#FEARLESS365 is a yearlong study of God’s commandment to us to live without fear. For 365 days, we will focus on one scripture and volunteers from all over the world will share their personal thoughts and what God has shared with them on the specific verse. For more info… go here.
For in this way in former times the holy women also, who hoped in God, used to adorn themselves, being submissive to their own husbands; just as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord, and you have become her children if you do what is right without being frightened by any fear.
1 Peter 3:5-6
Both my parents were hurting people that found each other and created a child. In the 60’s, when you were pregnant, you got married. My parents married young and divorced when I was young. I grew up in church most of my childhood but I didn’t see the Jesus that I should have seen. I didn’t have that strong male role model in my life. My dad was lost and into partying. My mom was looking in all the wrong places for that elusive love that only can be found through Jesus. Take both those traits and you had me, the partier that is looking for love in all the wrong places with all the wrong people.
I was an only child of a single mom so I became pretty independent at an early age. I was stubborn before I even came out, being almost 2 weeks late. And that hasn’t changed. So, mix stubborn and independent single mom now trying to be a submissive wife and you have a hot mess.
I was a single mom for 7 years before my husband and I married. My daughter’s father and I had never married and we broke up when she was 2. He drove over the road and would see her when he could. Being a single mom, you learn to be mom and dad. You are the head of the house. You make all the decisions and all of the responsibility falls on you. You teach your child(ren) to be independent and self-sufficient for survival. You can spend your money the way you want and answer to nobody.
I re-dedicated my life to Christ in 2006. I met and married my husband in 2007. I had no idea how to walk in Christ let alone be a submissive, Godly wife. I was used to being the head and making all the decisions and now I had to learn both. Both my husband and I are strong-willed and we were both hurting people. I didn’t want to give up any control over the house or my daughter. I knew best. I had a plan. I made the money. I had the house. It was all about me.
Then I got pregnant and it was a high risk pregnancy. I lost my job. I was pregnant and one step away from bed rest so getting another job wasn’t viable. I had to learn to trust God and depend on Him and my husband. My husband had worked at Teen Challenge before we were married and he was let go a week before our wedding. He had to find a job. That wasn’t easy. We were living off my unemployment. And I was able to get a part time job working from home. Then, praise the Lord, my husband got a job working nights.
I work in Accounting and my husband has always been more of a construction/warehouse kind of guy so he was content letting me handle the bills. He was asleep during the day and worked at night. I still had my control. I was scared to let him have a say over anything. I thought only I knew best and only I could make the decisions. See, my dad could be a bully. It came from his hurt. He had to be right. His opinion was the only one that mattered. If it didn’t match his, you were called names and ridiculed. I didn’t feel like I had a lot of control over my life my teenage years because my parents always decided where I was going to live with and with whom. I never had a say. Control was a very big issue of mine. Still can be; I am not going to lie.
Well, I had our son and my husband lost his job from being sick too much, even with doctor’s excuses. I had to go back to work. My husband and I prayed and we believed I was supposed to work and he would stay home with the kids. I got even more control. I don’t believe there is anything wrong with the woman working and the man staying home. In our house, I took it as a sign that I was once again the head of the house and a battle began. I was all kinds of wrong. God really had to get a hold of my heart and do some serious work. We ended up losing our house (that my grandparents were the original owners of) and having to move from a 3 bedroom single family to a 2 bedroom upper. My husband and I fought about so many things, mainly because I wanted him to do everything my way. I knew best because I already raised one child. Can you see the pride and arrogance I had? My poor husband! That man is a saint for putting up with me.
Then God led me to 1 Peter 3. Boy, was that a shock to my system! I was supposed to respect my husband, enjoy him and love him. Respect and enjoy him? I wasn’t sure if I liked him anymore! He wasn’t making ME happy. He wasn’t doing what I wanted him to do. It was all about me, me, me. I had made my husband an idol, expecting him to fulfill what only God and Jesus could.
I started to read about Sarah and how she submitted to Abraham, even when he was wrong. She still submitted and God honored her for that. And God dealt with Abraham. God kept pressing on my heart to ask my husband about everything penny I spent, every bill we pay, how to pay and when to pay. That if I saw something in our house falling apart, let it fall. My husband wasn’t going to lead if I kept getting in the way. I was so afraid of losing so much that I tried to control everything and almost lost everything any way. I was at a point where I didn’t trust anyone but I needed to start trusting God. I had to take a step in faith and trust God with my husband, finances, living situation, EVERYTHING. So I did. And I was scared. I mean, seriously! I was the one who held everything together. I knew it all and had all the answers. I even knew better than God, right? I WAS SO, SO WRONG!! I found out that certain addictions had reared their ugly heads amid our house because of my control issues. Porn, spending, food to name a few.
I let it all go. Or most of it. And it did crash. But it was OK. It needed to crash so God could rebuild it. I have learned is that my husband blooms when I ask him what bills we should pay, do with our money, etc. It shows him trust and respect in his eyes, which I have found out are synonymous in his eyes. It allows him to see our family needs him to lead. He was raised in a boys’ home and foster care most of his life. He has been abused and rejected more ways than I can count and he needed a Godly woman alongside of him that could help encourage him to be who he was created to be not drag him down. We are becoming one. And God is calling us to really step out of our comfort zone, which we cannot do if we are not united and operating as one. It hasn’t been easy. I definitely slip up. And then our ship goes down. These verses just convict me to my soul. And I repent. I am so not Sarah. But I am learning.
Michelle Torres is an Accounts Payable Specialist who lives in Milwaukee, WI. Her husband calls me McGuyver in the kitchen because she throws ingredients together when she cooks and make new dishes