Katie Monsma, contributor to the Vyrso blog, recently had the privilege of interviewing Sara Horn, author of My So-Called Life as a Proverbs 31 Wife, God Strong, My So-Called Life as a Submissive Wife, and How Can I Possibly Forgive?
Get to know more about Sara and the experiences that have shaped her . . .
Sara, you are busy mom, accomplished author, blogger, and speaker. Tell us a little about your background and how you got to where you are.
I grew up in a Christian home and accepted Christ at a pretty young age – 5 – but as I got older and learned more about what following Christ really meant, I rededicated my life to Him as a teenager in high school.
I’d always loved writing in school, the songs I loved singing the most were the ones that always told stories (think Sandi Patty, Wayne Watson), so the power of story had always been a part of my life.
God made it very clear when He threw open a door of opportunity I wasn’t looking for, hadn’t thought about, and couldn’t have planned myself that He wanted me writing.
As God’s opened doors, I’ve seen my ministry expand from solely military wives to wives and moms and women in general, and I’ve enjoyed speaking the last few years to women’s groups, mostly focusing on the message of encouraging women to understand and embrace the power of influence God has given them to help their families.
In your book, My So-Called Life as a Submissive Wife, you spent one year experimenting to be a more submissive wife. Can you tell us a little bit about what it means to be Biblically submissive?
There’s a difference in being submissive and being biblically submissive and I think even some well-meaning Christian women can fall into a cultural trap of taking on submissive characteristics without actually following what it means to be biblically submissive.
Biblical submission does not mean being a doormat, or a robot. It doesn’t mean women, as wives, have less value or importance as men.
But I do believe submission is one of the ways God distinguishes the role of a husband from the role of a wife. I didn’t always feel like this. If I’m honest, I also ignored the scriptures we find in the Bible that talks about submission. I appreciate how The Message translation words Ephesians 5:22 – “Wives, understand and support your husbands in ways that show your support for Christ.” Of course, the scripture also goes on to say “The husband provide leadership to his wife the way Christ does to his church, not by domineering but by cherishing. So just as the church submits to Christ as he exercises such leadership, wives should likewise submit to their husbands.”
What did you learn about submission during your one-year experiment?
The biggest takeaway I learned from that year (and I’m still working on this!) is that my husband needs my influence but he doesn’t need my controlling demands.
I thought by giving up my need or desire to always have the last word, or always have my way, I would feel like the proverbial doormat. But my biggest surprise from that year was that by being more intentional in offering him respect and courtesy and acknowledgement of his God-created role in our family, I started seeing changes in him. He was more willing to lead our family and less likely to just leave it to me to make all the decisions.
During your years of experimenting, first in your book My So-Called Life as a Proverbs 31 Wife, and then later in My So-Called Life as a Submissive Wife, how did it impact your understanding of forgiveness?
Forgiveness, through the very definition of that word, isn’t about you. It just isn’t.
When you forgive someone, you let something go.
You freely give something that isn’t necessarily deserved by someone else. You are acknowledging, in the process of forgiveness, that an inconsiderate action, a hurtful word, or something more serious like a betrayal of trust is not your stone to hold onto. That’s because as believers who follow Christ, our lives aren’t about us, they’re about Christ. This isn’t easy, sometimes it isn’t quick, but it’s what God asks us to do.
When I hold onto something hurtful and refuse to forgive someone else, I’m basically saying that this thing I’m wrapping my heart around that hurts so much is too big for God to heal or to carry for me. But if I believe Jesus died on a Cross for my sins and because of His gift, I will one day spend eternity with Him – than how can I not believe that He can also take my hurts and help me heal?
I started out with both of my experiments wanting to better myself.
I wanted to be a better wife and mom, I wanted to better follow what God’s Word said. But over the course of each of those years, I learned the importance of taking my eyes off of myself and my goals and my desires and instead focusing on God and desiring to follow His goals and His desires instead. So my walk with God grew, and life became less about me, and more about Him. And I think this is also what it takes to be able to forgive.
We forgive others because God forgives us.
Learn more about Sara, what she learned about overcoming hurt, and letting go of bitterness in the rest of her interview posting tomorrow, July 17 on the Vyrso blog!