5 Shades of Gray: When Following Hurts

gray bedroom

There seems to be a lot of gray area when referring to the subject of wives submitting to their husbands. This concept completely goes against our modern 21-century way of thinking. Everyone should have equal rights, right? Honestly, the verse Ephesians 5:22 made me not want to be a Christian at all. It states: “Wives submit to your own husbands as you do the Lord…” To me it made God seem sexist. I didn’t want to give the verse any consideration, but the truth is I do believe God is the creator of the universe. I do believe the Bible is the inspired word of God, so I have to give the verse some merit. I took that verse into consideration when picking out a husband. I found an easy-going Christian man who is hard-working and tends to be a people-pleaser. I knew he would work hard to please me, so the whole submission thing wouldn’t even be an issue . . . or so I thought.

This past year God has been working hard in our marriage to reverse our roles. God has been instructing my husband on what it looks like to lead his family to the cross and He has been teaching me that in order to be a good leader I first need to learn to follow. I have been a Christian for nearly all of my life, but the whole following your husband aspect still has some shady gray areas. I know for the secular world it’s all black. If they’re told to follow their husband, they’d most likely respond “That’s bull!” and I’d be tempted to agree . . . but then I remember the Bible.

It’s easy to follow your husband when you agree with him. It’s easy to follow when you don’t really care what the topic is or what the outcome is. The gray comes in when you can’t come to an agreement, so what do you do when you can’t agree? What if after you’ve respectfully stated your preference, made the pi-chart, weighed the pros and cons and he still disagrees? What if after you’ve sought Godly counsel together (and that counsel agrees with you!), you’ve prayed together, and he still disagrees? What happens when the wise choice seems obvious and the opposite choice has serious negative consequences but he still disagrees? What if your husband decides it’s time to pack and move, but you love your house and desperately don’t want to leave? You follow.

I never thought we’d be the owners of such a big beautiful house. I’ve been working hard this past year painting it vibrant colors that inspire me. As a stay-at-home mom I have enjoyed working to make this house feel like a home to us and our three small children. Without being pushy or overbearing my husband has made it clear he believes it’s time to move on. I have non-convincingly stated my peace about the matter, but he is still adamant that we move on. Since I love God and my marriage is more dear to me than any house, I will follow.

I will follow not only in word but with my actions. I have been researching how to prepare your house for selling: Neutralize it. Make it a blank coloring page so that when others see it they can more easily picture their own style in the home. Goodbye vibrant colors and hello gray! I have picked out five shades of gray: Repose Gray, Agreeable Gray, Silver Peony, Mindful Gray and Silver Drop. It reminds me of the scene in the movie Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium when the magical toy store is mourning because the owner is dying and the whole store and everything in it turns gray. It’s as if I’m going colorblind and everything is being muted. I’m on my 3rd gray room and the color is growing on me. Some gray shades have a slightly purple tint, so I feel like I’m secretly painting my whole house purple.

I still don’t know what the right answer for us is. Maybe God really does want us to move. Maybe He has a particular house in store for us where we will meet someone and have an eternal impact on their life. Maybe our new next door neighbor will be one of my children’s future spouse, and if we don’t move they will never meet. Maybe we need to get out of this house because our neighbor is a terrible driver and will run over one of my children. Or maybe this house is about to be struck by lightening. I have no idea! And I don’t need to know, but I do know that I am called to follow my husband. I also know that God will honor my obedience. Even if moving is not the wisest choice God can use anything for His glory and I have faith that He will do just that.

Plus turning a new house into a home sounds like an adventure. I might even paint some of the walls gray, because honestly it’s growing on me. With gray walls the attention is focused on the objects in the room or more importantly the people and that’s what counts anyways.

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