My husband Al was the best labor coach ever. Really. My natural mode is to panic, but Al is calm and supportive and encouraging, especially in the labor room.
It was 24 years ago that I was in labor with my second daughter Debbie. She was inside my body, pushing out. Back then, there it was fashionable to have a non-medicated birth. Al sat by me the whole time, like a rock I could lean on.
Women are natural worriers when it comes to health and family. Men less so, in general. This was a good time for me to lean into what Al was confident in: I was going to be fine, our baby was going to come out all right. In leaning on Al, there was peace.
And that is why, I think God directs us to submit: Wives, submit to your husbands, as is fitting for those who belong to the Lord. (Colossians 3:18) God wants us to be able to lean on them.
"Submission" has gotten a bad rap. To submit is to voluntarily allow another to lead. And that is not a bad thing. To submit is not to be subdued under duress or by force. It is all about choice. We get to choose.
It was a good choice to allow Al to lead when I was in labor, in pain and vulnerable. I thank God he was able to be strong and lead so I could follow. Of course there are other times when I need to stand up and speak truth to him, to influence him for good. But sweating, in labor, with an infant soon to come, it was good I could count on him to lead.
This is what to submit means. It means God has blessed us with someone strong and loving to care for us and we are smart enough to say yes and follow their lead. It is a blessing, a mercy, a grace, and thank You Jesus for that!
Debbie is 24 now, sweet and strong and beautiful. I thank God for her, and for Al who was my partner and my friend in the process.
Father, it is not always easy to submit and there have been many times I have failed. Thank You for the times you helped me yield when I needed to but did not want to. Help me to know when I need to speak truth in love instead. There are no rules, there is only You but You are enough.