Last week we were talking about God’s design for marriage. I stated that God’s design for marriage is for men and women (both made in the image of God) to leave their parents and be joined together in order to multiply. Once married, men are to love their wives as Christ loves the church and be the head of their households; women are to love their husbands as the church loves Christ and submit to them.
Thus far we have covered all the points except for the most controversial of all, submission. I purposely saved this one for last because it is the one I dread the most; it is the one that most women don’t want to hear. This will probably be the least read post of this miniseries, but probably the most needed considering we live in a culture where submission has become a dirty word. Anyway, let’s just get to and through this.
Ephesians 5:24 (NKJ): Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything.
Most people when reading this passage automatically think of the terms superior and inferior. Somewhere along the way we have become to equate submission with a form of domination and maybe even abuse. But that is not what Biblical submission means at all. We must stop looking to the world for definitions when God has clearly laid it all out for us.
Biblical submission mean to yield to another in love. Furthermore, we, women, are not to submit to all men, just our husbands. God made men and women equally (as discussed earlier in this series), both in the image of God; therefore, one is not superior to the other.
More importantly, look at the beginning of Eph. 5:24, it states ” just as the church is subject to Christ.” That says to me that not only do we earthlings deal with submission, there is submission in the divine as well.
“As followers of Jesus Christ, we, the church, must also submit to Christ. Christ loves, leads, serves, protects, and provides for us, so we gladly submit to him in the context of close relationship to him. ” (Counter Culture. 141)
Christ is the head of the church. Who is the head of Christ?
Well, that would be God the Father.
God is made up of three persons: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. Thus, making up the Holy Trinity. However, while all three are divine and no one superior to the others, Jesus (God the Son) clearly submits to God the Father.
1 Corinthians 11:3 (NKJ)- But I want you to know that the head of every man is Christ, the head of woman is man, and the head of Christ is God.
John 4:34 (NKJ): Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to finish His work.
Luke 22:42 (NKJ): “Father, if it is Your will, take this cup away from Me; nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done.”
God the Father is not a dominating tyrant while meek Jesus is merely forced to do God’s will. No, rather, Jesus gladly submits to the Father because of their loving relationship. Jesus wants to do God the Father’s will because Jesus trusts the Father and knows the Father wants only the best for him.
God’s design for marriage was to follow this pattern and to showcase the same relationship (the relationship among the Trinity and the church). Just as Christ laid down his own deity and life for us in submission to the Father, wives, we too, are to willingly submit to the loving leadership of our husbands who lay down their lives for our good.
[Men take note: God is a trusted leader because he leads through love, not dominance.]
Yes, God’s design was perfect. Then why is it failing in today’s culture? Well, simply because we are not following it. God’s design is not failing; we are failing at God’s design.
Tomorrow, we will examine some of those things are destroying God’s design for marriage.
Be Blessed and Be a Blessing,