To Obey

In our first year of marriage I didn’t think that I “obeyed” my husband very much. I mean he never really gave me direct orders and there was little conflict- we agreed upon most everything it seemed. But as the years rolled by I realized that obedience was more than heeding direct orders. I realized that obedience was in  cleaning up the bedroom before he came home, not because he told me to, but because I knew he hated to deal with clutter after work. It was in fixing his favorite dinner,  wearing a dress I knew he loved, or simply biting my tongue and appreciating his advice instead of criticizing it. Obedience, you probably do it more often than you think.



  1. I think you are speaking of the third and best type of obedience according to St. Ignatius…

    ”There are three sorts of obedience; the first, obedience when a strict obligation is imposed upon us, and this is good; the second when the simple word of the superior, without any strict command, suffices for us, and this is better; the third, when a thing is done without waiting for an express command, from a knowledge that it will be pleasing to the superior, and this is the best of all.”
    –Saint Ignatius, Father of the Church

    He also says this:

    “That obedience may be complete, it must exist in three things: in execution, by doing promptly, cheerfully, and exactly whatever the Superior orders; in will, by willing nothing but what the Superior wills; in judgment, by being of the same opinion as the Superior.”

    I’ve recently run across those in the comments on another blog who would say obedience doesn’t exist when it is carried out by being of the same opinion or will of the Superior, because it is merely agreement. St. Ignatius is saying that being of the same opinion or will makes obedience complete. Thus, obedience when one is not in agreement is merely incomplete obedience.

    1. Great quotes on the subject, I’ve never seen them before. I have never considered being in agreement as complete obedience, but I’m happy to hear it! I’ve always considered this type of obedience as “acting in the spirit of obedience”. I’m glad to have a real term for it now and from St. Ignatius no less. Thanks for sharing.

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