I really wanted to address the practical consequences I’ve seen in my own marriage, but that last post was starting to get … ahem… long-winded, so I’ve created a post addressing only the consequences! Lucky you! If anything, I think this should help us see how much submission to our husbands, or the lack thereof, affects the health of our marriage.
And since I naturally am not a good submitter, I’m the perfect example of how this can go horribly wrong! Here is just a sample of the consequences I’ve seen in our marriage when I have chosen, in disobedience, to not submit to my husband’s leadership.
I make decisions, usually big ones, that negatively impact our family.
For instance, right after writing a series about finding my individual purpose, which included being faithful with what I was doing and not starting something new, I came up with another blog idea that I decided to pursue. My husband gently suggested that maybe this wasn’t the best fit for our family, but I was excited and didn’t listen.
I ended up way overspent, frazzled at times, definitely not making any money, and to top it off, an owner of another blog threatened legal action against me! YEAH – wake up call! I shut the blog down, taking that as a clear sign that God wanted me to close that door.
My heart moves away from my husband and toward something or someone else.
I have already publically proclaimed my struggle with the adultery that you cannot see – infidelity of the heart. It’s something that I don’t want to shy away from talking about. When you are not submitting to your husband, your heart may be tempted to find another leader to submit to – because it is designed to harmoniously follow the leadership of your husband.
And once your heart makes that cross-over, the sin is committed, and you have emotionally disengaged from your husband.
My heart moves away from my husband to another idol – my children.
Maybe you don’t struggle with having emotional attachments to another man, but a more common struggle for women is the emotional attachment we have with our children.
Not that we shouldn’t have an emotional attachment to them – I hope you do! – I’m talking about when you detach the love you have for your husband, and place those emotions on your sons and daugthers.
For example, you cuddle and kiss your kids, but you’re not having sex with your husband. You have in depth conversations at the dinner table about eating peas and which play dates are set up for tomorrow – all the while, you are talking “to everyone” but you are physically directed to your children. You make no eye contact with your spouse. You avoid setting up a date night, yet again, because you will “miss the kids” so much.
I avoid spiritual growth.
For me personally, when I’m not submitting to my husband’s leadership, I become passive spiritually. I say I’m “depending on him to lead us spiritually”, but really, I’m just using that as a cop out to check out from my relationship with God – which is my responsibility (it is his responsibility to lead me in that).
I might avoid spiritual conversations with him. I don’t desire to pray, especially out loud. I don’t read God’s word. I don’t want to write on this blog – because this is one of my primary spiritual growth tools.
I resent my husband.
I could keep going on and on with examples! But I want to wrap up with this – because I think it’s quite a common occurrence: When I deliberately avoid submitting to my husband, I begin to resent him.
I don’t like that he’s my “leader”. I don’t respect anything he says. Every nice gesture is written off in my mind. I think thoughts such as “He never helps me around here!” or “He’s always trying to get me to xyz…” The resentment is just a wall I’m putting up to avoid his leadership, and that wall is made of some very strong materials!
When this happens, it takes some real work to tear the wall down. I pray that if you are in that place right now, that you can take the blinders off, cast off the resentment, and see the truth: that God gave you a husband who loves you. Stop looking for the ways he is failing, and start acknowledging the way he is excelling for God’s glory!