Wow! You start a series on marriage and guess what…every attack possible is unleashed against you and your marriage. It has taken the grace of The Most High God, many many prayers, obedience along with “humble” submission to have made it through so as to still be standing on the other side of the flood. It is through this experience that I learned what true submission is and the reason why I am sharing this message. My hope is that this might help any couple out there that just might be going through any turmoil in their relationship, and possibly steer them back on track.
God has provided a way to have great marriages. His design is fully trustworthy. Marriage is much like a ship trying to enter the harbor on a stormy night. Everything is guesswork. Mistakes are fatal. We see marriages failing all around us. When we trust in God’s design, we are in fact putting our faith in God Himself. God wants us to live in hope. Putting our trust in God’s design for marriage is a safe harbor. God’s marriage design is fully trustworthy. First we need to learn how it works and then put it into operation in our lives. Many have questioned the Lord’s intention for calling the woman to submit to her husband. These suggestions breed all sorts of revulsion to Christ’s command. Clearly this is not what the Lord intended. He paved a path of gold and called her to walk on it beside Him. At the end is the castle. The secular world has taken hold of the media, and the average wife is hearing much more world than God. The wife is being tempted all the time to deny the authority that God has placed over her. This happened in the Garden of Eden when Eve heard a clever voice calling her to ‘freedom’ or ‘independence’ – Genesis 3:6.
Lets play a game of hypotheticals and consider some other possibilities from the garden of Eden. As we know God had already given Adam the instructions on what to eat and what not to eat. The serpent shows up and sells Eve an untrue story, she becomes curious, however, if she were submissive, she may have done things differently. Possibly, she would have taken that information to her husband who would have reinforced the instructions from God, and together they would have stood firm and warded off the devil. There would have not been a downfall of man with all the curses that are still in effect to this day. Unfortunately, we know the true outcome of the story, and since that temptation had such a good effect, Satan still uses it today! Satan first questions God’s good will. The evil one subtly suggests that the wife is missing out on something better, that God is withholding something good. Then Satan draws her mind away from God to something that pleases her. Lastly, he attempts to snag her by enticing her to obey him. Sadly, by doing something different than God said, she is actually coming out from under the authority of her husband and placing herself under another authority. The scripture says that Eve was deceived. In her deceived frame of mind she still believed that her opinion was better than obeying God. Now let me ask, “Is it not true that wives are often tempted, by thoughts and feelings, to do what she feels is right rather than what her husband asks her to do?” sadly, the all too often answer is yes.
So, the question that begs to be answered is what does humble submission actually look like for a wife? Ephesians 5:24 says this – But as the church is subject to Christ, so also the wives ought to be to their husbands in everything”. Note that the scripture does not give wives an out to choose when to submit, it simply commands that we submit in everything! I am so guilty of this one, I totally ignored the everything part and would decide when I felt I needed to be submissive depending on the topic in question…not scriptural at all. Ephesians 5:22 “Wives, be subject to your husbands as to the Lord” tells how to submit…as to the Lord. We are to submit to our husbands just like we would if it were our Lord and savior Christ himself speaking to us. Is this easy to do?…no, is it doable?…yes, with the help of your father in heaven. Remember the age old adage “God won’t give you more than you can handle”? Well, that holds true in this situation too, our father knows what He equipped us with, we just have to look to Him. A genuine loving power will blossom in a woman with a quiet and submissive heart. Her roughness will become tenderness. This is what makes women genuinely beautiful. As long as there is competition or contention, the man will naturally struggle to win the argument. Now, lets make one thing clear, becasue I see all those eyes rolling and hear the loud inhalation of air as you suck in your teeth. Being submissive is not a call to do evil or anything immoral because your husband tells you to, or to allow yourself to be abused in any way. In any of these situations, communication is needed as you take a stand and let him know you won’t participate in the said activity. Remember, if needed, get help! Also, being submissive is not about being a bubble head that simply agrees to everything and has no say or suggestions. Submissiveness is not to deny any of her gifts or abilities. She is assigned to the husband because she is gifted in several ways. The Lord has designed her gifts to function best in complement to her husband’s leadership. Submissiveness is simply the proper thing for a wife to do. This is God’s calling for her.
Ideally, a man would faithfully love his wife and the wife would open her heart to her husband by being submissive to him. They should function as one, fully complementing each other. Our world, however, is not ideal. Our spouses will not be in complete harmony to God’s will. But even in these situations, the wife who is dependent upon God can still faithfully subject herself to him. Women are not to be haughty but humble. There is no room in a marriage for two lords. If a couple is to harmoniously work together, then one must stand as leader and the other as follower. The fastest way to fall is when a house becomes divided. While the husband is to imitate God’s love to the church, the wife is to emulate the church’s response to her Lord Jesus Christ. By trusting God and being a faithful wife, she in fact is responding to God’s great love and mercy. This hope in God becomes a powerful tool to bring forth extra grace and love from God. Even if a wife does not have perfect love from her husband, she is still responsible to respect and submit to him. Colossians 3:18 says Wives, be subject to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord” and shows us that we need to remember that our responsibility as wives is to subject ourselves to our husband. He needs to make the decision that he deems best. It might further help to understand that when the husband is wrong, he usually already knows that. He is just looking for excuses. If a wife contends with her husband, then he normally becomes defensive. If however, she follows God’s pattern, it allows the best situation to occur. In these cases, and I have personally experienced this numerous times, the quiet heart of the wife allows the Spirit of God to work in his heart. We as wives need to learn to be patient and allow Gods timimg to be the best.
This is by no means an exhaustive examination on the subject of submission, but rather a surface scratch. As a start, a wife needs to first respond to God’s love by agreeing with Him. Acknowledge that He knows the best plan for your life and that you will trust Him to lead you to fulfill this plan even when it includes submitting to a selfish husband. If a wife is consumed with God’s love, she will not insist or even ask her husband to follow her opinions. Instead, being deeply satisfied in her heart and trusting herself to God, she submits to her husband. As she trusts God, her heart swells with God’s love and overflows to those around her. God’s love is so awesome that it is sufficient for our every circumstance. We might be perplexed and sometimes hurt, but the Lord is carefully watching over us. When we can submit to His love in these situations, a great testimony goes forth. This is the response to His sacrificial love. When the wife responds first to the Lord and then from the abundance of that relationship serves her husband, she is ready and able to meet her husband’s spoken and unspoken requests. As she responds to the Lord Christ, so she responds to her husband. In closing, I trust this scripture will lighten your heart, Proverbs 31:10 “An excellent wife, who can find? For her worth is far above jewels”. You are a Queen whose worth is more than jewels, so let’s get back to the business of serving our Kings to the glory of The Most High God!
Till next time, shalom and stay blessed.