We have come to the conclusion in our series on submission. In the past month, we have looked at Sara Horn’s new book My So Called Life as a Submissive Wife. We have looked at biblical submission from a man’s point of view, and last week, we looked at a hard lesson I learned in biblical submission.
Today, I am honored to have Sara herself on the blog. Join me for a Q&A session with the lovely Sara Horn!
Stephanie: Welcome Sara! Thank you so much for joining us here today! I loved loved loved your book and it has really inspired me to look at my role in biblical submission to my husband. In your book My So Called Life as a Proverbs 31 Wife, a sermon inspired you to do the P31 experiment. What inspired you to do this Submissive wife experiment?
Sara: I think, for me, it was a natural progression following the first experiment. It was one of those things where I saw so much growth happen in my marriage and my relationship with God after we went through the Proverbs 31 year, that I really wanted to keep going, and this was definitely an area I’d avoided for a long time, because who likes that word, submission? But it’s in the Bible a few times, and I felt like there’s gotta be a reason it is, and so I wanted to pursue that. I know from what I’ve already seen God do in my life that He would definitely teach me some things. Even my husband was a little resistant to the idea at first, but after looking at it a little more closely, he agreed, and I can definitely say it impacted both of us for the better.
Stephanie: It’s awesome how much God blesses us when we follow his commands. But when it comes to this topic, it’s so tough for so many women because it’s such a misunderstood word. Can you describe to us the difference between the world’s view of submission and the biblical view of submission?
Sara: I think the world sees submission as giving up all of your rights, opinions and intellect. But I don’t believe that’s what the Bible calls us to do. Submission calls for respect, for discernment, for an attitude that’s not one of a doormat, but one that puts our husbands before ourselves. But our husbands are called to love us like Christ loves the church – and that’s also a huge responsibility. That also requires great discernment on their part. I think we make a mistake, Christians and non-Christians alike, thinking that submission is only on the part of the wife – but it really is more of a dance with her husband, her life partner, who leads, who she follows, and together, they move with grace and love and unspoken understanding of deep commitment to each other.
Stephanie: That is an awesome explanation! What actions can a wife take to be more biblically submissive to her husband?
Sara: Biblical submission doesn’t happen overnight, and it doesn’t look identical for every marriage. Because our marriage doesn’t look exactly like yours. Our experiences and upbringings and backgrounds won’t be the same. Some husbands are already walking in strong relationships with God, and some aren’t. Some wives are still growing and learning in their relationships with God. Some relationships have struggled, some are feeling strong. So I just want to preface this list of suggestions with that, and that the best thing you can first do is examine your own relationship with God, and your marriage, and ask Him to show you what might need to change for the better.
The first thing a wife can do is pray for her husband. Regularly. Pray for his success in his job, in his life. Pray for him as a husband, as a dad. Taking him to your Heavenly Father doesn’t just benefit him, but it benefits you too – prayer changes our hearts.
Second, try asking more questions than barking out commands. You know what I mean, ladies. 🙂 Especially if you’re a parent, it is easy sometimes to find yourself walking down the line of your children, barking out orders, and just including your husband in the mix. Instead of saying “you need to do this”, instead ask. “Could I get your help with this?” “What do you think —-?” “Do you have time for —-?” Bring back a little respect, a little kindness and sensitivity.
Third, let him take the lead on making a big decision for your family. It might be a financial one, or a job move or a church move. He may not want to make the decision (and this doesn’t mean, you just sit back and watch him squirm under the stress.). Show support, show understanding, share your own insight (this is where that women’s intuition comes in), but let him make the final call. And sometimes this means waiting. Waiting longer than we’d like. Give him as much time as you can and if a decision needs to be made on a deadline, encourage him and let him know you’re with him. And go back to the first thing. Pray.
Stephanie: I have to be honest here. I struggle with what you refer to in your book as “the list.” The never-ending to-do list. Have you discovered a way to put the list aside and put your husband first?
Sara: Yes, but it’s definitely a team effort. I have learned that there will always be things that have to wait until the next day to do. My husband has learned that I am a much nicer person to be around if I don’t feel buried. He doesn’t mind helping out with dinner or getting our son to finish his chores up while I work on something in my office or maybe just get another chore done like laundry, so we can sit down later and enjoy some time together.
What makes me able to put aside the list is to realize my priorities. There will always be things to do around the house, with jobs and kids and friends and family – but that marriage relationship is part of your foundation after your relationship with Christ. If we don’t grow it, if we don’t spend time with it, it will die. Or it will at least stagnate.
Stephanie: Exactly!! Marriage is work, and such an amazing blessing when we put in the effort, time, love and have Christ at the center! My husband and I recently went to a marriage conference in which the speaker asked “what kind of legacy do you want to leave for your children?” I want my children to see my husband and I doing our best to walk in our God given roles as husband and wife! Lastly, what is the most surprising result of your submissive wife experiment?
Sara: The most surprising thing for me was to see how much my husband changed in all of this. I wasn’t expecting that. I changed a lot in the P31 experiment, and I expected to change with the submissive wife experiment (though I wasn’t sure how much). I saw my husband change a lot, though, and I realized that a lot of it had to do with the fact that as I was more willing to step back just a little, it gave him room to step forward and it gave him the space to learn how to lead our family. I realized that for a long time, I was in the way, and really, as much as I wanted to grow in my relationship with God and His callings on my life as a wife and as a mom, I was standing in the way of Cliff’s calling by God as a husband and dad. I’m so grateful for how God has worked on both of our hearts and brought us so close together.
Stephanie: Thank you sooo much Sara for opening your heart to us!!
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