The difficult question of submission, not so difficult after all

We met at the age of 22. Our love and obedience to God was a decisive factor in our decision to marry. I had no illusions about my husband’s experience and abilities as a spiritual leader, to be the priest of our house. But I told him I loved God more than I loved him. And I think he will be able to love me the way I need to loved if he, my husband, loves God more than I do.

For as long as I know, I have taken the initiative in spiritual matters. I am my mothers daughter. And Words of encouragement are my favorite language for expressing and receiving love. The Scripture is God’s love letter to me, and I admit that it draws me to read and reread it.

On the other hand, my husband’s favorite love language is quality time spent with me and with God. To be in nature, to feel the wind on the skin and the smell of nature, of the earth, of the green, of the ocean, but especially to discover new flowers, for him is a purely spiritual experience. If I had waited for my husband to seek God just like me, I would have squashed the natural way my husband connects with God. 

Thanks to him, we explore nature together and we enjoy the creation as a spiritual experience, for our children as well. As part of the same team we feel God from different perspectives and it is revealing!

For a while this winter, We’ve had a healthy habit. While we were enjoying coffee in the morning, before dawn, when our daughters were still asleep, we read a chapter of the Bible and discussed it.

If we wake up after the children, or at the same time with them, we do not have the energy and patience to cope with their morning exuberance. Also, even if we wake up before them but we fill our minds with world news, the day doesn’t start well.

Like all good habits, they do not last indefinitely without effort. We get bored or tired of them. We easily forgot how naked and hungry we are if we do not feed and clothe ourselves with the Truth. At the same time, all nature is gray, absent, silent, cold.

I have seldom said in my life, “I need you, I need your help,” but this month I had reached the end of my wits. While we were each with our own, I wrote him a message: “I need you and your leadership in reading the Scriptures.” In a few seconds I heard him coming out of the office, and I saw him coming down the stairs with the Bible in his hand. Without another word, we resumed our habit.

As a good helper, we were called to join our husbands to work and protect the garden. As a suitable helper we submit to our husband, assuming the only responsibility we cannot delegate: as a suitable helper in the spiritual struggle. If we are called to be under the authority of the man, our greatest responsibility is the spiritual radiography of our husband. And to make sure that our husbands remain under God’s authority. For our entire foundation to remain vertical. 

With a wise heart, with a calm spirit, the woman has the power to fight for the man. To be an ezer. In the Bible god refers to himself as a suitable helper Ezer, the same term he used for the woman in Eden, when he came to help his people when they were at war. That is not a simple term but a mighty empowering definition for what suitable helper means. 

My husband does not interpret the Scriptures, and if he has an honest choice between hiking or going to church, he chooses nature. But he loves me as Christ loved the church and gave himself for it. When he gathers toys, when he waits for us with a hot meal after a day of running errands, when he puts children to sleep or helps with homework, when he receives a correction openly and courageously. He loves me well. 

We’ve been married for 15 years. Like two pillars of the temple, upright, together and thanks to Christ, we support the dome of the families. My power does not undermine his power. His authority does not crush my spirit. Together we are garden workers and caretakers. And the spiritual war is ongoing.