Monday, July 11, 2011

Willing submission and loving authority

Does the word "submission" make us put our guard up immediately? The world of independence and individualism that we live in today, where everything we think about is: "what's the most optimal option for ME?", and in which subconsciously our tendency is to be selfish and think about ourselves over everyone else, submission is a very difficult concept to grasp and apply.

Changing gears just a little bit, most women consider their wedding day to be the most dreamt about and desire it to be the most beautiful and perfect day of their lives. I'm not saying there's anything wrong with that, I have my own dreams about the same thing, but are we keeping in sight just the wedding? Or the marriage that is to follow the wedding?  Who is the person we're marrying? Why are we marrying him? Are we willing to spend every day of the rest of our life with him? What attitude will get us through the tough times?

At a conference workshop about a week ago this summer, the speaker Dr. Steve Price, talked about Ephesians 5:22-33 (yep, the one about husbands and wives). I really wanna tell you all about it because it's a passage I've read and heard being spoken about a gazillion times before but this was the first time I heard it put this way.

Anywho, moving on, husbands are to "love" their wives as "Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her" and "as their own bodies" (v. 25 and 28). Pretty straightforward, not rocket science. Every time a man interacts with his wife, she should get reminded of Christ, that's how deeply he should love her. She should know without a shadow of a doubt that her husband loves her and would give up his life for her, that's how ardently Christ loved us - pure, righteous love! And he needs to assume the responsibility of a husband in every aspect of life and not shrink back from taking initiative. He's the leader and if he's married that's the role he needs to take up. Steve called this trait of a husband - "loving authority". Without the man's love and willingness to lead/initiate, the woman's submissiveness and respect toward him is really meaningless. That's as summary of what he said about a man's role in a marriage. If you're a man, thanks for reading! =)

Now ladies, that stuff I just said up there is for the men. I think it's difficult being a man. I don't think there's a way to say this without being misunderstood but I'm going to say it anyway: I'm a woman who's pretty independent and doesn't have trouble getting along in life without a man but I'd love to have a man to look up to, respect, and be a companion to (and him to me) for the rest of my life - there's a certain in-built desire that God has put in my heart for that, and I'm sure most, if not all, women out there feel somewhat the same way. I wouldn't exchange being a man for the life of me - it's not my calling! =D Besides, who wants to be a man when you can dress pretty being a woman? Men don't get that privilege! ;-) Jokes aside, we have a responsibility without which the man's role of a loving authority does not make sense. Women are to "submit to" their "husbands, as to the Lord" (v. 22). Now, which woman in her right mind will not want to submit to a husband that loves and cherishes her as though she's the most precious thing on earth? And which man on earth would not want a wife who's submissive and respects his leadership, supporting him in the decisions he makes?

With her willing submission and his loving authority, so many minute issues in the family can be resolved. The biggest thing that can get in the way though, is PRIDE! Women have a problem of thinking that we don't need men to lead us because we're self-sufficient and can make our own decisions and men think they're not respected enough and think their women are too demanding. But if each thought of the other instead of themselves - and mind you, it has to be mutual, otherwise over a long period of time it can get frustrating for one of the two persons and putting in a one-sided effort can wear them out - every situation in a family can be dealt with a lot more peacefully and with a lot more wisdom than when it is dealt with each person wanting their own selfishness to reign.

Friday, January 28, 2011

I really don’t know where I belong, you know? I am Indian by nationality, and so there are certain references that I grew up with that only people that I grew up around would understand. But I didn’t grow up in India. I grew up in Oman, around non-resident Indians (NRIs), most of whom also hadn’t lived most of their lives in India. This implies that I knew hardly anything about my culture having grown up in a foreign country and going to a school and church, both of which being a part of, made me think and become a woman of my own, have my own ideas, come to my own conclusions about everything in life. I was different than most people and found maybe one or two people throughout grade school who were comfortable with the real me. I never got into arguments or anything, I was in fact, the peacemaker. I was just always very complicated and difficult to understand. When I went back to India, I couldn’t completely fit in there either, because the kids there, saw me as “different”, an NRI (probably with lots of money, according to them), and someone who spoke too good English, such that they thought that I thought myself to be above everyone else that was around me. I was always seen to be someone I wasn’t, whether in India or Oman.

Before I continue, let me say this: the last thing I’m looking for is pity or “aww”s. I'm basically putting myself out there and trying to see who will be brave enough to say something about this.

Moving on, now that I’ve come to the US, I don’t want to be around Indians, because there’s always been a sense of discomfort when I’m around them, the constant nagging and judgment just wears me out making me want to go to a corner and talk to no one because I feel so worthless compared to all these overachievers that make me feel like an underachiever. Not that there’s anything wrong with me, it’s just that all Indians supposedly want to be either doctors or engineers, or Chartered/Certified Accountants. So what do I do once I'm in the US? I hang out with mostly white people because that’s just the kind of people that I feel most comfortable around. They think like me, behave like me, and I'm completely okay with the way they do things  (nothing racial here, just talking about compatibility).

When I hang out with white people what happens? I end up being the odd one out (some news that is) who knows nothing whatsoever, of the references being made in conversations and I end up just being the stupid looking, “have pity on me” person, that has to have everything explained, and takes all the fun out of what we’re talking about. I probably can do something to change that, hang out more with these people, watch more of the movies they’ve watched <- that’s a BIG one (and we’re talking legit Christians here, not random people), play more games/sports they’ve played, do more things they’ve done. I only have to go back to childhood and literally live my life again like my childhood doesn't count. Is there anyone who can understand what a mixed pot I am? Do you know how stressful it is to go through so many changes in life? I’m not mad for all these changes guys, please don’t misunderstand me. It’s just that I wish someone would understand me for all these things that are part of me, and see me for who I am, and love me for who I am, you know? I’m so longing for that day when that man that God has made for me will know that I’m the girl for him, and I won’t have to worry about caring about these things anymore. I don’t want some random guy who I’ve never met before. I want to know what it’s like to fall in love, real love. I want to be able to see him, talk with him and have him understand what I'm saying and for me to tunderstand him for who he is, and to laugh with him, and share with him and him with me. We can do it all the arranged way if that’s needed, but I want that element of love in it, and I don’t think there’s anything wrong with wanting that. I just basically want someone who’ll love both my Lord and me with passion - that's all I care about, honest to the core. Nothing else really matters to me, and I know what I'm saying.

I am fully aware that, but for the last few sentences in the last paragraph, and more than anything else, I sound like an angry bull right now and I think it’s good for me to say it out like this than to censor it and make it seem all flowery to please everyone reading this.

But I don’t care, I’m way past the point of caring about what people think. I need something different. And for the last time, I don't think the solution is marriage! Marriage might be part of the solution, but it's really the need to be understood, cared for, loved, to belong to someone - that is what's causing this discomfort or uneasiness. And somehow I feel like this post is going to make things more difficult for me, because it's so awkward for a girl to say things like this. Or maybe I'm just an ignorant nut.

If you read every word to the end of this post, I love you for it. Thanks for caring enough to want to know what I have to say. 

Once again, please don't pity me for this rant of mine or go out of your way to make things easy on me. Continue being yourself but please don't think less of me when I'm not compatible with you. I know none of you think less of me, but I don't know how else to put it and I feel really bad when I destroy the fun when I don't get something everyone else does - and boy you have no idea about the range of things that can apply to.
Note: I'm talking about good, clean fun here, don't give too much exercise to your imagination. I'm just too tired to type it all out to give examples or explain what I'm talking  about here.