She Experienced a Sweet Marriage Through Submission
How did this young lady become a woman that would give up all for the Lord and her husband? It began even before she was born. Her father was raised in a local church that taught the word of God concerning a submissive wife along with other true teachings. He agreed with these teachings and God developed her father’s character to be the man he is, even today.
Her mother’s church may or may not have taught these truths as her father’s church did, but when her mother grew up, she had a desire to be willing to follow His word of truth. Yes, her mother was a submissive wife; quiet, gentle, and very cheerful and pleasant to be with. Even though her mother had many burdens laid upon her and made mistakes as all of us do, she raised her children with her husband as he desired.
This young woman, seeing her mother’s relationship with her father along with the teachings of the Scriptures from the church, wanted to be a submissive wife also. There was one catch; this young woman being naive did not know what it would mean to be submissive, at least, to her own husband when she married. The desire was very strong, the word of God was very sure, but the exercising of this truth in her life (soul) was minimal. Perhaps it is like this for all young brides. It takes the marriage relationship to truly develop this character of submission.
Looking back now, this young woman had, as she perceived it, a difficult life growing up. At the age of nine she believed in, followed, and willingly gave her heart to the Lord Jesus Christ. He brought her to the Heavenly Father, where she could and did pray as He desired. The sins she had committed previously were abandoned and a new heart was experienced. She loved the Lord more than anything and anyone. She loved learning from His word; poetically speaking, “sitting at His feet.” She loved singing songs to uplift His name and His truth.
She became a fountain of good news, preaching the gospel to those who did not know Him whom she loved and who saved her from her sins and a damnable eternity. She did not want anyone to remain “unsaved.” She wanted everyone to be with the Lord in heaven for all of eternity. And it was this that caused her suffering.
Yes, she suffered with her Lord, through the rejection of men. Even at nine years of age her classmates turned away from her and friendship was something she knew little of. These experiences were to develop her character and personality for the future God had planned for her.
In the academic schools attended, she loved sports and art. In such schools she excelled in these fields. She also enjoyed science and business classes.
There were other places of learning she also attended and they were Sunday school, Bible Camp, and Christian girl’s clubs. These were a delight to her heart. She loved learning about the Lord and His word. At the age of 13 two things happened; one she was baptized, and two she wanted to be a missionary. She loved it when preachers or missionaries came to her own home for a meal and fellowship. She would sit on the floor and listen to the men discuss the Scriptures. It was wonderful to her. She later taught Sunday school herself, and worked at Bible camps. Then upon graduation from the 12th grade, she went to a one year Bible school and then off to college for 7 years. She worked her way through school, graduated as an art major, and afterwards got a job.
Seeing no prospect for marriage, she committed her heart to the will of the Lord and continued teaching Sunday school classes, working, and fellowshipping with her local church and young Christian people. One day, however, a young man came to her local church. Unlike any of the other young men in the church he knew the word, was willing to speak in the church, and was very capable of expressing the truths of God’s word. He was wonderful, and an honorable young man. Soon he discovered her and sought her hand in marriage. She willingly consented with her father and mother’s approval.
One interesting side note, the young man she later married thought she would be a faithful and submissive wife because she was living at home. She was 29 years old at that time and still in her fathers’ house. Some young men may not have even been concerned about such a thing; but he was. He was concerned for her and God’s purposes for both of them together. Marriage is designed by our Heavenly Father for life; and he was careful about her fitting into what God had planned for him.
Through this marriage a whole new life experience and journey began; one of maturity and understanding of the ways of the Lord in her life. She had many things to learn.
It appears that marriage was not what she thought it would be. There were some inherent difficulties that neither she nor her husband expected. She made some poor choices at times which did not help; diligence in housework was lacking sometimes. But all was not lost. In Christ whom she hoped in, there was always hope, though there were times when she felt hopeless. But the Lord was faithful to bring her back to the hope that is found in trusting Him, and she followed.
You see, she could have refused the encouragements of the Lord to continue trusting Him and doing the things He had taught her from His word. But she did not refuse. Many of King David’s writings in the Psalms encouraged her at these times, and she developed a determination to not give up on obeying the Lord from a pure heart and a cheerful soul. Though this seemed impossible at times, the Lord always helped her back up to have faith in that Rock, which is Christ. Yes, she always got back up. This is the way of the Lord with His children.
There were many difficulties in her life, but she never thought of leaving her husband because of them. It was ingrained in her to work alongside her husband, lift him up in prayer to the Lord, and to help in every way she could. Also, the way in which she wanted to help her dear husband was that she show him respect, that he would be the one to make final decisions, and that others would respect him as the head of their home.
There were a few miserable times when she brought him shame. Typically if she saw that she had embarrassed her sweet heart (husband) in public, she would be immediately convicted by the Lord Jesus. She would then go into her room privately and with a sad heart confess her sin to the Lord. Immediately following that she would go up to her husband and as quietly and privately as possible, ask him to forgive her. After that she would remain quiet during the rest of the activity in order to keep her mouth or actions under control by the work of the Holy Spirit in her life; for none of this would be possible without Him.
This behavior kept her and her husband dear to each other and provided for an openness of love in their relationship. Failures should never keep a husband and wife apart. It is the lack of confession to God and your spouse that may separate your affections. And if kept that way for a long time, this can cause big problems in your marriage relationship. It is best if your love to God and each other is so strong, and so true, that you both would come quickly to the other, to receive the other in order to forgive from the bottom of your hearts. Yes, this should make you both glad that you are grieving over your failures in life and that your marriage, your lives together are more important than these things. Bringing peace to your spouse and joy should be of top priority. Don’t you think so?
Having an open door for communication with the Lord and her husband were the most important things in her life. Later as the children came, she wanted the same openness with them. This openness is two sided. The husband or child also has to want and keep these doors open. But this did not always happen. They did not have the same mindset as she did.
So as far as it was up to her, she kept her heart at peace, as the Scriptures said in Romans 12:18. More than that she needed peace in her own heart with herself when others would not want to talk about their lives or talk their problems out. When peace was found within, she could go on loving her dear husband and children.
To find this peace she needed the wisdom from above described in James 3:17 and 18. As you read this passage you will see that this wisdom is peaceable. Getting this peace is something you must work out with God’s help in your life. For it is God who is at work in you both to will and to do His good pleasure, Philippians 2:13.
So here she is today. The problems still come, some from within and some from without. That is how life is in this world. But she has Christ, and He has overcome the world. He was tempted as we are yet without sin, say the Scriptures in Hebrews 4:15. All power is His, and He loves her. He loves all His children. Are you a believer, a child of God? Then know that He loves you too. He loves us with an unending love. His love and power will see you through.
Do you believe this? You must. If you believe on the Lord Jesus Christ as proclaimed in the Word of God, then believe the whole word of God with proper understanding. If we understand the truth in God’s word it will set us free.
I hope this little story is a help to you in understanding the inner workings of becoming a submissive wife and believer. I know that you must make this journey yourself and your particular experiences may differ, but God will see you through to godliness also. And one day you may be compelled to share your story with others, as to how God made you like His Son, Jesus Christ.
The work and complete transformation is yet not complete in her. That work goes on until the day she dies, or is taken up into heaven. So the work goes on. The road goes up and down but never crooked. She will fall and may even need someone to pick her up. Will you be there for her? You, who are the body of Christ; will you be there? For she knows that God, the Holy Spirit, and Jesus Christ, her God, is there for her.
The Lord bless you, and keep you; The Lord make His face shine on you, and be gracious to you; The Lord lift up His countenance on you, and give you peace.
With all my love,
Sister Patti Phillips