Trials are significant. Hear today on The Autumn Miles show that the Lord allows trials and the process of them.
Today on The Autumn Show we have a very special guest, Ashley McFarlin Buie, an executive producer of Real Housewives joins us on the show, and shares her amazing testimony!
With the announcement this week of TLC’s reality documentary Submissive Wives’ Guide to Marriage airing May 17th at 9pm EST, that my husband Eddie and I will be featured on, I wanted to share a piece I wrote this last year for CafeMom’s The Stir all about what submission is meant to be.
“It was a small thing that pushed Autumn Miles to divorce her first husband after six years of abuse: She commented on the basketball game they were watching together on TV, and he grabbed her elbow and squeezed it as hard as he could as punishment. That pinch woke her up and made her ask, “Why did he just do that, and why am I still with this person?”
To the rest of the world, Miles’ husband was a good, church-going Christian man. “But,” Miles says, “behind closed doors he would abuse the word ‘submit’ and tell me, ‘if you follow the Bible you have to obey me.'” He was physically, sexually, and emotionally abusing her, and using a Biblical teaching to justify his actions.
Miles grew up in small-town Indiana, the daughter of a conservative Baptist pastor. Like many of her peers in her community, she had married young. Her family stood by her as she was disciplined by her church for divorcing. In fact, her father was eventually fired.
More from The Stir: ‘Full House’ Star Candace Cameron Plays Submissive Wife to Stay Married
The Evangelical community believes that God commands wives to be submissive to their husbands. “Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord,” reads Ephesians 5:22. In its purest practice, submitting is a choice a woman makes out of devotion to God, and out of respect for her husband — who is leading his family through love. The husband and wife may operate much like an egalitarian couple, day-to-day. But ultimately both know it is the husband who is leading and has stewardship over his family.
In some cases, this commandment for wives to submit to their husbands gets distorted by men. They rule without leading and without love. They act as if submission is compulsory for women.
Despite this, Miles agreed to “submit” to a husband again, even after leaving a marriage where the practice was used abusively.
She definitely did NOT want to repeat her abusive relationship — that much she knew. So as a newly-single woman, Miles enrolled in college. Meanwhile, she had gone from just a church-goer to a true believer. Through the cricible of her marriage she forged a stronger relationship with God. She also felt a stronger commitment to following God’s word as expressed in the Bible — he had saved her life, she felt, and she would do anything to follow him. Even submit to a husband again someday.
At first she didn’t want to get married at all, let alone repeat the same kind of submissive wife role. “I struggled with that,” she says. “I had to work through this myself, and the key was God.” She started praying, “If you want me to get married again, you have to protect me. You have to bring someone into my life who is trustworthy.”
How does ANY woman really know when she’s met someone trustworthy? To hear Miles describe how she met her second husband, Eddie, it actually doesn’t sound that mysterious. She was introduced on a Christian college campus, between classes, by her brother.
“There was something different about him,” Miles says. “He was not harsh. He was very kind, but a leader at the same time. He was very interested in my heart, and not just in the way I looked.” She picked up on an inner strength he had, a unique combination of respect, compassion, confidence, generosity, and openness.
Whether you want to call it divine inspiration or intuition or being a good scientist, the truth is women often know who we’re dealing with when we meet certain men. Miles admits, in hindsight, that she knew her first husband was wrong for her. She knew it on her wedding day. And she also knew that her second huband was special.
Having survived an abusive relationship, Miles’ dream was to help other women in crisis. She shared this aspiration with this new young man, and he told her he loved that idea. “He affirmed everything I was talking about, and told me, ‘you can do that. That sounds incredible.'” And then he shared his own goals, dreams, and aspirations. (Miles’ husband works with teenagers.)
He was showing Miles his leadership style, what Miles calls a kind of “servant leadership,” which is about enabling people to do their best — coaching rather than bossing around. And it made Miles want to follow him.
So what does that mean?
As newlyweds, Miles’ husband put up their boat for sale. Her intuition told her it wasn’t a good idea. “I don’t know why. I just had a premonition.” She shared that with her husband, and then she respected his decision to sell the boat anyway. A year later, the buyer still had not made a single payment on the boat.
It was a pivotal point in their marriage. Miles’ husband wished he’d listened to her. “It showed him, ‘my wife has a good opinion and I’ve got to listen to her premonitions.’ So now, we come together before we make a decision.”
“I’m the CEO of a women’s organization, an author,” Miles adds. “I have a brain and an opinion — a strong opinion.” She is the founder and president of The Blush Network, a conference ministry focused on women, a radio co-host, and the author of the book, Appointed. Her marriage sounds a lot like an egalitarian one, but the difference is how they regard each other.
The word “submit” is a translation of the Greek word “hupotasso,” Miles says, which means “to place under willingly.” “Jesus and God were equal,” Miles explains, “but Jesus willingly submitted to God’s leadership. He placed himself under God.” In the same way, she chooses to place herself under her husband’s leadership — not because her husband commands it, but because God commands it.
It’s the same way mother of three grown children Freda Emmons describes her marriage of 37 years. Like Miles, Emmons is a survivor of physical and sexual abuse — she describes how she healed from her turbulent childhood and youth in her memoir, Flame of Healing.
“As a young lady, I was extremely confused about relationships, boundaries, and life in general” Emmons says. “I could have wound up with a man who damaged my fragile emotions even more, or worse, one who would beat me senseless.”
Instead, a month after praying for someone to love who would love her, Emmons met her husband, a man she says taught her to live in peace.
“It’s actually been a lifetime of learning to trust God, that He will care for me, even when my husband makes mistakes, which sometimes happens, and when I disagree with him,” Emmons says. “Even more than I trust my husband,” Miles says, “I trust God.”
Following a husband’s leadership is a conscious choice that both Emmons and Miles say takes discipline. Miles says, “There is strength in saying, ‘I am choosing to do this’ rather than saying, ‘I’m weak so I’m doing this.'”
It’s interesting that for both women, being a “submissive” wife is in some ways … empowering. It’s the exact opposite of what you’d think. I don’t know that it’s for everyone, and I do think you really have to find the right man to make it work. But then, isn’t that always the case? Whatever the power dynamic in your marriage, the important thing is that you both agree on what it should be, and that you both operate out of love and cooperation.”
In recent days The Blush Network has made some transitions. God has been so good to us and with His goodness comes great responsibility. God has asked me to laser focus on a few things and with that call transition was necessary.
The last couple of months although exciting have been incredibly trying on this new focus of mine. With God as my Captain, I have obeyed.
I caught myself having a difficult day a few days ago. Driving in the already hot sun of Texas to a meeting with so much on my mind that I almost cancelled. This new transition calls for new faith, different faith. My mind was heavy as I pulled into the parking lot of the restaurant. I thought to myself, “I hope they don’t notice I am brain dead right now.” The meeting concluded and the heaviness that left for an hour met me in the car. I drove to Starbucks to meet Eddie as he was working and had a wave of fatigue fall on me. My good intention of working failed as I looked at him and said, “I am going home.” On the drive home my desperation for my God to move overtook me. I began praying heavily for the Lord to remove all mountains in my way as I was following what He had asked me to do. The red lights seem to fire up my emotion as I stewed during the pause of the break. It got real.
In my life, my God has been my complete constant. He knows the depth and detail of my calling and is the map to my trail. For a moment in the car, I felt overcome with failure. I began to beg God all the harder to move. I know intellectually that feelings rarely represent fact, but nonetheless I felt failure. I didn’t seem to realize my foot on the gas as I raced to get home. It was as if my car knew I needed the encouragement that only the pages of the Bible bring.
I plopped on my bed (my haven) and opened the most sacred pages of the word of God. I had no agenda but hearing from Him. I opened it and my eyes rested on two verses and they were the exact word from the Lord that sprung my heart back to victorious belief.
Then Job answered the Lord and said, “I KNOW THAT YOU CAN DO ALL THINGS, AND THAT NO PURPOSE OF YOURS CAN BE THWARTED.”
No purpose of YOURS CAN BE THWARTED…I seemed to repeat this phrase to myself over and over and my mind began to race with the hope these words resurrected. NO purpose of Yours can be thwarted. Wow. In my meditation, that meant no purpose can be changed, none challenged, none questioned, none altered, none misrepresented, NO MATTER WHAT.
Failure is a phantom. Sweet reader, get this today, FAILURE IS A PHANTOM. When you look at something that God is asking you to step out and do, you literally cannot fail! What looks like failure is literally a complete mirage brought on by satan to discourage you from completing your responsibility. If you look at the threat of failure in your life as a wall of smoke and you blow right through it, wouldn’t that change everything?
This is exactly what God says when He talks about the mountain:
And Jesus answered and said to them, “Truly I say to you, if you have faith and do not doubt, you will not only do what was done to the fig tree, but even if you say to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and cast into the sea,’ it will happen.
When you look at failure as a Phantom, you CAN say MOUNTAIN MOVE and it WILL obey you.
About five minutes after reading that passage of scripture my phone rang and on the other end was great news which was exactly what I had been praying for. After I got off the phone, I refreshed my email and in my inbox was good news EXACTLY what I had been praying about.
Failure is a Phantom, when God asks you to complete a task. Command that mountain to move and it will obey.