I ask this because recently, I was the one saying those things. God patiently showed me a part of my heart that I was surprised to see. I thought I was doing pretty great. Especially compared to some other wives. But then I saw that less than 100% actually equals zero.
A child who decides when he will and will not obey his parents is not really obeying. Any "obedience" that he gives is actually just his desires coinciding with his parent's desires. When his desires are in conflict with his parents, he will not obey. Thus we see that obedience is only counted obedience when it is in conflict with our will.
I've known this for many years and thought it was "normal" to have a few disagreements along the way. A few times when my husband was wrong and I felt justified in letting him know and maybe even being cold to him about it.
But the more I studied the matter out and prayed and read scripture, the more I could feel the Lord showing me that submission that is less than 100% is not submission at all. If I choose when I will and will not submit to my husband, that is not submission. True submission, I have learned, must be 100%, regardless of circumstance.
This raises the question: Is total submission actually possible? Well, let me ask you, would God command you to do something you could not do? I don't believe he ever has or ever would. When God requires/commands/asks a thing from us, he also provides the power to accomplish it. Therein lies the miracle.
For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous. 1 John 5:3
Does the thought of submitting 100% to your husband frighten you? If it does, then you're not alone. A couple of months ago, I felt that was God nudging me about this. I reasoned with him that I was already submitting to my husband. Or at least I was 90-95% of the time, which I felt pretty good about.
But as I thought on it more, I realized my percentage score did not live up to my promise. All of a sudden the Lord took me back to our wedding. On that day I made a promise to submit to my husband. What is anything if it's not 100%? Can you be 95% married? Can you be 95% pregnant? When I realized that my small percentage of rebellion made my 95% submission a sham, I felt ashamed.
All I could see was the 5% of the time that I reserved for being at odds with my husband. For disagreeing with him, being cold to him when he hurt me and not supporting his right to lead.
Marriage (between one man and one woman) is a holy union, thus the term "Holy Matrimony". And it is designed by God. Man did not invent marriage and therefore does not have the authority to alter its meaning or function. God created marriage, thus he gets to make the rules.
Most Christian women don't realize that when they marry, they are promising 100% submission because those are the boundaries of marriage. Anything less is an affront to God's command.
So, seeing my error with new eyes, I made the commitment to obey my husband in all things. We'll been married for 18 years this year and he is, and always has been, such a wonderful, faithful, tender and caring man. So, total submission to him will not be a horribly difficult task.
But the best part is that God showed me that in doing so, I will be blessed more than I could realize.
To submit to my husband 100% is actually submitting to God 100%. I've said it before but it's worth repeating - anything less is just not submission, but rather coincidence.
Co - inciding is two incidents that just happen to intersect.
For a man married to a woman who reserves any percentage of her submission to him, it must be like driving along a road and hoping that the light will just happen to turn green as he approaches the intersection. God commands him to go and he hopes that he'll be able to if the light is green. Total submission is when there are no red lights. All our lights are green.
There is freedom in this for both husbands and wives. For me, I can stop putting any energy at all into the 5% reserve for when I am offended or want him to do something differently.
For a man, he is able to do whatever God calls him to do knowing he will never receive opposition from his wife. Ever. Only trust, support and encouragement.
Every. Single. Day.
God is honored when we deem him worthy of all of our trust. I am trusting God when I submit to his command to submit to my husband in all things. Which, we have learned, only counts when it is 100% of the time.
Note that the bible does not say to trust in your husband. In fact, the Bible says the opposite - to trust in NO man. Trust only in God only and he will give you the ability to do as he commands.
Just to offer clarification to those who might think that it takes some kind of doormat/servant personality to accomplish what God has commanded, I am no such thing. I am an Irish girl and very spunky, feisty, spirited, opinionated and saucy. And my husband likes my perky personality. But the beauty of God's commands is that they are not dependent upon what personality type you are.
Submitting to my husband is not a feeling, it's just a decision. It is deferring to his lead 100% of the time. And it is 100% my decision. My husband has never "required" this from me. Although he has refused to follow my lead! ha. :-) But God does require it from me and will hold me accountable for my behavior.
This is all head knowledge for "good wives" (like me), until our husbands do something that hurts our feelings, or makes a decision that we disagree with, etc. Then it is all too easy to feel justified in taking a stand against him, no matter how slight or small.
To those who say they are married to jerks and just could never submit to him, much less 100%...well few of us rush to the altar to marry a jerk. Was he like that when you married him? Many men "turn into" jerks when they feel like they're yolked to a shrew.
It is better to dwell in a corner of the housetop, than with a brawling woman in a wide house. Proverbs 11:9
But irregardless, the day your husband put that ring on your finger and gave you his name, you entered into holy matrimony and you can't make up the rules as you go. They are God given. So - easy or difficult - we've got our work cut out for us!
To those married to great guys, like I am, I pray you'd seek the Lord on whether or not you're a hundred percenter or not. If not, I encourage you to make the 100% submission commitment and see what God does.
To those married to a walking challenge, make it your goal to turn his frown upside down and melt him with kindness and your 100% support, love and submission. :) When you give the reigns to the Lord and commit to obey a bad husband in all things, you are in for a blessing.
God gave us the chain of command and if you notice, there is no space between Jesus Christ and man in that chain. So whether you're occasionally or permanently wedged between those two, you will find a great blessing in surrendering completely and trusting God to do his job and you do yours.
It's only been 2 months since I humbled myself to my husband after a minor "stand" I took with him and told him I was wrong and that from then on, I would obey him in ALL things. And already, I've seen God working in some amazing ways. God is so good and worthy of my praise, my trust and my complete and total sold out submission.
Some good books to read on this are: "Me? Obey Him?" by Elizabeth Rice Handford and "Created to be His Helpmeet" by Debi Pearl.