I am an extremely driven person. I make goals, figure out what it takes to get there, and then make the decision to move forward. My opinion (in my opinion) is infallible, and while I might go to a few close friends for advice, I am used to making final decisions with the trinity of Me, Myself, and I.
My identity has evolved around being an independent, autonomous woman. I’ve been told that it’s a good thing by some, and that it’s a bad thing by others. But how can I not be? I spent the last five years of my life living in Virginia, away from my family, boyfriend, and friends, making my own decisions and calling my own shots. It was freeing to be taken seriously at my first job … to prove I could provide for myself and build a solid career after all my hard work and preparation in college.
My friends, who also happened to be my co-workers, were the exact same way: strong, independent women who didn’t take well to be treated less than they knew they were worth. We were powerhouses, forces to be reckoned with, and I loved it.
That being said, it shouldn’t be surprising to know that submission is a hard concept for me to reckon with. I don’t do submission easily, if at all. Some situations are easier than others, but it has always been a struggle. I trust no one but myself, because that’s how I’m used to dealing with life. The trinity of MMI stands infallible.
But then a certain man decided he couldn’t spend life without me. He felt so strongly about it that he flew across the country to propose in front of the airport when I came to pick him up. Saying yes to Jerod was the best thing I’ve ever done, and I moved back to Washington to be with him. I left my independent life behind to prepare for our future, and while being engaged has been the best experience to date, it’s also challenged me to define what my new role in life is supposed to look like.
God has called wives to respect their husbands’ authority. The word “submission” is used in the Bible to describe this concept, and I think it has been given a bad connotation, even though it’s an incredible concept. Submission doesn’t mean that when I get married I lose my voice and my will … it means my husband listens to my concerns, my opinions, my ideas, and then integrates them to make the best decision for our family. The responsibility for our family falls squarely on his shoulders, and God sees him as the leader of our home. It’s part of the husband’s role as a protector, and God meant it to be an incredible blessing for women.
I know all that in my heart. It makes perfect sense. But the independent woman in me still fights for autonomy. The identity that I built for myself has been shaken. Whatever happened to the trinity of MMI? It’s still infallible, right?
Telling Jerod that I’m OK with him making the final decisions in our relationship, after discussing them together, is so easy when we’re not going through anything difficult. It doesn’t bother me when he decides where we go to dinner. It’s when we hit a rough situation, and we both have strong feelings on opposite ends of the spectrum, that it is nearly impossible for me to say, “I trust you, and I respect your decision.”
It takes incredible strength to say something like that. Women who respect their husbands’ authority and stand by them, in good times and hard times, are my heroes. Society has pegged these women as weak and not able to think for themselves, but I see them as just the opposite. I strive to be like them: to lift Jerod up, support his decisions, and know that he makes them out of a fiery passion to protect and love his family and serve the Lord.
So, it turns out that the trinity of MMI is pretty fallible, after all. There’s nothing wrong with being independent, or having passionate opinions, but there is also value in recognizing the strength it takes to say, “I trust you, and I respect your decision.” I don’t have it all figured out, but I guess this is a good place to start.