 15 years and there are things that I’m still learning myself. One thing that I have learned is that submission works. If you look to the Bible for guidance like I do, you’ll find women looking to their husbands to make decisions for their families. If we’re being technical, women weren’t really making any decisions. A woman went from her father’s house, where he made all of the family decisions, to her husband’s house where her husband would make all the decisions. We weren’t decision-makers.
If we take a quick look at other nationalities, we’d see this still happening today. All other nationalities except for ours. It seems that women of other nations know their roles within a marriage and they understand their roles. They understand they are there to be helpers (or helpmeets) for their husbands. For some reason Sis, we kick against the norm.
I’m not sure when the word submission starting getting a bad rep. When did submission become synonymous when something bad? Why do we fight so hard against submitting to our husbands, but find no problem submitting to anyone else? The very definition of submission is to, “yield to a superior force or the will or authority of another person.” Synonyms include acceptance or agreement. Now, I don’t know about you Sis, but if submission means being in agreement or accepting decisions my husband makes, then I’m winning in the submission game at all costs.
So is it the word, or the idea of yielding power to another person what seems to get our panties in a wad? I mean we have no problem submitting to the demands of our bosses, the laws in our country (at least if we want to stay out of jail), and anyone else’s it seems, but our husbands? That’s another story.
Even as a child, I knew that men and women had specific roles when it came to marriage. Growing up, I watched my Auntie Boosie wake up at 4 am every morning to iron my Uncle George’s uniform. She made his breakfast and coffee (to go) and kissed him goodbye at 5:30 am. While he was away at work, she made sure to keep the house clean, his clothes washed, and the refrigerator stocked with all of his favorite foods. When he came home, he was the center of attention. He always got the biggest piece of chicken, a prime seat in front of the television AND the remote. When Uncle George was ready for bed, she would retire for the evening herself. Uncle George and Auntie Boosie are still married to this day.
My Uncle George is now retired, he and Auntie Boosie spend their time surrounded by their grandchildren. I recently asked Auntie Boosie and Uncle George how their marriage has lasted 35+ years and they responded, “We knew what our roles were. We trusted each other.”
I’ve always thought of myself as an old school married lady. I knew that if I was ever to get married, I would make sure that I stayed in my lane. Let’s go back to the Bible again for a second. The roles of men and women are clearly spelled out in 1 Corinthians 11:3. Now, I’m not trying to rain on your parade Sis, but right there in black and white, there is a hierarchy. It’s a tough pill to swallow I know. But remember Sis, when you know better, you’re supposed to do better. Now I’m not saying that you’re not as good as a man, I’m just saying that your role as a woman is not the same as a man. Let’s dig a little deeper here and find our roles as wives.
My husband and I attended a Love and Respect marriage conference years ago where Ephesians 5:22-33 was discussed ad nauseum. This conference taught me a lot of things, when men feel respected in a marriage, they will make sure that their wives needs are met. When a woman feels loved, she will meet all the needs of her husband. But what happens when respect and love is missing? Do you stop doing your job at work because your boss is an ass? Do you stop showing up because your needs aren’t being met? Nah, Sis. You continue to do your job because your livelihood depends on it. Keep that same energy in your marriage Sis.
My favorite thing to say to my kids lately is, “Life isn’t fair, the sooner you realize that, the easier it’ll get.” Just like life isn’t fair, marriage isn’t always going to be fair. I know Sis, we want things to go our way all the time, but life just doesn’t work that way. There have been plenty of times where my husband has made decisions that I didn’t think was fair, but guess what Sis, I lived through it. My husband and I have been marriage coaches for married and engaged couples for years. Many of the wives complain that their husband doesn’t deserve their submission because he doesn’t know how to lead. Really Sis, that’s your reason for not fulfilling your job as a wife? He’s not doing it, so I’m not going to do it either?
I think about Abigail in the Bible whenever this happens. Abigail was married to Nabal. Nabal was a horrid man. He lived his life as a cruel, drunk, and an all-around difficult man. I’m sure it sucked being married to him. He truly lived up to his name, “Senseless, or Stupid.” Abigail had every reason not to submit to her husband, she made every effort to make the best of a bad situation. Unlike Abigail, you chose your husband Sis. You made a vow to love, honor, and obey. Last I checked, no one added, only if you do the same. Back to Abigail. Abigail saved her husband from being killed by David, for being a foolish bully. She could have let David kill him, but she helped her husband. Did he deserve it, nope. She still did it though, she knew what her role was as a wife.
I don’t know about you, but I’d rather submit to my husband than live my life alone. I know that every marriage takes work, and I am willing to put in the work to make my marriage work. Does that mean that sometimes I have to accept decisions that I wouldn’t make myself? Hell yeah! The truth is, like Uncle George and Auntie Boosie so eloquently put it, I trust my husband to make the right decisions for our family. Will he always get it right? Of course not, he’s human, but I am willing to be a helper to him and help him work it out when the sh*t hits the fan.
Our husbands married us because they could picture us as an extension of themselves. I don’t know about you Sis, but I’m not trying to mother my husband. He already has a mother, and I have enough kids. I married my husband because I saw him as a protector, a provider, someone who could help guide me to be a better wife, mother, sister, and friend.
There will be times in any marriage where you won’t feel like you’re on the same page. But just like grandmama and ‘nem, you don’t just throw in the towel when things get rough. Make the decision every day to put in the work for your marriage. Let your husband lead, be his biggest cheerleader. If he messes up, let him! Be there to help not hinder.
Now, like I said Sis, I’m no expert at marriage. I just follow the lead of the women before me who have put in the work in their own marriages. I like my role as a wife, I rear the kids, keep the home, and let my husband worry about everything else. If he needs my help, I have his back. I stick to my role and I let him lead me and the kids where he wants us to go. I have enough faith in him to know that he has our best interest at heart. Now, if he wants neon green curtains in a house decorated blue, we might have to have a serious heart to heart.