Changed by Jesus #35
By Gina Noriega, Ballard campus
I met my husband in 2003, and we were married just a few months later. At the time, I had no idea that my long history of abuse and betrayal would play into this new marriage, and that allowing my husband to lead our home would cause so much resistance in me. I was unwilling to submit in any matter, from major financial decisions to simply where to put a lamp in the room.
Looking back, there is a long trail of men who abused me, used me, abandoned me, and betrayed me. Starting with a grandfather and father who sexually abused me, to my first husband who would not provide for us and eventually would be sent to prison, to my second husband’s adulterous ways, these men sinned against me and abused their authority over me. By the time I began my new marriage, there was nothing in me that had the desire or ability to “submit.” It went against my very being.
Although it looked like this marriage was different, and my husband was honorable, I maintained as much control as I could. Deep down, I truly desired to allow my husband to lead us and for the burden of leadership to be lifted off of me. I am very thankful that my husband did not allow me to manipulate him into doing my will, even though I tried. He influenced me in a loving way, and I never felt overpowered by him. Equally, God never overpowered me or forced me. It seemed there was always a gentle beckoning that was filled with grace, even in my stubbornness.
I now understand my heart’s response to submission. There truly isn’t any ability within me to submit to my husband. We are both sinners in a fallen world, and we both come from horribly abusive pasts. My new ability to submit to my husband comes from a supernatural power. It happens only when I submit to my heavenly Father.
When I keep my eyes on Jesus, when my heart yearns for oneness with him, my heart willingly follows my husband. When I take my eyes off of myself and turn to Jesus in brokenness, I submit, oftentimes without even realizing it.
I have learned that when I rebel against submission I am a hindrance to God’s glory and to my husband’s God-given responsibility to lead our family. It is not about some earthly man controlling me…it is about honoring God and his design for marriage and biblical womanhood.
Learn more about biblical marriage. Listen to Pastor Mark’s recent sermons about Marriage and Women and Marriage and Men. If you’ve experienced physical or sexual abuse, Mars Hill Church offers counseling and Redemption Group ministries.
Share your story. Has Jesus used the ministry of Mars Hill Church to change you? Email testimony [at] marshillchurch dot org.