This philosophy is about you. It is not primarily about how to create a great marriage. However, if you step into your part in life you can incline your marriage in that direction. It is not really how to be a mother, but when you are wise you will be a loving one. It isn’t about how to please others first and foremost. After the God of the Universe, your focus should be on you, as a Spirit, Soul and Body. (ITh 5:23) Are you taking the time to develop you?
I had particular interest in observing wives closely growing up, as our family of ten traveled to one city after another singing and quoting Bible stories. Many nights, two or three of us were put up in several homes. Observation of many marriages at this close range showed something I have never forgotten: unhappy, passive women seeming to endure marriage, lackluster with their lives. I wonder now at their kindness to us; they were strong, loving, good wives. How many thought (as I did) that submission was more or less silence, that their lot was to cook, clean, stay in the background; never earnestly seeking their own gifts or developing them; never considering that both could happen at once, if they set their mind to it. So many good women never seemed to think they were important enough to cultivate their desires and abilities. Looking back, they seemed to have given up. Their sparkle appeared gone.
Much later, when Eric and I married, it took more than ten years to gain the courage to break out of my silence. I began to realize that I was losing my husband’s respect. I “see” myself in retrospect as fearful, visionless, spiritually confused and mentally lazy. The downward spiral began by being fearful: afraid of hurting his feelings when I disagreed, afraid of seeming to teach him, afraid I was domineering…I didn’t know that my innate femaleness was supposed to think differently, uniquely from my husband.
During this time the Scripture running continually like a tape in my mind began to come alive. I questioned for the first time what I thought God would teach me in Scripture, not what others taught. What should my life look like? Are wives “slave like,” just obedient to a man, more or less as a child, accepting her lot and staying behind four walls? One woman Bible teacher said, “Well, men pretty much do everything. Another female teacher in Church told me, “You just don’t want to submit to your husband.”
Are not the gifts of the Spirit given to women as well as men? God is good; He is always right. He honors women. But how to apply this!
The amazing and practical word to women began to be real… “if there is any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” (Ro 13:9) Learn to love yourself; the one God created in His own powerful image. Then go and love your husband well.
Your Spirit can relate to God intimately: “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.” (Jam 4:8) You can be renewed there. Your character can grow pure and strong. You’re Soul, what about it? Are your personality and temperament and female charm being developed? Are your amazing gifts being considered? What about your body a fearfully and wonderfully made “machine” of beauty and grace: are you paying attention to it?
We have one life here and now to do our best with it. Let’s learn to concentrate on ourselves and grow happier because we are becoming all we are destined to become.