A few weeks ago, our Pastor preached a wonderful message on friendship. Among other relationships, he talked about the importance of friendship in marriage.
In the conservative world, women talk about and strive for submission on a regular basis. Submission is important - it's biblical. But, many times, submission is paired with misery. Often, a woman is so bent on being submissive that she loses her sense of humor, her sense of fun. Sometimes, a woman will demand more "submission" of herself than her husband expects.
One of my favorite parts of the message was when our pastor said that many husbands would trade "submission" for companionship.
I'm not going to go into the whole idea of headship in marriage. I believe my husband is my head. I believe I ought to submit. But, Eric and I also hold dear our friendship.
Submission without friendship naturally turns to misery.
I remember being madly in love with Eric when I was 16 years old. He was 19. At that stage of life, a 3 year gap is huge. Eric wanted to be "friends." Most of us have heard that before.
"Great. Friends. Absolutely. While you're tearing my heart out, just throw it down and jump on it a few times."
But, he once said something that gave me great hope. "I want to be friends with the girl I'm going to marry for a couple of years before getting into a serious relationship with her. Friendship is an important base."
Eric is truly my best friend. When we have an argument (yes, it happens once in a great while), it is so traumatic because there is a breach in our friendship. If I just wasn't getting along with my boss, my authority, the pain wouldn't be as great. The need to repair the problem wouldn't be as urgent. But, Eric and I want to fix things quickly just so we can truly continue being best friends.
I always struggled with being "meek and quiet" as well as having a "submissive spirit." These terms always bring to mind the sweet, Cinderella-like character. A character that is not natural to my personality. I'm so thankful to know that my husband would much rather have a agreeable, fun-loving wife-friend.
Working together with him, holding his hand, accomplishing goals cheerfully together - this is submission.
"This is my beloved and this is my friend." See, it's just as biblical as "The husband is the head of the wife."
The Bible does not contradict itself. Wives, go and meet the needs of your husband. While you're at it, smile at and laugh with your best friend.