Submission: it's that one word we hate, yet desire to understand. I mean, say the word "submission" in a crowd of women, and you've begun a very intense conversation. Why is this? Well, I suggest it's because we've been fed conflicting information on the word and how it applies to our lives and relationship with Christ.
What does biblical submission mean and should it still apply in our feminist culture? Is it absolute in the 21st century? It is really required by God for a loving and prosperous marriage?
I'm no longer a bride, but my 4 years of marriage certainly doesn't make me an expert in marriage or even love for that matter. But I am learning, like all of us, with each day and each step, that God's way is best and if He instructs us to do something, it's for our good...always!
It's clear to me that most of the resistance to the idea of submission comes from misconceptions and misunderstandings of its meaning, purpose and power.
And yes, I said power.
Jesus said," Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be last" (Matthew 20:26).
Basically, what He's saying is that the "lesser" place is purposed for the greatest persons. Now, hear me out, I'm not saying that as women or as wives we are lesser. I'm also not saying that as wives we are greater, either. What I'm saying is that Great Love bows down. Great love serves. Just as Christ washed feet, slept on the floor and let people beat him to death... he asks us to serve our men, not because we have to, but because we love to.
There is power in loving greatly. There is influence in serving, intentionally. There is favor in obedience.
So let's look at how our submission to our husbands, and to God, will position us to be on top! (Literally and figuratively)
Submission is not a word of inferiority.
Whether a man or a woman, we are all made in God's image. And, in my mother's opinion, God saved the woman for last, because He was most excited about us! That's why He put Adam to sleep, so that there would be no interruptions! lol
Scripture affirms that God was pleased with all of His creation, but that human beings were His divine inspiration. Men and women have equal worth and equal access to God, through salvation in Jesus and through prayer. We are equally loved by Christ and we are equal in receiving His blessings. Because of this, the command to submit to our husbands isn't for our husband's sake alone, it's to reflect to the world how God, the highest authority of all, chose to submit Himself in an earthly body for our wellbeing and salvation. Talk about powerful!
Submission doesn’t make wives subjects.
Submission simply to produce unity through agreement for the benefit of all involved. When we submit to our husbands, as unto the Lord, we are walking in agreement with God's Word and unity with our husbands. As a mother, you want your children to submit to you- you want them to listen, to respect you as their mother and to honor you with their decisions and actions. This is not making them your subjects or your slaves, it's keeping them safe, healthy and loved. This is the same scenario between a husband and wife. Husbands have been entrusted with authority by God, and with authority comes responsibility. They will one day answer to God, face to face, for exercising humble, sacrificial, love over you, as unto the Lord.Christ never manipulates us, abuses us or mistreats us. A man who is following Christ will not do such things to his wife and a wife who is following Christ will not do such things to her children. A man is called to submit to Christ and a woman is called to submit to her husband, not because he is smarter or better, but because she desires to align her live in agreement with Jesus and experience His power and presence in her family and within herself.
Submission doesn’t minimize a wife into mindlessness.
Although they were not believers, I think about Claudia- Pontious Pilates wife. She had a dream about Jesus and insisted that her husband not make the final decision to execute him. She was influential in the salvation story, because her position as a wife effected her husband, one of the greatest men in the world at that time, to listen and take notice of Jesus.
Our submission to our husbands doesn’t eliminate our voice our questioning or our influence. In fact, it's a loving and submissive wife that holds power in her husbands heart. A man knows he can trust a woman who loves him. When we are focused on cultivating harmony in our homes, through respect and love, our men are more likely to hear us out. A wife who submits is living out her obedience to God and as God's presence surrounds her, her husband will take notice of what she does and what she has to say. A man of God will desire to support a woman who is filled with God. Wives possess valid opinions and the right to express them in a loving and positive way. As your husband’s helper, it is your duty to cover him in prayer and as you do so, the Lord will begin to reveal things to you on your husband's behave. It is then your responsibility to bring such revelations to his attention, just like Claudia did. This type of influence is powerful and dynamic!
Submission is not blind.
Although our position as wives is to love our husbands, our ultimate allegiance and loyalty is to Christ. Being submissive doesn't mean doing whatever is told to us. We aren't dogs. We are women and we have the right to disagree, if need be. If your husband abuses his God-given authority and asks you to behave contrary to the Word and will of God, you must obey God. Period.
Our husbands are our gift from God, but they are not God. They are human beings and they are not always right. In times such as these, it is critical that you take these concerns to Jesus. Pray. Seek Christ to show you how to obey him while still respecting and honoring your husband.
We all fall. Even our husbands and although it can be disappointing, they need our lights to shine so that they can find their way back to God. In times of disagreement, we don't have to be disrespectful. Share your concerns with your man and use scripture as a foundation for your feelings on matters that the two of you may not be in agreement with. A man who desires to please God will not ignore your concerns. He will admire your light and he will take notice.
There are times when Jarrett does something I don't agree with. I tell him, "Jarrett, I love you, but I'm going to tell Jesus what you just did." He just looks at me. Unsure what to say. I learned this from watching my mother, who often says this to my father during moments of disagreements. I've learned so much from them about how to operate in submission to Christ and to each other. Listen, as wives, we have power- not of ourselves, but from Christ! We have the privilege to got to God in prayer over everything- our families, our finances, our husbands and our own hearts.
Submission is our gift to be influential women. Christ entrusted you to be a woman and a wife, because He knows you can handle such responsibility and because His ultimate goal, in all areas of our lives, is to bless us. Our obedience welcomes in His blessings and His presence produces power! Remember, everything we do we must do to the glory of God.... even in submission.
Love greatly and serve with your whole heart!
Do you know a woman who needs to be empowered and encouraged today?
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