submission in marriage
“I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people. Ask God to help them; intercede on their behalf, and give thanks for them. Pray this way for kings and all who are in authority so that we can live peaceful and quiet lives marked by godliness and dignity. “1 TImothy 2:1-2
And further, submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. For wives, this means submit to your husbands as to the Lord. For a husband is the head of his wife as Christ is the head of the church. He is the Savior of his body, the church. As the church submits to Christ, so you wives should submit to your husbands in everything.” Ephesians 5:21-24
As I prepare my heart to wind down the week of sharing my story with all of you, I wanted to shift focus a little early… These verses struck me this morning (like all of God’s word does :D) and I thought to myself (again) how much of God’s word we seem to compartmentalize, or ignore if we do not agree with it. There’s so much of it that we do read and that we choose to apply to every relationship we are engaged in except for our marital one. With this in mind, take some time to sit quietly and look over the image below…ask yourself the questions that follow…and be very honest with your answers. I believe they will help you to see what’s really in your heart.
1. When you pray, do you pray for your husband? Do you ask God to help him…do you intercede on his behalf, and give thanks for him. and for your marriage, not because you always want to but because God’s Word tells you to?
2. Do you view your husband as someone with God-given authority over you, as Ephesians 5 tells us, and do you pray for him as one who is in authority so that you can live a peaceful and quiet life marked by godliness and dignity? Or do you find yoursel withholding your prayers because you view yourself as one who has authority over him?
3.Think about the relationships you have with people who you work, exercise and attend church with. Are you more respectful towards the men in these circles than you are towards your own husband? Why do you think that is?
4. Now, think of other men that you interact with on a regular/semi-regular basis. When you think of them in comparison to your husband, are your thoughts towards them more favorable? Does your husband pale in comparison to these other men? Do they appear to be more….than he is? Keeping in mind that you don’t live with them, what is it that you think they’ve done that deserves your admiration and appreciation more than your husband does?
5. Are there things that your husband has done, or hasn’t done, that you have not yet forgiven him for? How do you think that unforgiveness impacts the way you respond to him or what you think about him, or what you think about him in your heart?
6. Have the tenderness and the displays of affection towards your husband diminished in their passion, intensity and frequency over the years? Why do you think that is?
7. Do you have emotional needs that you expect your husband to meet that he has not met?
8. Did you have an idea or a dream of what your marriage would be like and are disappointed at what it actually is?
9. Do you struggle submitting to your husband?
10. Do you struggle submitting to God?
Whew! Those questions have the potential to be life-changing if you let them. Take some time to look up the verses in the picture above, and when you pray, begin to read those verses as part of the time you spend with the Lord. Romans 12:2 says, “Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.” Did you hear that??? God can change you into a new person by CHANGING THE WAY YOU THINK!!!! Now, I know that some don’t think they have any problems and all of the issues in their marriage are their spouses fault, but God knows the truth. Then there are others of us who know that we are negatively impacting our marriages and desire to submit to God and allow Him to give us direction. He will do just that!! When he changes the way you think, you will be able to learn his will for you, and you will have no questions about what’s good, and pleasing and perfect 😀
Alright! I’m going to say goodnight and actually get some sleep. When I get up, I am going to spend some time with the Lord in prayer, and looking up those verses in his Word. I truly hope you join me! Let’s submit our hearts together, and finally experience a marriage BETTER than the ones we dreamed of!
Early in our marriage I had an eye-opening, heart changing experience that I want to share with you. We had guests over for dinner, and although I can’t remember the details of our conversation, there is one part of it that I will never forget. That would be when the young man in response to something said, replied, “That’s OK, because we all know who wears the pants in this family.” ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ And my heart dropped, because I knew immediately that he was not talking about my husband! I desperately searched to discover what had I done…what was I doing… that would cause other men to look at my husband as less than a man of honor? Now, I understand that we live in a day and time where to hear that said is a compliment to some women… but I wasn’t one of them. Those words sliced right through me!!!! They cut through my strong personality, quick-witted, take charge exterior…and they broke my heart! What was so bad about those words? Why would they cause me so much distress? Very simply, I was devastated to hear those words, not just because of wat they said about me, but because of what they depicted about him…my love…my sweetie…
As terrible as it was to hear that, it was one of the best things that could have happened (Isn’t God amazing?!?!?! He knows EVERYTHING!) Those words, spoken very casually as if that was normal and acceptable, were the beginning of an end for me. Let me explain…
While most women don’t view being perceived as a non-submissive wife to be a bad ting, I believe that would change drastically if we looked at the word very intently…which I did…and I DID NOT like what I saw at all. Let’s take a journey through a brief word study, shall we? The words below are all words that can be accurately used to describe a wife or a woman who submits to Gods authority (for the single woman), and the authority of her husband.
The definition of Submission;
to submit – the action or fact of accepting or yielding to a superior force or to the will or authority of another person
• archaic humility;
submission to authority
yielding (relinquish, bequeath, give up te struggle)
Bequeath (pass down or on to, entrust to)
docility (Latin dociles, from docere meaning to ‘teach’, apt or willing to learn)
Now, these are not words that we are particularly fond of. Their imagery is one of weakness, and who wants to be viewed as weak? But as much as we may not like these words, I have a feeling we will be dismayed at the next list. While the words above are all used to define or explain submission, the next group of words is used to define a lack of submission. We will focus on just a couple of words from above (the ones in bold) looking at antonyms 😀
to submit; yielding (relinquish, bequeath, give up te struggle), Bequeath (pass down or on to, entrust to),
docility (Latin dociles, from docere meaning to ‘teach’, apt or willing to learn)
The following words can accurately be used to describe a woman/a wife who refuses/resists submitting to God and her husband;
out of control
Whoa!!! That’s a lot of strong, descriptive words!!! Now lets pick a couple from both lists and compare.
A woman who submits to her husband’s authority as instructed to by God’s Word (1 Peter 3:1-2) is viewed as meek (quiet and gentle), compliant, docile (apt or willing to learn), and subservient. On the contrary, a woman who refuses to, or is resistant to the very idea of submitting, she is unfavorably viewed as recalcitrant, uncooperative, intractable, obstreperous, truculent, insubordinate, defiant, rebellious, willful, wayward, headstrong, self-willed, contrary, perverse, difficult. Now, you tell me what Christ loving woman wants to be seen as any of the above words?
So, when my heart should have been set on honoring God, and my husband and demonstrating a willingness to submit to both, my heart had actually been trained to pose as a good wife but silently resist and defy authority. While my husband thought he was marrying a gentle, quiet young woman, and a wife who was willing to learn, he had actually married a woman who was unruly, unmanageable, disorderly, undisciplined, uncontrollable, rowdy, disruptive, mutinous, riotous, out of control, turbulent….and she didn’t even know it! But other people could see it, which was why that heart slicing observational comment was made about me wearing the pants in the family…
Praise god my story doesn’t end there!!!! And neither does yours!!! While there is no honor for an unruly woman, God’s word says there is praise and honor for the virtuous one! Do not fear…The God we serve is faithful!
“And I will give them singleness of heart and put a new spirit within them.I will take away their stony, stubborn heart and give them a tender, responsive heart so they will obey my decrees and regulations. Then they will truly be my people, and I will be their God.” Ezekiel 11:18-20
Did you get that? When we choose to truly turn our hearts back to God He will;
1. give us singleness of heart
2. put a new spirit within us
3. take away our stony, stubborn heart
4. give us a tender, responsive heart
Why will He do this!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!
SO THAT WE CAN SUBMIT TO (OBEY) HIS DECREES AND REGULATIONS
Ladies, I have seen God first hand do exactly what he said he would do in me…and if you are feeling trapped in this horrible cycle than I want to encourage you that he can do the same thing for you. Don’t forget, I am sharing my story this week, but your turn is coming. I want to hear from you. Has your heart been changed? Let us know and take advantage of an opportunity to encourage others with your story! Join us tomorrow for the next video blog! Have a good night and I’ll see you tomorrow
“And further, submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. For wives, this means submit to your husbands as to the Lord. For a husband is the head of his wife as Christ is the head of the church. He is the Savior of his body, the church. As the church submits to Christ, so you wives should submit to your husbands in everything. For husbands, this means love your wives, just as Christ loved the church. He gave up his life for her to make her holy and clean, washed by the cleansing of God’s word. He did this to present her to himself as a glorious church without a spot or wrinkle or any other blemish. Instead, she will be holy and without fault. In the same way, husbands ought to love their wives as they love their own bodies. For a man who loves his wife actually shows love for himself. No one hates his own body but feeds and cares for it, just as Christ cares for the church. And we are members of his body.”
How many of us have ever actually thought of our husbands as THE greatest gift, outside of salvation, that the Lord in his providence saw fit to bless us with? I am sure that a lot of us don’t think of them that way, because if we did,we would treat them better than we do. Look at the way we treat gifts that we place a high value on; we package them with bubble wrap, or foam to ensure that they don’t get broken, or we put them away in a protected place where our children and any other potentially harmful elements can’t get a hold of them. When they get dirty or dusty we don’t display them to the world in that state, but we polish or wash them clean before we put them on display…and if they are injured, broken in a place, or cracked, we turn that part away from the gaze of any onlookers, so that in the eyes of others their value will not be diminished. We love and take care of our gifts, and we want everyone to know what our thoughts are about them…who gave them to us…how much they cost…and how heartbroken we would be if something happened to them. We communicate all of this, sometimes, without saying a word. But what do our lives and attitudes…and even our words, communicate about the gift…the prize that God gave us to demonstrate to us how much he loved us? It breaks my heart when I hear women destroying their husbands, their gift, with their words. It breaks my heart when I see women treat their husbands coldly or indifferently, because he had the audacity not to follow one of her commands, or to do things other than the way she suggested. It breaks my heart to see the pain and humiliation in a mans eyes, masked by a laugh or a smile, after his wife has shared a story that communicates how vast his baffoon skills have become. It breaks my heart to see the look on a mans face when he has been cut off at the knees, in front of family, his children, or in the company of friends, by the words of the woman chosen by him to be his helper. It breaks my heart when I see how the relationship changes when Adam realizes that his helper has helped to cause him more pain and despair than he ever imagined possible… even to the point of negatively impacting his relationship with his father…Does it break your heart????
And I know ladies…I know…He’s NOT perfect! And he doesn’t treat me the way I should be treated…and he can’t keep a job…and he’s angry all of the time…and he doesn’t spend any time with me…and when he comes home all he ever wants to do is watch sports or hang out with his friends…and I don’t know if I still even love him…or like him… And I think I would have been better off if I had married _________________! And the list goes on!! But guess what? We’re NOT perfect! And we don’t treat him the way he should be treated…and we may not be able to keep a job…and we may be angry all the time…and we may not spend any time with him…and when we are home all we ever want to do is watch our shows, talk to our friends, stay on the computer (facebook)…and they may not know if they still loves us…or likes us…and they may think that they would have been better off married to ____________! ….
That last one hit a nerve I am sure, because we allow ourselves the freedom to think whatever we want to think, but are ready to do a “drive by” if we even think that they are thinking the same things!!! But let’s take a minute and think about something; What if the only way for our marriages to change is for us to change? What if the only way our husbands hearts towards us will change is for us to change our hearts towards them? And what if the only way for us to change our hearts towards our husbands is for us to change our hearts towards God! And what if the only way for us to change our perspective on God was to open the Book he left on record for us and read the Word of God as opposed to listening to the world and what it say about our marriage?
Genesis chapter 1 tells us that God spoke EVERYTHING into existence except man. For with Adam God took his time and made (to construct, build, assemble, put together, manufacture, produce, create, form, fashion, model) him! And then from the rib of man he made woman!!! Did you get that??? He spoke EVERYTHING ELSE INTO EXISTENCE but he MADE US WITH HIS VERY OWN HANDS!!!! And then he gifted us to eachother!!! Adam was God’s greatest creation and made to have genuine fellowship…relationship with the God of the Universe!!! And Eve…. Eve was woman…also hancrafted by God…but made differently than man, because part of her man was used to help make her!!!! She would be unmade without him!!! And ladies, so would we today! Think of it this way; Eve was the FIRST and BEST gift Adam was ever given…given specifically to HELP him live out the lives God had commanded him to live by walking beside him and learning with him, and looking at him with the same wonder that she saw when he looked at her. We are designed to look ‘up’ to him in honor and respect…to be the reminders always of the man God created…HANDCRAFTED them to be!!!!!! And he is commanded to be the vessel that God would always be able to love us through…. But something went wrong… and the place we just talked about is the place we are constantly fighting to get back to… Adam is raging for battling with Eve because when he looks at her, he no longer sees the respect due him simply by being handcrafted in the image of God. And Eve is crying out in the way she walks, and talks, and dresses…and controls and demands…for Adam to notice…to attend to…to love her the way her creator promised she would always be…. But our starting points are wrong…our perspectives have been skewed by the Fall….
Is a woman who hyphenates her last name (keeping both her maiden and married name) not submitting fully to her husband?
This is a question I saw recently on Facebook, as well as the comment I posted in response. I wanted to share this with all of you in hopes of getting your feedback.The question itself was genuine, and not meant in a negative way. A new bride was sincerely asking for the opinions of those she knows. The slew of comments that followed were, in some cases, heartbreaking. They lead me to do a little research into the ‘new’ movement where husbands are taking on the last names of their wives as opposed to the wives taking on the last name of her husband. Read both the question and the comment I posted in response… Out of the 26 responses to this question, mine was completely ignored by all except the writer of the original question… So, what are your thoughts, and what Bible verses/principles/cultural depictions of the people of God do you use to support your view?
“I have not read the other comments…so no offense intended if there is any…when we choose to BECOME ONE with a man, we are doing just that…becoming ONE…in order for that to work we both must die to our own selfish ambition and become a different person…a blending of the two…part of that for Eve is the taking on of her husband’s name and what that represents (wo+man=woman)… what it communicates to the world around us. It communicates that we are women who are under authority and consider it a blessing to be covered in life by first, the Lord, then by our earthly fathers whose name we bear until our marriage, and again that covering and protection and provision is passed to our husbands, and is signified by the taking of their name. (1Peter 3, Ephesians 5) It is a sign of honor and respect as well as encouragement and edification to our husbands. It demonstrates love and trust. That said, it is anti-feminist and is another aspect of marriage where we (Christian women) tend to take on the mindset of the world and follow their cultural trends rather than the culture designed by the Word. But it’s minor..no big deal…just a hyphen…but the – communicates the opposite of what our marriages as believers are supposed to communicate to the world we live in. It doesn’t communicate unity or oneness or sacrifice, it communicates division, and a reluctance to really take on our husbands name and hang on to our own is communicating that Eve is still alive and well. We (women) are the greatest influencers in the lives of our husbands and our children, and everything we do will either communicate our obedience and submission to God, or our rebellion and disobedience to Him. So does God’s word explicitly tell us not o use a – in our names when married? No, but it does tell us to submit to our husbands as unto the Lord. Have we taken on Christ’s name? Do we hyphenate it so that we can maintain our independence/identity with our old sinful nature and our new nature? Do we even think about these ‘minor’ issues in light of our marriage relationships mirroring our relationship with Christ? And if we still can’t come to an understanding, it’s always a great ides to ask our husbands how it would make them feel, really, and what it communicates about our hearts for them. Some women hold on to their last name because they have children prior to marriage or from a previous marriage and don’t want their kids to not have the shared identity of their last name…. I understand these cases as well, but we have to understand that the relationship between a man and his wife is the ONLY relationship on earth that is called to represent the relationship that Christ has with his bride…it is to supercede all others…
This is the post. What feedback do you have? Agree. Disagree. I would really like to know 😀 And what about men taking on the last name of their wives???? Have you even heard of that? I truly look forward to hearing from you!