Search This Blog

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Bridled Strength vs Prideful Strength

Bridled Strength --Strength under Control

I first heard about the word "bridled strength" from my favorite American TV star growing up, Candace Cameron (Bure) of 'Full House'.

The words themselves sounded so lovely. I kept repeating it. "Bridled strength, bridled strength, bridled strength..." (Try saying it. :) ) The meaning, even more so.

Candace is now a conservative Christian author and speaker, aside from being a mother of three and wife to professional hockey player, Valeri Bure.

Here is an excerpt of her controversial interview while promoting her new book: "Balancing It All: My Story of Juggling Priorities and Purpose", as written by Mike Tuttle of WebProNews:

So again I use that word [submissive], but I feel like it’s taken so strongly when I’m kind of like, ‘Everyone just calm down.’”
As "DJ"

Candace Cameron Bure, formally known as “DJ” on the 1990s family show, Full House, has come forward to defend her conservative and Christian beliefs.
In a recent appearance on HuffPost Live, Candace outlined her views on marriage as stated in her new book, “Balancing It All: My Story of Juggling Priorities and Purpose.”

 In the book she writes: “I am not a passive person, but I chose to fall into a more submissive role in our relationship because I wanted to do everything in my power to make my marriage and family work.”

She expanded on that on HuffPost Live by saying, “The definition I’m using with the word ‘submissive’ is the biblical definition of that. So, it is meekness, it is not weakness. It is strength under control, it is bridled strength.
                     Pic from :  Celebrity Baby Scoop 
She takes her views from the biblical passage,     1 Peter 3:1: “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.”

“It is very difficult to have two heads of authority,” Candace said. “It doesn’t work in military, it doesn’t work – I mean, you have one president, you know what I’m saying?”

Candace has been married to ex-NHL player Valeri Bure for seventeen years. They have three children together.


Candace Cameron-Bure Instagrammed this pic after the outrage with the caption:
“Nothing weak about this - people talk about what they don’t understand.”
“Listen, I love that my man is a leader,” she said. “I want him to lead and be the head of our family and those major decisions do fall on him. 
It doesn’t mean I don’t voice my opinion and it doesn’t mean I don’t have an opinion – I absolutely do but it is very difficult to have two heads of authority. It doesn’t work… 

And when you’re competing with two heads, that can pose a lot of problems or issues. So within my marriage we are equal in our importance…But we are different in our performances in our marriage.”

Wonderful, right? :)

Bridled strength. 

Dong with our 1st child in Baguio -- 2006
You still have the strength. You still have the power. You still have the ability to make things happen... but you put that strength, that power, that ability... all under control. You put a bridle on it, like you would on a horse. A bridle, by the way, is a piece of equipment used to direct a horse.

Well, we are not horses, that is for sure. :) We are much, much more important. We are made in the image and likeness of God! We are human beings, that even angels (the fallen ones) envy because of the Creator's sheer love for us! Jesus died for us to save us from our sins! We are so precious in God's Eyes!

My Papa and Mama on their wedding day - Mar 1975 (R.I.P.)
For us followers of Christ, after we have died to ourselves and have become new creations, we must allow God to spiritually bridle or direct us. We are no longer slaves to sin but to righteousness. We must allow ourselves to be directed by the Spirit and not by our sinful flesh and especially not by the Father of Lies, satan.

        Ezekiel 36:24-27

24 "I will take you from the nations and gather you from all the countries and bring you into your own land. 25 I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean from all your uncleannesses, and from all your idols I will cleanse you. 26 And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. 27 And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules."[a]
Submitted wife - 2013

In marriage, by becoming submissive to her God-ordained authority -- her husband -- a wife is able to empower him by putting her "power" under control. She is able to strengthen her husband's leadership by bridling her strength. She is able to glorify God by humbling herself.

                                                        Ephesians 5:22-33

22 "Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything."

BRIDLED STRENGTH empowers, strengthens, glorifies.



This one I had in huge doses of midway through our marriage. :(


Lots of restlessness, lots of worrying, lots of sadness, lots of fears too. :(

I felt that I could control our marriage because I was more capable, more hardworking and more determined than my husband.

I felt that under my able leadership, I could get things done, ensure our children's future and prevent anything bad from happening to our family.

I was always relying on MY OWN STRENGTH. I was extremely PRIDEFUL.

Filipina Homebakers Online sisters anniv meetup - 2009
I will not discount the fact that yes, I had good leadership qualities. God had really blessed me with so many talents of which I was really grateful. I was a born leader, in fact. I was always an officer from Grade one all the way till College. I even lead an organization of women bakers. All that is good, no doubt about that.

But, in the context of marriage, my leadership skills only made me a resentful and bitter "leader", and my husband, a sad and dispirited "follower." (He just allowed me to take the reins because he felt that that would make me happy, which only made me more unhappy ironically!)

Not only was the role reversal making our marriage unhappy, it was also making my spirit more and more prideful. Thinking that Dong was "not doing his job", I found myself relying on MY OWN STRENGTH every day, which was frail even with my best efforts. It always led me into anxiety attacks and nonstop worrying -- I couldn't control things and events all the time! I couldn't stop bad things from happening! I didn't know what the future would bring! Waaaah!!! :(

During those years (2009 to 2011 most especially), though I professed to be Christian, it was not Christ who was strengthening me. It was I who was strengthening myself! How I could have thought that to be even possible is laughable and pitiable now! :(

When my mantra should have been...

        Philippians 4:13
"I can do all this through him who gives me strength."

For all my strengths (driven, industrious, motivated, hardworking, efficient, talented, etc...), it did not do anything to still my restlessness or to soothe my depressed spirit. It only made me more and more prideful thinking myself to be "all that" and my husband, to being a "nobody" or doing "nothing."  :(

The more I gave my tireless efforts, the more I felt tired of our setup.
The more hardworking I was, the harder it was to see my husband's good qualities.
The more successful I was, the more he looked like a failure in my eyes.

I was so blind to my own sins! There's this saying that "Just because I could point out my husband's sins, doesn't make me a saint." But I felt that I was already saintly, martyr-like, and selfless! After all, I was doing ALL of his JOBS and ALL of his ROLES!!!!

When the Lord convicted me of my sins in September 2013, I saw myself for who I really was -- proud, boastful, self-righteous, judgmental, hypocritical, critical, envious, bitter and angry. I was so ashamed of myself, I barely had strength to talk during those days that the Lord was searching through my heart. It was so full of filth. Disgusting and dirty. :(

When I humbled myself before God, He gave me His Strength:

- Strength to banish all my bondages which have been keeping me down for 37 years.
- Strength to combat the devil's lies with the Truth in God's Word.
and most importantly,
- Strength to "kill" my sinful flesh in order for Him to create a new me.

Surrendered wife - Dec 2013

It was in humbling myself too, that God gave me the Strength to bridle my own strength. With humility in place of pride, He gave me the desire "to decrease" in order Him "to increase". The Lord helped me too to want to submit to Dong's leadership, without thinking that I was inferior to him in any way. I knew that we were both EQUAL in the Eyes of God, but that my role as my husband's helpmeet and supporter was what He wanted for me to fulfill, not that of the provider and leader. None of the talents or strengths He had given me would go to waste; it would now be all used in their rightful place.

My strength in speaking would be used now, not to hurt my husband with my judgmental words but in encouraging him with his plans.

My strength in leading would be used now not to overrule my husband's authority but in empowering his leadership by becoming a very supportive and cheerful follower. (A good leader is a good follower.)

My strength in being driven and motivated would be used now not in going after my dreams, my goals and my plans but in doing the Will of God, which includes submitting to my God-ordained authority, my husband.


And, dear sisters in Christ, with Christ strengthening me every day with His Word and with His Love, I no longer feel worthless, in despair or restless. :) Praise God! Sure, the sinful flesh and the "hardworking" Enemy still make their presence felt every day (There will always be a constant battle with them till the day we physically die.) but with Christ in my heart, they no longer have control over me, and I can do all things through Christ Who strengthens me, including telling them to shush up and/or flee!


What a beautiful word. :)

Even more beautiful to witness and to practice. :)

My prayer is for all wives to experience this peace and joy too. :)
Now with a Godly-ordered marriage, there is no more power struggle. :) There is no more relying on one's own strength. It is now Christ who strengthens me and our marriage. God has bridled me. I now have bridled strength. Praise God! :) 

May we all be richly blessed! :)


  1. This is so good! Thank you, Nikka! :)

    1. April,

      Try saying it aloud. Lovely words. :) Even lovelier when practiced and loveliest when witnessed. :)

  2. Thank you for this Sister!

  3. The weak part about Candace in all of this, is that she is so fierce about defending her beliefs that it gives off the question of *whom* she is trying to convince. It rather sounds like she's trying to convince herself. Her brother, for example, doesn't do any convincing at all. He knows what he believes -as well as the public- and that's that - he never explains himself, as opposed to his sister. Of course he receives criticism too, but he seems more accepted with his standpoint.
    If her beliefs would truly go as deep as she professes, would she really feel the need to defend herself? Wouldn't it then be best to just say 'this is me and if you don't agree that's fine but won't change my viewpoint'? There will always be disagreeing people and she appears to be rather sensitive towards it. The continued defense and explaining may hide a deeper insecurity about all this that she hasn't touched herself.


Feel free to comment. I would love to discuss things with you. :)