Can you feel my excitement?!? It’s Week 2 of the Fierce 5 Marriage Series! This week’s feature, Dionne J. Edmonds, is droppin’ gems! Married for 11 years, check out what she has to say about extending a ” whole lotta grace“, submission, and overcoming holding on to past wrongs! Like, comment and subscribe so you don’t miss out! And be sure to connect with Dionne on social media: @dionnej.edmonds
1. How many years have you been married,
and what has being married for xx years taught you?
This June 20th will make 11 years of marriage for me. Being married for almost 11 years has taught me that my husband is not my savior. My husband loves the Lord, has a heart for God and seeks to love me as Christ loves the Church, but he can not nor ever will be able to do for me what God in Christ can do for and has done for me. I used to put a lot of pressure on my husband to do all kinds of things and if he didn’t do it the way I wanted him to my whole world was wrecked. But I’ve come to learn that he is not my savior and he can’t do for me what the Lord can.
I’ve also learned to give a whole lotta (misspelling intended) grace! I used to keep a whole record of his wrongs. I mean I had lists for days that I would pull out of an arsenal anytime we had a disagreement or argument…I would even go back to what he did “last year,” but the Lord has taught me and reminded me (daily) of the grace that I not only received at the point of salvation but that I am still a daily, even moment by moment, recipient of. Therefore, I am compelled to extend the same grace to my husband that I receive from the Lord. What does this mean practically? I no longer keep a record of his wrongs. I’m more quick to forgive and even quicker to be understanding of him when he falls short, makes mistakes, repeats the same behavior that I thought he overcame…there is grace even for that! Ha!
2. You are definitely a “woman of purpose” how have you navigated that space of being a help-mate for your husband, and a woman with a purpose/platform/ministry? What challenges have you had to overcome and how?
I appreciate this, but I want to stress that we are All women of purpose and that was predetermined by God himself or else He wouldn’t have thought the world was worth dying for. My being (or your being) a woman of purpose isn’t based on me walking out my purpose. It was predetermined by God before He formed me in my mother’s womb (Jer 29:11). I want to stress that off top because sometimes we can assume that someone walking in their purpose is what makes them a person of purpose. When the truth is, you being a woman of purpose was predetermined long before you begin to walk in your purpose. In the same way that your value and worth is determined by God long before you begin to understand how valuable and worthy you are! This is not based on anything we do rather what God in Christ did for us on the cross!
So with that said, my ability to live out my purpose, or walk in it, is specific to the grace that God has given me. The Lord graces each of us for what He has called us to do. So while my many hats and full plate may be overwhelming to some, my reliance on the Lord’s grace daily is what empowers me to accomplish what I ordinarily couldn’t do in my strength. In the same way that the next sister is able to do what may seem hard to me, by God’s grace she can do it with ease.
Now, let me clarify… this doesn’t mean that I don’t have moments of being overwhelmed, tired or even stressed. Those are often evidence that I’m relying too much on myself and not enough on Him. So those moments cause me to lean into the Lord more, and ask Him for the grace and strength to do what He has called and equipped me to do! It also means that when I physically rest, I rest. Yet the dichotomy of being in relationship with Christ, also allows me to experience “rest” even when I am working and doing what He has called me to (as a wife, mom and ministry leader). My rest ultimately comes from my dependence on Him and not myself.
3. What word of advice/wisdom do you have for the young wife who is struggling with “submission”?
First, I want to affirm the fact that I’ve been there, and I know what it feels like to struggle with submission (I’m not perfect so I still struggle with it in certain areas). But what the Lord has taught me is that submission is extremely difficult when we reduce it merely to submitting to our husbands. If you think submission is just about you doing what your husband wants, or you getting on board with what your husband desires, then you miss what submission is.
In Ephesians 5 — (the famous chapter where the Apostle Paul talks about submission) — before Paul addresses wives submitting to husbands, he states “Imitate God, therefore, in everything you do, because you are his dear children.” This is extremely important because before you can even understand or talk about submitting to a husband, you first have to have an understanding of what it means for you as a believer to be an imitator of God in ALL Things (all means ALL…not just marriage). 21 verses later he then states, “And further, submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.” So as an imitator of Christ I’m also called to submit to my brothers and sisters in Christ. Then in verse 22 he states, “For wives, this means submit to your husbands as to the Lord.”
So I’m called to submit in many areas, and specifically as a married woman (not a single woman in a relationship with a man). But my submission to my husband is done as one who is ultimately submitting to the Lord. That essentially suggests that if it’s done unto the Lord, God in His wisdom and sovereignty will not allow my husband to get away with leading me down a wrong path. God cares about my submission just as much as He cares about the way my husband is leading me. So if I have concerns about the way He is leading me, I am to take them to Jesus. As our advocate, He stands at His throne interceding on our behalf, and advocating for us (and our spouses) to the Father. This also means that I cannot submit to my husband apart from the grace of God and my reliance (or faith) on God. I need God to help me to submit. Practically, I’m constantly asking the Lord to help me to submit or to help me to listen and hold my tongue when I want to out talk my husband.
4. What about the singles who want to be married, and feel like they’ve been waiting FOREVER? What does it truly mean to “wait on God” as a single woman waiting to be found? Is it just a cliche?
I think one of the things that we assume about waiting is that it’s passive, when it is actually active. Waiting requires me to harness my strength and submit it to the plan and purpose of God (in the same way that submitting to my husband requires me to harness my power to submit to my husband). It requires me to trust that God is good, that He wants what’s best for my life and that He actually knows what’s best for me even down to the time frame in which I receive things. Waiting requires me to bind myself to the Lord (the Hebrew word for wait has to do with binding). And if I’m bound to him I’m in a position to know and do what He desires for me to do while I wait.
5. Anything else/advice/wisdom you feel led to share?
I just want to share that there can be so much emphasis placed on marriage, and rightly so in that marriage is a God idea. But being unmarried doesn’t make you any less important to God or loved any less than a married person. Your value, worth and importance aren’t based on whether or not you are married and it’s definitely not determined by whether or not God sends you a spouse.
Ephesians 2:4 says, “But God is so rich in mercy, and he loved us so much, that even though we were dead because of our sins, he gave us life when he raised Christ from the dead.” God proved how valuable and loved you are by rescuing you and I from sin, even though we deserved death. He proved how loved you are by sending His son as the way back into relationship with Him. When we truly get a revelation of how loved and valued we are apart from anything we ever did or will do (this is good or bad things), it puts our desire for marriage, into the proper place… meaning nothing can fulfill us (not even a good thing) like God can. And when He becomes the primary One that we desire and seek after, all other things are added to us (Matt 6:33).
To learn more about Dionne J. Edmonds and her ministry be sure to visit www.dionnejedmonds.com and follow her on Instagram & Facebook @dionnej.edmonds
Yasssss to all of the above! Love what you’re reading! Be sure to comment below and let us know your thoughts! And be sure to connect with me on Instagram, @reese__dennis, for a live follow up discussion TOMORROW, TUESDAY 5/7 @ 4pm! Can’t wait to hear from you!