Candace Cameron Bure recently released her latest book, Balancing It All, and with its release came some strong opinions about one of the concepts. Being submissive has an immediate negative connotation, but in the aspect of being a submissive wife, it's actually a good thing if you take the time to understand what it really means.
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I am a stubborn, opinionated, independent gal and I do not like anyone to challenge what I say. I don't believe I know everything, but I don't like to be told what I can and cannot do. My independence and decision-making ability are very important to me and I strive to maintain that. My first marriage was not ideal and though I will refrain from disparaging remarks about this relationship, I can speak (or write) from a place of experiencing a healthy relationship versus one that was not so. In other words, it's much easier to be submissive when you are submitting to someone whose values and decisions you trust and respect.
Submission does not mean slavery. Men and women are created equally but we are definitely not created identically. I was well into my adult years before I grasped the concept that men and women really do not think alike. Sometimes that is annoying, sometimes it's humorous, but still other times, it's very valuable. I have a voice in my marriage, a very loud one sometimes. I'm used to thinking for myself and I do believe I make some wise decisions and ones that make sense. But I don't know everything and I am certainly not always right.
My new (and wonderful) husband has proven to be respectable and intelligent, and when I have a problem or decision to make, besides seeking God's wisdom, I also seek the wisdom of my husband. Because I know he loves God and seeks to do what He guides, I can rest easy in knowing that my husband will make the best decision he can. I (and probably many women) tend to react to some situations out of emotion. That's the way I am and it's not right or wrong, it just is. My husband, however, reacts from a place of contemplative thought and logic. I value his thoughts and opinions over all others because I know he doesn't make knee-jerk decisions. He takes many things into consideration that don't even dawn on me and asks helpful questions that make perfect sense.
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The differences in us make us a good team. We can balance each other out. God commands us to submit to one another as well, don't forget. It doesn't mean my husband always gets his way. It means we discuss things; we consider the situation and each other's feelings. If we disagree, we may table the decision. Sometimes one of us compromises if we feel it's important enough to the other person to have what they want. If it comes down to stalemate, I will defer to my husband.
Bear in mind, being the one "deferred to" is probably no picnic either. If I've agreed to submit to whatever decision my husband thinks is best, he carries the weight of that responsibility if that decision goes south. It's a heavy thing to have on a man's shoulders. I do realize that my husband is not infallible. I don't expect that everything he does will be exactly right, but I do believe it will work out in the end. If I'm going to love him enough to trust him to succeed, I have to also love him enough to understand and support him through any unsuccessful situations.
Having a loving, respectful, wise, insightful, godly husband that I can submit to, one I can trust to do the best thing for us is not only necessary and freeing, it's a privilege.