Wow, I know now why they call this a 31 day writer’s challenge because it is definitely a challenge to write every day. Time is definitely a factor, but I am also finding that there are times when you just don’t feel like writing. There are days when your heart is breaking and you just don’t know if you can do it. Today is one of those days for me. I would like to start off this blog with prayer as I know the only way I am going to be able to write on this topic today is through the power of the Holy Spirit.
Dear Heavenly Father,
I stand before you, my great and mighty God, an empty vessel, fill me with your words, fill me with your wisdom. Let only your words flow from these hands. It is my desire to do your will and your will alone. Give me the power and the strength to not only speak (write) your words but to carry out your words through my actions. In Jesus’ precious name I pray, AMEN!
Today we will continue on our “Great Submission Mission” and start looking at marital submission. Be afraid..be very afraid.
No, I am just kidding. Marital submission is not as hard as we tend to make it. If we take all the feelings out of the equation, it really is not that hard. (Hehe) Now, bear with me a moment, please. As I have stated throughout our discussion on submission (and I will keep saying (writing) it), I believe that understanding and accepting the hierarchy, order, or God’s design for marriage and humbleness are the keys to submission. It is clear to me from scripture that the man is to be the head of the household.
1 Corinthians 11:3 (NLT): 3 But there is one thing I want you to know: The head of every man is Christ, the head of woman is man, and the head of Christ is God.
Ephesian 5:23 (NLT): For a husband is the head of his wife as Christ is the head of the church.
Actually, I think the best description of the biblical hierarchy or God’s design for marriage is found in Ephesians 5:21-33:
“And further, submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.
22 For wives, this means submit to your husbands as to the Lord. 23 For a husband is the head of his wife as Christ is the head of the church. He is the Savior of his body, the church.24 As the church submits to Christ, so you wives should submit to your husbands in everything.
25 For husbands, this means love your wives, just as Christ loved the church. He gave up his life for her 26 to make her holy and clean, washed by the cleansing of God’s word.[b] 27 He did this to present her to himself as a glorious church without a spot or wrinkle or any other blemish. Instead, she will be holy and without fault. 28 In the same way, husbands ought to love their wives as they love their own bodies. For a man who loves his wife actually shows love for himself. 29 No one hates his own body but feeds and cares for it, just as Christ cares for the church. 30 And we are members of his body.
31 As the Scriptures say, “A man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one.”[c] 32 This is a great mystery, but it is an illustration of the way Christ and the church are one. 33 So again I say, each man must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.”
I think John Piper (as shown on Day 12) sums it up perfectly:
“Husbands are compared to Christ; wives are compared to the church. Husbands are compared to the head; wives are compared to the body. Husbands are commanded to love as Christ loves, wives are commanded to submit as the church is to submit to Christ.”
Wives are being called to submit to their husbands as the Church submits to God, and while submission is a big pill to swallow, it is clear from Ephesians 5 that the men don’t really have it easy either. They are being compared to Christ and called to love their wives as God loves His church. There is nothing easy about that. [We will be discussing this in further detail a little later in the study.]
Honestly, when I look at it like that, submission doesn’t seem to be so hard. So, where does it get all messed up?
Oh, there are so many ways it goes wrong. I believe it primarily goes wrong when our feelings and pride get in the way, when only one party is acting their role, and because many of us have misconceptions about submission.
Humbleness takes care of the first problem. The Bible is filled with scripture telling us to humble ourselves: Ephesians 4:2, Mathew 18:4, 20:16, 23:12, Peter 5:5-6, Colossians 3:12, James 4:6. Philippians 2:3-11 (Just to name a few).
For me, in order to humble myself I have to remember who I am doing it for. I love God. I want to be in the will of God. Therefore, I must walk in the ways of God to the best of my ability.
Wayne Mack said it best (as shown in Day 12):
“Submission to the husband is a test of her love for God as well as a test of love for her husband. The wife then must look upon her submission to her husband as an act of obedience to Christ and not merely to her husband.”
This may help to answer problem #2 (when only one party is acting their role). We will discuss this more thoroughly in upcoming posts, but if we submit to our husbands even when he is not loving us like Christ loves His church, we are pleasing God. We don’t do it for our husbands; we do it for our God.
Problem #3 is a little more complicated. Stay tuned to the next post and I will share an article with you regarding the misconception of submission.