I love to hear ladies tell their stories as they study Biblical marriage and begin to desire to respect their husbands, and love and submit to them. Each story is as varied as the husband and wife in the marriage. But one thing is sure. Things will begin to change!
I recall the young wife who came into a marriage class so excited, as she reported that for years her husband had been asking her to wear her hair down rather than in a pony tail. It was fun just to see her excitement as she had arranged her life under her husband, and the conflict went away.
Certainly, submission is not usually so easy as changing a pony tail, but many times it is in the small things where the changes first begin. Those changes are actually occurring in the heart. In instances where there has been resistance for many years, a wife will delight as she submits to her Lord by submitting to her husband, no matter how small the issue may seem.
My favorite example of the simplicity of submission came from the young wife whose husband had asked her for years to put the ironing board on her side of the bed rather than on his, but she had persisted in her own way. Again, the simple joy of simple submission as she gave in!
But ironing board, move over! I now have another favorite story. This is a simple story of a wife desiring to honor her husband as she arranged her life around his. Here, in her own words, is her story.
Julia’s Story: Enter the Elk!
For years I never would allow mounted animals in my house. I grew up with all kinds of creatures staring at me on the walls: squirrels, deer, and raccoons. If it could be mounted it would go on the walls. I do not know why, but I never wanted that to follow me in my adult life. It was normal, and almost expected, as a child to enter homes in my family and see this sort of trophy on walls, but as an adult I was not “HAVING IT”.
My husband, through the years, began to hunt more and more. He killed a deer and had it mounted. I would not hear of that animal hanging in my living room, so he hung it in his closet. That was fine with me. He got to enjoy it, and I did not have to be bothered with it – seemed like a good deal to me. Along the way, he acquired another deer; he hung it in the garage. As years passed, trips got bigger and further away from home. Instead of local hunting camps, now he went to Colorado. It was his 2nd trip to Colorado, and I was really dreading it. He is gone for at least 10 days and with 2 small children at home, it gets rough for me and them. We were sitting at the table the last night before he was to leave, talking about how great it would be if he killed something huge.
My 6 year son said, “Daddy, when I kill my 1st deer, I am going to hang it in my closet, too!” UGH, the agony of hearing him say that made me see how wrong I “MAY” have been. My husband teased and said, “Do you see what you have done to our ‘manliness’?” I felt worse. My husband told our son that he was sure if he killed a deer, I would let him hang it over his bed. I told my husband if he killed a ‘huge’ animal, I would let him hang it in our house. I felt safe because he had gone before and not killed anything…. Right??? Well, little did I know what I was saying.
The trip came and went, and, yes, he did kill the 2nd to largest ELK in the hunting camp area/region. It took a year for the ELK to get mounted and be sent home. The closer it got to that animal coming home, the more I thought I do not know where it is going, but it will not fit in my house. The whole year I said that thing is too large for this house. Let me give you some dimensions. I have 10 foot ceilings. For the mounted animal to fit under my ceilings it has to be mounted 5 foot above the floor, which to me is not appropriate level. It sticks out from the wall 52 inches, so to hang it takes special care. I would not want anyone to round a corner and poke their eye with a horn..
On the night prior to the Elk arrival, my whole house was excited to think the Elk was on the way home. Yes, I was too. My husband had said he would probably take the elk to his boss’s camp in Arkansas… it would fit in perfect there. The camp has cathedral ceilings and rustic décor. I did not want to see him do that but I was not satisfied with hanging it in my house either. Before bed I was reading a Blog on husbands and wives and putting the needs of others before your own. I went to bed praying for my marriage and to have a heart more along the lines of what God would want me to have. When I awoke the next morning, I had a joy and assurance that my husband must bring the ELK home, and I wanted it to stay at home. I wanted it in our foyer and even assured my husband that could be his trophy room. He was so excited and almost giddy. It’s funny how the power of prayer can change a heart. I know it was the power of God because I could not change myself. I now look at that beast of an animal and call it “pretty”.
What I had resisted for years, I now welcomed into my home. Surely, it wasn’t for me. But because I wanted to honor my husband in our home, my heart had changed. ENTER THE ELK!