Today, Kayla Nelson of The Accidental Nomad Life is guest posting for us. She was born a leader and has sometimes struggled with being a submissive wife. Boy, do I relate! Today, she is sharing her story and some practical tips for letting your husband lead.
It was almost painful. The burden of wanting to step in, take care of it, and just get it done was weighing so heavily on me.
But I couldn’t.
My husband had asked to be the leader when it came to our finances — he had to be the one to sort it out, and I had to do my best to pray peace and quiet over myself.
Being Submissive When You’re a Leader
I am a natural born leader — a trait that can make or break a relationship. Dynamics change so much from dating to marriage, and many times it goes unsaid.
The changes that I would have to allow Jesus to make on my own heart during our first years of marriage were painful and trying, but so worth it.
I have seen many arguments over the issue of being a “submissive” wife — some people see it as the woman playing the doormat, others see it as a necessary evil, but I see it as a blessing.
My own understanding of the phrase “submissive wife” is this: Allowing your husband the space to lead your family, making mistakes along the way, while being a supporter of his decisions.
Does that mean that I have no say in matters? No. On the contrary, I’m not sure I could ever stifle the leader part of me when an issue arises. I can’t keep completely silent, and I’m not meant to. When something comes up, my husband and I sit down as equals and discuss the options. I let him know clearly, but respectfully, my opinion. However, in the end, I allow him the space to make the final decision, trusting that his wisdom will lead us in the right direction.
What the Bible Says About Submission
Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, His body, of which He is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything. – Ephesians 5:22-24
These verses are largely dissected and only a small portion of them is looked at when arguments come up about the submissive wife.
Paul gives us a clear picture of what submission as a wife is supposed to look like: think about your submission to the Lord — does He give you strict requirements to live up to, or anything that is unattainable or demanding? No. He is easy to submit to because of your love and respect for Him. He is asking us to do the same to our husbands. Loving him and respecting him enough to allow him to be the leader. That doesn’t mean to let him beat you down, make ridiculous demands, or to lose who you are as a person.
God gave us each distinct gifts that He does not expect us to throw out the window. If you are a born leader, find creative ways to lead your family while still submitting to your husband. I am always finding something to organize (perhaps this is why I do so much rearranging all the time!), some way to make things easier for both of us to work together, or doing my own thing — like blogging and teaching our kids school. There are plenty of ways that you can be a leader in your family, while submitting to your husband without being a doormat.
Ways to Lead While Being a Submissive Wife
- Lead your family in verse memorization.
- Give your husband leadership ideas (asking him to lead devotions, set a schedule, etc.).
- Lead your family in prayer — be a diligent pray-er for them.
- Talk to your husband about it, share the struggle with him and ask him for ways that he would love to have your help in leading certain things. A good friend of mine is in charge of the finances because it helps her husband with one less thing. Find ways to help out like that.
- Show your children how much you respect your husband (they will gain so much from this).
- Pray for yourself. God will answer this one in mighty ways. I have seen it in my own heart and life. It’s incredible how clearly He answers a plea to know how to let your husband lead.
- Pray for your husband. He can’t be a leader by himself. He needs you and Jesus.
When we have problems or fights in our relationship, I often use soccer analogies to give my husband a visual of how I am feeling. Allow me to share one with you now: You and your husband are a team. He can be the goal keeper or the striker — each one leads the team in some way. Neither of you is the coach, which is how most people view “submission” – but your husband is not the coach, God is. God’s got all the shots and moves written down for you in His word. It’s your job to work together as goal keeper and striker to make the plays and protect the goal.
Are you a born leader? How have you found ways to be a better submissive wife?
Kayla has been married to her husband, Andrew, for almost eight years. They have three boys – ages 6, 4, and 2 — and a new baby due in June. They have moved four times over the course of their marriage, which is where the title of Kayla’s blog, the Accidental Nomad Life came to be. Kayla blogs frequently as her stay-at-home job. She loves photography, graphic design, and anything crafty and DIY. Kayla has a heart for sharing her story and encouraging people — making the social media life less perfect. Find out more about Kayla on her blog The Accidental Nomad Life.
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