I have written quite a bit about submission as a biblical principle in marriage over the years, but it never gets old since I keep having to re-learn how important it is.
At the end of 2017, Edric and I finalized plans for the year, locking in dates for trips, speaking engagements, and events. One the vacations we were looking forward to was our U.S. trip in December to visit family. We planned to make it a Christmas and New Year’s in California with Edric’s side of the family and my side.
My siblings eagerly looked for online travel deals and booked their flights. Everyone was recommending airlines and options, and I passed these on to Edric. At that point, our cash flow wasn’t at its best. We had made several big investments and purchases in 2017, which means we weren’t as liquid as we hoped to be.
Jealousy and envy started to seep into my heart when Edric informed me that we had to prioritize other expenses that year, travel plans that were in the first and second quarters of the year. Our U.S. trip would have to wait. Needless to say, I wasn’t focusing on those other blessings. I was comparing our financial state to that of my siblings, feeling disappointed that we had to begin 2018 this way.
(It’s sad how ungrateful we can become when we measure what we have and who we are in contrast to others. Oh, I am talking about me here!)
I had much to be thankful for. Our kids were healthy, happy, and well. 2018 held the promise of a great year. But there I was grumbling because we couldn’t afford to book our tickets at that point in time like my siblings could, and I blamed Edric’s decision-making about investments and the like that put us in this predicament.
However, after thinking through my wrong attitudes and seeing the obstacle from a spiritual perspective, I realized the wisdom of Edric’s desire to manage our cash flow. He is a financial planner after all, and uses spreadsheets and projections to calculate budgets, earnings, as well as make plans. I did not try to manipulate or force him to spend for the tickets. Instead, I surrendered my feelings to the Lord, confessed my jealousy towards my siblings, and trusted in Him by submitting to Edric.
Well, God, in his sovereign knowledge knew that I would get pregnant. He knew that my due date would be during the first week of December, when we were scheduled to leave Manila for the U.S. Had I pushed Edric to buy our tickets or maneuvered to find a way to get the purchases done, we wouldn’t have been able to fly at that time anyway. God protected us from booking ahead to save us a lot of money, as well as the hassle of having to re-book and change dates.
Now we have the cash for the trip but we can schedule it another time, earlier or later than December 2018, and not have to worry that we spent for seven people to travel on dates that would have impossible because of my pregnancy and childbirth.
This is a simple illustration on submission, but it’s an important reminder to me to trust in God by allowing Edric to lead, by respecting his decisions. Edric is very open to my perspective but when he feels strongly about a direction and a conviction to stick to it, I have to back down and recognize that God speaks through his headship. How comforting it is to know that God protects our family through Edric, even when I don’t always understand the bigger picture.
We don’t always realize the predicaments and circumstances the Lord saves us from when we listen to our husbands, but I am sure that beyond protecting us from making bad financial choices, He safeguards our very lives. Furthermore, we have the joy and peace of knowing that we are obeying God’s principles for marriage. And God delights in blessing obedience.
“Wives, be subject to your own husbands, as to the Lord…But as the church is subject to Christ, so also the wives ought to be to their husbands in everything.”
Ephesians 5:22, 24
“Then the LORD your God will prosper you abundantly in all the work of your hand, in the offspring of your body and in the offspring of your cattle and in the produce of your ground, for the LORD will again rejoice over you for good, just as He rejoiced over your fathers; if you obey the LORD your God to keep His commandments and His statutes which are written in this book of the law, if you turn to the LORD your God with all your heart and soul.” Deuteronomy 30:9-10