When you mention the "s word" to the world, they are quick to voice their opinion. Why are you so stupid? You're equal to men, not beneath them. Women like you make us look weak. You should be expressing your opinion, not silencing it. You should be calling the shots, not letting him lead. Your marriage should be 50/50, that's only fair. Don’t be a doormat.
But ultimately, what matters is your following Gods word. Not the world's opinion.
So, let's travel back to the beginning of the Bible and read a few key verses that directly tie in to submission.
I think we all agree that God created Adam first. Then God made a decision, that we see revealed in Genesis 2:18
And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.
As you can clearly see, it doesn't say I’m going to make man someone to rule over him, someone to sass at him or someone to disrespect his every decision. It says "make him a help meet". So, what exactly is a help meet? It carries the meaning of aid, succor, one who helps. Hebrew scholar Robert Alter has spent years translating the book of Genesis. He translates it “sustainer beside him”. When God creates Eve, he calls her an ezer kenegdo. The word ezer is used only twenty other places in the entire Old Testament. And in every other instance the person being described is God himself, when you need Him to come through for you desperately. Most of the contexts are life and death, by the way, and God is your only hope. Your ezer. Kenegdo means alongside, or opposite to, a counterpart.
Boy, that sure sounds different than what the world would define "help meet" as, doesn't it?
God created woman from man’s rib, brought her to the man and they became husband and wife. In Genesis 2:17, before Eve existed, God has given Adam some instruction.
But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.
And what do we see Eve do next?
And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.
Oh, Eve. Why? Then she gave it to Adam, and he took a bite too. Yikes. So we see clearly that Eve took the first bite then gave it to Adam. So she sinned first, right? But in Romans 5:12 we see that "sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin". But, how did sin first enter the world through one man, when the woman was the first to sin?
What we see is the first picture of headship. Adam was who God gave the instruction to. Adam was responsible for his and Eve's sin. I’m going to tell y'all, if I was Adam I would have been a little irked at Eve.
So did Eve get off scott free? Aahhhhhh, not so much. When we look at Genesis 3:16 we see God deal directly with the woman's sin.
I will make your pains in childbearing very severe; with painful labor you will give birth to children. Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you.
So you know all that pain during labor? Yep, thank-you-very-much-Eve.
The second part of the verse basically means you will want to rule over your husband but you won't be able to. Why? Because God's design for man was to be the head of the household.
And that, sweet ladies, is where marital strife was born.
We read it, roll our eyes, and say "oh no you didn't, not this woman, this girl is not about to submit". And we go on about our marriage. Having bouts of contention here and there. Years go by, the contention gets worse, and now we are irritated. Why can't this marriage thing just be easy? Basically because there is a battle for leadership happening. Remember that sassy girl that said "oh no way" and had to honor and obey removed from her vows? Well she obviously wants HER opinion to he heard and HER ways followed. I mean, isn't she entitled to that?
And I’m fairly sure most men don't want their wives to rule over them ladies. Just sayin'.
And here is when we come right back to Ephesians 5. That is the only way to end this battle. Let’s look at all the verses.
21 Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. 22 Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. 23 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. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything. 25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 26 to make her holy,cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, 27 and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. 28 In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church— 30 for we are members of his body. 31 “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” 32 This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. 33 However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.
And when you live an Ephesians life, your marriage will look different to the world. That sure doesn't mean it's wrong. I think there is a pivotal point when we need to decide who we want our marriage to glorify, the world or God.
The key is that when you are in an intimate relationship with Christ - when you have fully surrendered yourself to Him and desire Him and find your life in Him alone - then obedience to God's commands is a joy and delight. And yes, even submission can be a joy. When you are convicted to obey Him, His words will bring joy, peace, contentment, fulfillment and freedom for you! And in turn, your life will bring glory to God. Isn’t that what it's all about?
So this week, sit down with your husband and read over Ephesians. Talk about your marriage, your roles and who your marriage is glorifying. And go on a date, just because I love reconnecting with my love! Don’t forget to stop back next Friday as we take a look at the husband’s role in submission. Remember, keep your eyes on Him!
Labels: bible study, marriage, submission