I have loved collecting stories about what it means to be a submissive wife this summer! This is part two of the series. Last time, Jenny gave 5 ways to submit to your husband that reflect the Biblical model. This week, I’ve asked my older sister Ashley to share. As adults we are great friends and love to spend time together! But I still sing my sad song of growing up with a “bossy” older sister in charge of every game, activity, and birthday candle. You middle children know what I’m talking about… She is extremely extroverted, a gifted communicator, and one of the strongest people I know! And she is also a great wife. But often I see wives with these strengths and personalities run over their husbands. Sometimes unintentionally! We don’t want to become shy with our gifts and ignore who we are, but we also want to be submissive. This balance is tough for anyone to learn, but it can be even harder when we are natural leaders. From the outside, it’s obvious that Ashley and Josh’s marriage employs each of their Biblical roles while still maintaining who they are as individuals. Ashley may be a strong person, but my brother-in-law is definitely the head of their family! So here’s some advice and stories my sister shares from the inside of their marriage…
Anyone who knows me knows I have a very strong personality- just ask my sisters! As much as I don’t like to admit it (and probably won’t ever outloud), I am a control FREAK!! I like to be in charge. I like the seat of power. It is something I consider my greatest strength and also my greatest weakness.
I was always a little worried when it came to finding my spouse, that there would be this internal struggle with submission. Being a biblically submissive wife seemed like an impossible task for someone with my personality and something I would wrestle with for most of my marriage.
Josh and I just celebrated our sixth wedding anniversary.
Now, Josh is quite possibly as opposite from me as he can be. I am outgoing and headstrong, were as Josh tends to be more introverted and peaceful.
We have had many disagreements, yet have learned about how to talk things through. From the beginning, we knew it would be important to figure out what biblical submission looked like in our marriage.
Personalities and Marriage
One way that has been helpful in figuring out what that looks like for us is to learn about each others personalities and how we are wired. We have taken several different types of personality tests. If you are familiar with the Myers-Briggs Personality test, I am an ENTJ and Josh is an INFJ. By taking the tests, we were able to realize that we are each motivated by different things: me by being in control and Josh building relationships and keeping peace. Since I like to be in control and am outgoing, it is my responsibility to plan our social calendar. If it were up to Josh, we would hardly hang out with friends or have people over; while that sounds like pure torture to me! We have learned a balance.
Now, it might seem like a little thing, but one way I practice submission to Josh is by not over-planning our social calendar. Since I understand his personality, I know his limits and that he needs time at home to recharge. At the same time, he understands my need to be around people and invite them into our home, so he stretches himself to be more social than he would on his own.
Each marriage is unique. What works for us, might not work for you. Over the past 6 years, we have worked out this kind of system, so to speak, based on our strengths. We work together on things that need done around the house like dishes, laundry and mowing. Josh loves to research, so when we are thinking about making a larger purchase, I defer to his choices. These small ways tell Josh that I respect and value him as the biblical head of our home.
Talk with your spouse about ways you can learn to submit to one another. Submission doesn’t have to be just the “big” things in life. More often than not, it’s about the little ways we submit to each other. After all, marriage is about growing and learning together about how to look more like Christ.
The best thing you can do as a biblical wife is to pray. Pray for God to show you ways to practically submit to your husband. Pray for God to continue to shape your husband. Pray that your marriage will be a reflection of Christ and his love for us. Pray!