Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Submission is not a Four-Letter Word

The Burger King and I don’t have a perfect marriage. But the thing is, until rather recently, we had a much less than perfect marriage. (C’mon. I can get really vulnerable and real with you guys, right? I feel safe enough and bold enough to do it tonight, so, before I change my mind, I’ll plow ahead).

But that, my friends, was then. Now, we have a perfecting marriage. Get it? It’s a verb. We are being made perfect. By God, of course. He is performing a miracle in our marriage, and he could in yours too! IF He loves you enough! Are you being abused by your husband? Are you fearful that your husband's violence may be affecting your children? Well before you think about leaving the situation, read on for my extremely dangerous brilliant marital advice.

This summer, when we learned that Sausage Biscuit was gravely ill, our marital relationship was stretched to say the least. The Burger King and I were both pushing each other away at that time. Men like to be able to fix things (don't you just love gender stereotypes?!). And I liked to think I could control things (I still do!) by keeping such a tight grip on them that there was no way to go but my way.

The Burger King was becoming more and more abusive, and when the police couldn't do much I was finally driven to listen to God about my marriage. I realized there was and is nothing I can do to guarantee a fulfilling marriage with my husband.

Nothing, that is, apart from choosing to follow God’s will for my marriage, which is, apparently, treating The Burger King like the King he is, even if he is acting like a complete dick (which he does often, just read the comment section on his posts!).

I am beginning to strive to speak nicely to my husband even when he is not doing the same. I seek to respect him even if he is not acting respectable, which is, ahem, often. What if by striving to honor The Burger King even when he hasn’t earned that from me, I then am able to be more like Jesus? Wouldn’t that be an awesome outcome of marriage?! I glorify my Savior when I submit to my husband, no matter how abusive and awful he is to me, and no matter how much our fights might damage our precious children.

Submit is not a word that is in my everyday vocabulary and I know it can rub some folks the wrong way. For goodness sake, it has rubbed me the wrong way for much of my marriage! Submitting to an abuser is no easy task! But I cannot deny that the Bible freely uses the word submit when referring to marriage. Ephesians 5:22 says, “Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord.” And, because I follow the Bible exactly (that's right! we keep kosher!), I must submit to my abusive husband, and so should you.

As my husband and I are allowing God to now rebuild our marriage brick by brick, God has gone from whispering in my ear and tapping me on my shoulder to gently shaking me with both hands and speaking directly in my face: “Stop fabricating rules, like 'please don't threaten me with bodily harm' that your husband must follow before you’ll let yourself be happy. Just serve me with your marriage. Even if you're miserable.Being happy isn’t the goal I even created marriage to help my children attain! Give The Burger King leeway to lead you, for I have put your him in that role for you.”

Okay, God. If You say so.

In surrendering my need to be fulfilled by another human being, I thought I’d be left with a bit of a hollow feeling. And I am. But I have to pretend to have found peace in my marriage because it gets me more clicks.

Forsake myself and my desires, follow God by putting my abusive husband first, choose to seek to make him happy instead of myself, and it all flows back down. His desires are becoming mine as I realize that that is the only way I will remain safe.

Life is still most certainly not perfect. I am not always happy. But I am coming to learn that that is okay. And putting my husband first will never be a bad choice for me, because if I don't, he will make me and our children suffer. And I'd probably have to call the cops again.

Please, my friends, feel absolutely free to agree or disagree that this is how marriage ought to work. Of course, women cannot singlehandedly heal marriages by putting their husbands first. But keep in mind that I believe (and therefore you should believe) that God can heal any marriage. God can do anything, right??? Which means no matter how bad, no matter how dangerous, no matter how many times your life has been threatened, God could heal your marriage. Just trust me on this one.

***Domestic Violence is no laughing matter. This post is written as a parody, and not necessarily a funny parody, of a certain blogger's beliefs. It is meant to highlight just how ridiculous it is to counsel women in abusive relationships that if God just loved them enough, He could heal their marriage. If you are being abused or you do not feel safe in your relationship, please seek help from professionals in your area, or call the National Domestic Violence hotline at 1−800−799−SAFE(7233)***

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