Tuesday, January 11, 2011

" You are the leaf Daddy!"

I have the privilege to sing with the worship team at our church. I sing two weeks and am off two weeks. The Sundays on which I sing I leave the house an hour earlier than the rest of my family. It becomes a fun surprise to see my girls after Sunday school. They always surprise me in their clothing choices. Sunday when they ran to greet me I noticed they were both wearing deep purple dresses. I was also wearing a strong purple sweater. I said, "Wow! We look like a bunch of grapes. Daddy didn't get the memo." The Admiral being attired in my favorite hunter green sweater. To which my wonderful oldest replied "You are the leaf, Daddy!" I laughed out loud... My delight in her creativity spilling out. They headed for the cookies and I went in the other direction. Soon I had a few moments alone and my thoughts overtook me. The leaves are on the vine shading and protecting the grapes. The leaves draw in the nourishment from the sun and rain, growing the grapes fuller, plumper, juicier.

I must derail a moment and share a struggle I have. I struggle to give the Admiral headship of our home. Now I know this is muddy water in the feminist world we live in. However it is scriptural. Ladies we are called very clearly to submit to our husbands. Ephesians 5 verse 21 makes no bones about this.
 21 Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.
Submit. The word has a negative connotation. A feeling of giving up control or governance of self. Yet when I read the verse " ... out of reverence for Christ". I don't see a giving up. I see an honoring of my savior. The next verse reads:
 22 Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.
According to this verse, we, as women, are to give 'governance' or authority to our spouses.  This doesn't mean giving up my voice. This doesn't mean forfeiting who I am to my husbands whim. If you read on the  verse says "Husbands are the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the Church". Verse 25 and following:
 25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 26 her by the washing with water through the word, 27 and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. 28 In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church— 30 for we are members of his body. 31 “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” 32 This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. 33 However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.
Photo courtesy freefoto.com
 See the directives to the husbands? It doesn't say 'rule with an iron fist'. It doesn't say 'take and order her around for your comfort'. It says "love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her..." They are to care for and shelter us. The husbands are to give themselves up for their wives. So it becomes a mutual giving of authority. God designed men to lead their households. Created men to follow His example as the head of the family. Willing even to lay down his life for his family. To deny him headship is to deny his God given role in the family. Be careful here, headship is not equal to power. Headship is leading, caring, cherishing, guiding, giving, providing. The guys have huge job. 

This is a struggle for me as an independent 21st century woman. I want to be in charge. I want to call the shots. I don't want to be seen as weak. The idea of submitting to another person has been ingrained into me as bad. So I am working hard to give my husband headship of our family. I want to work with him as a team to raise our precious ones. When big girl said "You are the Leaf Daddy!" The picture in my mind blew open. I saw the Admiral as more. I saw him as our provider, cherisher, leader, lover and guide. Like the leaf that covers and protects the growing grapes, sometimes at great cost to self, I see my husband as the head of our family. I will support him in the role God has given him.

Abba, help me to affirm my husband and be an example to my girls.

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