Thursday, December 7, 2006

Me, submit?

Well, I told you I had to save this for a seperate post so here goes! Hang on to your hats cause it'll be a bumpy ride for some of you!

Here are just a few of the comments I have heard said about "submission":
"No man is going to tell me what to do!", "I am not subject to any man!", "He doesn't have the right to tell me what to do!". Well, these are women who have no idea what Biblical submission is all about. Again, we will go to God's Word to get the true meaning.
Eph; 5:21-22 "and be subject to one another in the fear of Christ. Wives, be subject to your own husbands, as to the Lord."
James 4:7 "Submit therefore to God."
Col. 3:18 "Wives, be subject to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord."

It can't be much clearer than that! If we are not submissive to our husbands we are disobedient to God's clear command and we know how miserable disobedience is. If you look at James 4:7 that is speaking to everyone, including your husband. So, the right order of authority is first God then your husband then you. This does not mean that you are of less value than your husband, yea an equal heir of grace. It means that you submit to his position as head over you. No, you are not a doormat! You simply recognize that God has placed him in a position of leadership. The same is true of an employer. Would you subvert your employer? No, you submit yourself to their leadership position with respect.

Let's go a little farther back to the Garden of Eden, Gen. 3:16, "Yet your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you." It is a natural inclination for us to desire to rule over our husbands but God has not placed us in the position of authority. That was reserved for man. Now, I understand that there are men who abuse their position and women are truly "subject" to them as a slave rather than an equal. That is true of anything; there are always those who abuse. Biblical submission, however, means that we submit to one another, yes we are equal heirs of grace, but we are to honor his position of leadership over us. When a decision needs to be made regarding family, work, church, etc. our husbands should consult us for our opinion and thoughts but he is to make the final decision. My husband and I may not always agree on a particular decision but he will always enlist my opinion. It is our husbands who are addressed in Scripture when it comes to discipline of children, leadership in the church, war, leadership in the home. That is because he is commanded to lead and we to follow.

That position is also a protective covering for us as women and wives. When God came to the garden after the fall, who was the first person He called for? It was Adam. He was asking Adam where he was when his wife was being tempted to sin. Why didn't he protect her? What was he doing? He was standing right there!!! Our husbands also protect us and sheild us from the devastating effects of sin by keeping us within the protective bounds of our homes, which is where God has called us to be. He knows that out there in the world lies the serpent all too willing to tempt us to go for what we don't have; success, career, designer clothes, fancy cars, fine homes, etc. My home is a safety net and where I find my fulfillment as a woman, wife and mother. My husband protects me from those outside influences. As he follows God's commands laid out in Scripture I happily follow his lead.

What if my husband does not lead? First, let's deal with the husband who is a believer but does not lead. You respectfully and lovingly ask him to lead. Take him to Scripture and read together what God has commanded of each of you. If he is truly a believer, then he must answer what God has commanded in his word. If he still will not lead, then you go to your church elders and ask for help. He must be held accountable by godly leaders. You don't just step in and do what he is supposed to do. You serve him in love, honor and respect. Serving by managing your home and caring for your family. This is service to your husband.

How do I submit to an unbeliever? You submit unless you are asked to do something that would clearly be sin according to Scripture. That is the only condition by which you can refuse to submit. You can honor and respect an unbeliever because of the Holy Spirit alive and working in you. This does not remove your husband as the head of your home. You are to serve him just like you would a believing husband. He will see in your life a difference that only comes from yeilding yourself to the work of the Holy Spirit.
1 Peter 3:1-4 In the same way, you wives, be submissive to your own husbands so that even if any of them are disobedient to the word, they may be won without a word by the behavior of their wives, as they observe your chaste and respectful behavior.
Your adornment must not be merely external--braiding the hair, and wearing gold jewelry, or putting on dresses; but let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God. For in this way in former times the holy women also, who hoped in God, used to adorn themselves, being submissive to their own husbands;

Do you see the importance of living out your faith before him? You don't know if he is chosen of God or not so you must live the Gospel before him. That means submitting to his leadership. If he makes poor decisions, then, yes, the consequences will most likely fall upon the whole family, however, God has promised to meet your needs and your family will also receive the same blessings you do because you are a believer.
So, take heart my friend, submission is a beautiful thing when done to the glory of God. That is the end of everything, to honor God with our lives and be obedient. That's what He requires and His Spirit enables us to perform that which He has called us to.

I welcome your comments on this subject that has been greatly misunderstood.

For Christ and His Kingdom,