How Submission Saved My Marriage

home + family marriage Jul 30, 2015
Nobody likes the

How Submission Saved My Marriage

What? Did I just drop the "S-bomb"? Yikes! Nobody likes the "S" word. Are you going to keep reading this? That's probably the bigger question. I know the word "submission" is not the most popular word around.

Still reading? Oh good! Because I hope my story blesses you.

Submission Defined—by my Godmother!

First, let me share with you the fun "definition" of submission that my sweet & wise godmother told me once. I guess I should state that she and my godfather have been married now for over 60 years! Yes, that's right, 6-0! Skip count by ten six times!

She told me that all wives needed to submit to their husbands because it is biblical, — & it is practical. "What?" I asked, "Practical?"

"Yes," she continued. "You need to duck low enough in order for God to 'whack' him."

I laughed so hard over the visual that was created in my head.

But there is so much truth to that! Wives need to get out of the way of what God is trying to do in our hubbies' hearts. When we spend too much time trying to fix him, teach him, tell him, correct him, beg him, threaten him, — wow, this list could go on! You get the picture. When we are so "loud" that our voice is all he is hearing, how do we expect him to hear from the Lord?

We need to get ourselves out of the way and allow God to do His thing!

Okay, Now on to My Story...

I'm sure my story starts like so many of your stories. The details might be different, but the overall picture is the same — disagreement.

We were at a crossroads. We had two beautiful children. He was done. I was not. I begged him. I cried. I showed him Scripture about how "children are a blessing from the Lord" and "blessed is he whose quiver is full." I came at him with every logical reason I felt he needed to hear in order to have more kids.

But as strongly as I wanted more, he felt equally strong about being done.

It hurt! Deep hurt! Ache!

I didn't understand. He gave me his reasons. The logical side of why two was good for us. He was right on many levels. Having more kids affected our lives dramatically: financially, flexibility, travel plans, stress level, sleep quality, etc. He had valid reasons.

I threw some "oh-so-godly" responses back at him like, "But we just have to trust God and have faith that He will give us the strength." Yes, I was right, too.

However, I was not being a helpmate to my hubby. I was becoming his adversary. We lacked peace in our home.

I had so many people praying. Praying that God would change one of our hearts because something had to give.

I knew I wasn't being submissive. But at the time, I didn't care. I wanted a baby and I felt like submission meant that he won — & I lost my dream of another child.

I didn't see the bigger picture.

Fast Forward Three Years...

We were on a business trip, and I was " late." I kept thinking to myself, "God did it! He got me pregnant. He wanted us to grow our family." The pregnancy tests were negative, but I was so hopeful.

Then the news came. Dreadful news. One of my husband's business associates, a dear friend of his, lost his wife. She had lost her battle with cancer. It was devastating for everyone on the trip.

Plans were made for us to fly home separately. I'd fly home to be with the kids. He'd fly with the other guys in his company to go to the funeral.

We kissed goodbye, and I headed to the airport.

It was at the airport that I got more devastating news. My period came. I was just late. Not pregnant. I remember sitting at the table outside the coffee shop waiting for my plane to arrive sobbing. I really thought God had given me my miracle — without my husband.

But that wasn't the miracle God was up to. His miracle was timing. His miracle was working things together in His way, not my way. Not my words, His words.

At the funeral, my husband said he kept hearing people talk about how his friend loved his wife and spent his whole marriage living out his love for her. He said it made him think, "Am I showing Kristi my love? Is there any way for me to show her how much I love her?"

It hit him. He could show me love by giving me the one thing he knew my heart deeply desired. A baby.

As luck would have it, he got home a few days before our 10 year anniversary. He had already planned out an incredible weekend. But now he had one final gift that he saved for the end.

We renewed our vows that weekend with the pastor who married us. My heart felt peace as I remembered all the amazing things I loved about my husband. I fought to let go of my desire to have more children because I knew I treasured our marriage.

The next morning I awoke to a book. The same book with a hollowed-out secret compartment that he used when he proposed. The same book I used to tell him we were pregnant for the first time. But this time the message was unexpected.


That's all he put on the note inside: "3" That's all the note had to say. I knew what it meant.

God worked in His timing and with His words. Not mine. He allowed life to come from death.

Now before you get a false impression that having another baby fixed everything. It didn't. My pregnancy was hard and a constant reminder of why he was apprehensive about having another. We fought. He was frustrated. I had pregnancy hormones raging through my body, so I cried — a lot!

Nine months after our anniversary we welcomed our precious baby boy #3.

I still can't go long without looking at him and feeling that warmth of knowing that he is my miracle baby: my biggest answer to prayer.

"But wait! You weren't submissive at all in this story & wait! I thought you have 5 kids?"

Yep! You are right.

My sweet little guy was loved by all. He was such a blessing. But my lack of respect and submission left a scar. A deep wound in our marriage.

God convicted me my whole nine months. I hadn't been submissive. I needed forgiveness.

So, one night as we were driving home from a fun date night out with our little nursing baby in tow, I turned to my husband and asked his forgiveness. I told him that I wanted things to be different —then I dropped the bomb.

I wanted another baby!

What? Bad timing? How could I ask for forgiveness, and then bring up all the hurt surrounding the last go around on this subject?

Well, this time I did it right.

I told him that I desired to have more kids, but that this time I was going to submit. This time, I would respect him as the leader of our home. I would listen to him and support him. I told him that "when and if" he thought he could possibly be interested in having another — I was totally on board. Until then I was not going to harass him as I did before.

I had seen how God could move when I "ducked" low enough and got out of the way of what He was doing. He needed me quiet so he could hear from the Lord.

Three years later we welcomed #4. I'd like to say I was perfectly quiet on the subject. I wasn't. I'd bring it up every now and then. Just checking in to see where his heart was at. But it was different this time. I didn't attack and try to force my way. I just checked in. Again, God brought someone else along that said something that stirred his heart to want more. {Thank you, Voddie Baucham}

Then two years later we welcomed #5.  God once again used other people to speak into my husband's heart.


My husband would tell you that he feels like I "hear" God better than he does. He listens to my opinion. We discuss things. I have "a say" in things! Submission does not void your value as a partner in the marriage. It simply puts a title on who is the CEO. I like to say I'm the COO. :) He's the head of our home & I'm the heart. I regulate the pulse.

My husband is an excellent leader. He is patient. He loves hearing what is on my heart — even when I'm really long-winded (like this post). ;)

But I truly believe that when I learned to submit to my husband "as unto the Lord," that I helped to save our marriage. We were heading down a bad path when I fought it. I wasn't just fighting my hubby. I was fighting with the Lord and His structure for a family.

You are not a doormat. That's not submission. You are God's daughter! You are your husband's helpmate!

You are a woman who knows how to duck! So, duck low when you feel the friction starting! Then wait and see what God will do!

"Better to live on a corner of the roof than share a house with a quarrelsome wife."
Proverbs 21:9

"Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord."
Ephesians 5:22

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