In the beginning…
In the beginning there was a certain look that spoke volumes. In the beginning there was a sense of excitement that shimmered in the air. In the beginning nothing could rain on the parade. In the beginning an innocent brush of the hand when picking up something fallen felt like a bolt of electricity shooting through your body. In the beginning no wrong was too bad, everything could easily be forgiven if it was even noticed in the first place. In the beginning work went into every part of the hair, thought was put into if this shoe went with that skirt and how it would make your legs look.
And then time went by. Not all the experiences were new anymore. Sometimes things were said that really hurt and in fact left a scar. Instead of running into the embrace or giggling when an arm went around your shoulder, you turned away. Not that your relationship was a bad one. You both just got tired and comfortable. And kids multiplied those feelings. Now you both just long to crawl into bed and SLEEP without interruption. Now you both change into sweats at the end of the day and maybe have forgotten a little bit what ties and heels are all about.
Maybe you still celebrate those special moments. Together you cherish the little accomplishments. But maybe your conversation has changed. Now you talk about your kids poop in a second-hand type of way. Instead of dreaming hopes and dreams you’re living them and barely have a chance to think. You still share those specials smiles, but now it’s about the kids instead of the two of you. At this point you both know which buttons to press and have pressed them…probably more than once. You go out for date night, but now that’s somewhere casual instead of la-te-dah. Boiled down to the deepest part, you are still madly in love with your man, but your relationship needs some sparks.
Along the way you read some marriage books and you get excited and passionate. You try some new things. You start wearing perfume everyday. And you read some blogs that remind you about the beginning. You get tips on how to encourage those feelings. When he walks into the room your heart starts to quicken again. Suddenly you are counting the minutes until he returns and not just cause you need a break.
Then you start thinking about Jesus and the radical way He lived. You start thinking about living a lifestyle like that. You begin to scour the Word looking for the scriptures on real living. You find the ones that apply to the most radical way to live and love. And then you read again 1 Peter 3. And the first four verses seem so radical to the way a woman is taught how to live. I mean, of course you’ve always wanted to be submissive to your husband…maybe you just hadn’t thought through how that should look. Honestly, if I go to the core my mom did teach me to live this way. And I have at points, but there is always the times when life gets to you and you get a little lax. But some of those concepts are pretty hardcore…like living as secondary. How often are we taught in this secular world to put ourselves first; take a little me time; make sure they treat you right. This scripture is not talking about how they treat you. It’s talking about you the wife. How do you live? How do you serve your husband? How often do you bicker, complain and assert your way of doing things, your thoughts, your desires? Am I saying that women are less than men? No, I’m saying that we have been given this great opportunity to give of ourselves and find true fulfillment. We women, as wives, (or even women preparing to be wives) often look at our role as work instead our greatest blessing. Living a life where we adore, honor, praise, deeply love and enjoy our husbands is God’s gift to us. We can live a lazy marriage that is focused on what we are getting or we can live a vibrant marriage where our focus is on what we get to give. The choice is ours. Just because your spouse is a Godly man does not mean that we should ignore this verse. Our husbands need us to be a rock for them…one who draws them to God even in the most difficult moments. One who inspires their passions in their Creator and their dreams.
It comes down to humbling yourself. It is not always easy. Sometimes we’re right. Sometimes we actually know what is best. Sometimes we have needs. And so, from someone who is in the process of getting there, I ask you to read the words of Peter and open yourself to them. Allow the Holy Spirit to speak to your mind and heart. Ask Him to help you make the changes you need to make or to encourage you on the path you are already walking on. Forget what the world tells you you need to be like. Let go of their rules and way of doing things. Get radical. Submit. Live differently and see the hand of God at work in you.
1 Peter 3:1-4 (AMPLIFIED)
IN LIKE manner, you married women, be submissive to your own husbands [subordinate yourselves as being secondary to and dependent on them, and adapt yourselves to them], so that even if any do not obey the Word [of God], they may be won over not by discussion but by the [godly] lives of their wives,
2When they observe the pure and modest way in which you conduct yourselves, together with your reverence [for your husband; you are to feel for him all that reverence includes: to respect, defer to, revere him–to honor, esteem, appreciate, prize, and, in the human sense, to adore him, that is, to admire, praise, be devoted to, deeply love, and enjoy your husband].
3Let not yours be the [merely] external adorning with [elaborate] interweaving and knotting of the hair, the wearing of jewelry, or changes of clothes;
4But let it be the inward adorning and beauty of the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible and unfading charm of a gentle and peaceful spirit, which [is not anxious or wrought up, but] is very precious in the sight of God.