She who has ears, let her plug them!

August 12, 2008 at 10:40 am (A Slice of Life, Attitudes, Godly Living, Marriage, Submission) (, , , , )

It was a hot morning in early summer. I planned to mow the lawn that day and my dear husband, before he left for work, reminded me that I should wear earplugs to protect my hearing.

Grumble…”Why is it such a big deal to wear earplugs? I mowed my parents’ lawn for years without wearing earplugs! My dad never made me wear them.” This was not the first time we’d discussed this issue. Nathaniel had told me before that I should wear them, but I’d forgotten to do it the last time I’d worked in the yard. He patiently reminded me of the statistics, how a lawnmower was loud enough to damage your eardrum and potentially cause hearing loss as you grow older. He even showed me a chart on the internet based on scientific research. He was right! And still I grumbled on the inside.

So, an hour or so later, after Nathaniel had left for work and I had gone out to the garage to get the mower ready, I remembered that I should wear earplugs. I am a submissive wife, after all, I thought. So, with a sigh of resentful resignation, I obediently went back inside to get them.

As I mowed the lawn that day, I began to realize that I hadn’t been submissive at all. I asked myself the same question that I’d asked Nathaniel earlier: “Why is it such a big deal to wear earplugs?” I had made it a big deal by refusing to respond with joyful obedience. And when I finally did “obey”, it was only out of duty and not out of love for God or my husband. But, as is true in many cases, when we choose to obey even when our heart isn’t in it, God works in our hearts to change our attitudes. And He sure did in this situation. I had allowed my stubborn heart to rob me of joy–I’d been resentful and complaining in my heart all morning, leaving no room for rejoicing. When I let go of my foolish resentment, I began to see that my husband loved me and was looking out for me by insisting that I protect my ears. And he was patient with me when I was so mule-headed about it all! And I realized that my heavenly Father loved me enough to give me a husband as my head (and a quite wonderful one at that!) to lead me and protect me.

So what had been a spot of contention became a cause for joy and gratitude. I was humbled to realize that I am not nearly so submissive as I had imagined. I’ve taught others about what the Bible says concerning the relationship between husband and wife, and parents and children, and I thought somehow I had “mastered” submission. But none of us has truly “arrived”. I’m sure I will be growing in this area for the rest of my life!

I’m thankful to have come away from this experience with a better grasp of what it really looks like to honor the Lord by honoring my man: True submission is an attitude of the heart which results in outward respect and obedience. To think I do well by “dutifully” obeying is to miss the joy of true obedience and surrender to my God. And I will always have room for growth in this area–I’ve come to enjoy wearing earplugs to the glory of God, but who knows what other little issue will come up next to test me? It’s only a matter of time. By God’s grace, I hope to learn more quickly in the future! 🙂

Permalink 3 Comments

« Previous page