I was talking to Earl today about who I am today versus who I was when we married.
Growing up, my mother and grandmother had strong personalities and opinions. “Submissive” was not something they strived for. I grew up having the same type of personality. Very opinionated and stubborn and IMO – loud. This was just who I was and not something I thought I could change, or even desired to change at that point. I remember in high school when some friends gave me a magnet that read “Think once before you act, think TWICE before you speak.” We laughed – because it was well known that whatever came to my head immediately spilled out of my mouth. For better or worse, I spoke my mind. I remember upon changing churches meeting some girls it the youth group who were so soft spoken and meek – I must have been envious of them because I immediately didn’t like them LOL I inwardly wished I could be that type of girl, but just knew that would never happen. I was an extrovert and that would never change.
I met my husband and he was a kind, gentle man. Initially, if he disagreed with what I thought or did, he would bring it to my attention. I would throw his opinion to the wind and proceed with what I wanted. I told myself that I was more “spiritually mature” and therefore was “closer to God” and knew His will for us better than my husband.
Four or five years later, it began to occur to me that my husband no longer made decisions for himself or our family. He left them all to me – rather than have me shoot down what he thought. I read a couple of articles on Laines Letters about wifely submission and how we can tear our husbands down and destroy their self confidence by continually questioning them and overriding their decisions. Although I was convicted, I continued down my path. After all, this was “who I was”. It was my “personality type” and there was no changing it. After all, that was probably genetic anyway, right? I do remember praying that if God could change a person that completely, to please do so!
And then came California. For three years, I have had very little social interaction other than online. I have had the opportunity to think before I hit that send button and it has really trained me to not just say the first thing that pops into my mind. I try to filter every thing I say through how it is going to reflect on Christ through me. I am now able to do the same thing in person as well. I am no longer an extrovert. I find myself being very introverted and QUIET! I never imagined that I would EVER be considered quiet or meek! And yet, my personality has completely changed. Although I do still hold strong to my convictions, if I find something scripturally that does not line up with my thinking – it is my thinking that changes. Which brings us to the next HUGE change.
My entire mindset in regards to marriage and being a wife has changed. I am still learning how to practice it in my daily life, but I am not questioning each thing that my husband says. I am encouraging him when he makes decisions. Just because he is quiet about spiritual matters does NOT mean I am more ‘mature’ than him, nor does it mean he is less close to God. How arrogant of me to think otherwise! Learning how to be a godly wife is going to be a daily task – but it is something I am no longer rebelling against. All of those excuses about “personality type” and “genetics” and “God made me this way” – they were my heart’s rebellion plain and simple.
One thing I have realized – what we choose to study upon is what forms our thoughts and feelings. I’ve always known the scripture about “Whatever it true, whatever is just… think on these things” But I never knew that was something to actually PRACTICE. If you fill your mind with things of God, truly soak them up – your heart and mind will be changed. Your thoughts and feelings will change. We really are in control of our thoughts and feelings, we only have to realize how to reign them in.
God still changes hearts. I am 29 years old and He has done a wonderful work in my own heart from in the past 9 years. I can’t WAIT to see what He does between now and age 40 – I have plenty of room for improvement!