Saturday, April 4, 2015

Lead Me (but only when I want you to)

I love the song "Lead Me" by Sanctus Real.  I love the message it has for my husband.  He could learn a lot if he would just listen closely:

I look around and see my wonderful life
Almost perfect from the outside
In picture frames, I see my beautiful wife
Always smiling, but on the inside

Oh, I can hear her saying:
Lead me, with strong hands
Stand up when I can't
Don't leave me hungry for love
Chasing dreams, but what about us?

I especially like the "beautiful wife" part, can you tell?

But, while this song is and instruction and prayer for men, the message goes much deeper.  How can a man of God be the leader of his family unless he has a wife, and family, that is willing to follow his lead.

Wives submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord.  For the husband is the head of the wife, as also, Christ is the head of the church, and He is the Savior of the body.  Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything.
-Ephesians 5:22-24- 

There are endless blog posts, bible studies, theological exhortations, and even whole books written on the importance of submission, specifically as it relates to marriage and faith.  It really is a very simple concept: submission is the act of submitting to the power of another.  While submission is simple in concept, it can be challenging in execution.

I tend to only want to submit when it suits me:
  • When there is a difficult decision to make in our family that I don't have a strong opinion about one way or the other.
  • When there is a difficult "no" we have to share with the children.
  • When we are in a group of fellow Christians and I want to show what a good, submissive wife I am striving to be.
  • When it has anything to do with lawn maintenance, exterior home care, vehicle upkeep, trash disposal or any of the other "man" things my husband is contractually obligated to by our marriage vows (what that wasn't part of your ceremony?!).
  • When my husband and I are in agreement on a particular decision or next step.
However, when submission requires sacrifice...well, that is a whole different story.  I want Rick to lead me, as long as the path he is leading me down is the one I think is best.

The truth of submission and leadership is that they are hard.  If it were easy to live faithfully and if the biblical model of marriage were simple to execute, the divorce rate would not be where it is and marriage counselor would not be a career option.

I'll show them I'm willing to fight
And give them the best of my life
So we can call this our home
Lead me 'cause I can't do this alone.

Father, lead me 'cause I can't do this alone.

Leadership is difficult.  It is risky, challenging, and scary.  It requires one to consistently sacrifice of themselves with little or no reward or recognition.  It also frequently results in taking responsibility for things that may be out of your control.  This is what God expects of my husband.  This is His calling to men.  The least I can do as a wife of a man seeking God's heart is to make his leadership of me as easy as possible by submitting in all circumstances at all times.

Recently, I have been convicted in my heart that I am not seeking Rick's counsel as I should be.  I have rushed headlong into decisions that affect our entire family and our marriage without seeking God's guidance through prayer or seeking Rick's guidance and then waiting for his response. 

See, so often, I will approach a subject with my husband and truthfully want his counsel on this topic.  But then he doesn't reply in the way I expect or in the time-frame I have determined acceptable, so I move forward without his approval.  I like to think after 20+ years of being in an emotionally intimate relationship with this man, I know what his answer will be, so I am just expediting the inevitable.  Many times I am right.  Sometimes I am wrong; and those times can cause deep and painful strife in our marriage.

So today my prayer is not for a husband who leads me, because I have a husband who leads me.  My prayer is for a heart that is willing to be led.