If your home seems like a monster is living there, or if there is more strife than there is unity, it may be missing an important element that, when added, allows for peace.
Our physical world declares that God is a God of order. We see it in creation, through the seasons, in how he sustains the universe. We see His order in His Word as we see how He fulfilled his plan for salvation.
We also see His order when we look at the family. When God put Adam and Eve together, he intended for Adam to lead and for Eve to follow. After sin, the struggle to submit to Adam was real. The struggle for Adam to lead was difficult. Without us following God’s pattern of order in the family, we will only wrestle and have confusion in our home. It will be the antithesis of peace!
As we review the next chapter in Elizabeth George’s book, A Woman After God’s Own Heart, we get to talk about the joy of submission. Yes, you read that right, it can be a joy to submit!
Let’s just start with a definition – what does it mean to submit? It’s a military term.
Submit – to rank oneself under someone else.
We live this out by being in subjection. We yield the authority to someone else. Who is that someone else in the home? It is the husband.
Recently a husband and a wife I know had a huge decision to make. They both prayed about it and then they discussed it as a couple. She shared her heart and he shared his. After their discussion she said, “I’m so thankful that this decision is up to you!”
There have been many times in my own marriage that I’ve realized the weighty responsibility that is on my husband to make choices in God’s will. That’s a huge load! When you and I think about the previous lesson about our purpose in marriage, which is to help our husband, we realize that we can help him by encouraging him to be the leader of our home. We help by sharing our heart in a loving manner and then praying that God will help him to make the right decision.
We help him by even supporting him when he makes a decision we might disagree with. We help him by keeping a humble spirit even if, in the end, we were right and he was wrong.
Submission is God’s plan not just for the family, it is God’s desire for each of us to honor and submit ourselves to one other in God’s family. Ephesians 5:21 says, Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God. A submissive heart is what God wants for His people, His church and His women. In order for a church to reflect the Gospel, God said that the head of every man is Christ and the head of the woman is man and the head of Christ. 1 Corinthians 11:3
A wife can lovingly share her input, but in the end, it is up to the husband to make the decision. He is the one that is finally responsible. He’s accountable to God for his leadership, and you and I are accountable to God for the way that we submit and follow him.
Submission has to be a wife’s choice. No one can force another person to submit. Have you ever tried to make a two year old submit to you? We all know they have to make the decision to give in.
Elizabeth shared a great example in her book about four women who gathered together to have a time in the Bible. Listen to their testimony!
Four women gathered for Bible study and read 1 Corinthians 11:3 about the headship of the husband in a marriage, “The head of every man is Christ, the head of woman is man, and the head of Christ is God” After they read, one of the women said, “Does Paul have anything else to say about submission and headship?
Then they read Colossians 3 18, Wives submit yourself to your own husband as it is fit in the Lord,
Ephesians 5:22 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands as unto the Lord, and 1Timothy 2:10 But which become with women professing godliness with good works, let the woman learn in silence with all subjection.
These four women looked at each other and asked, “Well ladies, what are we to do?” They each knew they were currently the head of their home. One of the women said, “We have got to do it. We must submit.”
Less than one year later, with amazement and delight, they were each telling one another and other women what had happened. All four of these husbands had quietly taken over, and without exception, each wife said that their marriage had come to a new depth of happiness and joy they had never had before. A rightness. The four wives realized this truth…
Their husbands would never have demanded and could never have demanded the headship, it could only be a free gift from the wife to her husband.
I had a woman say to me one time, “It wouldn’t be so hard to submit if he would just agree with me!” If our husband always agreed with us, there would be no need for submission! It’s easy if our husband disagrees with us to go and look for someone else to validate what we want to do or what our opinion is. If a friend or a church leader or a pastor agrees with us, but our husband is opposing, which of those people are we told to obey? Only her husband. Wives submit yourselves to your own husbands.
You might ask: What if your husband isn’t walking with God? Should I submit to him? What if he isn’t a Christian? Peter said “Wives, be submissive to your own husband that even if they do not obey the word they without the word may be won by the conduct of their wife.”
In other words, when we submit to our husbands, whether or not he’s a Christian, or whether or not he’s obeying God, our obedience preaches a powerful sermon that our words never could! The only exception here is if your husband is asking you to do something illegal or immoral. At that time you need to get counsel from a trusted Pastor or Bible counselor.
The end of Ephesians 5:22 reminds us how we can submit when it’s difficult to do so. We are to submit as unto the Lord! When we look at our husband we need to see Christ standing before us. Colossians 3:23 reminds us that whatever we do, we are to do it heartily as unto the Lord and not unto man.
Where can we draw the line in this submitting thing? How many areas are there where I need to submit? God’s word is pretty clear it says… In everything. Again, it doesn’t include sin or anything illegal, but in matters regarding the discipline of your children or your budget,or whether or not you take that promotion at your job, listen, pray and then submit. Blessing does not come before obedience. Submit to the Lord and watch Him give you joy and bring PEACE to your home.
Look into Christ’s wonderful face and then submit to your husband as unto the Lord.