|At my uncle's burial -- Loyola Marikina, February 2014|
"If I submit to my husband and rely on him to provide for our family, I might not be equipped to handle our family's needs when he dies!"
"If I submit to my husband and make him the leader of our family, our children might not follow me when he dies!"
"If I submit to my husband and let him protect me from other people, I might get "too spoiled" and not be able to fend for myself when he dies!"
Biblical submission, to an equally, if not even more so, "imperfect" human being is already scary. With the thought of death in mind, it becomes even "scarier."
For those not familiar with this amazing story, I will share with you a glimpse of history that put the Philippines on the world map.
María Corazón Sumulong "Cory" Cojuangco Aquino (January 25, 1933 – August 1, 2009) was a Filipina politician who served as the 11th President of the Philippines, the first woman to hold that office, and the first female president in Asia. Regarded as the "Icon of Philippine Democracy", Aquino was the most prominent figure of the 1986 People Power Revolution, which toppled the 21-year authoritarian rule of President Ferdinand Marcos and restored democracy to the Philippines. She was named Time magazine's "Woman of the Year" in 1986. She is the first President without any political experience as she had not held any other elective office.
A "self-proclaimed" plain housewife"...
Mr. and Mrs. Ninoy Aquino with their children
As President, Aquino oversaw the promulgation of the 1987 Constitution, which limited the powers of the Presidency and re-established the bicameral Congress. Her administration gave strong emphasis and concern for civil liberties and human rights, and on peace talks to resolve the ongoing Communist insurgency and Islamist secession movements. Her economic policies centered on restoring economic health and confidence and focused on creating a market-oriented and socially responsible economy.
Cory Aquino minus Ninoy with her adult children
|Cory's son - our 15th President, Noynoy Aquino|
The current Philippine president, by the way, is her son, Benigno Simeon Aquino III. :)
Incidentally, just a week or so ago, February 25, was the 28th anniversary of the EDSA People Power Revolution, the first ever "bloodless revolution." :)
So much for that brief history lesson. :)
|I covered the 25th EDSA Revolution in 2011.|
What I am driving at is this: Cory Aquino, who by her own account had no political ambition and even liked labeling herself as a "plain housewife", became the eleventh Philippine president when her husband died.
She was not prepared. She was ill-equipped. She was very hesitant. She was very shy. But with faith in God, she forged ahead. There are mixed emotions about her administration, but I won't delve into that. This blog is not about that. :)
What is important to note here is that in the event our husbands do pass away, we will be okay. It may not be in our destiny to be the next president of our country, but suffice to say, we will be able to survive. We will be able to thrive. God's Grace will be sufficient.
According to an article of Jessica Grose for slate.com,
"Earlier in the 20th century, “housewife” was the preferred term, but as the Victorian focus on efficiency and sanitization began to shift in the 50s, a new word—“homemaker”—came into vogue. The mid-century popularity of “homemaker,” says Plant, “reflects the rise of a therapeutic culture in the twentieth century, when advice literature to women began to stress the importance of meeting the emotional and psychological needs of children and husbands.”
“Homemaker” had pretty thoroughly replaced housewife by the 1970s, but it was already sounding old-fashioned by the ‘80s. Enter the “stay-at-home mom.” No one I spoke to could tell me definitively why the term became ascendant; Rebecca Jo Plant ( an associate professor of history at UC San Diego and the author of Mom: The Transformation of Motherhood in Modern America) speculates, “My sense is that their usage reflects the notion that the most important thing that the woman who stays home actually does is to focus on her children and foster their development, with an increasing emphasis on intellectual/cognitive development.”
Both “housewife” and “homemaker” connote domestic drudgery like toilet scrubbing (which no one really wants to do). “Housewife” in particular emphasizes an old-fashioned devotion to the husband, while “stay-at-home mom” shifts the focus onto the children. "
1 Corinthians 11:3
3 But I want you to realize that the head of every man is Christ, and the head of the woman is man,[a] and the head of Christ is God.
3 Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine,but to teach what is good. 4 Then they can urge the younger women to love their husbands and children, 5 to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God.
2 For a married woman is bound by law to her husband while he lives, but if her husband dies she is released from the law of marriage.
1 Corinthians 7:39
39 A wife is bound to her husband as long as he lives. But if her husband dies, she is free to be married to whom she wishes, only in the Lord.
In heaven though, there are no married people anymore. Our husbands are no longer our husbands and we are no longer their wives...
30 For in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven.
"Together Forever, Together At Last" was the epitaph
on my parents' grave. In heaven though, they
will no longer be husband and wife, but will be like
angels in heaven.
Biblical submission is an alien concept in this era of "empowered women." We may not be "hard-core feminists" but much of our thinking, whether we admit it or not, are (gravely) affected by feminism.
...a student saying, "I will not study anymore, because there is a great possibility that I will die tomorrow. It doesn't matter if I fail the exam!"
|Serious Dong :) - Jan 2014|
However, whether I choose to believe it or not, if I am His child, the Truth is that "His Grace is sufficient for me." (This is assuming of course, that I haven't taken on myself responsibilities He never intended for me to carry. If the burden is God-given, I can go on by His Grace.) His Grace is sufficient for every moment, every circumstance, every detail, every need, and every failure of my life.
When I am exhausted and think I can't possibly face the unfinished tasks that are still before me, His grace is sufficient for me.
When I am having a hard time responding to that family member or that person at the office who really gets under my skin, His grace is sufficient for me.
When I am tempted to vent out my frustration by speaking harsh words, His grace is sufficient for me.
When I don't know which direction to go or what decision to make, His grace is sufficient for me.
When my heart is breaking with an overwhelming sense of loss and grief, as I stand by the grave of a loved one, His grace is sufficient for me.
Fill in the blank. Whatever your story, whatever your situation, right now, His grace is sufficient for you. His divine resources are available to meet your need - no matter how great. That's the Truth. And the Truth will set you free.
|With our youngest child, Isabelle :)|
It is wonderful that the Lord's Grace is given in new doses daily! "They are new every morning -- great is your faithfulness!"
|The Alejar Clan - Dong's parents and brothers with our sisters-in-law. |
Praise God for giving His Grace to Wowa for 78 years! - March 3, 2014 :)
Death did not make me fear submitting to my husband, Dong. In view of death and how short life was on earth, it even made me re-assess my life and my priorities. If I were to die tomorrow, what would I have wanted to have done with my life? My answer: I want to have made a difference in my husband's life and our children's lives. With death in mind, things do have a way of becoming clearer and simpler. And for me, Biblical submission is my means towards experiencing a glimpse of "heaven" here on earth. :)
|Mr. and Mrs. Alfredo Andre P. Alejar - April 17, 2004|