Today I read Ashley Willis’ follow up article to the “permission” article I blogged about a couple of days ago. I guess all of the responses she received prompted her follow-up. And, friends, this is a very important article so please read it.
There is a delicate balance we need to find within a marriage. Anytime there is more on one side of the relationship than the other, conflict and issues will arise. One spouse is doing all of the house cleaning while the other sits and watches TV . . . One spouse continues to be affectionate while the other turns away . . . One spouse stays home to care for the children while the other goes out and does whatever they want. You get the picture. A balance in these and other situations would be that there is mutual give and take.
Another phrase for this is mutual submission. I do realize that “submission” is probably as popular of a word as “permission” is to some people. But, submission in marriage means that you put your spouses needs above your own. Now, if this is one-sided, like I mentioned above, then conflict and hurt will ensue. But, my friends, the beauty of mutual submission is something every good marriage can attest to. When both spouses take the time to intentionally love one another in such a way that they submit their own needs for the sake of the other, only wonderful things can come out of that.
Ashley’s article listed three dangers of asking permission – and all three are very unhealthy situations in any marriage. That could explain all of the negative comments she received. Perhaps some of the comments came from people in one of these unhealthy situations, or perhaps they have lived through those situations and have the scars to prove it. Regardless of their situations, it is obvious that we all struggle to some degree with the concept of mutual submission and asking our partners permission to do things. It’s not a natural thing to do as innately selfish and self-preserving human beings.
So here we are, in the season of “giving” and “love.” Perhaps it’s time we re-evaluated these words that get such a bad wrap, permission and submission, and look at them for the positive words that they are. Then, friends, let’s implement them in our own marriages! Perhaps this could be the turning point in our relationships that puts us on a healthier and happier path in our marriage. Or, at the very least, we can put some better habits into place to help build a stronger marriage moving forward. Either way, prayers lifted for all of us as we navigate that delicate balance!