Eddie and Autumn Miles

What Autumn Believes about Submission and Biblical Marriage

Biblical Marriage and Submission

Submission - PowerTalk     
Autumn Miles

Women who had plans for abortions left the conference with changed hearts and a child to nurture. Women who carried the guilt or embarrassment of previous situations of abuse left with freedom. Women who had no hope when they walked into that building left with a future in Christ. At the end of the day, I was in tears just thinking about how much God cares about us and how all it takes is one moment of submission to have your life changed forever.

Jesse

Recently we have been challenging our church body to reach out to our city. Blush came to Columbus and not only ministered to our people but  invited and picked up women all around the city of Columbus.  Blush showed us the needs of not only our church, but the city. They went above and beyond venturing out in the snow storm to give transportation to the women in shelters and rehabs. We were extremely blessed to host the Blush Network and would do it again and again.

Life Church Gahanna

“Through events like the Freedom Found conference, Miles reminds women of what she herself was reminded of by God: His love and grace are sufficient to cover all unrighteousness.” To Read more of the story from Liberty University click here.

Liberty ChampionLiberty UniversityLiberty University - The Liberty Champion

Autumn Miles’ life is evidence of a God who redeems and a Truth that will set people free.

Harmony DustFounder of Treasures and Author of Scars and Stilettos
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God Told Me No

Recently, a huge opportunity came up for me in life. It was going to be a game changer and, in my eyes, fix a lot of my problems. I was nervous to see what this major change would bring, but was excited to see the possibilities and benefits that would come from it.

A couple weeks had gone by and I was extremely close to it coming true. I had a big meeting with whom the opportunity was involved with. As I was waiting for the meeting to start I prayed this prayer to the Lord:

               “God, I know this is a huge opportunity. I know that in my temporal mind this seems like a perfect plan and such an exciting thing. With that Lord, I pray that you only give me this if it is in your plan for me. God, I only want this if You want this for me. Please be so clear that I know without a shadow of a doubt this is the direction You want me to take. Show me Your will God! My heart is yearning for You to show me. Amen.”

Some time had passed and everything was lining up. My mindset, my planning, and my schedule were all in preparation for this opportunity. To spare you the time, some crazy, unheard thing took place which made no sense to the people who were praying for me.

I had gotten my answer from the Lord and He told me a clear “NO”.

The circumstances made no sense. I called one of the team members from The Blush Network staff and he said, “Well, isn’t that what you prayed for? You told God to make it clear to you if He wants you to pursue something else.” I was disappointed, but knew from so many circumstances in my life God has something else for me.

Now… Am I saying that when you receive a hard answer or news to just suck it up and put on a smile? Absolutely not. You WILL be disappointed and it will take you a minute to refocus your thoughts.

Here are a couple things that I suggest you to write down or remember when you are in that spot:

1. Be expectant.

  • When God says “no” to something that means He has a “yes” to something else. Therefore, when you receive a “no”, be waiting for a “yes” and expect it SOON! If you are praying for it, the Lord hears you and He answers!! The Promised Land is right around the corner. “In the day when I cried out, You answered me and made me bold with strength in my soul.” Psalm 138:3

2. A “No” is not punishment but rather redirection from the Lord.

  • If you get a “no” from God, we can actually be thankful that we are in His will and He is directing our lives. By God redirecting us, He is stepping in and taking hold of the situation. In the moment it will feel confusing or you may feel worried, but that is the exact time when we can hold onto what God has promised us.

3. Be aware of your mind

  • This is something I constantly have to make sure is in check! When in a time of transition, in a season of change, or when waiting for an answer from the Lord we need to hold onto the thought of what the Lord says about us. Our thoughts are where the temptation to take things into our own hands and to distrust what God is doing come from. The #1 way to keep your thoughts in check is to always spend ample time with the Lord, especially if you are seeking Him for answers. If your mind is spinning and you are feeling overwhelmed, prayer and God’s word will be your best remedies. “When my heart is overwhelmed, lead me to the rock that is higher than I”- Psalm 61:2

In this particular story, God told me “no.” But He is making His redirection and purpose for it clear. Jesus is absolutely everything. If you are seeking Him, I know He will do the same for you, sweet reader.

 

-Katie Dewan

 

My Thoughts on Submissive Marriage

With the announcement this week of TLC’s reality documentary Submissive Wives’ Guide to Marriage airing May 17th at 9pm EST, that my husband Eddie and I will be featured on, I wanted to share a piece I wrote this last year for CafeMom’s The Stir all about what submission is meant to be.

“It was a small thing that pushed Autumn Miles to divorce her first husband after six years of abuse: She commented on the basketball game they were watching together on TV, and he grabbed her elbow and squeezed it as hard as he could as punishment. That pinch woke her up and made her ask, “Why did he just do that, and why am I still with this person?”

To the rest of the world, Miles’ husband was a good, church-going Christian man. “But,” Miles says, “behind closed doors he would abuse the word ‘submit’ and tell me, ‘if you follow the Bible you have to obey me.’” He was physically, sexually, and emotionally abusing her, and using a Biblical teaching to justify his actions.

Miles grew up in small-town Indiana, the daughter of a conservative Baptist pastor. Like many of her peers in her community, she had married young. Her family stood by her as she was disciplined by her church for divorcing. In fact, her father was eventually fired.

More from The Stir‘Full House’ Star Candace Cameron Plays Submissive Wife to Stay Married

The Evangelical community believes that God commands wives to be submissive to their husbands. “Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord,” reads Ephesians 5:22. In its purest practice, submitting is a choice a woman makes out of devotion to God, and out of respect for her husband — who is leading his family through love. The husband and wife may operate much like an egalitarian couple, day-to-day. But ultimately both know it is the husband who is leading and has stewardship over his family.

In some cases, this commandment for wives to submit to their husbands gets distorted by men. They rule without leading and without love. They act as if submission is compulsory for women.

Despite this, Miles agreed to “submit” to a husband again, even after leaving a marriage where the practice was used abusively.

She definitely did NOT want to repeat her abusive relationship — that much she knew. So as a newly-single woman, Miles enrolled in college. Meanwhile, she had gone from just a church-goer to a true believer. Through the cricible of her marriage she forged a stronger relationship with God. She also felt a stronger commitment to following God’s word as expressed in the Bible — he had saved her life, she felt, and she would do anything to follow him. Even submit to a husband again someday.

At first she didn’t want to get married at all, let alone repeat the same kind of submissive wife role. “I struggled with that,” she says. “I had to work through this myself, and the key was God.” She started praying, “If you want me to get married again, you have to protect me. You have to bring someone into my life who is trustworthy.”

How does ANY woman really know when she’s met someone trustworthy? To hear Miles describe how she met her second husband, Eddie, it actually doesn’t sound that mysterious. She was introduced on a Christian college campus, between classes, by her brother.

“There was something different about him,” Miles says. “He was not harsh. He was very kind, but a leader at the same time. He was very interested in my heart, and not just in the way I looked.” She picked up on an inner strength he had, a unique combination of respect, compassion, confidence, generosity, and openness.

Whether you want to call it divine inspiration or intuition or being a good scientist, the truth is women often know who we’re dealing with when we meet certain men. Miles admits, in hindsight, that she knew her first husband was wrong for her. She knew it on her wedding day. And she also knew that her second huband was special.

Having survived an abusive relationship, Miles’ dream was to help other women in crisis. She shared this aspiration with this new young man, and he told her he loved that idea. “He affirmed everything I was talking about, and told me, ‘you can do that. That sounds incredible.’” And then he shared his own goals, dreams, and aspirations. (Miles’ husband works with teenagers.)

He was showing Miles his leadership style, what Miles calls a kind of “servant leadership,” which is about enabling people to do their best — coaching rather than bossing around. And it made Miles want to follow him.

So what does that mean?

autumn miles

As newlyweds, Miles’ husband put up their boat for sale. Her intuition told her it wasn’t a good idea. “I don’t know why. I just had a premonition.” She shared that with her husband, and then she respected his decision to sell the boat anyway. A year later, the buyer still had not made a single payment on the boat.

It was a pivotal point in their marriage. Miles’ husband wished he’d listened to her. “It showed him, ‘my wife has a good opinion and I’ve got to listen to her premonitions.’ So now, we come together before we make a decision.”

“I’m the CEO of a women’s organization, an author,” Miles adds. “I have a brain and an opinion — a strong opinion.” She is the founder and president of The Blush Network, a conference ministry focused on women, a radio co-host, and the author of the book, Appointed. Her marriage sounds a lot like an egalitarian one, but the difference is how they regard each other.

The word “submit” is a translation of the Greek word “hupotasso,” Miles says, which means “to place under willingly.” “Jesus and God were equal,” Miles explains, “but Jesus willingly submitted to God’s leadership. He placed himself under God.” In the same way, she chooses to place herself under her husband’s leadership — not because her husband commands it, but because God commands it.

It’s the same way mother of three grown children Freda Emmons describes her marriage of 37 years. Like Miles, Emmons is a survivor of physical and sexual abuse — she describes how she healed from her turbulent childhood and youth in her memoir, Flame of Healing.

“As a young lady, I was extremely confused about relationships, boundaries, and life in general” Emmons says. “I could have wound up with a man who damaged my fragile emotions even more, or worse, one who would beat me senseless.”

Instead, a month after praying for someone to love who would love her, Emmons met her husband, a man she says taught her to live in peace.

“It’s actually been a lifetime of learning to trust God, that He will care for me, even when my husband makes mistakes, which sometimes happens, and when I disagree with him,” Emmons says. “Even more than I trust my husband,” Miles says, “I trust God.

Following a husband’s leadership is a conscious choice that both Emmons and Miles say takes discipline. Miles says, “There is strength in saying, ‘I am choosing to do this’ rather than saying, ‘I’m weak so I’m doing this.’”

It’s interesting that for both women, being a “submissive” wife is in some ways … empowering. It’s the exact opposite of what you’d think. I don’t know that it’s for everyone, and I do think you really have to find the right man to make it work. But then, isn’t that always the case? Whatever the power dynamic in your marriage, the important thing is that you both agree on what it should be, and that you both operate out of love and cooperation.”

Autumn Miles

Ohio conference 2015

Updates from our 2015 Conference in Columbus, OH

April 18, 2015 The Blush Network held our first conference of the season in Columbus Ohio. For many of our interns this would be their first experience with our conferences outside of Liberty and there was so much anticipation. Some of our team flew in early so we could do final marketing with the local shelters and community assistance groups. As the team got in and set up for Saturday we had no real idea what to expect. Would the room be filled with women from the local churches, would any of the women from the organizations show up at the meeting spots we told them about for us to pick them up and bring them to the conference? What would God do within our own staff?

Saturday Afternoon, as the volunteers started bringing in car after car full of women we thought we knew what type of night to expect. Only to find out within the hour that God had something else in mind. After the women got there our team was informed that they all had an early curfew that would literally cut a significant portion of the women out of the 2nd half of the night. The lead staff gathered together to pray and make adjustments to the schedule while Autumn spoke her first session.  We decided to condense the schedule and push back the dinner break as late as possible. It would have been easy to be frustrated at the loss of “our” plan/schedule, but God’s plan is always better. God used the condensed time to transform the lives of the women that were there. At the end of the evening as we offered a time for confession and submission of their lives to Jesus, almost every woman in the audience stood up. Woman after woman offered their pasts filled with pain, addiction & deep wounds over to Christ. It was a beautiful night. 

The next morning, as always, our team gathered together to share stories of where we had seen God move. Stories of deep discussions during their car rides home with the women, hugs exchanged after common pasts and ultimate healing were found. Stories of seats that had been prayed over by our team for the women that would fill them, only to find out that those same women gave their lives to Christ that night. Stories like the one below from one of our staffers.

Lisa’s Story:

“Katie & I met a woman, her husband and their daughter at the food pantry the day before the conference. We had a small conversation with her that day about coming but she was a little hesitant to come without her husband. We had several women at the pantry that said they would be there the next day for us to pick them up. When our volunteer showed up the only two people there was the mom and her 3 year old daughter (named Chloe).  When she came into the church she was nervous to leave her daughter in our child care but bravely left her there with two of our staffers and came into the conference. 

When we broke for dinner and to return all of the women with a curfew this woman wanted to stay. As I stood in the lobby talking with one of our other speakers I watched the mom chase her daughter from one end of the lobby to the other. You could see she was nervous about her daughter getting into something she wasn’t supposed to or breaking something. I excused myself from the conversation I was in and went over and asked the mom if she would like to let her daughter go back into the play area. She accepted and I went with her into the play room.

As I began to play with her daughter at the toys, and little Chloe ran from toy to toy you could see her mom was still nervous that something would be broken. She shared with me that she hadn’t been to church since she was about 6 and that the conference had been an really great time. She was excited to hear more and couldn’t wait to start up again.

Getting to sit with her during our “break” I asked my husband Chad to come in to play with her daughter so she could relax. She was so afraid her daughter was going to break something that she couldn’t finish a sentence. Chad came in and immediately her daughter was fixated on his watch. Within seconds she was wearing his watch and within minutes Chloe was “making tea” for him in the little play kitchen. Her mom just stared in amazement as she told me that her daughter was very shy, especially with men so for her to be so open with my husband was hard for her to believe.

As she relaxed she was able to tell me that her and her husband had just moved out of the homeless shelter that most of the other women came from just a few months prior. She was so proud to tell me about their home, even though she had no stove or refridgerator, she had a little camping stove that she could make simple meals on. She thanked me for the tea we had served at dinner as that was the first thing besides water she had had in months. I excused myself and went to find our event team to see if we had any left. They brought back almost two full gallons. I was able to go into our green room to our snack area and grab some fruit, granola bars and some other non-perishable items to give to her. 

I came back in the room to Chad & our team member, also named Chloe, enjoying their “tea party” and the mom laughing in conversation. She shared with me about her son and proudly showed me his picture. She told me about her husbands job that he had just got. She was so grateful to be a part of the night with us and for me it was a chance to be out from back stage to have a real conversation with someone attending the conference. It was a rare and beautiful moment for me.

I don’t know if she gave her life to Christ that night but I do know that we were a part of her seeing the church a little less intimidating and a lot more welcoming to her. And for me that is the start of a seed planted that neither one of us will forget.”

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