I am not Superwoman. I am Wonder Woman, because I am constantly wondering what I am doing. HAAAAAA!!!! For those of you who just rolled your eyes at me, no worries, I will keep my day job.
I constantly have people asking me “how do you do it”, and I always respond with “I don’t know”. The truth of the matter is, I don’t. I’m not really sure what people are referring to when that question is asked, but I don’t do it all or alone. I am a wife and stay at home mother of four boys, one dog, and one cat. I don’t do any of that alone. I have been gifted with a help-mate, his name is Gray.
Perhaps you are a close friend who has insight into my personal life, maybe you are just a reader of this blog and have no idea who I am, but I never want to give the impression that I have mastered everything in this circus that I love so much. On most days it is indeed a circus. I am not superwoman. More often than not, I yell, forget stuff, don’t make dinner, and neglect a shower. I thought this might be a good time to shed some light on some facts in my life.
- I don’t do the laundry, Gray does.
- I don’t haul off all of our trash, Gray does.
- I don’t bring home the bacon, Gray does.
- I don’t do bedtime routine with our boys, Gray does.
- I don’t scrub all of our toilets, Gray helps.
- I don’t cook all of our meals, Gray helps.
- I don’t clean the house by myself, Gray helps.
I could continue with a longer list, but I think you get the point. I am not doing life by myself. God gifted me Gray, and we make a choice to do life together. We never sat down and had a discussion about the list of activities and who would do what. It has sort of panned itself out. What we did was make a conscious decision a long time ago to love and serve each other. Gray and I began studying Ephesians 5 during the course of our engagement. I know what you are thinking, “here she goes with the wives submit stuff”. Well kind of, but stick it out with me here…
The amazing publishers of our bible put these awesome little headings to help us in searching scripture and finding themes. However, those awesome little headings weren’t in the original text. The authors wrote what God told them to write. It was written to be read as a whole, not separate entities. If you read all of Ephesians 5 together, there are some parts that apply to marriage that get overlooked. Without doing a commentary on the whole chapter, I will just point out a few (even though I encourage the whole chapter, for the sake of a short blog, I am pointing out a few).
- Verse 1: Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.
- Imitate God! Walk in love! A sacrificial love that is beautiful and pleasing to God. It smells lovely! A love that isn’t fake. This kind of love is an actual offering and sacrifice to God. He finds pleasure in it.
- Verse 4: Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, which are out of place, but instead let there be thanksgiving
- Let your language to your spouse be better than anyone else you speak to or speak of. Give thanksgiving to them. Be mindful that you are always thanking them. It’s the simplest things that are often overlooked in the mundane of life. When those simple little things are noted and credited, it does something major to the heart of your spouse! If you are in the habit of providing thanksgiving in the mundane, the extraordinary will easily flow off your tongue.
- Verse 15: Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise,16 making the best use of the time, because the days are evil.17 Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. 18 And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit, 19 addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart,20 giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, 21 submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ.
- I put this section together, because IT GOES TOGETHER, but the emphasized part is what I want to focus on. However, let me quickly say that as ONE you should be abstaining from foolishness and evil.
- Out of my personal reverence for Christ, I should be submitting to one another. Let’s talk about that one little word that throws people into ridiculousness and tantrums and a whole lot of incorrect teaching. The word is hypotassō in Greek. Here’s some interesting background on this word (source is Blue Letter Bible): This word was a Greek military term meaning “to arrange [troop divisions] in a military fashion under the command of a leader”. In non-military use, it was “a voluntary attitude of giving in, cooperating, assuming responsibility, and carrying a burden”.
- Friends, in SUBMITTING TO ONE ANOTHER, you are giving in, cooperating, assuming responsibility, and carrying a burden. Let’s break that down a bit.
- I am giving up my selfish nature and desires because I have become ONE flesh.
- I am cooperating with my spouse.
- I am assuming responsibility for OUR relationship, OUR house, OUR children, OUR future, OUR walk with God. When things go wonky, I don’t play the blame game but I assume responsibility as ONE. WE ARE DOING THIS AS ONE! Going back to the language part, start asking “how can WE overcome this” rather than “look what you did”.
- Last but not least, I am carrying a burden. I should have a burden for my spouse like no other. Why? BECAUSE WE ARE ONE. (excuse all the screaming CAPS, I just get pumped up about being ONE).
I don’t do this life alone. I walk hand-in-hand with my best friend. There is no one else I love more than Gray Bailey. My heart beats for him in ways I literally can’t put into words. I yearn to be with him, talk with him, laugh with him, cry with him, get frustrated with him, eat way too much food with him, travel with him, grow with him, take risks with him. I would give my life for him. It is natural to “submit” to him. It has become like breathing. There is no war battling over who is in charge. That’s not what marriage is. We are doing life together and serving the other out of a love that smells amazing to God. It is my hearts desire to serve him because of my deep love and admiration for Christ. It starts with my relationship with Christ first.
It doesn’t matter if you are male or female reading this, it applies to everyone. Before Paul even jumps into “roles” of husbands and wives, he instructs everyone to submit to each other out of reverence for Christ. This goes back to Jesus’ instructions to love God and love your neighbor. Your spouse is the closest neighbor you have!
Don’t read this blog and shrug it off as some lady who claims to have a perfect marriage. I don’t! Gray and I face our share of obstacles, trials, and tribulations. After 12 years of marriage, we will easily admit to some things that irritate the snot out of each other. It’s funny now, but not in the moment. However, I will say that I can count on one hand the number of true arguments or disagreements we encounter in one year. I don’t say that to brag, but to glorify Christ. From the beginning we made the decision to both choose to “submit out of reverence for Christ”. In honor of the late Aretha Franklin, it all starts with R-E-S-P-E-C-T.