The Story Behind the Picture

Me & Abel 1999

As a young bride who had no mentor in her life, I used to struggle with the feeling of independence. Whenever my Berhan (my husband) suggested something that didn’t agree with mine, I would say, “Oh, well, that is what you think; and this is what I think and I will do it my way and you can do it your way. I don’t need to listen to you and I don’t need your approval for doing it on my own way.”
Talk about being a knucklehead, I was “it” in full measure.

For example, I love being spontaneous. I mean what is life without spontaneity being part of it, right? Not so with my Berhan. I mean, in my world, everything is okay when it is run by spontaneity. So, one bright morning, I got up and wore my favorite suit and dressed up my only child at a time, my son (Abel) who was 10 or 11 months old (He is now 17 years old) and decided to go to a photo studio. It was not a weekend, so Berhan had to go to work; but my thinking was, since he was going to work late, we could stop by at the studio and take some pictures and he could go to work after that.
That morning Berhan seriously thought I had lost my mind. I, on the other hand, thought that I was in my perfect mental status. When Berhan heard about my plan, he just said, “You are out of your mind. Why would we take a picture today? It is not anybody’s birthday; it is not Christmas. No, not today. Let’s plan it some other time, like the weekend or something.”
I said, “Well!” – I didn’t say that out loud, but inside my heart – I said, “Well, I will do it the way I plan it and I don’t need your approval.”
The picture I’m sharing with you today is the picture I took that day. After I did what I spontaneously wanted to do without my husband’s approval and blessing, I left the studio with an empty, defeated and lonely heart. Now, almost everybody who looks at this picture asks, “So, what was the occasion?” I always say in my heart, “No occasion, it is a memory of the once full-blown rebellious heart of mine.”
After making countless mistakes, I slowly learn to seek my husband’s blessing and approval in almost every area of my life, including cooking and cleaning. Let’s say that I plan to cook for the whole day; I want my husband to hear my plan and approve it; not only approve it, but I also want him to bless it. If he somehow doesn’t agree with any one of my plans, I change my mind. It doesn’t mean that I stop thinking and reasoning here, but I come to realize that it is God who put my husband as a head over me and God is the one who equips him with everything he needs to be the head over me. That means, when I accept that headship and submit myself to it, the leading and guidance I receive from my husband actually comes not from him, but from God Himself.
The Bible says, “But I want you to realize that the head of every man is Christ, and the head of the woman is man, and the head of Christ is God.” (1 Corinthians 11:3) – (Make Note: Here, it is NOT talking about the relationship between every man and every woman)
So, the hierarchy of God is like this: God, Christ, my Berhan, me and my kids. When I give myself to this divine hierarchy, I don’t make myself a second citizen; rather, I make myself a channel through which God touches three generations (our three kids) and influences my man in a way for him to be equipped to lead me and our kids in God’s way. My faith and trust in God is revealed in my acceptance of God’s order of things; His hierarchy which works best for me, for my kids, my husband and for the Kingdom of God as a whole.
But as a person still in the process of being sanctified, I sometimes find myself struggling with the same “I don’t need my husband’s approval” thinking. So, I always pray: Father, please, save me from myself. ///