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From The Heart

Publish date: 12/11/2011

Wives, be subject (be submissive and adapt yourselves) to your own husbands as [a service] to the Lord.  Ephesians 5:22 AMP

Wives, be subject to your husbands [subordinate and adapt yourselves to them], as is right and fitting and your proper duty in the Lord. 
Colossians 3:18 AMP

In like manner, you married women, be submissive to your own husbands [subordinate yourselves as being secondary to and dependent on them, and adapt yourselves to them], so that even if any do not obey the Word [of God], they may be won over not by discussion but by the [godly] lives of their wives, 2 When they observe the pure and modest way in which you conduct yourselves, together with your reverence [for your husband; you are to feel for him all that reverence includes: to respect, defer to, revere him — to honor, esteem, appreciate, prize, and, in the human sense, to adore him, that is, to admire, praise, be devoted to, deeply love, and enjoy your husband]. 3 Let not yours be the [merely] external adorning with [elaborate] interweaving and knotting of the hair, the wearing of jewelry, or changes of clothes; 4 But let it be the inward adorning and beauty of the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible and unfading charm of a gentle and peaceful spirit, which [is not anxious or wrought up, but] is very precious in the sight of God. 5 For it was thus that the pious women of old who hoped in God were [accustomed] to beautify themselves and were submissive to their husbands [adapting themselves to them as themselves secondary and dependent upon them]. 6 It was thus that Sarah obeyed Abraham [following his guidance and acknowledging his headship over her by] calling him lord (master, leader, authority). And you are now her true daughters if you do right and let nothing terrify you [not giving way to hysterical fears or letting anxieties unnerve you].  
1 Peter 3:1-6 AMP

Let’s talk about the word submission. Many modern women rebel against the term and refuse to even entertain the idea of submitting to their husbands. In fact, many modern marriages are the reverse of the biblical model – the wife runs the family and the husband spends his life trying to keep her appeased so she doesn’t make his life miserable. On the other hand, there are some husbands who do not love their wives like Christ loves the Church and who keep their wives in bondage to their manipulation and control. They think that submission means servitude, but they are mistaken. God loves women. The Lord does not give a man the liberty to treat his wife badly or disrespectfully. In fact, the Lord rebukes husbands for treating their wives badly and He also tells them that their prayers aren’t answered when they are rough and harsh with their wives. God does not support a man who does not show his wife love, kindness and respect.

A woman has a huge impact and influence over her family – over her husband and over her children. Her attitude can make or break her family. If she chooses God’s way, then she will “build her house” and her family will be greatly blessed, but if she is going to go with worldly, ungodly advice and counsel, then she will “tear her house down with her own hands”. Submission to your husband is not a burden or a bondage – it is a privilege – it is an act of faith. Women are gifted to be team players and that is vital when it comes to family. You are the best team your husband will ever have! God gives a woman the ability to adapt – to adapt to her husband and to adapt to any new stage of her life – like children etc. This is a great gift!

Submission is functional, relational, reciprocal, and universal.

Submission is functional:
It is a distinguishing of our roles and the work we are called to do. Men are men and women are women. We are different from each other physically, mentally and emotionally. We have different abilities and strengths that fit us for our own specific roles. We function differently, because we are hard-wired and fitted differently by God. God created and equipped men to lead and women to adapt and support. Instead of trying to be something we are not, we need to be the best that we can be within our own capabilities. We need to be at peace with who we are and what we can do. We need to accept our role as God-given and enjoy the process.

Submission is relational:
It is a loving acknowledgment of another’s value as a person. We submit to each other out of relationship – out of mutual love, caring and respect. We submit to our husband, because of our love and respect for him. We choose to not behave in a selfish way – we don’t put our needs and interests above the needs and interests of our husband, our family members, our friends or even our Christian “neighbors”. We are not obligated to submit to an unbeliever, but we the Lord does expect us to love them and show them grace like He loves them and is gracious toward them.

Submission is reciprocal:
It is a mutual, humble cooperation with one another. The reason there is not a lot more accomplished by the body of Christ, is lack of unity. Everyone is doing their own thing. It takes mutual cooperation to bring about unity in the Body of Christ and it takes humility to be able to cooperate with others. It takes mutual cooperation to make a marriage work. It takes mutual cooperation to grow and build a successful family. Only as we humble ourselves – as individuals and as a group – and respect others, will we see true unity come.

Submission is universal:
It is an acknowledgment by the church of the all-encompassing lordship of Jesus Christ. We respect Jesus Christ as our Lord and Master. That means that we take direction from Him – not He from us. Many people like to order God around like He is their servant. However, He is the Master – we are His servants. Because we respect Him as Lord, we submit ourselves to Him and His word. His word requires that we imitate Him and be like Him. He told us that if we want to be the greatest, then we must be a servant of all. Because we love and respect Jesus, we obey Him; because we love and respect Jesus, we submit ourselves to one another. We submit to our husband because we are commanded to by our Lord. He made us and He knows what we need and because He knows what qualities will make our marriage a success.

Submission is voluntarily cooperating with your husband, or with anyone, out of love and respect for God first – and then secondly, out of love and respect for that person.