As the year draws to an end, and I focus on improvements and adjustments to this blog, I will be re-posting the most viewed/commented on posts of the year. This is the first re-post of the week. I began working on this blog in December of 2011, and the first published post was in January 2012. Over the past year Joyfullysubmitted.com has had over 7,000 views, and has challenged and impacted the views of many women, while encouraging hearts to submit to the Lord and serve Him with all of our hearts. As we look forward to what the Lord has in 2013, enjoy these reposts. Look for new content and updates coming soon! Thank you for your support! It means a lot to me 😀 ~Selena
I woke up this morning thinking about what my life would be like if I had chosen to live it my own way. I don’t think I would be able to truly appreciate the joy that I have found in knowing that I can love God fully, but only because he first loved me, and gave himself for me (Galatians 2:19-21). Believing that he truly loves me is what enables me to trust him with my life daily, and to surrender to his plans, even when they differ from my own (Isaiah 55:8). In the same way, it is my husbands love for me that enables me to trust him with my heart daily, and submit (sometimes more humbly than others) to his God-given authority in our home. If you have read some of the other things on the blog, you know that this whole submission thing was not easy for me to do, but as much as I struggled against and resisted this often misunderstood and erroneously defined word, I could not continue to struggle against and resist God’s holy and inerrant Word (Ephesians 5:22, Colossians 3:18). As a young girl I would see or hear things said by my peers or family members that made it seem like our submission as women was dependent upon whether or not our husbands were “good”. This perspective caused some confusion for me, and actually was used to inwardly justify my resistance in obeying God in this area. If my husband made a mistake or disappointed me by being…human, then that was all the reason I needed not to submit. I mean, come on! He obviously needed to get everything right before God would expect me to do that, right? I shake my head in sadness as I remember my attitude towards Ukali at times…the pride…the arrogance of heart…all the while trying to do all the things that “good” wives were supposed to do. I didn’t understand then that I could be submitted on the surface, but live in active rebellion in my heart, but that is exactly what I was doing, and I did it for years. Some of the things I found myself thinking were definitely NOT submitted to Christ or committed to the success of my marriage. This had been the example set for me by so many who had impacted my life: women in church – in my family – it seemed like it was women everywhere. They may have made dinner for their husbands, or did the laundry with a smile, but the conversations when the men were not around presented another perspective. I frequently witnessed a lack of respect and honor demonstrated towards men, and I saw marriages end in divorce. And the men, the fathers, the husbands slowly over the years disappeared. So what do we do? What do we do when everything around us teaches us to hate or despise them? What do we do when some of us have been taught by the culture for generations to disrespect and dishonor men? What do we do when women are taught to despise the very things God created us to cherish, such a being a wife and a mother? What do we do we are taught to despise all things feminine, and so many of our men are raised and grow to display an extreme distaste for their own masculinity. How can this be remedied???? Well, to start with, become your husbands’ slave. That’s right…you heard me correctly! Willfully, voluntarily…joyfully…become his slave. I have learned, and am learning everyday, that in order to find genuine joy in submitting to God and my husband, I must humble myself, to God first, then to my husband, and even in other relationships. 1 Corinthians 6:9 tells us that, “Even though I am a free [wo]man with no master, I have become a slave to all people to bring many to Christ.” Whoa!!! All people? Does that include my husband? Is he a person? 😀 Then yes, that includes him. We are free to do what we choose, but as Christian women shouldn’t we choose to obey God? Shouldn’t we choose to respect our husbands? When speaking to the Phillipian believers’ Paul said it this way; “Is there any encouragement from belonging to Christ? Any comfort from his love? Any fellowship together in the Spirit? Are your hearts tender and compassionate? Then make me truly happy by agreeing wholeheartedly with each other, loving one another, and working together with one mind and purpose. Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too. You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had. Though he was God he did not think of equality with God as something to cling to. Instead, he gave up his divine privileges, he took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being. When he appeared in human form he humbled himself in obedience to God and died a criminal’s death on a cross.” (2:1-8) So, ask yourself, “are we greater than Christ?” He could submit to God, but we don’t have to? Would God expect his only Son to obey him in all things, but give us a pass on this one? Of course not! If Christ could put on flesh to save us, surely we can crucify our flesh, humble ourselves, choose not to look out for our own interests, in order to serve them.
Now does submitting mean that I cease to have a brain, and just live for his happiness and his needs? NO it doesn’t. John Piper said it best, “Submission is the divine calling of a wife to honor and affirm her husband’s leadership, and to help carry it through according to her gifts.” (We will talk about this more in an upcoming post) That definition gave me great comfort last week when I heard it. Understand that I am not Joyfully Submitted at all times, but that is the desire of my heart…I realize now to be joyfully submitted to my God and my man go hand in hand…But what if he wasn’t godly? What if he did not love me the way Christ loved the church…as difficult as it may be I would still have “a divine calling” to respect him and honor him as the head of our family (1 Corinthians 7:12-16). Not only would I be called to do this, but so would you. God knows our hearts and will reward us accordingly. Let’s pray earnestly that we would joyfully develop hearts to submit.
Praying for all of us,