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The "S" Word: What I've Learned About Submission



 W
ives, submit yourselves to your husbands as to the Lord. For a husband has authority over his wife just as Christ has authority over the church; and Christ is himself the Savior of the church, his body.  And so wives must submit themselves completely to their husbands just as the church submits itself to Christ.  Ephesians 5:22-24

Our culture teaches us that submission is a word only suitable for dogs and children (sometimes it doesn't even apply to children).  It is subjugating terminology that revokes a woman of her identity and all that she has established by herself and for herself as a single woman.  It is seen as limiting and possessive and has no room in a society that boldly proclaims, with fists raised high in the air, GIRLS RUN THE WORLD!  I know who I am addressing so I know you know better, but there is still a struggle that even the most well-meaning Christian woman has to endure as she LEARNS to submit to her husband.

There is a line in the Ephesians passage above that says, For a husband has authority over his wife....At first glance, this seems to prove all of the above notions of female subjugation, but if you actually know the Lord, His Word and His heart towards His children; you would know that it is not what it looks like on the surface.  Just as leaders in the Church are not to lord their position over their brothers and sisters in the Lord; such is the same for husbands and wives.  I truly believe to have authority in this sense means to care for, watch for and guide.  Although God is the final authority in all matters, He has vested some of that authority (charge and responsibility) to the husband to care for their wives, watch out for their wives and guide their wives as Christ does the same with them.  They follow His example in caring for and protecting us.  If there is a problem within the family the husband is called on to answer (you see who God called on in the garden when Adam and Eve ate from the wrong tree).  Truth be told, I’d rather not be in that position with the Lord….

I am believing and praying for your husband's complete surrender to the Lord.  When the two of you say "I DO", he may not be fully equipped to properly exercise the authority God has given him as your husband.   He has the authority, he just might misappropriate it from time to time because his connection with the Lord isn't as strong....and it is not your job to show him how it is done.  Let me repeat...IT IS NOT YOUR JOB TO SHOW HIM HOW TO LEAD YOUR FAMILY.  It IS your job (as his wife and the more spiritual counterpart in the relationship) to be his helper, submit to Him and trust that through your prayers and the drawing of the Holy Spirit, He will be molded into a man after God's heart who can walk after the high calling of a Christian and a husband.  It is the Spirit's job to convict him, lead him and teach.  There might be some one off situations where God might speak through or use you to make that happen, but you should not assume it as your regular position.

As the more spiritual spouse (right now) in the relationship, you already have the power of the Holy Ghost working in you to teach you how to submit (to be cared for by, guided by and protected by) to your spouse.  There will be decisions your husband wants to make that you won't agree with.  I mean you will be vehemently opposed...LOL. TRUST ME!  In that moment, step back and think about the motive behind his decision.  If he truly loves you as he should (he will learn how to do that in a more excellent way and as he comes to understand and responds to the love the Father has for him), he will not deliberately make any decisions to hurt you.  However, in those times you may gently present your side in a non-manipulative manner and pray he makes the right choice for the family.  Keep in mind that some of his decisions might not be the right decisions, but you have to understand that this is for his growth and if you interfere he might not learn the lesson.  Most times husbands won't hear us out anyway, but they’ll usually learn from their mistakes if they have a little bit of sense.  Wish it weren't so, but that's how it is sometimes.

If you are confident that this is the man God would have you to marry, you can be even more confident that God will shape this relationship to His liking; assuming the two of you are submitting yourselves, ultimately, to His Lordship.  Watching your husband grow in the Lord, although it may be tough at times, is an amazing thing to watch as it unfolds.

Additional thoughts on submission:
Before you become a master at the submissive wife thing, it is highly likely that you will be broken into submission.  Hebrews 5:8 says Jesus learned obedience through suffering.  You just have to accept it for what it is and move on into growth.  Let’s just say I’ve done my fair share of suffering, but there have been results.

You may find that your ability to submit to your husband could very well be proportionate to how you ACTUALLY submit to the Lord.  Sometimes we THINK we are being obedient to the Lord, but if we really sat down and got real with ourselves, we would see that we had a little more submitting to Jesus to do before we can even think about submitting to a husband.  There was a time when I was so opposed to everything my husband wanted to do.  I had to ask myself why that was the case.  I got real with myself and realized I had some issues with the Lord that I did not take up with Him directly.  The enemy got a foothold and had me acting a fool.  May not be completely true for you, but something to watch for. 
 
Scripture Meditation
Ephesians 5:21-33
Colossians 3:18-20


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