I would be the first to tell you that independence was deeply imbedded into me, even as a very young child. There is nothing wrong with being a strong, independent woman of character. However, there is a fine, fine line between being a woman of strength and a woman of pride and/or arrogance.
The Word of God leaves no room for argument or resistance. What parable do you find in Ephesians 5:22? There is no parable about it! Itís written plainly, so as to leave no question about its meaning to the reader. The same thing is written in Colossians 3:18. For the Lord to have told us twice, its message must be of dire importance. ďWives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands!Ē
No, I do not believe that the Lord meant that we are to be as slaves to our husbands. Rather, we are to be willing servants to ALL people, especially our husbands. And husbands, likewise, should be as servants to ALL ďmen,Ē even to their wives. Submission and service are two totally separate things. A man can serve his wife without being in submission to her. Likewise, a wife can be in submission to her husband without serving him well. Sometimes, the best way to serve AND be in submission is to gently turn your husband from the error of his ways without taking over. And the way to do that? Pray for him and bite your tongue.
The head of household title belongs to him, sisters. The responsibilities and accountabilities that go along with holding that position also belong to him. There is a heavy, heavy burden on his shoulders to be held accountable as your covering. And when we stop being submissive to our mates, that burden falls on us. Wives, SUBMIT to your husbands... EVEN when you think they are wrong. When it all comes out in the wash, the accountability falls on him. We WILL be held accountable, as long as we are not in submission.
This is a hard word and many will resist it: The first sign that a woman has not submitted herself to the will of God is her refusal to submit to her own husband. Ouch! Think about it -- the last parts of those two scriptures are: ďas unto the LordĒ and ďas it is fit in the Lord.ď However you submit to one, (the Lord OR your husband) is how you submit to the other.
Yes, that statement came from a strong, independent, intelligent woman who has submitted her life to the Lordís will. And should the Lord bless me so favorably as to ordain a husband for me, (and it is my belief that He will) then I will live in complete submission to my husband, trusting the Lord that my husband will not confuse his role as head of household with ďcaveman - boss.Ē
Iím sure that you men have rather enjoyed this article. :::one cocked eyebrow::: Surely you didnít think I would stop there? You canít go picking and choosing scriptures as they suit your fancy. To see ďsubmit to your husbandsĒ as reason enough to think your wife should have no personality except to be at your beck and call, bending to your will, is PRIDE. And the Lord resists the proud!
In fact, the Lord loves your wife just exactly as she is, and so should you. You love yourself as you are. If you didnít, you would work diligently toward changing who you are. Colossians 3:19 Husbands, love your wives, and be not bitter against them. Dissatisfaction with your wifeís personality can cause you bitterness. If you are dissatisfied, there is a way to gently tell her so without bruising her tender spirit. Better yet, prayer goes a long, long way. Or are you afraid that the Lord may show you that it is not your wife, but rather, it is YOU who needs to change? (Wives, bite your tongues... even if heís wrong!)
Now, many of you may be wondering why a divorced woman thinks for half a second that sheís equipped to tell someone how they ought to handle their marriage. In the first place, if Iím divorced, then I was once married. It could be that Iíve learned from mistakes, both his and mine... perhaps neither of us were living in submission to Godís Word. It could also be that I am writing this from things I have been steadily learning from the Lord in preparation for the marriage HE ordained for me, rather than the one I jumped into with my eyes wide shut. Yes, I am fully prepared to live in submission to my husband, just as I live in submission to my God.
But trust... Ah! Trust is a totally different story. Thatís something that the Lord has been working with me on. (See ĎThe Dance Instructor.í) Laying your life, all your life, all your burdens, all your cares, all your wants, all your needs, all your desires, all your being into the hands of God is not an easy feat. Well, sisters, perhaps it isnít a different story after all. Perhaps, just perhaps, submission is a result of trust. And as with submission, if you donít trust the one, how can you say that you trust the other?
Seek His will, friends. His plan is perfect. Love one another in the Lord. With complete trust, place your marriage in His hands, just as youíve placed your soul there.
© Joyce Pool
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