Friday, March 19, 2010

Serve my husband or throw away my Bible?

The most peculiar incident happened this past week. My darling husband participated in a memorial service for a relative who had recently passed away. There were several family members there and a couple of preachers from the family church. While Nate and Papaw were tending to the children, I tried to keep myself busy helping the ladies of the church with certain duties.

As I was transporting some food out the door I was stopped by a group of men; men well acquainted with my husband during his youth. And this is how the conversation goes:

Man #1: Now. Nate tells me that when he gets home you bring him his house shoes.

Me: (nodding my head with an approving grin), Yes, and I say, “Welcome home, my lord.”

Man #1 and the others in the group: What! (laughing), You better not let that get out! (laughing)

Me: What? You wouldn’t want your wives taking care of you and serving you?

All of the men: NOO! Ha, ha, ha

Preacher friend: Whatever book you’re reading you need to throw it out!

Now, honestly, I do not bring Nate his house shoes nor do I say, “Welcome home, my lord.” It is just a jest we have with each other. However, it is a serious jest we have about how God has changed my mentality over the years, since having children, and especially after the past few months. I’ve mentioned that even before having children or coming out of the workforce, I wanted to “take care of my husband and his home.”

I recently read a book that challenged my thinking even further. Passionate Housewives Desperate for God was oozing with great theological truths about the role of women in the household and the changes that feminism has brought not only to our culture but to Christianity. (The impact on Christianity is illustrated by the PREACHER'S comment above. Christian women have become feminist in their own rite and encourage views on egalitarianism. I walked in those shoes at one time, too. I believe man and woman were created equal in our importance to God. But most importantly, I believe God laid down roles within His government for us to hold as well. And for the woman, that does not include wearing the pants in the family. It means being submissive to her husband and serving her household.

Passionate Housewives Desperate for God really made me look into my role as mother and wife. Upon initially reading the book, I found my own words being reiterated from my post Losing Michelle. However, there was a difference. My views on “death to self” always came from a worldly view and not from inside the home. I knew I would need to lay down myself and serve others on the outside, but I had never put much thought into that happening in my own home. I never thought about sacrificing “me time.” When in reality “me time” is so contrary to laying down my life and following Jesus.

What does being submissive look like in our home? Nate and I both understand I am the manager of the home and he is the head. I take care of the constant flow of to do lists, chores, shopping, mailing, appointments, routines…the list goes on. However, my attempt is to do none of this without his approval. He makes the final decision on things like… if we have time or money for gymnastics or additional books. The wonderful thing about this relationship is he knows his and my strengths and weaknesses and we can negotiate and discuss. For example, I am a little less impulsive when it comes to spending but more impulsive when it comes to opening my mouth when I shouldn’t. He’s the opposite.

And the following is the hard part for me and I fail miserably at it on most some days. When Nate says, “Will you…?” I try, let me stress TRY, to get up and do it without a word. I try to not say, “let me finish this” or “after this…” Understand, in my nature I am very contrary and argumentative so this is very difficult for me some days. But, here are the reasons why I aim at submissiveness. Most importantly God commands me to serve others and be submissive to my husband. Also, it shows our children the way those governmental roles of God work. Dad serves and obeys his Head. Mom serves and obeys her head. I, the child, too should serve and obey all those in authority over me. If I get grumpy when I am asked to serve or do, then I should not be surprised when my child reflects that same attitude. And the number three reason… this has done wonders for our relationship. When I started everyday with the mindset that this relationship and this home are not about “me” and what “I” want and what makes “me” happy, the whole world started revolving in a different way. For those that believe I suffer, I am in no way deprived but full of joy.

I urge and encourage you to take some time to read Passionate Housewives Desperate for God. It will reveal or remind you of some of God’s lost truths about the women of Titus 2 and Proverbs 31.

So, when I told Nate about what the “preacher” said…his reply? “Why didn’t you tell him you got it from the Bible?” Man! Why didn’t I think of that!


Mike said...

It is reassuring to hear there are women like you impacting our children. I think "servanthood" is something even we men could learn, m'lady. Great post. It never dawned on me about feminism creeping into the church. Thought provoking.

Tracy said...

Glad to see you're blogging again.

I'll have to check out that book.

Can definitely see how feminism has crept into the church. More importantly, how just plain selfishness can creep into my life way too easily. I want to demonstrate a servant heart and be a woman who does things God's way; I don't want to be demanding or think everything has to revolve around me (and to be candid, it's easy for me to get that way).

Tony C said...

'Understand, in my nature I am very contrary and argumentative so this is very difficult for me some days.'

After reading this, I literally passed Coke through my nose...

I would have paid money to have been there if you had answered with Nate's suggestion. Priceless.

Daddy's Chick's said...

I found your blog by the way of FB and your post on the Passionate Housewives Desperate for God. Thanks for sharing your story . . LOL about the Lord thing with your husband . . mine is know as Mr. Wonderful. Have a blessed day and I look forward to following you.

Chel's Leaving a Legacy said...

Wow, girl. This post rings SO many bells in me!

At our reception when we got married, my husband's old high school friends asked me (after attending the wedding with all the old-fashioned "obey" words in our vows), "You're a smart girl. You don't REALLY believe in all that 'obey your husband' stuff, do you?"

You'd better believe I do.

Am I perfect? Heck no. Do I want to be? Yup.

I'm getting this book. Thanks for the heads up. And great writing, my friend. Sure have missed ya!

Stacy McDonald said...

Thanks for the great review, Michelle. And I really enjoyed your testimony! I Praise the Lord for faithful wives like you!