“Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, His body, and is Himself its Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands. Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that He might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, because we are members of His body. Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh. This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church. However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.” Ephesians 5:22-33
What do you suppose happens to our society and our culture with the breakdown of the marriage relationship? Some of us might think nothing and move right along, assuming that there is no correlation. I would beg to differ with you today as I make this plea to every one reading this today:
Submission is not a dirty word; it’s a godly one.
I can’t held but be reminded of the fact that every boundary given to us in God’s Word, every instruction, and every command all come from our Heavenly Father’s heart of love for us. God would never ask us to do something that wasn’t first for His glory, and second for our good. His instruction for us here in Ephesians 5 is no different. It’s a hard obedience, no doubt, but it is always a good one, and it is for our protection. When God instructs us to do or not to do something, His intention is for us to stay within His boundaries so that we can avoid the pain that will inevitably come if we were to wander outside of His safe pasture. Submission is one of those boundaries. Look with me into our text today, and see for yourself.
Think about it. Not only are we given the command in Scripture to submit to our husbands (Single ladies, I suppose you’re off the hook for now. I assure you, however, that the principle of submission still applies to other forms of authority in your life.), but in doing so, we are precisely following the example of Jesus Christ as He submitted Himself to the Father in all things. This is a critical part of our sanctification, the life-long process of you and I becoming more like Jesus. This isn’t some made up form of oppression for women; rather, it is one of many ways that we as Christian women can exemplify our Savior.
Think about it. The world throws around this word as if it’s profanity, assuming it to be something that it’s not, regarding it as nothing more than old-fashioned and outdated. Let me ask you one question. Does God’s eternal Word ever become outdated or irrelevant? Allow me to remind you of 2 Timothy 3:16, that not only tells us that every word of Scripture was breathed out by God Himself, but in addition to that, every word is USEFUL for “teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness.” The truth of the matter is, many of us have grown tired and weary of God’s Word serving as a form of rebuke or correction in our lives. We don’t want to be told to change or that we are out of line. Perhaps, you and I need that gentle reminder today.
Think about it. Submission is not a dirty word, not in its Biblical context anyway. The word submit, as used in Scripture, means to willingly place yourself under another’s authority. Notice how this is executed by the one who is submitting, not by the one to whom submission is given. This is a willful thing. It’s an obedience issue. We choose to do this, and in so doing, we become more like Christ. Our only trump card in this is when it comes to sin. Christ is our final authority on ALL things, and that will never be up for debate. He would never require us to sin in our submission, but He most certainly might require us to sacrifice our own will in it. Do you see the difference? If your husband is requiring you to sin in your submission to him, please know that is not Biblical submission. It’s sin. However, Scripture is also very clear on this. We are to submit while our husbands are required to love us, and not just a soft, red and pink hearts, cupid’s arrow, Valentines Day kind of fleeting love. He is to love you as Christ loved the church. And how did Christ love the church? He died on a cross for her, that’s how. He gave up His very life for her. THAT is how the husband is to love the wife. Still, before anyone of us decides to jump off the ship of submission, notice also that we aren’t given a free pass out of submission if our husbands fail to love us. Submission is our obedience to Christ. Remember that.
Think about it. Both are high callings. Both are difficult. Both can only be done in obedience to Christ first and through His strength. Our motivation for submission must come from a reverence and love for Jesus. Is the call to submission even on your radar? Or have you adamantly opposed submission because of who your husband is not? We would do ourselves a huge favor in throwing out the world’s wisdom on this issue with the rest of our trash and in exchange, glean from the wisdom of God’s Word, which is infallible, constant, and never changes. Get a grip on truth today, friends. Submission is not a dirty word. It’s a biblical word, and it’s for our good.