Ephesians 5:22 "Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord."

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Will and I celebrated 11 years of marriage on September 6, 2013.  He's worked so incredibly hard between his career and electrical engineering school.  With the help of some friends I pulled off a surprise weekend getaway!  That Sunday morning we visited a local church where the pastor was in a series about love and that particular day he did his sermon about marriage... how appropriate!!  That fact that God planned that sermon quite specifically for us was not lost on Will an I.  This is what we learned that Sunday morning.

I'd like to credit Brent Ferren of First Baptist Church, Glen Rose, Texas for many of the concepts to follow. They were derived from his sermon on September 8, 2013.  

Many Christians will say they try (or should try) to govern their life and relationships based on what the Bible says. A huge point of contention for many couples are verses in the bible that say a woman should submit to her husband.  This can bring to mind unpleasant images like abuse, slavery, domination.  All things that are the completely opposite of the loving, supportive husbands and man is called to be for his wife.

Let me first say this - if a man is not seeking a relationship with Jesus Christ, this aspect of life can be very difficult and confusing.  I speak from experience; Will and I were not seeking Christ when we were married.  In fact, we've only been seeking our Savior since 2010 and 2011 respectively.  I however, do believe that even though we rejected God with all our heart, He was what kept us together all those years.  If you are not in a Christ-centered marriage, do not give up hope!  Many a woman has led her husband to Christ by simply living out her faith around him every day.  Cling faithfully to 1 Corinthians 7:12-16 and know that God has brought you and your spouse together for a purpose!  Remember, 1 Peter 3:1-2   Likewise, wives, be subject to your own husbands, so that even if some do not obey the word, they may be won without a word by the conduct of their wives, when they see your respectful and pure conduct. Even God's word reminds you that YOU are being used to bring your man to Christ!

Submission to your husband may conjure scary thoughts, but we need to look at the bible, not our broken world, to understand what biblical submission is.  Jesus was equal with God, but Jesus submitted to the Father without diminishing himself.  That friend is what biblical submission looks like.  Try it this way... "a wife was equal with her husband, but the wife submitted to the husband without diminishing herself."  Now that sounds much better doesn't it?  Let's now put this concept to the biblical litmus test.... does the bible back this up?

Our Calling

1 Corinthians 11:3  But I want you to understand that the head of every man is Christ, the head of a wife is her husband, and the head of Christ is God.

Colossians 3:18-21 Wives, submit to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord. Husbands, love your wives, and do not be harsh with them. Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord. Fathers, do not provoke your children, lest they become discouraged.

Ephesians 5:22-24, 33b Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands... and let the wife see that she respects her husband.


Jesus Demonstrates 

John 10:30 I and the Father are one.

Colossians 1:19  For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell,

Philippians 2:5-8  Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.

Women, you do not give up yourself by submitting to your husband.  Jesus did not give up His divine nature when He submitted to the Father.  He was still wholly God and wholly man.  You are still wholly yourself and still wholly his Wife.

FOR THE FELLAS
Ephesians 5:25-33 Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, because we are members of his body. “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church. However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, 

Husbands invest in your wives.  Don't make harsh/painful deposits into her heart because you will return what you invest. When she's not watching, take a moment to really see your wife.  Look at her face, demeanor, body language.  What does it convey to you?  Is she loved, secure, fulfilled?  Investments are reflected in a wife's countenance. What does your wife's countenance say to you today?

Agape love is the unconditional love Christ showed to us.  It meant that even when we were repulsive and awful, He loved us.  Even when we are seeking and serving him completely, He loves us.  When we make the same mistakes over, and over, and over, and over again, He still loves us.  No matter what.  This is Agape love and it's also the kind of love you are called to show your wives.  A completely self-sacrificing, cross kind of love!  Submitting to you should not be the kind of thing your wife is afraid to do because she's afraid you will hurt her.  Submitting should only be scary for us because the nature of whole submission is a scary principle to our self-centered sin nature.  It's a work the Lord does within all of us consistently until the day He calls us home!

PRACTICAL APPLICATION
So what does submission to your husband look like?  My friends, that is a picture of something incredibly individual to the people.  I can tell you this, to submit to your husband you have to set aside your need to be in charge; to "direct the show" as you might say.  However, husbands should be seeking your input and feedback before making the decisions that affect the family.  I don't know how it will work for you, but I can try to relate my own experience in hopes of giving you a working illustration.

My husband works incredibly hard to provide for our family and further his education at the same time.  He has a non-traditional work schedule and sleeping pattern.  I work to support my husband 100% in everything he does - even when that means having to keep the kids quiet/out of the house to give Will the rest he needs.  On the reverse side, Will is also aware of when I am completely exhausted and need a break.  Many times he has given me a chance to power nap or has watched the kids so I could go to an appointment/run errands so that I would have a break.

Do we fight?  Yes, sometimes we are totally at odds.  Do I always agree with him?  Nope, many times I wonder what he's thinking.  But I also trust that my husband is seeking God in all the decisions he makes for our family and I will submit to Will's authority because I believe Will submits to God's authority.  Ultimately, that means that it's not Will who's in control.  It's God who's in control and governing our home.


Jodi @ God Still Speaks

Head Writer

Boy mom of three. Married to the same man since 2002. Former working mom turned stay-at-home mom. I love my faith, family, and coffee.

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Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests to made known to God. — Philippians 4:6