A Little Advice for Couples: Submission

The theme for this summer has been “relationships.” Several dear friends are joyfully falling in love, while another close couple is at risk of falling out of it. Those who are unmarried are contemplating marriage. The two who are married are in danger of separation.

Maybe it’s the gray hairs, maybe it’s our 31 years of marriage (and we still like one another!), but Pete and I are being asked for wise counsel in all these relationships. I count this a huge responsibility, and I’ve spent a lot of time begging God to direct my words. (I’m especially asking for godly wisdom, the courage to pass on what He tells me, and a lot of love for everyone involved.)

In the middle of all this relating, I’ve come to realize that there are some commonalities. I would like to address two critical issues in particular: submission and secrets. Today I focus on submission.

Paul’s well-known directive for wives to submit to their husbands is preceded by an all-too-often overlooked command for believers to be submitted to one another. And the only way anyone with a backbone can submit to an imperfect human being is to first be submitted to God.

This principle was illustrated in two of the couples we’re involved with. Both started out with major differences of opinion on the desirability of children. In one case, the man wanted kids, while the woman did not. In the other couple, the woman already had children, and the man was averse to fatherhood. In both cases, coming to an agreement on this very significant topic was necessary for the relationship to continue to grow.

It never fails to amaze me how God can change hearts. The man who was vehemently opposed to fatherhood gave God permission to make any needed changes in his attitude. God loves prayers like that! In this case, God clearly supports their deepening relationship, and the man is now deeply in love with his intended’s children, taking an active role in their lives. I know he will be an awesome daddy to them!

In the other case, things aren’t quite so decided, especially since neither partner already has children. However, both of them have the issue on the table, making it subject to God’s resolution. I can’t wait to see what happens.

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