Monday, November 28, 2016

Following Blues

Wives, be subject to your own husbands,
as to the Lord.

Ephesians 5:22

Have you seen these pictures?  Taken by Russian photographer, Murad Osmann, they have taken social media by storm.  The series named Follow Me are taken from Osmann's perspective of his girlfriend, as they travel the most exotic locations of the world.  They are visually stunning - here's a link if you want to see more: click here

As I look at the photos, I am wondering why women are so drawn to them. Here's what I concluded: the woman in the pictures wears beautiful clothing, has gorgeous hair, a perfect figure, her skin is a flawless bronze tan and...wait for it...she is leading her man.  And women like that.  We like to lead.

Leading is not bad. It's not wrong and it's not sin. Well, let me rephrase that:  Leading is not bad, wrong or sinful in the proper context.  As women, we lead most things we are involved in - leading can include decision making, vision casting, direction planning, organization and execution.  We do all these things every day - at work, in our homes, with our children, even at church.  We decide what's for dinner and what colors look best on our children.  We rearrange the furniture so that there is room for everyone at small group.  We figure out what to put on the pizza and how many to get.  We come up with great ways to streamline our work and make life more efficient for our employers.  As image bearers of God, we are natural born leaders.

The problem is that our sin nature loves to take something that is good and God-given, and twist it into something that is destructive and yes, sinful.  Our consequence of sin in the garden is a struggle with our husband's for authority in the home. So when God tells us as wives to be subject to our husbands, everything inside of us starts to churn and burn, because we think that we are being punished or limited by God and we're not sure why.  We wonder - maybe He likes men more than women?  Maybe He used to think men were better leaders but now that women are educated as well, He's had second thoughts about that?  Maybe He just wants us to suffer because we are sinful? And when we ask these questions, we deny the fact that our very nature is bent on rejecting this authority structure.

The answer to all those maybe-questions is absolutely no.  If anything I think I can make a case that He might love women a little more because of the protection that He places around us!  The leadership of the husband is a protection for the wife - it is not a contest that he automatically wins, but rather, he is in the unenviable position of answering for the family, which is broken and sin-encrusted.   God hasn't changed his mind because He is immutable and never changes, so His decision, which was pre-fall by the way, to have the husband lead the family will not change due to education or social advances.  And finally, Jesus has suffered for our sin.  Any suffering that we bear is due to either the consequences of our own sinful choices or of the brokenness that sin has brought into the world in general. But God is not purposefully punishing us by calling us to humble ourselves and willingly place ourselves under our husband's authority.

So, is that what submission looks like in you life?  Do you follow well?  I often hear from women that their husbands don't want to lead so they have to - I am tired of that argument.  Hand the reins back to him and let him make a decision or two.  I am not talking about having your husband micromanage every detail of the home but he should be involved with the decisions:
  • He doesn't have to make the grocery list but if there are things he likes and doesn't like to eat, that should affect your list
  • He doesn't have to pick the wall colors in the house, but he should be offered the option to have an opinion
  • I had one gal tell me that she signed up for a marriage conference at church by herself because she didn't know if he would want to go - why not ask?  
  • Do you have separate bank accounts?  Do you live within your husband's budget?  Do you discuss these things with him?
  • Do you discipline the children the way your husband asks you?  Are you more worried about being liked by them rather than submitting to your husband?  Do you correct your husband in front of the kids?
I'm going to stop here because I can already hear the push-back:  My husband won't get one bank account....he is too harsh with the kids...if I ask him to go to a conference, he'll think I am leading...Bottom line, ladies, submission is a heart condition first and an action second.  We must wrap our mind around the fact that God has an authority structure for the home and we are not the head of it - and that is for our protection.  

We must stop competing with our husbands and willingly follow his lead. Start with small decisions.  Let him pick a parking space when you are out together.  Let him choose the restaurant and don't second guess his choice once he's made it.  Don't give him two options for a movie and then when he chooses one, try to talk him out of it.  And if you do well with the small decisions, watch what happens when the larger ones arise.

Finally, gals, we must choose to be subject to our husbands as unto the Lord.  Those four little words are the key to all of this. If we wrestle with God as the head of our life, we will struggle with our husbands being the head of our marriage.  But if we trust the Lord in all things, then obedience is much easier because we place the outcome in His hands, including the decisions our husbands make that are hard for us to accept.  If our eyes are on the Lord, then we know we are pleasing Him when we willingly humble ourselves and get into the helper position we were created to fill.  This is not a suggestion in scripture, but rather a command of a loving Father who knows what is best for you.  

Are you willing to work on following your husband today?  Small steps of obedience lead to great life transformation.


  1. SO TRUE, Kristen! Jesus has been dealing me with this, this year, teaching me repeatedly that He is keeping me PROTECTED by keeping me behind-the-scenes with our media projects. Kevin is a local author, he does the Strange Grand Haven books, and is an illustrator, and I've tried so hard to find additional media opportunities for us, but again and again I get the same message from the Lord: "Kristen, stay behind the scenes, it is for your PROTECTION." And I know it's true!

  2. Ooops, I hit enter by mistake, but I meant to add that God has made it very clear to me that it is the MEN who are supposed to be on the front lines of the spiritual End Times battle we're in, and that is for OUR protection as women, not that we're less in His eyes, but that He wants to protect us as He would have His human sisters when He walked the earth.