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Monday, August 13, 2012

Submissive or Subversive? Part 2

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Don't forget your umbrella!

 "Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, 

as unto the Lord."

Ephesians 5:22

        As I pondered this verse I could picture in my mind a younger version of myself standing in the doorway of a store looking out on a crowded street as rain poured down from a sky that minutes before had been clear blue and full of sunshine.  The wiser people I see scurrying by have umbrellas, but I do not.  I hate getting my hair wet (especially if I've taken the time to make it look nice!) and I think to myself that it does not matter how ridiculous I look or how embarrassing it is, I am willing to do most anything to stay dry.  Being a quick thinker I decide to combine my purchases into one bag and streak across the parking lot like a crazy person with a plastic shopping bag tied around my head.  Was I able to salvage my hair style? Kind of.  Did I receive strange looks from others? Definitely.  Could I have prevented it? Yes!  If only I had remembered to bring my umbrella, underneath it I would have had all of the protection I needed!

        God has a safe haven of authority that He has designed for each of our lives and the Biblical mandate given in Ephesians 5:22 makes it very clear that wives are to submit themselves to their husbands in the Lord.  God's commands are just that, commands.  Not suggestions to ponder or things you might want to try to see if they work before you keep them.  A command is a command.  "No ifs, ands, or buts about it!"  So let's break it down and really digest what God wants us to do.

Submit basically means to yield your power to the authority of another.  Sometimes we believe, no...deceive ourselves into thinking that we ARE submissive because we have given up a little bit of our time and talents to do what God or our spouse desires but we have not fully yielded ourselves.  It is easy to submit when it is something I was already willing to do.  The true test of submission comes when what my authority chooses is is different from my own will and desire in that situation.  However, just as partial obedience is not obedience; partial submission is not submission.  It's all or nothing!

Submit to whom? To our own husbands.
Sometimes we are eager to please, obey, follow advice from, and respond kindly to other men whether it be in church, at school, at work or throughout our daily interactions.  We even pray for the Holy Spirit to guide our responses, but we fail to do so at home.  Submission must begin at home!  The submissive wife is under her husband's authority.  Why? Because that is the way God organized the home.  The subversive wife is always undermining her husband's authority.  How?  By speaking disrespectfully of him to others, by clinging to mom and dad's advice and wishes instead of "leaving and cleaving" as Genesis 2:24 commands, by assuming an "I'm in charge" of my own destiny attitude (which is actually a lie from the devil).

Submit how? As unto the Lord.
I love how verse 22 ends, because just as the fleshly side of you starts to puff up with pride and you are about to utter all of the 897 reasons why you cannot submit, or you are about to self righteously describe how you have tried and tried with that impossible man, it goes right to the heart of the matter.  God's chain of authority in our lives, starts with God Himself.  As a child of God, He is my ultimate authority.  As a child of my parents He placed me under their authority.  As a married woman, a transfer of authority took place from my father, to my husband.  God has the BEST plan, He knows the beginning from the end, and His design for marriage is perfect.  It is the sinful, fallen world that we live in that has warped and twisted what God intended for good into less than God's best.  If I am "walking in the light" of God's Word, and yielding the authority in my life to Him, and in turn to my husband, then I am seeking God's best, and He has promised to meet my every need.

Eye to Eye Q&A: As you hold up the mirror of God's Word to your life and you see yourself in God's eyes, what does the reflection hold?

1.  Fold a sheet of paper in half and list the times when submission is easy for you on one side and the times when it is not easy on the other side.  Pray over both sides, giving thanks to God for the good times, and begging for help to overcome selfish pride in the others.

2. Write a note to your husband thanking him for taking his God given responsibility to be the leader in the home.  Slip it somewhere he will notice it in an unexpected moment.  Then hide and wait for the surprised look on his face. Note: If he passes out from the shock, you have a lot of work to do! ;)

3.  Copy Ephesians 5:22 onto a note card and read it throughout the day asking God to show you ways that you can show a submissive spirit in your home.

1 comment:

  1. ***The true test of submission comes when what my authority chooses is different from my own will and desire in that situation. However, just as partial obedience is not obedience; partial submission is not submission. It's all or nothing!
    Thank you for a much-needed reminder. I am a VERY strong-willed person & this is VERY hard for me, BUT Philippians 4:13 gives me the strength to continue to strive for Ephesians 5:22