"This Week's Storm" by Dr. Kim

 

This has been an interesting week for me to say the least. Most of you do not really know me. You get a look into my life and I am totally honest in what I write but there is so much you do not know. I have found out over the past year that I share a trait with many who are in the public eye in ministry. That trait is a certain level of insecurity. For me, I want people to like me and when they do not my insecurities can pop up. “I’m not good enough.” “What am I doing in ministry anyway?” You get the idea.

This week we had two posts on Awesome Marriage that got the most negative feedback we have ever had by far and initially my insecurities began to rise up. “People are upset.” “They are mad at me.” “Who am I to lead a marriage movement?”

Jennifer Zabel’s final blog in the “Submission” series ran on Tuesday. It was honest and it was Biblical and it really ticked some people off. She never said that the wife was less than her husband or that a wife should be a doormat. What she said was that God has specific roles for a husband and a wife and when we carry these out our marriages thrive.

Here are excerpts from a couple of the comments we received:

Do you know why there is nothing you can do to convince people? It’s because it’s idiotic. It’s not, “The word of God,” it’s, “The word of man.” Men who desire to hold women subservient to men. You should be ashamed of yourself for validating this kind of behavior. Religious faith is not a valid defense for ignorance, bigotry, and the oppression of people based on gender.”

“Isn’t it a bit much to say that everyone else should conform to gender-based stereotypes based on YOUR interpretation of an ancient text?”

Then on Wednesday we posted the latest episode of “The Newlyweds” series where Lindsay talked about pornography and how it is truly a problem for relationships and marriages and has a very detrimental effect. They talked from their experience.

Here are excerpts from a couple of responses we received on this video:

“I believe that the Bible doesn’t have anything against polygamy, and, by extension, pornography.”

“He is squirming in his chair, he looks so scared. Poor guy,I just cant believe she thinks porn is grounds for divorce. Would he divorce her if the roles were switched.Don’t get me wrong,I don’t condone it .......”

God taught me something this week that I, honestly, already knew. When we share God’s truth there are some people that will receive it and some that will not and the ones that will not can be very angry in their responses and that is okay.

Our role at Awesome Marriage is to share God’s plan for marriage. We do this because we believe in it and we know it works. If we are attacked, so be it. That never has and never will change God’s truth. Our job is not to attack back but to stand firm on the truths of God. So my thanks go this week to Jennifer, Matt, and Lindsay. They all get it and are bold enough to share their beliefs. They helped me overcome my insecurities this week and see that there is truly no choice other than to do what God has called us to do.

Thanks also to Jessica whose post was a great and timely encouragement:

After reading all these negative comments I simply wanted to pipe up and encourage you for standing on God’s biblical principals of an orderly marriage! You are absolutely right when you challenge us wives to live the calling God gives us of submission. To all the readers who obviously are not willing to answer to God for the way they live their marriages, there just isn’t anything we could say that would convince them of the validity of God’s plan. But to all those who desire to live under God’s authority and reap the benefits, this article will be a grand challenge! Keep up the good work!”

Never doubt God’s goodness for a second because He truly is good all the time!

Dr. Kim

"Submission: Being a Treasure" by Jennifer Zabel (Global Management Team Leader)

 

“The man who finds a wife finds a treasure, and he receives favor from the Lord.”

Proverbs 18:22

 

 

Treasure~Such a sweet word. Isn’t that what all women want? To be cherished and treasured? To be considered someone’s “treasure”.  I know that I desire to be so pleasing to my husband that he considers me one of his greatest treasures in this life.  One of the surest ways to be held so dearly, Is to live out our roles as wives in an attitude of submission, whether in finances, sex, or just daily life decisions.  It is an inborn trait of most men to lead their families. God has hardwired them that way.  Although there are many women capable of great leadership, in a marriage, the man leading is simply best.  When we as women don’t challenge our husband’s decisions, or argue every point we have, we are really saying “I trust not only my husband, but more importantly, my God.” God already knows what decisions you and your husband are going to face, what is going to be decided, and the consequences of that decision. Why would we want to interfere with the way in which it is all supposed to play out? So we can drive our point home a little more? So we can make our husbands feel as though we don’t trust them or think they are incapable?  I am not suggesting that you merely live as though you have no opinion or say in big decisions (or small for that matter). I am, however, suggesting that you act in such a way that makes your husband feel as though he has the last word and final verdict.  If there is a lot of tension in your marital relationship and a constant butting of heads, mentally evaluate your level of submission to your husband’s leadership. Proverbs 14:1 says “a wise woman builds her home, but a foolish woman tears it down with her hands.” I don’t know about you, but I want to build my home. Not personally contribute to its demise.  Ladies, it has to begin somewhere. Regardless of how your husband is or whether he deserves it or not, I challenge you to live out the attitude of submission God calls you to, and watch your marriage change. Build your home. Don’t tear it down with your own two hands. Good marriages can become great! Struggling marriages can become happy marriages, all because of how you live out your “role” as wife.  My husband has said to me before that it is so much easier for him to love me in the way that I need to be loved because I give him the respect he deserves and let him have authority over our family.  He says our marriage is great because of me. Incidentally, it is NOT all me, but I am sure glad he thinks so! I have heard it said that if you can follow God’s advice and let scripture guide you as a wife, everything else in your relationship tends to fall into place. That really is a lot of power.  To be “second” in the hierarchy of God’s most beloved human relationship, we really have just as much power as the first position.  Our husbands are just the ones responsible and accountable. With that responsibility and accountability comes a whole lot of weight. I think I like my position! How about you?

Finally, to conclude this series on submission, we do all this so that most importantly, God would be glorified in our marriages, so that our children have an example of the type of marriage to strive for, so that our generations to come would be positively impacted with righteousness, and so that we may live to be a blessing to others, especially our husbands.  “Let your wife be a fountain of blessing for you. Rejoice in the wife of your youth.” Proverbs 5:18. I pray that you are a treasure and a blessing to your husband.

Jennifer Zabel

Jennifer Zabel is part of the Awesome Marriage Global Management team.  She resides in Edmond, Oklahoma with her beloved husband, Mason, their three daughters Ella, Claire, and Hays, and their lab Goodie.  Besides her most coveted title of wife and mother, Jennifer has previously held the titles of Registered Nurse, Miss Oklahoma 2005, and Lash Stylist for her company The Lash Lounge, LLC. Jennifer and her family attend Life Church.

"Submission: The Sexual Relationship" by GMT Leader Jennifer Zabel

“A wife does not have authority over her own body, but her husband does. Equally, a husband does not have authority over his own body, but his wife does.” 1 Corinthians 7:4

As a Christian, when you marry, you enter into a covenant with your spouse and God.  God’s greatest desire for the covenant of marriage is oneness, both mentally and physically.  It is no secret that to become physically “one”, a couple’s sexual relationship must be healthy and fulfilling for each person.  Sex is yet another area in marriage where we can actively live out “submission”. As Paul writes to the Corinthians in the verse above, ladies, our bodies are not our own. They essentially belong to our husbands. Once we married our husbands, we gave him authority over our bodies. This is not to be confused with women being personal property or an object to be used or abused by men. It is meant in the sweetest, most vulnerable way.  Ladies, if we really understood the degree to which our husbands need sex and what neglecting that aspect of our relationship does, we would never want to withhold sex again. Our men need sex almost as much as they need food and water (my husband often uses this analogy, as sex is a basic need for a man, just as eating and quenching of thirst are). Not just for the physical release, but also for the emotional connection.  Imagine your husband refusing to talk to you. You would not feel very connected to him, would you? He needs sex to feel connected to you. He feels closer to you when you are meeting this deep need of his.  He also feels desired, empowered, and more confident. When you are meeting his sexual needs, he is much more equipped to go out into a world that is often beating him down and face it confidently. All because he feels desired and wanted by you.  If you want him, then who cares what everyone else thinks! It is easy to see then, if the pressures of life have gotten you tired and disinterested, that Satan would be waiting to pounce. The enemy of strong, happy marriages is waiting in the form of female co-workers, friends, or internet websites to make your husband feel desired and wanted. Your husband may be devoted, Godly, and committed, but he is just a man. A man that is tempted by his flesh.   A man that is in a daily battle with principalities unseen. A man that if unfulfilled, can fall prey to the lure of a very enticing lie.  This is why Paul goes onto advise the Corinthians in verse 5 to “not deprive each other by mutual consent and for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer. Then come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.” God knows that men are weak in this area. So women, we must make them strong and provide them with what only we can.  We are human too, and at times, this can be a difficult charge.  You may be in a season of your marriage where you have lost  passion and/or desire. Or, you may be like me, and are raising small children, leaving you zapped of energy at the end of an entire day of giving of yourself endlessly.  Whatever stage you are at in your marriage, take a good, hard look at how you are doing in this area. Have an honest conversation with your spouse and ask them how you are measuring up. I guarantee this is one “heart-to-heart” he won’t mind having! If you are meeting your husband’s expectations, give yourself a pat on the back, but don’t become complacent! If you can improve, be glad that you have an opportunity to become the woman of your husband’s dreams in the bedroom.  If you truly long for the type of marriage God has for you, then you can’t afford to not put time and energy into you and your husband’s physical intimacy. Pray that God would strengthen your sexual relationship with your husband. He intended for sex to be a beautiful, joyous, and profound connection between husband and wife; one that binds the souls and joins the hearts.

Jennifer Zabel

Jennifer Zabel is part of the Awesome Marriage Global Management team.  She resides in Edmond, Oklahoma with her beloved husband, Mason, their three daughters Ella, Claire, and Hays, and their lab Goodie.  Besides her most coveted title of wife and mother, Jennifer has previously held the titles of Registered Nurse, Miss Oklahoma 2005, and Lash Stylist for her company The Lash Lounge, LLC. Jennifer and her family attend Life Church.

"Submit: Finances" by Jennifer Zabel (Awesome Marriage GMT Leader)

 

Last week we saw in Ephesians chapter 5, God calls all wives to submit to their husbands in marriage…in EVERYTHING. This verse calls for an overall attitude of submission in marriage, but some areas call for a more “active submission”. In other words, as the wife, we have to actively do things that show we are submitting to our husband’s authority. One area that frequently causes discord amongst spouses is finances. Whether it be budgeting, saving, or spending, we should defer to our husbands’ leadership in managing our family’s finances. This area is one in which we can daily walk out what submission really looks like. In order for us to survive in this modern-day world, money has to be exchanged, and exchanged often. As the God-appointed leader of our households, it is our husband’s job to bear the responsibility of how that money is exchanged. In God’s eyes, your husband will be held accountable for your family’s decisions regarding money. Were you generous with God’s gifts to you? Did you put too much emphasis on material “things” and spend everything you had and more?  Did you tithe? You may say, “my husband just isn’t good with money” or “I am the ‘bread-winner’ in this family and therefore really the one in charge”. Even if these situations describe you, I would encourage you to still exhibit an attitude of submission and respect, and show your husband with your actions that he is actually in control, regardless of your circumstances. This may require you to ask more questions (in a non-nagging way), to encourage a meeting with a financial planner that can lay out your goals, or to research and present ways to more effectively manage your money, while still making your husband feel in control. I admit this can be tricky. An important point here is, actions follow attitude, so you must first have a true attitude of submission. To blatantly disregard this role your husband holds, would disrespect him and make him feel inadequate. You may feel as though he is not capable of making these types of decisions, but often times, our husbands will rise to meet the level of respect we show them and what we believe they can be capable of. Exhibiting trust and respect on your part, in turn, may lead him to decide that you are to be the one managing the in and outflow of money. The key is, he is the one that decides.

This area of submission has been particularly difficult for me. The self-reliant, selfish, and rebellious side of me has reared its ugly head a few too many times. Like many educated young women, I can and have supported myself, made my own money, and balanced my own checkbook (although not always very well!). So, once I was married and my husband decided to take over (and rightfully so), I stiffened up like a toddler in a defiant fit and still tried to do things my own way. It has taken literally years of discussions, disagreements, and hashing it out sessions for me to finally concede to the idea that although I am a part of this team, I am ultimately not in control of our finances. God revealed to me that by acting defiant and independent, I was actually getting in the way of the intimate, cohesive marriage that I have always desired, and He has always had for me. As soon as I laid down my agenda and truly showed my husband that I am on his side and want what he wants for our finances, I saw him soften. He figuratively and literally heaved a sigh of relief. Now, instead of painstakingly trying to convince me that his plan is good and trying to corral my spending, he can focus more energy on leading us the way God would have him lead. Once again, I am not getting in the way of God’s perfect order and things just run a whole lot smoother. This is a daily decision for me. I have to keep reminding myself that God is directing the steps and decisions of my husband, so by submitting to him, I am really submitting to the Lord. Thankfully, my husband really is infinitely better at managing finances than me (he was a Business Finance major!).  Are you showing your husband that he is in control of this area of your marriage?

Jennifer Zabel

Jennifer Zabel is part of the Awesome Marriage Global Management team.  She resides in Edmond, Oklahoma with her beloved husband, Mason, their three daughters Ella, Claire, and Hays, and their lab Goodie.  Besides her most coveted title of wife and mother, Jennifer has previously held the titles of Registered Nurse, Miss Oklahoma 2005, and Lash Stylist for her company The Lash Lounge, LLC. Jennifer and her family attend Life Church.

"Submit" by Jennifer Zabel (Awesome Marriage GMT Leader)

For wives, this means submit to your husbands as to the Lord. For a husband is the head of his wife as Christ is the head of the church. He is the Savior of his body, the church. As the church submits to Christ, so you wives should submit to your husbands in everything.  ~Ephesians 5:22

Submit. That single word packs a whole lot of meaning in the bible in regards to wives. It also packs a whole lot of feeling for some women, with the spoken word instantly rising up feelings of anger, resentment, and rebellion.  For some generations, “submitting” was very normal, and simply the way a wife was to “be” in a marriage. With the feminist movement, more women moving from working in the home to working in the work force, wars forcing women to manage their households on their own, and an increase in divorce rates and remarriages, the word took on a negative connotation. Or, let’s face it, “submit” became a bad word. As a strong, intelligent, and capable young woman, I have to admit, that dirty little word rubbed me the wrong way too.  It filled my head with images of myself with tape over my mouth, handcuffs on my wrists, and shackles at my feet. I thought that if I were to submit to my husband, it must mean losing my identity, my thoughts, my feelings, and my rights as a person/partner in my marriage. As a product of a broken world, full of broken people with broken or failed marriages in my own family, and all around me, I desired more for my marriage. A lasting, loving, fulfilling, and happy commitment to span my lifetime is truly my heart’s longing. Since more than half of society isn’t getting it right, I decided that I should seek counsel from the One who created the covenant of marriage. After-all, if the God that I serve, the God of love, the God that is love, the God from whom comes all things good, created marriage, how then could anything He says about it, any commandment He gives, be inherently bad? Satan has done a very good job twisting God’s word into something that hurts the heart of God. That’s his whole existence though, right? To hurt the heart of God? To get us to question God’s intentions? I think it is safe to say, God knows what He is talking about! He unmistakably has our best intentions in mind, now, and when He laid the framework for a thriving marriage all those years ago. As I have grown closer to the Lord and learned more about what He desires for us in marriage, my heart has softened to the idea of submitting to my husband. I have found that as I have “died to self” in my marriage (as God commands us not just in marriage, but as Christians), it is much easier to submit. If I am not always thinking about my wishes, my desires, my wants, my opinions, my thoughts, and my ways and focusing more on the “bigger picture” or “greater good” of what is best for our family, finances, etc, then it is easier for my husband and I to align ourselves together. It is not “me vs. him”. My submitting has made my husband more able to fulfill his calling as the leader of our household. If I am submitting then I am not interfering with what God is asking of him. The natural order that God has created occurs much more naturally. Imagine that!! It is a beautiful design, really. When I allow my flesh to take over, and submissiveness takes a back seat, my husband and I butt-heads more, and things certainly don’t run as smoothly. This happens much more than I’d like it to, but much less than it did when we were very newly married.  On those days when I am not exactly getting an A-plus in this area, or quite frankly, when I don’t think my husband “deserves” my submitting to him (good thing God doesn’t give us what we deserve!), I remember the first part of the verse that says “as to the Lord”. If I can’t make myself submit to my man, well then I can certainly submit to the Lord, if not for the desire to have a wonderful marriage, then for the desire to please an amazing God. I encourage you to laugh in Satan’s face and let the Holy Spirit, who is our helper, ever interceding on our behalf, turn that naughty word, “submit”, into a beautiful, vulnerable, freeing word.

Jennifer Zabel

Jennifer Zabel is part of the Awesome Marriage Global Management team.  She resides in Edmond, Oklahoma with her beloved husband, Mason, their three daughters Ella, Claire, and Hays, and their lab Goodie.  Besides her most coveted title of wife and mother, Jennifer has previously held the titles of Registered Nurse, Miss Oklahoma 2005, and Lash Stylist for her company The Lash Lounge, LLC. Jennifer and her family attend Life Church.

July Focus: "Submission"

 

 

SUBMISSION

Our culture and the world in general defines "submission" this way:  "the action or fact of accepting or yielding to a superior force orto the will or authority of another person: they were forced into submission."  

What then does "submission" mean in a marriage relationship?  Is that an archaic term?  Was it okay two thousand years ago but has no validity in our marriages today?  This is a tough one and we are going to hit it head on this month.  Our focus for July is "Submission" and a member of our Awesome Marriage Global Management Team, Jennifer Zabel, will be leading us.

Jennifer resides in Edmond, Oklahoma with her beloved husband, Mason, their three daughters Ella, Claire, and Hays, and their lab Goodie.  Besides her most coveted title of wife and mother, Jennifer has previously held the titles of Registered Nurse, Miss Oklahoma 2005, and Lash Stylist for her company The Lash Lounge, LLC. Jennifer and her family attend Life Church.

Join us each week as Jennifer explores the meaning of submission in Ephesians 5.  She will talk about her struggles with defining submission in her marriage and tackle tough issues such as finance and sex.

This week give us your take on Biblical submission.  We want to hear from you.

Dr. Kim