|Dong with our youngest, Isabelle Veronica|
When I asked my husband if I could interview him, he said, "Okay, but you will not like what I will say. It might not even be print-worthy."
I was expecting the worst! I thought he would say any of the following:
"You are still not 'getting' the respect journey. I am still feeling disrespected."
"All your efforts are just going to waste."
"I am thinking what you are doing is just for show. It won't last."
"You still haven't changed one bit. You are still controlling."
I was even about to call off the interview because I was scared I might be setting myself up for a bad day, and as I write this, it is still my birthday! I didn't want to feel disappointed or sad on this special day, but with great humility, I said to the Lord, "I will accept whatever my husband will tell me today. I will use this to really check my motives -if I am doing this for God or for myself only. I will allow whatever he will tell me to make me a better wife."
With a deep breath, I approached Dong while he was working on a project and told him that I was ready for the interview (I was soooooo nervous!).
Keep in mind that I have been in my respect journey for only give or take 4 months. I still have a looong way to go and a loooooot more to learn about this. It is like learning a foreign language.
Nikka: First of all, what qualities about me did you like?
Dong: You mean, when we were still starting? Aside from the physical, what I liked about you was your religiosity and your personality. We really hit it off right away. We were good friends.
When I was most controlling, how did this affect you? (Editor's Note: I was my most controlling around 2009 to 2011.)
The truth? I wanted to die. Life didn't seem to have any meaning.
Because I couldn't make you happy.
But we had our kids....
Yes, but you seemed unhappy. I was like: "What is the point if I could not make YOU happy?" That made me think about marriage a lot. It was like a double-edged sword. It could make you so happy but it could also make you so sad. I didn't want to recommend it to anyone.
When I finally decided to let go of my desire to control and to submit to your leadership, how did this affect you?
I still am in the process of adjusting... I acknowledge all your efforts. I know how hard this must be for you. I am impressed by what you are doing.
Do you sometimes think this is just a phase and that I will snap out of it?
... Only time will tell. Don't attribute everything to you. You are not entirely at fault. It's not all you. I have/had my own struggles too.
But I really was leading our marriage. I felt that I was doing us a service by deciding for our family, since you admitted before that you were "clueless..."During that time I felt "masculated", so unfeminine, bitter and resentful that I had to lead...
But you have to remember, I allowed you to do that... to lead. At that time, nothing fulfilled me. I didn't know what to do, and since you wanted to do things your way, I allowed it.
(Editor's Note: Please read this on why the passive husband will never lead when led by a dominant wife)
But then, if I erred, it was MY problem...
Yes, ganun na nga.(Yes, you can say that.)
Do you agree with the Biblical truth in Ephesians that "wives should submit to their husbands?"
Yes, but I also believe that it should be fine-tuned per relationship. I don't want you changing your personality for me...
Doormats don't glorify God either!
Yes, and it would be weird to be a completely different person just because you are doing this (the respect journey).
But honey, now that I know my place in the family (as helpmeet of my husband, and not the head of the home), I can use my strong sense of leadership to encourage you and to be a good follower to you.
Yes. I know how hard this is for you. I appreciate your efforts really.
We then had a really wonderful conversation about God, our faults, our plans, our lives...
All that I feared he would say turned out to be the complete opposite! He was happy with my submission, and he appreciated my efforts! :)
He told me he felt very protective of me when people would ask about my stalled "career." He knew how this used to be such a sore spot with me, to be judged as career-less, and therefore a "nobody". (My greatest fear before.) And he was so pleased with my progress when he learned that I have found peace and joy in this season in my life, rather than stress/fear in explaining to those asking about it. (For the record, I will not be idle. I will just shift gears, so to speak. :) Enough of my worldly pursuits!) Truly God's Great Working. Totally not my doing! :)
This is just a first of many interviews I will conduct with my husband in the near and distant future. Things are still awkward. It's like reinventing the wheel. I am still so unnatural at this, having had no godly mentors in this submission journey. But with God's Help, and with me, focusing on my part of the deal and Dong being free to do his own part, I know the Lord will look kindly on us and will be pleased with our efforts.
Thank you Lord for opening my eyes and convicting my heart of my sins of pride. Help me to be more humble as I follow You and Your will for me and our family, via my husband, Dong. Amen.