Hey y'all! Thanks for joining me for our July Bible Study on Godly submission! I'm so excited about this! I did this study a few years ago and learned so much from it, I'm super excited to go through it again with you!
Submission is a word that holds many definitions among the world. Offensive, not acceptable, inferior, controlling and not politically correct are among the few. But yet, It's something we, as Christian wives, are called to do.
First, let me share my story...
As a woman who spent her entire life striving to be viewed as strong and independent, the thought of being submissive to anyone, let alone my husband, scared me to death. And I have to say, at first it made me angry. So angry that I completely rebelled against it and refused it. Yep, I was a child rebelling against what my Father had not only told, but commanded me to do.
Are you serious Jesus? Um, hello...I’m Amy...the girl that took the words "honor and obey" out of her vows for a reason! And now you want me to be submissive to my husband? Seriously? (On a quick side note, completely embarrassed and mortified that I actually took that out of my vows. What in the world was my 20 year old mind thinking?)
And He answered loud and clear..."YEP"
Wow, okay...deep breaths, I can do this...
Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.
Ephesians 5:22-24 22
Definition of submission: The word SUBMIT, according to Strong’s Lexicon is the Greek word hupotaso which was originally a Greek military term meaning “to arrange troop divisions under the command of a leader”. In non-military use, it was “a voluntary attitude of giving in, of cooperating, of sharing a burden. In other words, when the word submit is used in the Bible, it refers not only to a yielding and obedient attitude of the heart, but also, and equally importantly, to an attitude of co-operation and support. Without co-operation and support, things just don’t work the way they should.
What is submission? Submission is the acceptance of God’s order for our lives. As wives, we are to submit to Christ and submit to our husbands. Submission by a wife is to be voluntary. It’s part of our obedience to the Lord. There aren't conditions to this submission either. We are called to submit to our husbands, even if we feel they don't deserve it. We are to trust in their leadership, even if we don't agree with it and submit to them even if we feel they aren't meeting their roles.
Christian marriage is intended to be a picture of the relationship between Christ and His church. Let me say that again, because it blew my mind when I first learned it. Our marriage was designed specifically to mirror our relationship between Christ and His church. We are acting out a living parable where husbands represent Christ and wives represent the church to bring glory to God and to help our children and others around us grasp what God is like in a more concrete way. Does that change the way you look at marriage? It sure did with me. God intended marriage to mirror His relationship with the church so that we could basically be a testimony to others and SHOW them what God is like.
A marriage with Godly submission should be a faithful, intimate and loving relationship. Boy, doesn't that sound like a far cry from what the world tells us submission is?
So it turns out submission isn't a sign of weakness, like this silly girl thought all along, it's a sign of respect! And of course I want to honor and respect my husband, I love him.
What submission is not: Submission is not abusive. God does not want women to be submissive to abusers. As wives, we have to be confident of our husband’s goodwill. Remember, the command to wives to submit to their husbands is followed by the command to husbands to love their wives as Christ loved the church and gave his life for her (Ephesians 5:25). In cases of abuse, there is a mighty need for an intervention and Godly counsel. If you are in an abusive relationship, I would urge you to reach out tofocus ministries. It’s a Biblical based non-profit organization that offers counseling by phone, email, or in person. They want you to know you aren't alone and you are oh so valuable to God!!!
Submission also shouldn't be used for leverage. Submission absolutely comes with no strings attached. It is a heart desire to please God and do what is best for your family. I mean really, what wife doesn't want to live in peace? Don’t we all desire that? There is such an inner peace that comes from living in harmony with our husbands while obeying God.
As women, we are quite good at knowing how to manipulate our husbands to get them to do what we want. Oh come on girls, we all know we've done it at one time or another. That is definitely not submission. And it's something we should never, ever do.
Chuck Swindoll said this about submission:
Webster says that manipulation means “to control or play upon by unfair or insidious means, especially to one’s own advantage or to serve one’s own purpose.” In other words, secret manipulation is an unfair, insidious technique that results in getting what one wants. When handled cleverly, a wife can substitute secret manipulation for a quiet, submissive spirit.
Why is submission so hard?
And why is this so hard for me? It’s from a lack of surrender. Because I am, by nature, a controller. That controlling nature is nothing more than pride and sin bubbling to the surface. And the thoughts of not having control over a situation scares-me-to-death. But I believe God’s advice and His will to be the best for my life. Even if I don’t fully understand it, I trust Him. With that being said, I somehow had to figure it out because I don't want to live my life is disobedience. So I asked God to teach me what it means.
Often we wives are afraid of losing control (and by "we wives" I really mean this wife right here) and WE get in the way of creating the marriages we ache for. You know, the one where we have a strong, confident, Godly man, who loves us like Christ loves the church. I know this girl certainly wants that type of marriage.
So this week, be an asset to your husband and try your best to learn what submission looks like in a Godly marriage. Don’t forget to stop back next Friday as we take a look at the beauty of submission. Remember, keep your eyes on Him!
Labels: bible study, marriage, submission