It turns out football, skinny jeans, and marriage have more in common than you may realize.
Kyle and I will celebrate our first anniversary this month. More than ever, I am realizing that time goes by so quickly. Our first year has been the greatest journey. We have seen God work and move in more ways than we could have dreamt.
One thing in particular has been unique…
The trio of Jones, Hurd, and Dobbs led Tennessee to an 8-4 season. I like to think my parents raised me in the way of the good Lord, by teaching to me love Jesus and Tennessee football from an early age. The anthem, “It is football time in Tennessee,” is almost as highly anticipated as the Christmas season, and Rocky Top, in my opinion, should be at the top of the CMA and AMA charts each year.
I genuinely love football, and on occasion, I can throw a decent spiral, but that does not mean I am a great player. In fact, the Cleveland Browns would not consider drafting me even in the seventh round. That is how I feel about the Gospel and marriage.
Growing up in a Christian school (wearing a dress every day…. I’ll get back to that shortly), attending a Christian college, and even having a Master’s degree in Christian Studies should make me qualified to be a good Christian, right? A good wife at least? Seriously, I had to take classes on marriage.
You would think all of that knowledge made me an expert in being a good wife, but you would be wrong. Having knowledge on marriage does not make me a great wife, just like having knowledge on football does not make me the next Peyton Manning (although, he did play for the Vols).
Apart from life with Jesus, marriage is hands-down the best decision I have ever made, but you know what? I fail quite a bit. I mean, my first sentence was, “Me do it, Daddy!” So, you can say from having a mind of my own from my first steps to obeying the speed limit to being a wife, submissiveness is not my natural bent, and I think, if we are honest with ourselves, none of us are Heisman winners at submission.
“In the same way, you wives, be submissive to your own husbands so that even if any of them are disobedient to the word, they may be won without a word by the behavior of their wives, as they observe your chaste and respectful behavior…” 1 Peter 3:1-2
In Greek, this word for submit, Hupotasso, means “a voluntary attitude of giving in, cooperating, assuming responsibility, and carrying a burden”. It is also the same word used when Jesus says, “Come to me …. My burden is light.” Submission does not mean Kyle is my boss, it means he is the head of our home, and as his wife, I have the great privilege of coming alongside of him and supporting him as he leads. So, ladies, there is no need to cringe at these words; submission is a voluntary action. It is a joyful partnership.
“Your adornment must not be merely external—braiding the hair, and wearing gold jewelry, or putting on dresses; but let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God.”- 1 Peter 3:3-4
As much as I “loved” wearing a knee-length skirt/dress to school every day for ten years, it did not make me more holy than wearing skinny jeans. Much to the dismay of many authors (of whom I have bought countless books) these are not verses on modesty. These are verses on priorities. Truthfully, I like cute clothes, shoes, and accessories just as much (confession: probably more than) the next girl. However, when this takes priority over Jesus or even Kyle, I have lost my focus.
Sunday between 9:45-10:15, after coffee and time with Jesus, you can find me frantically searching my closet and Pinterest hoping to find something to wear. Within moments, my priority shifts from putting on the armor of God to shielding myself from the clothes falling from the hangers. All the while, Jesus says, “Emily, love Me. Seek me. I clothe you in My righteousness.” He says the same to you, friends.
Girlfriend, our priorities are misplaced when we worry more about Pinterest than what interests God’s heart: a gentle and quiet spirit. Not a silent woman, but a gentle woman, bent toward hearing the voice of her soul’s Husband, Jesus. A heart at quiet rest, because the distractions of this world are dimmed by the radiance of Jesus. These are precious. Yes, they are rare jewels in the sight of God, far better than any new shoes or outfit or workout program. God longs for us to be a people seeking His heart more than His hand.
As for men:
“…show her honor as a fellow heir of the grace of life, so that your prayers will not be hindered.” 1 Peter 3:7b
God, give us grace to walk our Your Word, transform our marriages, and shift our priorities. Make us people who seek your face, God. Renew our hearts, shift our focus, to not be women who seek to look like we are on a runway, but to be women who are constantly running toward the heart of God. Make us men who seek not to be served, but to serve and give our lives for You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.