So I just read this book called, "For Married Women Only," by Tony Evans. It is one of those reads that takes you less than two days and leaves you with such good intentions. This particular book has me rethinking, "am I being a respectful and obedient wife?" While us wives do a lot to remain respectful and obedient, an important thing we all need to check on is our relationship with God. I am constantly trying so hard to keep Him in my life, but life does get busy. This little book was a good reminder as to why I need Him.
Evans teaches readers three principles for honoring husbands. These principles are quite practical, and I can definitely understand how they really work in a marriage. These three principles are the skill of submission, the sweetness of seduction, and the sanctity of surrender. At first glance, these items seem like they imply loss of total control. However, if you think about, you are in more control if you follow these principles. This is because you are taking responsibility as your role as a wife. Without giving too much away, here are a few highlights from each section that really grabbed my attention.
The Skill of Submission
When some women see the word submission, they may automatically think, "I'm not going to let my husband control me and dominate me." First, you need to get rid of that way of thinking. On page 10, Evans makes an excellent point. He says, "Ladies, what your husband needs and craves from you more than anything else is respect. While you love to hear, 'I love you,' we men want and need to hear, 'I respect you.'" Wow! What an epiphany for me. It goes on to say, "..showing respect to your husband is not optional, just as his responsibility to love you with Christlike love is not optional" (11). If you are unsure if you are disrespecting your man, keep in mind that bickering, nagging, or manipulating are forms of disrespect. Bite your tongue when you want to criticize and instead try to communicate humbly.
Submission does not make you less important than your husband. As Evans explains, "The relationship between a husband and wife is not that of a master to a slave (although some couples think it is), but that of a head to a body" (15). He goes on to explain that, ..."a wife is to look to her husband for direction the way a body looks to its head. But Satan is going to do everything he can to keep that from happening in your home. He will bring people into your life who will tell you, 'Girl you're crazy to submit to that man. No man is going to tell me what to do'" (17)! This is so true. It's so easy to fall prey to friends who rev you up when you are upset by saying common things like above. Beware of that!
The Sweetness of Seduction
The first thing I thought of this when I saw 'seduction' was sex! This is not the point made here. Think about seduction in terms of being attractive, humble, and having a gentle spirit. One thing that Evans points out here is that when a woman is submissive or respectful to her husband, it not only makes a wife more attractive to her husband, but holds great value with God.
Women, we love attention. But what is the right attention? God wants us to be attention-getting in the right way to our husbands and to the world. When you hear about how beauty is all on the inside, this is the total truth. We wear our makeup, our stylish clothes, but are we doing it to show off to others? Evans says, "check if what you are wearing is too low, too high, or too tight" (27). Modesty is what s in style in the eyes of the Lord and your husband.
So a big question to ask is "How does a wife become beautiful on the inside?" and the answer to that is to radiate God's glory. Evan interestingly says, "No Hollywood star with her own dressing room, hairstylist, and personal makeup expert has anything on a woman who looks to God for her beauty regimen" (34). Wow, what a strong statement! I know how easy it is to get caught up in looking good, but it is important to realize if you are doing it for the right reasons. Seduce your husband by being Godly and less materialistic.
The Sanctity of Surrender
On page 43 it reads, "The Bible says that a wife who honors God creates an opportunity to win her husband over without lecturing, griping, or demeaning him." This is a good summary that tells us that if we look to the Lord in our marital struggles and truly trust that He take care of us, He will! One thing I have learned and that is mentioned in the text is that more wives aren't doing this because "they aren't hanging out with the holy women. Instead they're getting their input from their unholy girlfriends, watching unholy television, listening to unholy radio, and reading unholy books." A woman who wants to get marriage right needs to spend time with the right company.
Simply put, surrender yourself to the Lord and he will do great things for you, your husband, and even your children. Think of Abraham and Sarah who gave their heart to the Lord and were promised a child in very unpromising circumstances. God will provide.
I've learned a lot reading this book and I hope you do too! I am all about becoming a better wife, friend, and person, so I feel I've gotten a lot from this reading. I recommend "The Five Love Languages" as well-- this is one of my favorite books ever and you surely learn a lot from it.