Submission is typically thought of as being compliant or obedient to someone else. However, in this context, a different consideration of the word submission is revealed. If you break this word down into its two parts, you have SUB and MISSION.
Sub: a prefix meaning under, underneath, or below; as in submarine or sublevel
Mission: an important goal, duty, calling, assignment, purpose, or task
(Definitions based on the Merriam Webster Dictionary)
The consideration of the verb “submission” demonstrated here is to set one’s self under the jurisdiction and boundaries of the stated mission. In other words, together, as one, husband and wife determine and agree upon the mission, purpose, and goals for the marriage. And together, they become submissive to the mission, thereby, becoming submissive to one another because each spouse is after the same purpose and goal.
It is the mission for the marriage that determines guidelines and boundaries around everyday life, as every action is geared toward accomplishing the mission. If either person acts outside the mission, sub-mission is not taking place. Here are five areas of submission that every marriage needs to succeed.
You must discuss items that affect the running of the household. How do you want your home to flow? What is your vision of a day in the life at your address? Areas to consider:
- How will we divide labor inside and outside of the house?
- What time will we go to bed? Will we go to bed together?
- Who will cook dinner? Will we cook together?
- Will we keep a flexible schedule and spontaneously flow with the day?
- Will we maintain an inflexible schedule and plan things into our calendar?
- Is it okay if people just drop by our home, or do we require notice?
Your money is very close to your heart. You work for it daily and understand that having or not having the proper finances will greatly determine the lifestyle you are able to enjoy today and in the future. Things to consider:
- Who will manage the money?
- Will we get an allowance for personal spending and use the rest for the household?
- Will we put our money together or have separate accounts?
- Should we check in with each other before making a purchase over a certain dollar amount?
- When do we start a college fund for the children?
- Is there money for private schooling in the early years?
- How much will we give, and who will we give to?
- Will we help to support our parents as they age?
You want your children to enjoy their childhood and grow to be productive members of society. This training starts early. Agreement in this area is imperative to a child’s upbringing. From a young age, a little person knows when mommy and daddy are out of sync. They may not be able to articulate what they feel, but they are aware when mom has one opinion on a given situation and dad has another.
As early as kindergarten, a child knows which things to ask mom for and which to ask dad for, depending on the answer they want to receive. However, when the child receives the same answer from mom and dad, they see unity. Mom may answer a little more softly, in her nurturing voice, and dad may add a five-minute story to each answer he gives, but the child has experienced a sense of oneness from his parents. Areas to consider in child-rearing:
- How many children do we want?
- Do we want to adopt?
- How will we discipline our kids?
o Yes, ma’am; No, sir
- What will we teach our kids about certain rituals and traditions?
o Santa Claus
o Easter Bunny
o Tooth Fairy
- How will we educate our children?
o Private school
o Public school
- Can our children live with us as long as they want?
- At a certain age, must they move out or pay rent?
- Are the children allowed to have jobs while in school?
- Will there be overall rules for the children, or will the standard depend on the individual child?
Work is a necessity of life. It comes in many forms. Work can be done in the home or in a corporate office. It can be a ministry volunteer position or the extra support you supply in your child’s classroom. Sometimes a paycheck accompanies work, and other times it does not. Yet, whether you receive a paycheck or not, work is still work. I like to define work as anything that occupies
time and causes one to labor.
Take time to talk about the work schedule of each spouse. Unless there is dialogue, one spouse may never know the time, effort, and energy the other expends in support of the family. Dialogue about this, but don’t argue. Don’t say, “I work eight hours a day just like you, so I don’t feel like cooking either.” Instead, have open dialogue about work to create a mission with supporting goals that serves your family. Here are items to consider:
- Will the wife stay home with the children, or does she desire to work outside the home? Possible supporting goals include reducing debt and creating an in-home business run by mom, so that she has more control over her time spent outside the home.
- Will the husband stay home with the children and the wife work outside the home?
- Is entrepreneurship a goal for both partners? A possible supporting goal might include a set date have your business plan in place.
- Is it necessary for both partners to work outside the home to support the family?
For many, spiritual beliefs supply a foundation for life. Life’s experiences and decisions are based on that foundation. For some, disagreements on spiritual matters are a deal-breaker. Decide together what core spiritual values will play significant roles in your marriage. Things to consider:
- What do we believe?
- What places do our spiritual beliefs hold in our everyday life?
- What are the tenants of our faith?
- How will we translate our faith to our children?
- Will we serve/volunteer in a local ministry or house of worship?
- Will we give financially to a house of worship? How much? How often?
- Will we attend worship services weekly, on holidays, or when we feel like it?
These lists are to get you started as you discuss your future with your mate. Add in any area that is important to your family, and remove areas that are not relevant to your relationship. Envision your future as you consider the areas above, and it will help you steer your marriage mission.
BMWK, are you on the same page with your family mission?