Growing up, I didn’t get to witness my parents having a picture-perfect love story. But somehow, I still grew up believing one day I would have a love that would be the best version of perfect that I could ever imagine. Any detail connected to love during my childhood and teenage years was like a brush of paint hitting a canvas, slowly creating a masterpiece that would find its greatest value later in life. With each color, I learned many lessons that would eventually carry me closer to what God had for me. At times some colors didn’t mix well, but it never left any part of the picture unusable by God.
When my parents broke up, it taught me the importance of “having your own” … your own life, your own destiny, your own plans for the future. So, I worked hard to accomplish the type of independence no one could take away from me. However, this mindset equipped me well in one area but failed to prepare me in others. I was so focused on learning how to survive on my own that I didn’t consider the adjustments required when you say “I do.”
While it was clear I didn’t need a man, I very much wanted a husband to do life with. After a lot of disappointment, I got serious about the desires of my heart through my relationship with God. Much prayer and fasting led me to stop taking chances and wait on God for the perfect soulmate — as my past often reminded me how I had settled all the times before. It didn’t take long before God delivered.
The time we spent getting to know one another captured my heart completely, allowing my canvas to be put to good use. It wasn’t long after we began dating that he asked for my hand in marriage, and I accepted.
We began planning our wedding day, and everything was going smoothly even as we began premarital counseling. Although I wasn’t sure what to expect in counseling, I was excited that we would find it beneficial to our future together. And it definitely was so … until we got to the part where the pastor spoke about me having to submit to my husband as the head of our home. Submit? Why did that sound like I had to give up my independence in order to be successful at being a wife?
Instantly, my disposition became guarded. I felt uncomfortable with the topic of submission because it didn’t meet my expectation of all I believed marriage was supposed to be. While I was hoping my fiancé would disagree with the Pastor, he did not. When we left our counseling appointment, I was heavy with apprehension for the first time about our future together.
That night, I wrestled to find understanding between my perception and the truth. My fiancé tried to provide me with additional information supported by scripture while remaining sensitive to where I was as I processed everything. But my history only allowed me to hear it the way I had seen my parents’ relationship play out when I was a child.
I was never taught what “having your own” meant until I was old enough to understand what it meant when you didn’t. So much of the reason I was struggling was that I had programmed myself in what to avoid so I wouldn’t have to experience the same heartbreak as my mom. But regardless of what I had seen, it boiled down to one thing … Did I trust him? Not my fiancé, but God. The One I had waited on to bring me my fiancé.
Naturally, I was reluctant to surrender what my independence represented to me: security. But I had to stop making this a fight to save what my fiancé never wanted and put my faith into position. You have to know that when a man spends time with God for you, you can trust him with every detail that’s important to you. I realized I had to stop consulting my emotions on this topic because sometimes feelings lie. And when they do, you have created a trillion “what if” scenarios in your mind that rob you of any chance of a “happily ever after.”
Now don’t get me wrong; every man isn’t worthy and could possibly abuse his privilege if not careful. However, I’m referencing the one you have sought God’s counsel for. The one who shows up, has a way with your heart, and loves you the way Christ loves the church — that guy. What if submitting would be the beginning of an extraordinary love with the man you prayed for? Turns out, for me, it was.☺ I also now know what it is like to want a great love, finally get it, and then have it end too soon. So regardless of the duration of your time together, don’t let your unwillingness cause you to miss out on something so incredible.
Be sure to match the same energy you put into your wedding preparations with what it takes to remain happily married. Any woman can be a man’s wife, but understanding her ability to submit to her husband takes nothing away from her. In fact, it adds more value to her role as a wife. I had to learn this, and had I not, I would have missed out on one of the most beautiful love stories ever written.
Yes, good love is rare … but achievable! Remain open and always implement your faith. Put your faith in action. When you aren’t sure what that looks like, be still in a way that allows God to move on your behalf. And when He does, know it can come in the shape of a command. Will you trust Him?