For years I wore the strong independent woman title with pride. I grew up way before my time and eventually I learned to do everything for myself, by myself and I didn't need anyone's help. In one sense there isn't anything wrong with that. It is a beautiful thing when someone beats the odds and accomplishes certain things in spite of the hand life dealt them. The single mom who worked her way through school and works hard to provide for her family. The underprivileged child who grew up and became the first person in her family to graduate from college. The lady who was raised with no father or male figures but turned out just fine in spite of. The person who wanted to be the complete opposite of what they saw around them so they worked extra hard to make something of them self. Whatever your narrative is, it is to be commended. But sometimes we can unknowingly rob ourselves of the beautiful freedom that comes with being equally yoked with a real man. A man that will lead us, cover us, make plans, think ahead, take charge, provide and protect. The issue is sometimes we can sabotage a good thing before it even begins. We’ve resorted to letting Instagram memes tell us how we should conduct ourselves in a relationship or on our journey to finding one. We know you’re a boss, that you’re independent, and you’re making things happen, but that does not take away from the fact that you need to be loved, protected and cherished and a man needs to feel needed, be respected and treated like the leader he is.
So what’s the secret strength of the strong independent woman? SUBMISSION. As ironic as it sounds, submission takes a much greater strength than one might realize. I know what you’re thinking “Rita, a real man should be able to handle all of this.” And to that I would say: a real man should not and will not compete for a position in a relationship that is rightfully his. Furthermore, anything with two heads will constantly will be at odds with one another.
But I feel you-I knew that in a marriage, the Bible calls us to submit one to another and calls the husband the head, so I desired to give my husband a submissive wife however, that did not and still does not always prove to be the easiest thing to do. Like many things, it’s easier said than done. I remember being on the phone with John one day while we were dating and having a conversation about something I was working on. I asked him for his advice/opinion about it but cut him short then went on to explain and offer several of my own solutions/opinions. All of a sudden he stopped me and asked “Why did you ask me for my opinion if you wasn’t going to accept it?”. I wish I could remember the specifics of the the conversation, but I don’t. The only thing I remember is being taken aback because I didn’t really see myself as doing anything wrong- I was only doing what I had always done which is analyzing a situation and trying to figure it out all by myself. I didn’t realize that by doing that it felt as if I did not value his decision making skills or his opinion. After all, I just disregarded it and was going to keep it moving. See, sometimes it’s not even straight up blatant rebellion that we display. Sometimes it can be in the subtle things we do and say. So, the main thing to adjust is your attitude concerning this entire topic. As with many things, submission is an attitude of the heart so whatever is going on in there manifests in your actions. As long as you have the correct attitude, your actions will begin to follow if you put some effort behind it and work on it.
I know what else you’re thinking, “Rita this man is not my husband so I do not need to submit to him right now.” And to that I would say you are absolutely correct. You are not required to submit to any man who is not your husband. However, there are levels to this- meaning a boyfriend is not going to get the same level of submission as a fiance and a fiance is not going to get the same level of submission as a husband, but there should be some sort of submitting at each level. There is not going to be an magical switch that goes off in your brain the day you say “I do” that instantly makes you a submissive wife. This is something that you want you start “practicing” for lack of a better word right now. Besides, how will your mate know you are even capable of submitting if you wait until the wedding day? Chances are you will never make it there if he doesn’t see it in you before then. While John and I were dating, I would yield to him in certain situations. For example, I used to be very strong willed when it comes to doing my own thing. I had been single for a while and I was used to doing things my way. John didn’t like when I would do things such as go to the ATM or the gas station late at night by myself or just small things that I didn’t really see as a big deal because again I had been doing it my way for so long. So instead of continuing to go back and forth with him I decided to just listen to him and slowly but surely he began to chip away at my stubbornness. When we got engaged I took it a step further. I let him have the final say when it came to some of the decisions, even ones that did not directly affect our future together. I was getting myself into the mindset of letting him lead as well as showing him that I was capable of letting him do so.
Now, notice I said there is a beautiful freedom that comes with being EQUALLY yoked to a REAL MAN. You don't submit to just anybody If you’re trying to do this with a man who does not fit into both of those categories then you will find yourself frustrated and fighting the process. You have to be able to trust the person who is leading you otherwise you will never be able to fully let go. The reason why it is so easy to submit to John is because I know that he is fully submitted to God. That fact puts my mind at ease knowing that I am covered by my husband and we both are covered by Christ.
To be completely honest, it feels good to follow my husband’s lead as He submits to Christ. It feels as if a huge weight was lifted off of my shoulders. Leave it up to us women, to always feel like we have to carry some sort of burden because that’s just what we do- we always make it happen. But can I free you really quickly? Just because you CAN, does not mean that you MUST. See, we were never meant to carry such a load in the first place- we weren’t built for it, and that’s why some of us are breaking down. We watched mama, big mama and may generations of women who came before us just do what they have to do and keep it moving, but that does not have to be your story. Allow yourself the chance to experience the beautiful freedom that comes with being equally yoked to a real man.
Still Hidden in Him,