Most recently, in a sermon about how men and women in different life stages can come together for the gospel, Matt Chandler said something that hit me HARD. Something that brought wisdom to a struggle I have been dealing with essentially my entire life. When speaking about the series this sermon is a part of, which is aimed towards women, Matt said:
"...I felt, as I was writing this, this thing in my gut. I felt this kind of tension in my gut, because although we have clearly shown that to be a helpmate is not inherently inferior because we see that God himself is our help, most often throughout the Old Testament, there is and will always be an aspect of submission to who holds the primary responsibility for the one that is to help with that responsibility. And so, as I was writing, here's what I felt in my gut: Lord, how are women who have known nothing but men who abuse and belittle and take advantage of and use them as commodities, as recreational devices, how will a woman who has been nothing but harmed by men POSSIBLY going to hear this [i.e., submission] and understand it as beautiful? It's hard to be called to submission in a world full of little boys. It's hard. It's hard to walk in submission when you're surrounded by a herd of morons." (You can hear the whole sermon here if you're interested. This excerpt starts around minute 15.)
WOAH. Am I the only one that found this powerful? I literally had to stop in the middle of my run to go back to the beginning of this and listen to it over again in order to feel the full weight of his words. In those moments, I think I came to the realization that maybe my inability to be submissive, or rather my lack of desire to be submissive, in my role as a wife comes down to my past experience with men (and obviously my sinful nature as well... but we will save that for another day). The way that I have been belittled, disrespected, and emotionally abused has prevented me from appreciating submission as beautiful. All of a sudden, it became so clear. My past experiences have caused me not to fully trust my husband, even though I know he is a FEARLESS leader who serves God faithfully.
I KNOW deep down the beauty of submission, but to be totally honest, it TERRIFIES me. I'm absolutely terrified to let go of control and let someone else lead me while also trusting that they won't harm me. It's always in the back of my mind that I could be hurt again at any moment, even though I know there's truth in God's promises.
I have been wondering how my life would be different if I were able to truly forgive and move past my experiences with the "little boys" of the world and accept the SOLID TRUTH that God has blessed me with a MAN. A man that won't hurt me like I have been hurt before, a man that will respect me, and love me, and pray for me, even when I don't deserve it. I'm praying that I will learn that truth. That I will internalize it so deeply that submission will stop terrifying me and that I will begin to live my life more submissively.
Have you struggled with submission in your role as a wife, student, friend, employee, etc?