We have been married for 30 years and “to obey” was in our wedding vows. I didn't think much about it then, I just took it for granted that it was part of the vows. I was 21 years old at the time and was so deeply in love that I was just thrilled to be marrying the love of my life.
Knowing what I know now I wish I had known what that vow really means. Our marriage was good but it could have been so much better if I had known.
This summer I decided that I wanted to learn about trust and obedience it just happened that I found the Loveawake dating site by accident. I shared it with my husband and he checked it out, then we decided to incorporate the idea of obedience in our marriage relationship.
Obedience has changed our marriage because it has changed me. What I mean by “change” is that when I make the choice to obey my husband I feel a sense of satisfaction. (There are times when I take a step backwards and my husband brings me back into focus and rather quickly!)
Obedience is a choice, and as I see it, it is like a gift given to a marriage. It is entirely up to the two individuals involved to decide what vows to make in marriage. But if you like the idea of promising to obey, I encourage you to do so. It may not be popular these days, and it doesn't matter what other people think. It matters what the two of you getting married think. Just follow your hearts.
I so agree with you that obedience is a choice and a gift. Some who write for the site understand obedience as something that a man can demand from his wife-and I suppose he can-but for me it is definately a gift I've chosen to give. That doesn't mean, however, that I can just take back the gift if I want to. As long as my husband is worthy of my obedience, then I shall try my best to give it to him. By "worthy" I use the criteria from the New Testament that a man should love his wife the "way that Christ loves the church." That's a high calling that most men just don't meet! How fortunate we both are that we've been married to men who have proven their love and devotion to us over many, many years!
We left in the 'obey' and it's taken 9.5 years for me to get it through my stubborn skull that life is a lot better with it.
I love, honour and obey... he is then charged with making sure that my needs are met: physical, mental, emotional, spiritual... I think he has the harder role and I love him for it. I make him my first priority and he is the Captain who steers both of our lifes to our goals and dreams or the Gardener who nurtuers and trains the wild bush into something beautiful and full of life.
If he's charged with meeting all your needs, emotional, spiritual etc, then I would think he does have the harder role. It seems to me a rather alarming burden to place on someone, to expect them to be responsible for all your needs. Also i would have thought rather unwise, there surely are going to be times when you are going to have to figure things out for yourself, or have feelings about things that your husband can't be responsible for. Mayking him responsible for everything seems to me taking things a bit too far. But then I don't think I could ever see myself as a bush.
"The free haggard (which is the woman that has wing and knows it, Spirit and Plume) will make an hundred checks to show her freedom, sail in ev'ry air, and look out ev'ry pleasure, not regarding Lure nor quarry till her pitch command what she desires..." John Fletcher, The Tamer Tamed.
When my husband and I married almost 23 years ago, I made the minister remove the word "obey". SECRETLY I wanted it to stay in. But I was in denial over what I really was that from fear of what "others" would say, I made them remove it. I am so angry at myself now for that, and its a mistake that cannot be undone.
It would not have been an issue one way or the other if we'd been married before a justice of the peace/judge as I'd wanted...but I am Jewish and my husband was a Christian then, and since no rabbi would perform an intermarriage, we had no choice but to be married by his minister (because my husband wanted some sort of religious ceremony), hence the standard (of that time) Protestant wedding service we ended up with. It might interest you to know that in the traditional Jewish ceremony, there is no command for the wife to obey...the promises are all made by the husband (such as to provide for her materially, sexually and in all other ways)!