Today’s guest post is from Melissa Jackson who regularly blogs at Breath of Life and at Out of the Ordinary. I would encourage you to stop by both of these sites to check out all of the rich encouragement she has to offer!
I need you to call Annie* and see if she can cut my hair this weekend.
Somehow I resisted the urge to grudgingly agree while rolling my eyes and reminding my husband that he was perfectly capable of making this appointment himself. Instead, I said I would take care of it. But my mind was starting to churn, Why do I have to do everything for him?
What he said next astounded me. I don’t have the number for her new shop. I only have her cell phone number and I don’t feel comfortable calling her cell phone.
How often has my attitude put my husband in an uncomfortable situation? True, he is perfectly capable of handling this himself. After all, I’m not his mother. True, it was an inconvenience, albeit a minute one. But as I pondered over this conversation, I realized how blessed I am. My husband cares enough about our relationship to be uncomfortable calling another woman’s cell phone. By not calling her, he is protecting me.
Honoring my husband in such a little thing freed him to honor me in a significant way. As I considered this, I started to wonder how many times my pride and selfishness have stifled his attempts to honor, cherish, and protect me.
Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. (Ephesians 5:22, ESV) It’s a verse that makes many Christian women cringe, so put off by the first part of the verse that we completely miss the latter – and more important – part of it. If Jesus asked me to make his haircut appointment, would I find an excuse? If He asked if I had time to prepare His lunch for the next day, would I say no? Yet I often refuse my husband’s simple requests. I am not submitting to him as to the Lord.
Could it be that God, through Paul, addresses wives first in this passage because by submitting to our husbands, we help them fulfill their responsibilities under Ephesians 5:25-33? Nearly 20 years of marriage have proven this theory to me. When I set aside my rights to serve and submit to my husband as I would to Jesus, he reciprocates in ways that demonstrate his Christ-like love for me. And then an amazing thing happens; I find myself honoring him in more than just the small things.
His conviction about calling members of the opposite sex encourages me to never call or text a man (apart from work) without my husband nearby. His gratitude voiced in the privacy of our home encourages me to sing his praises publicly. His willingness to serve our family encourages me to do the same in those times when I feel least inclined to do so.
Are you discouraged because your husband doesn’t treat you as you feel you deserve? Perhaps he’s not the spiritual leader you expect or he’s not as romantic as you’d like. Could it be because you’re not paying attention to little things like making his favorite meal, picking up his dry-cleaning, or watching a football game with him? I have been in your shoes! I have bought into Satan’s lie that my husband would never be what I wanted without my “help”. It caused nothing but years of silent frustration on both our parts; I was trying furiously to control someone who did not want to be controlled.
Genuinely helping my husband means respecting, caring, submitting, and serving him, even – perhaps especially – in the little things. Genuinely helping my husband leads him to become more Christ-like. And as he becomes more like Christ, he leads and loves me in ways “far more abundantly than all that [I] ask or think, according to the power at work within [him]” (see Ephesians 3:20).
What’s making a haircut appointment compared to that?
*not her real name
Melissa is a working mother in Virginia, living a quiet and simple life (1 Thess. 4:11-12) with her husband and teenage daughter. She enjoys reading, writing, coffee, football, and bonfires. She is passionate about discipling teenage girls. She blogs at Breath of Life and Out of the Ordinary.