Our culture tells us to follow our heart. The Bible tells wives to follow their husbands. A year ago my husband wanted us to move. Being perfectly content in our three bedroom ranch, I resisted. But my husband concluded the time to move our six person family had indeed arrived. I was faced with a choice all wives face over and over. Will I follow my heart or will I follow my husband?
I resisted the move for a variety of reasons. One, I relished showcasing the reality that six people could contentedly live in a “small home.” After I became pregnant with our third child, someone told us we’d have to move. That felt like a challenge. Being told I can’t do something stirs a desire to prove that I can. I’m still trying to discern if that was an issue of pride or not. Additionally, I didn’t think I would be able to relate to the wealthier people in the new neighborhood. I thought the people here would judge me and look down upon me. Sounds like I’m the one doing the judging, doesn’t it? Several other reasons made me very hesitant to make the move as well, but the last one I’ll share is that I was scared. Scared of the unknown. Scared of the change. Scared of what people would think. Just plain scared. Having only moved a handful of times in my life and never with kids, I couldn’t imagine moving.
Surprisingly, every avenue I sought for advice or direction unanimously confirmed his choice. And trust me, I exhausted all my options. So after much internal wrestling, instead of following my heart, I followed my husband and literally moved out of my comfort zone.
How has the past year been living in our new home? To sum it up in one word, I’d choose phenomenal. Frequently, I thank Ryan for moving us to this home. I can’t imagine if we hadn’t. Sometimes we just don’t know what we need.
One of the greatest blessings has been the friendships and spiritual encouragement I have received. Within just a couple of months after moving, I was invited to a ladies neighborhood Bible study for the first time in my life. This weekly gathering has been a huge comfort as I have also simultaneously been walking through deep waters of grief in the area of friendship. God knew I needed these women at this particular juncture in my spiritual walk. Moving here to some degree had absolutely nothing to do with the house itself and everything to do with sustaining my soul through some intensely hard times. In the meantime I learned I can definitely relate to these people. Wealth can’t protect your heart from being broken. Wealth can’t ensure your kids make wise choices. Wealth doesn’t guarantee a happy marriage. We all desperately need community, support, and encouragement in this broken world.
My kids also have been blessed by friendship. In our previous neighborhood, there was limited interaction with other kids. Just the way things were. Here however we have several kids who are almost daily knocking on the door asking if my kids can come out and play – starting on our very first morning at 9am on a Sunday! Though we had to disappoint our neighbor that time, countless other times since my kids have stopped everything they are doing to go make memories outside with the neighbor kids. Priceless.
During our twenty years of marriage, we have always valued hospitality. Though we faithfully had people over, we were quite limited in how many we could host at one time. When looking for a new house, we purposely sought a spacious and accommodating living room, kitchen, and dining room so we could have many guests over comfortably. That is exactly what we found. Consequently, we have been able to host church-wide ladies events, youth events, play dates, and home groups. What a blessing to be able to exponentially do what we had already been doing through the years. When our home is full of people, I’m so thankful I followed my husband to this house and marvel that I was so resistant to the idea.
Some of the most special memories in our new home occurred when we hosted friends overnight. Twice within the first six weeks after moving, we had to sadly say bye to dear friends as they moved back west. Both families chose our home for their final night in Georgia, and I cherish those memories, which had we not moved, we never would have made.
More could be said about the joys of living in our new beautiful neighborhood, but the final thing I’ll choose to share is that over and over these past 12 months as I gaze around our home, I meditate on the fact that the new heaven and new earth will be even better than this. Even the most lovely earthly homes pale in comparison to our eternal home. Following my husband to my current house has actually made me anticipate heaven even more.
Submission is a taboo topic in our culture. But I’d like to testify that I am thankful that I followed my husband to our new home. Submitting to our husband is more about our trust in God than in a man. Ryan had no idea what all would take place this past year and what I would need and what this neighborhood would really be like. God knew though. He knew that for my spiritual well being I needed to be exactly where I am, which never would have occurred had I simply followed my heart. He used my husband’s desire to move to greatly bless me. We follow our husband because we trust God. We follow our husband because we hope in God. We follow our husband because that might be the very path God uses to save them.
I Peter 3:1-6 “In the same way, you wives, be submissive to your own husbands so that even if any of them are disobedient to the word, they may be won without a word by the behavior of their wives, as they observe your chaste and respectful behavior. Your adornment must not be merely external—braiding the hair, and wearing gold jewelry, or putting on dresses; but let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God. For in this way in former times the holy women also, who hoped in God, used to adorn themselves, being submissive to their own husbands; just as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him Lord, and you have become her children if you do what is right without being frightened by any fear.”
I know it’s a hard question to face (and one I’ll have to face again and again), but how well are you following your husband today? Even asking that goes against the very grain of our heart. Oh how hard it is for us women to relinquish our desires for that of our spouse. But oh how richly we can be rewarded if we deny ourselves and submit to that one man we vowed we’d love all our days. To be clear, submission is not being voiceless. Submission is not being a doormat. Submission is not refusing to get counsel. Instead submission is choosing to set aside my way so that I can follow the way of another.
How well are you following the love of your life?