It was a Sunday and the Pastor, a big Samoan man named Iliafi was preaching on the subject. The King watched the Princess. Her face was stony, her manner prickly. He saw her sigh, tense, cross her arms and prepare to zone out. He knew what was going through her mind. She was afraid that this was going to be a lecture on how wives should obey, all for the men’s benefit.
Iliafi the apostle began; “What is the spirit of Christ? It is the spirit of submission. In marriage, it is for the man to lay down his life for the woman.” The King grinned as, exposed to this opposite spirit, she sat up startled. Suddenly He had her attention.
The Princess, who had lived her life thinking she had to lay down her life for the man did a double take and listened, astounded. Had she believed a lie? Her belief that she had to die to self for a man had been holding her back from wanting a second marriage.
She had not wanted to go there ever again, to the place where she had been angry, depressed, trapped, resentful, and miserable. This was a game changer. She leaned forward and listened intently. He was saying marriages in the Kingdom were meant for the man to put his wife first, he would sacrifice for her.
Her heart warmed to the King as she listened. He went on to say “She will naturally submit to any man when the love is there, and call her husband ‘Lord’.” The Princess agreed wholeheartedly.
“Husbands, love your wives just as Christ loved the Church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself.” Ephesians 5:22-28
The truth unlocked a Door of Hope. Stepping through the threshold, the daughter of the King emerged, approaching the Father with her eyes shining.
“Is this what you want for me?” the Princess asked. The King nodded.
“Really?” she asked, smiling. He nodded again.
“So am I to understand that you want a husband who will lay down his life for me, just as you did for us?” she asked again, to be sure. The King nodded for the third time. Her face lit up as her mind changed. Joyfully she said “You died for me – and because of that, I choose to submit to you, and the man whom you choose who obeys you under that covenant. I would respect a man like that.”
The truth the Princess learned that day changed her attitude. Hope dawned that day, the hope for something better. From that day on her heart was at peace, although she still thought of Ishmael.
Sitting on her porch, despairing of ever getting over him, the Princess cried to the Lord “Father, instead of putting in front of me a man I cannot have, please put in front of me a man I can have, a husband.”
The King was pleased. He could do something with this, her third wish. Until then, held back by wrong ideas about submission, her last two wishes had nothing to do with marriage. He had fulfilled those wishes, intending to teach her a lesson each time. It might seem harsh, but He was treating her like a daughter.
My son, do not despise the LORD’s discipline, and do not resent his rebuke,
because the LORD disciplines those he loves, as a father the son he delights in. Proverbs 3:12
“I hear you. Who do you have in mind?” The King asked. “You choose” she replied, remembering the promises the King had made about a man He had chosen for her.