I was married when I was 16 years old. My husband was a blind date (keeping in mind that my parents were believers, just not doers). Our next date was the next weekend and we were married the next weekend. Jim was in the Marine Corp and he tells everyone that he prayed for a wife and not too long after that, we met. I sometimes think the way we met and married was the best way for us, because we got to know each other after we were united, sort of like the Hebrews used to do when betrothing their children. Before the actual marriage, they came to know each other, but they were considered married by promise and oath. I do know that being married to someone you have to come to know after the fact, takes much work and concession from both partners.
Although Jim and I were not going to church, we both were believers, just not doers. This caused many problems that we had to work through, but I believe it made us stronger later on. Now that we are doers of the Word, our life is so much better, and we want to kick ourselves for not having been surrendered to our Savior sooner. Because Jim always had a good-paying job, he never wanted me to work outside the home. He always said my job was to take care of him, our children and the home. Having watched both my younger sisters have to work all their married lives, made me really appreciate being able to stay home and raise the family.
As an “older woman” now, I have been able to share my lifelong experiences, both the good and the bad, with younger women, and especially our daughter. When a woman sees a successful, godly marriage and is having marital problems, to whom should she go for counsel and advice? I know that if it were not for our heavenly Father guiding us early on, we would not still be married and our lives would probably be in shambles. But Father was faithful even when we were not, praise His Name! He has seen us through so many trials that I have often wondered why He would bother with two very stubborn people as we were. But like I said, He is faithful. I believe Jim’s honest prayer for a wife kept Father’s hand in our marriage.
Last year I taught a class of young girls in our congregation about modesty and being a lady. I stressed that how we dress matters to Father, because we, as women, can cause young men to sin by showing too much of our bodies. Father never meant for any woman to dress the way they do today. I also taught that we show ourselves to be ladies by the way we conduct ourselves in mixed company; the way we enter a room, walk, talk, sit and stand; the way we show respect for our parents, older people, our siblings and friends. I told the girls that we must always remember Whom we represent and that we will please Father when we behave ourselves according to scripture, starting at an early age.
I now can look back and see how Father has used our learning process to help others going through the same things as Jim and I did. I think the subject of submission was the hardest for me to accept. Jim and I both were (and to some degree, still are, but not in a bad way) strong-willed, so I found the teaching of “wives submit to your husbands” very difficult to do. I had never heard of being submissive, neither with my parents nor in our church, and I feared that Jim would use me as a doormat if I became submissive. I really did agonize over this and finally went to Father in earnest prayer about it. I felt Him say in my spirit for me to obey Him and He would take care of Jim. I have to admit that many things changed for us after that. I have heard this phrase many times in these last 4 years that we have been in the Hebrew Roots Awakening … “God is smarter than we are”. And I have learned over the years that if I will just obey Him, all will turn out according to His plan. He only wants the best for His children, plus He knows “the end from the beginning”! The three verses mentioned hold a world of wonderful counsel and advice for young women.
I wish I had taught them early in life, it would have saved me from much self-inflicted heartache! But if we will first submit to our Creator and learn His word, we will be better able to live the lives He has planned for us, and be better able to guide our families into godly living so that they, too, will be able to avoid the heartache that comes from not knowing and applying the faithful counsel of God’s word.