“Likewise, wives, be subject to your own husbands, so that even if some do not obey the word, they may be won without a word by the conduct of their wives, when they see your respectful and pure conduct.” 1 Peter 3: 1-2
There have been so many times that I have fallen into a state of sadness (some call depression) that overwhelmed me at times, sometimes even to the point of silence. I would wake up and not talk to anyone, not even my 18-month-old. Although I may have been thinking of the answer to a question that someone was asking me, I just did not have enough energy (literally) to answer. I thought I was trying to submit to God and to my husband by not responding at all since I could not accept how things were. I mean, that is what we are supposed to do, right?
Not me, though. I would just shut down when things were getting too stressful, or if I could not communicate what I thought should be going on, or when I felt things were just all wrong in my marriage. I did not yell and scream, I did not throw things (even though in my head all these things and more was going on). I would just simply shut down. This only made matters worse. This is what took me to the point of not dressing properly, not keeping a clean home, being sick all the time, and barely having energy to love on my children. I had even gone as far as to use verse 3, “Do not let your adorning be external-the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing your wear,” become my excuse of why it was okay to be as lazy as I was.
Well, after I decided to go back to church or a Bible study and started reading God’s Word again, I began letting go of my pride, and learning to let God lead my actions instead of stepping forward into what I wanted God to say and then expecting Him to back me up. I realized that I was twisting His words. I slowly began to realize that I had stopped leaning on God for guidance and understanding of all that I was going through. I stopped having faith that He would bring me through. I wasn’t being physically abused, but our family life was not how I had pictured it or one that I wanted to continue living in. God began to show me where I was being unreasonable and prideful. He showed me how I was letting the past interfere with our future. I slowly started reading and having faith in God’s Word again.
As the fog lifted, I began to see all of the resources that God had laid around me that I was ignoring. I took a moment to list them just so that I could see all He was doing for me. We had moved during this time and the neighborhood or street that we moved into had a chaplain, a teacher, a counselor, children for my children to play with, people who can encourage and motivate, and people who were going through some of the same issue of ADHD with their children (that is an entirely different story). I could go on with a few more things but my point is that it was all there. So as I let my pride go and leaned more on God, I was able to open up and see the resources, love, and friendships around me. I finally came out of the clouds of destruction (which is what I felt like at the time) and began to live life for God again.
It is easy to slip in and out of the path the God has for us when we do not keep our focus on God. I do not wish to go back to that state of mind, and as I look back, I am continually grateful to God that I was able to come out of it. It was 1 Peter 3: 4-5 that helped me to put all of it together to see the bigger picture.
“…but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious. For this is how the holy women who hoped in God used to adorn themselves, by submitting to their own husbands.”
I realized that I had to stop focusing on how my husband was doing things, and more on how I was doing things. I needed to be the example and not the preacher. It’s not through my words that I was leading him to God; it was through my actions. I could sit there and nag all day but it just would not get through like my actions would. I stopped worrying about what would make us a better family, and worked harder on trying to be a family who focused more on God. There will always be an issue that has to be worked out in a marriage. It may be as small as where to put the furniture or as big as having two completely different parenting styles, but God is such a beautiful and amazing God that He guides us in working those things out in a Godly manner. When we listen and follow, we are not only becoming the family that pleases Him, we are also becoming a family that shines God’s love and becomes an example for others see. So for me, 1 Peter 3: 1-6 was the arrow that hit the target and put it all into perspective for me.