“Learning to Submit”

by Jeni CarrImage

Ephesians 5:31 “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.”

 

When my husband and I got married in 2001, we decided to combine our checking accounts into a joint account.  I have to admit, I didn’t like that very much.  I enjoyed the independence of having my own account and my own money.  With a joint account, he would know what I was spending and how much I was making.  He never questioned me about my spending habits but having to discuss finances with him bothered me. I felt as if I was giving up part of my independence.  

 

When I became pregnant with our first child, I always said I was going to go back to work.  Being a stay-at-home mom meant losing more of my independence. I couldn’t see doing that even for my own child.  As the weeks and months went on, I became more and more attached to the little baby growing inside my belly.  The decision to go back to work was becoming less attractive.  I knew there was no way I could ever leave her.  My husband and I talked. We agreed we would do whatever was necessary, so I could stay home with her.  It was not an easy decision.  You see, when I was a senior in high school, I dated a guy, who seemed great, but after a year into our relationship, things changed.  He never hit me, but he was verbally and mentally abusive.  Once I finally got up the nerve to end it, I made a promise to myself no one would ever tell me what to do and I would never have to depend on anyone ever again.  Making the decision to stay at home was going against everything I was feeling.  It meant having to depend on my husband for everything.  I would have to ask him for money. If he ever asked why,  I would have to explain myself.  I didn’t like that at all.  There went the independence I had created for myself.  

 

When my daughter was 8 months old, I was feeling very empty.  How could I be feeling this way?  I had a wonderful, amazing husband and a beautiful daughter.  Every day I drove by Crossroads Church.  Each time I saw it, I felt compelled to go.  Finally I went.  After a couple months of attending Crossroads, I still felt like something was missing.  I felt led to speak to my pastor.  That day, I gave my life to Jesus. 

 

After being home for a couple of years, the itch for my independence came back.  I still wanted to be at home with my little girl, but I wanted to help provide for her financially.  My mom worked for Premier Jewelry, a Christian based business.  I prayed about it and instantly felt this was what I was suppose to do to help my family.  Not only would it help financially, it would provide some “me time”.  As I went to sign on the dotted line, I remember very clearly a small voice telling me “ask your husband.”  I thought to myself “why do I need to ask him, he won’t care.” Then once again the voice said “ask your husband.”  Before signing, I told the woman I had to talk with my husband first.  I went home elated. I was barely through the door before I started telling my husband about the opportunity this job would give us.  I could make my own schedule.  I could do as many parties a month as I wanted.  It was the perfect opportunity; the perfect solution.  Plus I just knew God was calling me to this business.

As my husband was sitting there listening, I could tell by the look on his face he didn’t agree. When I finished talking, the words “I don’t think this will work” came out of his mouth.  I was speechless.  “Why not?” I asked.  His words still ring clear in my mind.  “When you do something its never part-time.  You will put 110% into this business.  You will do as many shows as you can.  Then where will that leave Kaitlynne and me?  We would never see each other. No, I don’t think this is the right opportunity for you or our family.” OUCH!! Not what I wanted to hear.  Not only was my heart broken, but  I got angry and upset.  How could he not feel my excitement and want me to take this opportunity.  I went to bed mad and didn’t talk to him for a few days.  After I cooled down, I sat down and prayed about the whole situation.  I remember very clearly a whisper on my heart said,  “you need to submit to your husband”.  Suddenly I realized this whole experience was a lesson in submission.  WOW!  I knew God had been calling me one direction, but God knew my husband was not going to be on board.  God was teaching me to communicate with my husband and submit to him as the head of our household. 

 

Ladies, sometimes it’s not easy to step back and submit to our husbands.  However, when we do, God blesses our obedience.  Through obedience He strengthens our marriages and shows our husbands we respect them and their decisions. 

 

Genesis 2:8 “Then the LORD God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper who is just right for him.”

 

1 Corinthians 11:3 “But I want you to realize that the head of every man is Christ, and the head of the woman is man, and the head of Christ is God.”

 

Prayer: Lord Heavenly Father, thank you for the covenant of marriage, for making us a helper to our husbands.  Father remind us daily we not only have to submit to your will, but also to our husbands desires for our families.  Lord you have made him the head of our families for a reason.   We pray You would give him wisdom and guidance for leading our families.  We pray he will seek Your will in leading us as a family.  Bless our marriage, Father.  In Jesus Name, Amen.

 

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A Heart Healed


by Michelle Meeks

Psalms 34:18 “The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.”

I’m sure if I asked any of you if you had ever been hurt, your answer would be yes. Hurt can come in many forms: rejection, offense, death of a loved one, abuse…the list goes on.  Unfortunately, my way of “dealing” with hurt when I was younger was to bury my feelings.  I would cry sometimes, but usually no one knew.  On the outside I was fine, but on the inside, each hurt resulted in a brick being laid around my heart. To protect myself from hurt or rejection, I didn’t allow people to get close. As a result I lost friendships. I centered my world around my boyfriend. In doing this, I limited my chances of getting hurt.  He became everything to me. We married after I graduated from college. We had a small group of friends we began to socialized with, and I began to slowly open up my heart, but after a few years I found myself right back in that same place again,  hurt and rejected .  This time I decided I didn’t need friends any more, it wasn’t worth the pain. The walls around my heart were tall.  I thought nothing or no one will hurt me again. I was wrong. It was about this time, my Dad was diagnosed with stage four lung cancer.  I only thought I knew pain before.  This was  the deepest hurt I had ever known. This hurt penetrated every brick I had bracketed my heart with.  I remember lying in bed making a conscious decision to never feel this kind of hurt again. I still thought I had the power to keep my heart from feeling pain. I had to find a way. This was simply unbearable. As a result I closed off my heart to everyone. I chose anger as my reaction to any kind of hurt. Anger at God, my so called friends, and my husband and yes even my dad.  My husband,, who stood by me as he watched me push everyone else away, was the only one I had left, so he took the brunt of most of my anger, especially after my Dad died.  I never thought during this time what I might be doing to his heart, all I could think of was protecting my own.

Fast forward about 4 years, yes I lived like this, angry at the world, for 4 long years. I started attending a Disciple Bible Study, listening to Christian radio, and eventually I attended a Christian retreat called “The Walk To Emmaus”.  God was watering this hard, barren ground in my heart. Soil I had not tended to in a long time, I was too worried about protecting it to tend to it. But on this walk, God began the process of healing my heart. I asked God to forgive me for being angry with Him, but I still wasn’t sure about giving Him my whole heart.  He brought Godly friends into my life and used them to teach me about trust.  He gave me a safe place within this group of women to learn how to share what I was feeling.  Whether it was anger, sorrow, happiness…I could trust them with my heart. All along He was teaching me I could trust Him with it again too.  God was so patient with me. Yet, when it was time He came along side me and He walked me through the places of my heart I did not want to go and He loved me and showed me the gift of friendship and how much I was missing out on by closing my heart. You see not only did I not feel pain during this time, but I also had felt no love.  This was my greatest desire.

Recently God took me full circle, all the way to the core of me. He completely healed my heart.  One night, during a Bible study I was doing, we were asked to pray for a woman.  The first time I met her a few months ago, I thought, “She has the heart of Jesus.”  So, as each person prayed, I began to cry.  All I could think was this person carries the heart of Jesus, the Jesus who loves me and wants all of me, my whole heart.  When my turn came, I knelt at her feet.   As she wrapped her arms around me, I felt like Jesus himself was wrapping his arms around me.  The room and people around me disappeared.  It was if I had fallen into my Father’s arms. As He held me, all the pain, hurt, and grief I had kept buried in my heart over the years poured out of me.  Each tear I cried, He wiped away, healing all the broken pieces of my heart.  I don’t know how long I cried.  I do know, that night, Jesus healed me.

Psalms 34:18 “The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.”

Psalms 147:3 “He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.”

Isaiah 61:1 “The Spirit of the Lord is on Me…He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted.”

Are you like how I was, building walls around your heart to protect it?  Keeping people at a distance?  Do you find yourself lonely and longing to be loved and accepted?  Ladies, building walls won’t protect your heart, it will actually hurt it.  God created us to be loved and to love.  We can’t do that when we barricade our hearts.  Trust God with your heart and pray for Godly friends to love you as well

Prayer: Father, thank you for sending your Son to heal my broken heart. I pray that each person reading this, who has a broken heart, will ask You to heal theirs as well.  I pray they will invite you into every area of their heart, so You can mend it and make them whole again.  I pray for any barricades they have erected around their hearts, You will break down.  I pray they feel how much You love them and accept them and that You will bring Godly friends into their lives to love them as well.  Make them whole so they can be loved and love again.  Amen.