I've decided that each post this week will be a narration of something that following Christ has cost me or how it's changed me. This first one is a little of both, and will really sound strange to some of you: it has cost me the freedom to do some potentially dangerous things for Christ. Yup, you read that correctly. You see, if I take God's Word to be Truth, then I have to take all of it and that means that the several times in 1 Corinthians, Ephesians, Colossians, and 1 Peter that it says I have to submit to my husband, I have to submit to my husband, whether I like it or not. And that means, that I can't go around doing things that my husband has asked me not to do, like help people on the side of the road with car trouble. Yes, I've done that; at least three times that I can easily recall, all before I was married. Never, at any point, was I hurt in any way, shape or form while doing this, nor did I ever do it without the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Nevertheless, my husband asked me to stop doing this, and so I have.
When I was single, I did not have this restriction. I was free to honor God in some ways that I can't now and I think that this is why Paul says that it is better to not marry. I can understand his reasoning. This does not mean that I in any way regret marrying my husband, just that I understand that we can/should do for Christ when we are married is different from what we can/should do for Christ when we are single. In my opinion, it's not always better one way or the other, just different and as Christ calls us each to different things, He thus equips us to do them.
There is also honor in marriage, it helps God refine us. It helps us to see ourselves as others see us, and sometimes as God sees us. As iron sharpens iron, so a husband and wife can spur each other on to be better than they ever could be alone. It is also the human relationship that we have that is closest to the way that God loves us, or at least it should be. Do our spouses disappoint us, make us angry, hurt us, etc. YES! And we do it to them, as well. But, we are called to love them anyway, just as God loves us, unconditionally. That doesn't mean that there won't be consequences for the hurts, just as there are still consequences from our sin, but that when asked to forgive, we do. Our marriages aren't perfect, but the secret is to put the other person before us; their needs before our own. When both spouses do that, there is nothing that can't be overcome.