I apologize for the scatter-brainedness of this discussion. As I said, I think I just need to talk (write) and find the threads between all these thoughts as I go. You all are kind of seeing my writing process in progress here. Scary, eh?
Another incident from my life . . . many years ago, a good friend was griping to me about her husband. He needed to find a different job, she thought. He needs to do this . . why won't he do that . . I don't understand why he doesn't . . yada yada. (Sorry if the "yada yadas" are getting old. Keeping my NJ ties -- and it's a fitting phrase for many a situation.)
As I listened to her, I had this radical revelation. I say, "revelation" rather than "thought", because it wasn't something I would have thought up myself; weird and mystical as it may sound to some of you, I felt very strongly that this was revealed to me.
I realized that what my friend needed to do was submit to her husband.
Now, you can only appreciate how radical this was if you knew how I'd struggled with the whole submission thing over the years. I had always hung my hat on the fact that God tells husbands to love their wives as Christ loved the church -- and nobody assumes that husbands do all the loving in a relationship -- so why do they assume that wives do all the submitting? (I still do believe that, by the way.)
Yet I couldn't deny the fact that God gave specific submission instructions to wives . . and I hadn't figured out yet what to do with that.
But at that moment, with my friend, it all became abundantly clear. Her lack of trust and faith in him was keeping him from acting--was castrating him, so to speak, keeping him from leading the family. I told her, "You know what? I think it's time to do the submission thing. I think you need to tell him that you trust him to do the right thing for the family and that you will stand behind him no matter what he decides."
"I can't do that," she said. "I don't trust him. I think he'll mess up our family."
"Well, then that's when you need to trust God. He's the one who told you to submit."
Again, I have to classify all of these remarks of mine as revelations, or inspiration, because I had no idea really where they were coming from even while I said them -- but the truth of them was clear to me the moment they left my mouth.
My point here has to do with how I came to understand and believe the "wives submit to your husbands" principle. It's not that I read that principle in the Bible, recognized the truth in it, and then chose to put my faith in the God who said it. I first put my faith in God and his word -- and only after that did the truth of the principle become clear to me.
Faith involves our emotions, our thoughts, and our will. But perhaps not necessarily in any particular order. More later . . .