Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.
I prayed for so long to see my husband become the spiritual leader in our marriage. My husband has always been good to me, but we had reversed roles for most of our marriage. Over time, exhaustion overtook me and I recognized the quiet wisdom in my husband. If we could manage to love each other the way God intended, it would be a welcomed relief. The Lord was faithful to answer my prayer after ten years of marriage. Recently I saw a shift in my husband after he surrendered to the Lord’s will. He made different choices, acted differently and gave up bad habits. He even started advising me to spiritually protect us. Every time I noticed these changes, I embraced them with a smile. I thanked God for this life-changing blessing.
One day, I was not so quick to embrace the change in my Husband. While we were prepping dinner one night, I shared my thoughts about a situation, hoping to discuss it. Our thoughts differed as we struggled to understand one another. Slowly but surely the conversation escalated until he felt we needed a break. In contrast, I felt we were finally making progress. In attempt to abide by our previous agreement, He sternly ordered the conversation was over and we would revisit it at a later time. Suddenly, my husband taking authority in our marriage was not so attractive. I did not think a break was necessary and felt completely cut off.
I stood at the stove crying over the potatoes I was stirring. To my surprise, this hit a wound that had been festering since childhood. There were many examples of authority figures who were unreliable, emotionally immature or did not operate in love in my life. These experiences scatter across areas of my life, which resulted in self-reliance and trust issues. Although my husband has proven his trustworthiness, I am still learning to fully trust a perfect God, much less imperfect people. I am 31 years old, but in that moment I felt like a child being forced to brew in silence. It is not easy to submit to authority when you do not agree with their choice.
The Lord reminded me, He knows exactly how that feels. The Almighty Creator lowered Himself to be born as a vulnerable, weak human infant. He spent years subjected to the authority of flawed human beings as he grew to maturity. I’m sure Jesus endured many things by exercising a humble attitude as children in that time period had little to no rights, often seen as an annoyance. I can easily speculate He did not agree with every order He was given as a child and had to set aside His way to respectfully obey. I realized this painful moment was actually an invitation of honor. If Jesus was subject to being humbled like a child, who am I that I would not be also. This is one small piece of what it means to take up my cross and follow Him.
Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. –Romans 13:1 ESV
What I lacked in that moment was complete trust in the Father. Jesus had no fear because no matter what decisions those in authority made, He trusted the Father would meet His needs. The Father is the ultimate authority over all who have authority on earth. Government, church leaders, management, parents, and husbands were all given their authority by God and are subject to God. Tiana once shared that she chooses to honor and respect her husband. Not necessarily because she trusts every decision he makes, but because she trusts every decision God makes. This was such an inspiring truth.
Our salvation is hinged on the humble obedience of Jesus and His trust in the Father. Before His crucifixion, Jesus struggled to accept the path of pain and humiliation the Father had set before Him. We see this struggle when Jesus asks three times for the Father to “Let this cup pass from me” in Mathew 26. Despite the immense weight of His fate, Jesus submitted to the Father’s will saying “not as I will, but as you will”. I hope that as we look back to Jesus’ life, we will take the time to consider how God is trying to humble our hearts. Just as Jesus’ humble attitude and submission to God made way for life more abundant, ours does as well.
It took longer than I’d like to admit to realize that I needed to trust God. In my hurt, the Lord comforted me with a promise. He will heal my wound and refine my husband as he learns to lead. Turns out, I didn’t see the reason for the break in conversation because the break wasn’t for me, it was for my husband. Just because I didn’t understand his decision, doesn’t mean it wasn’t a good decision. It is worth the rocky road of laying down my pride and sense of control to discover the joy of a marriage that glorifies God. More importantly, learning to humble myself before the Lord, choosing His way above my own, will serve as the foundation of a life that glorifies God.
Remember to prioritize firsthand Bible reading every day, only the Word has the power to transform."All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work."2 Timothy 3:16-17 ESV