by Martha Peace from John Piper’s The Counsel on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood – Soap Bubble Submission
Editor’s note: Here’s a piece by another woman in Quiverfull that seems to think that rational discussion of problems with the males in your life over mundane and petty irritations isn’t to be done. Instead smile and submit. This is one of the many reasons a lot of women love their automatic dishwashers. Why are simple problems treated like something big and no one is ever willing to discuss things in this world?
Sanford and I had many conflicts, but one kept occurring. The conflict was over how I rinsed the dishes that I had washed. When I washed dishes, as always, I was in a hurry. Because of that, I did not always rinse every dish perfectly. For all of our married life, he would sometimes say, “You did not get all the soap bubbles off the dish.” My pre-salvation self would reply, “If you don’t like how I am washing the dishes, you can do it yourself!” My post-salvation self still, at times, did not like to be told what to do. So, the inevitable showdown came.
I was washing dishes and rinsing a glass I had just washed. Sanford walked through the kitchen and was behind me. He noticed that I was about to place the clean glass in the dish drain and he said, “You did not get all the soap bubbles off!” Now to my credit, it was not dripping with soap! But he must have seen something. Well, in my heart I thought, “If you don’t like how I am washing the dishes…” Quickly, though, I thought, “He is telling me to rinse it again and I need to be submissive.” Neither one of us was saying a word but Sanford stopped to see what I was going to do. The water was running and I knew I needed to rinse it again. I did not want to do it but I knew the Lord wanted me to. Meanwhile, as I contemplated what to do, my arm was stuck in an uncomfortable, outstretched position. So, I began in my mind to talk to my arm, ‘Come on, you can do this! Rinse it again.” It took so long for my arm to begin to move back toward the running water, that the muscles began to ache. Finally, I talked my arm into moving towards the water and carefully rinsing the glass again.
After I rinsed it again and put the glass in the dish drain, I began to wash the next dish. Sanford said in astonishment, “You did it!” I replied, “Yes, you told me to.” And he countered with, “But you did it!” That moment was a turning point in my walk with the Lord. The Lord was testing me and teaching me to be faithful even in the very least of things. Submission was beginning to be my joy.
God, in His kindness, had prepared me to love thinking about His sovereign control over my life; and when I learned about His sovereign plan for me in my role as a wife, He gave me grace to obey Him.
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