When Independence and Submission Collide

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I distinctly remember being 19 years old and watching my first close friend get married.  I remember thinking how incredibly young she was.  I remember being appalled that her paster read the “submission” passage at her wedding, and being even more appalled when my friend vowed her submission to her husband just before she said, “I do.”  We were strong independent women, what was she thinking?!?!  Though I hadn’t yet met the man I would one day marry, I silently pledged those words would NOT be uttered at MY wedding.  And sure enough 5 years later when I said, “I do” to the love of my life, there was no promise of submission on either part.  What’s more (I am no longer proud to admit) there was no act of submission within the marriage either.  
It’s not that I wasn’t a Christian, I was, so was my husband.  And it’s not that I didn’t know what the Bible said about submissive wives, I did, so did he.  But we both kind of thought that part of the Bible was a little outdated.  That it no longer applied or was relevant to our current culture.  “Perhaps these words made sense when they were written but they don’t REALLY apply now, do they?”, thought my much younger self, “These verses had their place in the first century but NOT in the twenty-first.”  My husband and I were two strong independent Christians united as one in front of God and our families, equals in all things, one was not “submissive” to the other.
We had a good marriage.  We had a good house and good Christian friends.  We were going to have good kids.  But as the years went by we began to realize that “good” wasn’t good enough.  Our first 2 children came within 18 months of each other (whoops!) and I, just I, made the decision to stay at home with them.  Yes I discussed it with Erik, but honestly, the decision was mine.  What I didn’t realize was how profoundly this would impact my marriage (ultimately for good).  You see I am a selfish person, incredibly, horrifically selfish.  I could sugar coat it for you and call it independent or self-sufficient or set in my ways, but truthfully, for me, it’s just pure selfishness.  This is the primary reason this whole “submission” idea seemed SO awful!!!  To fully submit to someone, to NEVER get my way???? You’ve got to be kidding???  Who came up with THAT idea???? (Must have been a man!)
Learning to let go of that innate selfishness, because kids simply don’t allow you to be selfish, taught me how to put others first.  At this same time, I was also drawing closer to God, studying His word more than I ever had.  Erik and I were fully invested in a small group of AMAZING Christians who modeled Christ in ways I had never seen anyone else do.  And as I grew in my faith, I started to see how God’s way really was the best way in so many little (and big) things.  Once I started to see that God’s way truly was best in the little things I started to consider the possibility that God’s way just might be the best in this area too.  And I thought maybe I should give it a try.  
And you know what?  It turns out God got this one right too! I know, you’re not surprised, but honestly, I think I was a little.  I think I was a little surprised by how letting Erik be the man of the house, the final decision maker (after I have put my 2- or sometimes 12- cents in) has moved our marriage from “good” to GREAT!  I haven’t become some rug he walks on, we discuss all decisions together.  I am still his equal, I still run the checkbook and month by month finances.  I do most of the scheduling and planning for the family, I still have a voice and opinions and desires that are heard and considered, but for big things I submit to him.  
I know that in all things Erik will always do what is best for our family.  He will carefully consider how I feel, he will weigh all the options, consider all the angles, and when he makes a big decision, I can trust in that decision (even when it’s not the one I would have made, even when it means I now drive a mini van!) knowing it is the best one for our family.  Because I know he loves us, and he will always chose what is best for us.  That, my friends, is pretty easy to submit to.

Do you struggle with submitting to your husband?  Do you question how to be a successful, independent woman while still submitting?  Join us for a live on air Hang out on Feb 16.


  1. Violette Willis says

    Amen & Amen!! As a self-proclaimed “independent” woman I always saw hubby as a partner, not someone that I (no, not Ms I-can-do-it-all-by-myself) should (or could) fully DEPEND on. And that’s how I saw being submissive, depending on somebody else. But God will do the necessary to get the message through…. I lost my job (queue cliffhanger dramatic music, lol). I learned that ultimately I depend on God, and for the first time, I surrendered (submitted) to my hubby. For me having my own income equaled a certain “freedom” whereby I never fully had to submit. If I wanted it, I’d get it. After all, I worked for it, right? WRONG! Lol.

    I learned that even if hubby is wrong, (and many times he wasn’t/isn’t, I just thought my way was better), God will BLESS my obedience to Him. So you see, we can’t loose when we are obedient to His word. “Obedience is better than sacrifice” (1 Sam 15:22).

    Thank you for sharing this and I look forward to “hanging out” on Feb 16 🙂

    God bless!!!

    • Tami Lundgren says

      VIolette – You have made me laugh! Love your spirit! It just goes to show you CAN be a spunky, fun, spirited woman, and still obediently submit to your husband!!! Sometimes I wish God’s lessons were a little easier, but I tend not to learn very much that way. Hope things are much better with the job situation!

  2. Amy Walker says

    Just this morning my husband and I got into an argument over something silly because I got offended rather than accepting the fact that he was only trying to help me make better decisions. He wasn’t telling me “you’re an idiot why do you do it that way?” like my mind says. I am just so used to living an independent single life so three months into my marriage my pride and selfishness are really starting to show through when I resist his opinions and decisions about what’s best for me. I was single until 34 so I have a lot of undoing to do in my habits! 🙂 It all boils down to the fact that I have a lot of pride, I am controlling and I don’t want to submit to his ideas! ha This just happened to be one of the first blogs on my feed of who I follow. Now THAT is God! 🙂

  3. Tami Lundgren says

    Thank you Sandra, I do think submission has gotten an undue “bad rap”. We are all (men and women) called to submit in one way or another. We will discuss this more on Sunday at our Hangout, I hope you can join us. I wish I had known early in my marriage the things I have figured out in the last 15 years, I can only imagine how much more I will have learned after 36 years!

  4. Sandra Black says

    Well said, submission is not the word so many think it is. I’m glad you have benefited from learning that God only has the best in mind for us and I’m glad your husband is modelling His Heavenly Father. After 36 years of marriage I truly believe He had it right.

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