Marriage, Postmarital, Premarital

You Gotta Love the Word Submission

It is truly unfortunate that the word submission conjures up such strong feelings especially among North American women.  It really should not.  Recently, I was teaching in a room with three different races present and found that the expressions and beliefs about the topic of submission were quite varied and typically non-biblical.  Even mentioning the word seemed to send shudders up the spines of those godly ladies.  Why?  Most women view submission as a subservient existence cowering to a man’s latest whim and wish.  Do you seriously think that was the meaning of submission in Ephesians five?  When Paul asked women to submit to their husbands do you think for a moment he was instructing you to grovel at your husband’s feet and shout “immediately sir” to every request?

The Greek word is Hupo Tasso and it was a military term, which meant to “arrange under.”  It literally has to do with leading the troops toward a mission.  Our English word, submission has a prefix (sub) that means “under.”  So, the word would best be defined as, “under the mission.”  Here’s the biggest question to consider, “Husbands, what’s the mission?”  If you and your spouse have not identified the mission(s) of your marriage, then what may I ask are you submitting to?  If submission literally means under the mission, you must hear from God, define the mission and write it down in the form of a mission statement.  God gave Adam and Eve, the first couple on the earth, a very clear mission.  What mission has He given to you and your spouse?  We’ll work on building that statement in the future.

Marriage, Postmarital

Learning to Adapt in Marriage

“Since marriage, I am learning to not be so uptight because my husband is not so uptight.”  “Jason is a lot better with finances, so he took over the budget.”  “Karen is amazing when it comes to dealing with sensitive family issues so we have adapted to her style of relating.”  It’s called adaptation and it means to adjust or become adjusted.  If one of you excels at something, then for the good of both of you, let go of any sense of competition.  Look at who is the person with the extra measure of grace to respond to a specific need and bless them to function in that way.  Further, realize while you are in the process of becoming one, your gift will spread to your partner as your partner is willing to grow and learn from you.

When we were first married, I did all the financial records, budget and transactions.  Mary recognized that it was not her gift.  As she began to see the blessing of doing finances different from what she knew, she adapted to most of my methods.  She saw the value in how we were progressing financially.  Obviously, along the way she had good advice and wisdom to add.  In time, however, Mary began to take over the finances, the taxes, college forms and our budget.  She adapted so well that the gift now resides within her.   Is there an area in your marriage where God is asking you to adapt and you’re resisting?  You may need to be open to a Holy Spirit adjustment.


Letter from an Antagonist

I received a letter the other day from a man I do not know.  It was four pages long and seemed to be somewhat of form letter personally addressed to me.  He was going on and on about the fact that some are preaching we “must give up our rights… as our rights have been nailed to the cross.”  He went on to say how he was challenging those “authorities” who teach this “misleading” doctrine in question as to, “the severity of the judgment these authorities will ultimately face for so deceiving them in His Name…”

Perhaps you also receive letters like these.  I have no idea where he got my name or why he wants to pick a fight with me.  In his next to last paragraph he then throws out this challenge, “Therefore: I will give one thousand dollars to the first person, or group of people who can sit down with me face to face and respectfully present…irrefutable scriptures…give written proof…detailing precisely what rights they are talking about…”  Wanna make a quick thousand bucks?  In other words, “I know I am right and will throw out a financial challenge to prove I am right.”  Really?  Does this person actually deserve my time to respond to him?  Don’t answer that question, I will.  No.  But I thought it all presented a great example for us as to what not to do and how not to respond.

But, if I did respond, here is what I would (like) say:

Dear Mr. Antagonist,

 Regarding your letter…   I have no idea who you are or why you sent it to me.  I have no idea what “rights” you are talking about.  I have no idea who the “authorities” are that you are referencing.  Unfortunately these types of responses, letters, challenges on doctrine, etc. only breed contention and dissension, of which we are warned to stay away from (Proverbs 10:12; 17:19; Galatians 5:19-21; II Timothy 2:23, 24).  I have a suggestion.  Why don’t you use your time to stop fighting the saved and start winning the lost?  And, while you’re mulling over that question, ask yourself this question, “Do I want to be right or do I want to be in relationship with my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ?”

 Sincerely wrong in more areas than I am right,

 Steve Prokopchak

 Just sayin’…

Children, Encouragement, Marriage

Giving Your Spouse Time for Transition

I can clearly remember returning home from a long day at the office and stepping into the kitchen of our apartment.  Supper was on the stove providing a pleasant aroma and a baby on my wife’s hip.  Two young boys were running around somewhere and Mary had a lot to catch me up on.  I barely got to put my briefcase down when I was handed our daughter in order for the table to be set.  Meanwhile, the boys found me and wanted dad’s attention immediately.  I loved it, but at the same time knew I needed a period of transition.

First, during my commute home I had to learn to take my work hat off and literally pray to put my husband, father and home hat on: transition number one.  Once I arrived home, facing a family that needed me immediately wasn’t always the easiest.  Could I at least change my cloths and while in the bedroom alone take a couple of moments to prepare myself to listen to my wife, care for my daughter and play with my sons?  This would be transition number two.  Help one another transition from work to home and family by giving one another a little transition time.  It’s simple, but necessary and will make for a better evening.

Encouragement, Marriage, Postmarital, Prayer

Try Taking Your Marriage for a Walk

Are you finding it difficult to secure a time to really communicate with your spouse on a regular basis?  Have you been challenged to locate a prayer time together?  Are you avoiding exercising?  If your answer is “yes” to any of the above then I’ve got a solution for you?  Try taking your marriage on a walk.  Start by mapping out several courses around your neighborhood.

For example, Mary and I have our “short walk” which is a little less than a mile.  The short walk is for when it’s getting dark, we have a short window of time or it’s too cold for a longer walk.  Our next walking route is 2.8 miles.  This is the one we really aspire to do as often as possible (2-3 times a week).  And our final course is 3.2 miles.  The latter one is for those “perfect” times, i.e., the weather is right, there is plenty of time and daylight.  During these walk times we take turns openly communicating with one another and then with our heavenly Father.  All the while, we’re enjoying some needed exercise and intimacy.  Try taking your marriage for a walk this week; you’ll feel better as you connect with each other and with God.