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Monday, June 16, 2014

Is Daddy the Head of the Family? Ask Your Children.

Therese's Drawing of Her Family circa early 2010



The best way to find out the truth is to ask a child.

In our case, the truth came out via a sketch of our first child/daughter, Therese.
Therese 

The above family sketch was done by her when she was just six years old, in 2010, when I was still at my most unsubmissive, take-charge, dominant self. :(

See how BIG she drew Mommy to be and how tiny Daddy was, only slightly bigger than she was? :(

Because that was how domineering I was in our family back then.


I was the self-proclaimed "head of the family". Dong acquiesced that role to me because I wanted it. I felt that I was "more mature, wiser, more hardworking"... basically a "better leader" than he was.

I pursued my career relentlessly. I enjoyed earning a lot and being the primary provider. Any money that may come from his job/sidelines, was a "welcome addition", but I felt that on my own, I could provide for the whole household ALONE.

I did not consult with him on major decisions. I basically made up my mind and just told him AFTER the fact that so-and-so was what "we" were going to do, or how "we" will do this and that, whether it be the choice of where to live, what school the children will enroll in... or "minor" things like how much money we should spend on our weekly eating out.

I decided on a lot of things by myself for myself, not even asking him anymore if he was okay with it. As though, I were not part of a unit or a team, but just going about my own life! Yikes. :(

I really had no godly marriage peg to follow. I was raised by parents, who though both were very kind and generous, basically lived their lives apart, going about their careers and ambitions separately, not minding the other's business. Yes, they were supportive of each other, but to my mind, they were never a unit. It was more like "to each his own", and so that was what I thought was how Dong and I should be too! There were many times I was frustrated with him for always wanting to be part of my business, when I wanted him to mind his own business, so we can exchange notes afterwards! How wrong I was to think that way, and how totally unbiblical my image of what a married couple should be! :(

It's no wonder then that Therese drew what she drew. To her young, impressionable mind:

I was in control (or so I thought) - 2010

I was the boss. 
I was in charge. 
I had the final say.


But not anymore.

The Lord convicted me of my sins of disrespect and total lack of submission and humility towards my husband and towards Him Himself.

In September 1, 2013, the Lord changed my heart, after I gave Him my all and told Him that I was letting go and letting God rule in all aspects of my life, most especially in our marriage.

I repented to God for my mountains of sins which included but cannot all be put on this blog, like:

- pride
- self-righteousness
- envy
- bitterness and resentment
- unforgiveness
- hopelessness
- too high a regard for self
- and a whole lot more!!!

Then, I apologized to my husband via a "Sticky Note" on our computer desktop, then in person with a hug and a kiss...

The "Sticky Note" I gave him had this as message:

September 18, 2013 

Hi Honey! 

The Lord is training me and changing my spirit through the Bible and
 the books I've read in the past and present.



I can't share with you yet what God is telling me, but if you find me more quiet these days, it's because He has shown me my sins and the error of my ways, and I am mulling them over and repenting for them... and I am still in shock actually. My sins were/are so many! Against Him and against you! What I find peace in these days is my humble decision to submit myself to you, just as Christ ordered: "Wives, submit to your husbands in all things.", and my decision to not work and focus on our growing family. I grew up in a weird household where both parents were not really loving partners (more like competitors or very  successful  housemates), and where submission would have been laughed at or even scorned (Old school!, Mama would have said. No way!) so all this is new to me. But, I love God and I love YOU, so I humbly resign my desire to control all events in our life, because to have faith in God means to have faith in you, as my husband and protector here on earth.

 I want you to lead me and our family towards where God wants us to go. I have now stepped aside. I get in the way (in yours and even in mine) SO many times. I am sick and tired of my behavior, actually. At least now, knowing what I know, I could get rid of it.  It was so ugly and caused me undue anxiety and stress brought about by MY desire to control things. (I thought I was just being helpful or responsible.) A huge weight has been lifted from my shoulders just by my mere surrendering to you. Thank God for that! I don't need the burden (which I placed unnecessarily on myself). I want to live long with you and the kids. I am so so sorry, Honey. I have been so selfish... Clueless AND selfish.

 I love you, and from now on, I shall RESPECT you and your decisions.  Call my attention should I again be out of line. With God's Help though, I pray they be few and far in between or better yet, zilch. 

Your Surrendered Wife,

Nikka 


I now live by Ephesians 5:22-33, 1 Peter 3;1-5, Titus 2:4-5, 
Colossians 3:18 and 1 Corinthians 11:3. 

All of which have the "common theme" of respecting our husbands and submitting to them, as unto the Lord. Titus even went on to say that wives should be submissive to their husbands "so that the Word of God will not be reviled."

Fast-track to the present, in line with Fathers' Day, I am happy to announce that Therese's drawing has changed remarkably! :)


Therese's Very Recent Drawing of our Family - Fathers' Day 2014

Daddy is now bigger than Mommy. Mommy is next in line. Therese is next, followed by Andre, Reuben and Baby Isabelle. 

In stick life, we'd look like that, but in real life, we look like this. :)

February 2014


Now, with their mother already humbled and knowing what her REAL role is in the family as supporter, helper, encourager, partner and help meet to her husband; the children are no longer confused about the disordered setup.

They now know, with all CERTAINTY that:


Daddy is the boss.
Daddy is the leader of the family. 
Daddy will discipline them if they are disrespectful or out of line.
Daddy has the final say on ALL things (but he always talks/consults with Mommy), but the buck stops with him ALWAYS.

I am thankful to God, that despite my disrespect and total lack of submission to their father, our children never disrespected or disregarded their beloved Daddy. Dong is really such a hands-on, loving father. The kids consider him their "playmate" and can get really crazy with him when they are in their "play mode" but are also afraid of him too when they disobey him or are mischievous. Daddy Dong can be childish and childlike with them, but he can also be very strict when they are errant.
A tickling session with Reuben while Reece watches TV. :) - 2011


To be honest, ever since I became biblically submissive to my husband, I have experienced a PEACE like no other, and have embraced my God-given femininity with such gratefulness, and have learned to appreciate my husband and his God-given masculinity with a newfound respect and adoration. 

Fathers' Day 2014
To my husband, the father of our four beautiful children, HAPPY FATHERS' DAY! I am blessed to share this journey with you. Thanks for showing me unconditional love, during those years I gave you conditional respect, if at all. :(

May God continue to bless you and give you His Mercy, Wisdom, Guidance, Favor and Provision, all the days of your life.

To our Heavenly Father, thank You for giving us Your Son. In Him, we rest. In Him, we live. In Him and through Him, we have become Your adoptive sons and daughters, worthy of Your Kingdom. Happy Fathers' Day, Abba!!! :)

Romans 5:8
But God demonstrates his own love for us in this:
While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

P.S. June 17, 2014: In my haste to make this post, I totally failed to greet my earthly father who is now with the Lord. Thanks Papa for giving me a strong sense of what is right and wrong. Forgive me for my many sins and weaknesses against you when you were still alive. Though we had issues in the past, I've always respected and loved you. Rest in peace, Papa. Happy Fathers' Day! :)

May we all be richly blessed! :)

5 comments:

  1. Hi Nikka,
    As I mentioned in a previous post, God has done great things in my life these few months, by calling me back to him and changing me as a follower, as a wife, and as a mother. I have been so inspired by your and April Cassidy's blog, and have been practicing being respectful and submissive to my husband. God has enabled me to submit to my husband, who is a wonderful Mr. Steady. I now also filter what comes out of my mouth to him, which is 90% of what I used to say. I no longer burden him with my worries, my moods, my gossip, my issues with other people, my frustrations, my parenting issues, etc. I now take all that to God. God meets all my needs. I treat my husband like a VIP in our house, always saying nice respectful things to him, don't argue with him, working hard to do what I think pleases him, making sure the kids respect him, holding my tongue when I get annoyed at him, etc. He likes the new peaceful me. However, I have a problem now. I feel that while initially this brought us closer, now I feel like this is distancing us. I feel like the way I treat him is the way I treat my boss. So it's like I'm living with my boss. Kind of a dry, awkward relationship. And now that I take almost all my daily issues to God instead of burdening my husband with it (he's a workaholic and comes home late and exhausted), I don't have much to talk to him about, other than "bottom line issues" that require a decision. So I feel like there is an emptiness in our relationship. I know it's not supposed to be that way. Is he supposed to be my best friend? Or is that a secular notion? In fact, when we were dating he said to me that he sees our relationship as us being equals. Now I don't see him as my best friend, I see him as my boss or a special VIP in our house. He has not demanded anything from me and continues to be Mr. Wonderful Steady; all this is my own confusion and turmoil. This bothers me a lot. So I wonder if I'm not practicing submission correctly? I would love to hear your thoughts on this if you have time,
    WC

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    1. Hi WC! :)

      Speaking from experience, though I consider Dong as the one who has the final say in all things/technically "my boss", he and I are still equals. We are equal in the eyes of God :

      Genesis 1:27 "God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them."

      I am in no way inferior to him in humanity nor in essence.

      We just don't have the same roles. He leads, I follow. He heads us, I support him.

      But, we still have a great friendship and relationship. We are actually BEST FRIENDS. I still laugh with him and sometimes at him. He does the same thing with me. We enjoy each other's company. I don't feel that he is my "boss" at all. He only becomes my "boss" when it comes to deciding with finality. I am ALWAYS 100% involved in all decision-making. I give my all in terms of giving perspective, opinion, even playing devil's advocate every once in a while, but the buck stops with him. Regardless if I agree or not (I almost always agree, because he is very considerate of my own thoughts and feelings), I rest in God's Sovereignty that what my husband will decide on will be the best for us. If it is a wrong decision though, I still believe God will still be able to manifest His Will for us, despite that error in judgment.

      What's happening to you, dear sister? Why is it that you are becoming less and less of who you are and more and more of this odd, seemingly joyless, "empty" but very respectful "shell" of your former self? :( When we become transformed in Christ, He does not turn us into robots. On the contrary, He creates in us a new self, one that is more peaceful, more joyful, more loving...

      2 Cor 5:17
      "2 Corinthians 5:17

      17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come:[a] The old has gone, the new is here!"

      Are you sure your husband is happy with this "new" you?

      After the Lord convicted me, though I hold my tongue a LOT and not say anything that might hurt rather than bless my husband, I still share with him nearly all my thoughts on issues, things, topics... There's filtering, yes, we are in fact asked to hold thoughts captive for Christ (2 Cor 10:5) but I still share with him my moods, my frustrations, my issues, my not so happy thoughts... He is after all my husband. He is my partner in life. He and I are one. Whatever bothers me, I want him to be able to comfort me. And whatever bothers him, I sure would want him to tell me too. We are partners in this journey. It would hurt him to think that I am no longer sharing with him my heart. He LOVES comforting me and learning from me. He always says, " I do not want to be married to somebody who always agrees to all I have to say. I want somebody who has her own mind and speaks her mind, so I too can learn from her and from my mistakes."

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    2. So, that's what I would encourage you to do too, WC. Bring all of yourself into the marriage. Your husband loves this new biblically submissive you, but bring your whole self into it too. Do not be afraid to share with him yourself, your life, your fears, your hopes, your frustrations, your joys... He is your husband. He views you as his equal, which you truly are. Do not ever feel inferior to him just because you have already submitted to him as unto the Lord. That is not the Truth, and that is not the correct concept of being his help meet.

      Do focus on Jesus Christ. He is the Reason why we are doing this. We are following His commandment for us wives as it is written in the abovementioned Bible Verses in this post. But though we are focused on Him, do not forget too that your husband is God's wonderful gift to you, to have you, to hold you, to cherish you, to love you till death do you part.

      Do not be afraid to still be you. :) Christ has changed you! Yes! Praise God! That old sinful self is gone and dead, yay! But you still bring with you all your talents, strengths and personality. Do not hesitate to still bring all that is beautiful about you, those things that made your husband fall in love with you, into your marriage. I am sure though he is happy with this new you as you say, he also misses the old you that he fell in love with.

      I pray that you be able to seek the right balance as you go along... This journey is really difficult at first, but it gets better as you learn to be more and more comfortable with this new you. :)

      Hope that helped somewhat.

      God bless you, WC!

      Sincerely,

      Nikka

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  2. Thanks Nikka for your reply, and I was glad to see this topic posted. I hope it helps other women who might be experiencing the same thing. I have started loosening up a bit more and being more of myself. I also released to him all the frustrations, struggles, problems that I had kept bottled up in me for the past week. I felt much better and so did he. He did not want me to be a Stepford wife and I do not know how I got that slave/employee mentality, but it really is unhealthy and I couldn't stand it even for a week. I started feeling pains in my side from all the unhappiness it caused me. It's reassuring to know that we are still equals and can be best friends. Anyway, like you said, finding the perfect balance is a journey and each day we can strive to take a step forward.
    Blessings to you Nikka. You look radiant in the post-Sep1 photos you post, and I can see the joy of the Holy Spirit, the joy and peace of walking with God, the joy of being in a happy marriage, in your face.
    WC

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    1. Thanks for the kind comment, WC! :) Since the Lord had changed me, I have changed even in my manner of dressing and carrying myself. None to my credit though. What is inside my heart just wants to be manifested outside... :)

      As for the development in your life, hooray for unloading on the bottled up emotions and for becoming more and more of yourself after the talk! All that bottling up must have been SO hard for you to come out with physical symptoms like the pains in your side!

      Yes, we are NOT Stepford wives. We are peaceful wives. :) We are still our 100% unique selves, minus the sins and bondages that have kept us from really aligning our wills to God's as far as our marriages are concerned. :)

      God bless you, sister!

      Nikka

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