Yesterday, I asked the question: Is it really true when we say Christ is Lord of our life? How we live our lives will answer the question as to if what we say is the truth. I already admitted that the Holy Spirit is loudly whispering in my ear on submitting to authority that God has put in place. “Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God.” (Rom. 13:1)
Marriage was the first institution that God ordained. The marriage relationship is the backbone of civilization, and it was the means by which God would not only populate the world but also train men and women to represent Him. I grew up in the 60’s and 70’s. Although my parents modeled a biblical marriage, I thought I knew so much better. After all, as a woman I was empowered as I sang “I Am Woman Hear Me Roar”. And when I married my husband, I was adamant that I wouldn’t say the words “obey”. I’ll also tell you that when I married, I was still in my “prodigal daughter” stage.
In the “prodigal daughter” stage, I definitely was quite proud and less than humble. As I have delved into God’s Word in the last few years, I’ve read passages that make me uncomfortable. While I would fleshly want to disregard what my flesh doesn’t agree with, I can’t do that as a Christ follower, and neither can you. So let’s just delve into what makes a lot of women uncomfortable: “Wives, be subject to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church, He Himself being the Savior of the body. But as the church is subject to Christ, so also the wives ought to be to their husbands in everything.” (Eph 5:22-24)
The NKJV says, “Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord.” The Greek word translated “submit” is hupotasso, which means to “place in an orderly fashion under”. God is a God of order, and we are to follow His order for the home to be harmonious. I have in the last several months been submitting to my husband. We don’t always agree on a course of action, but we do always talk about it. Ultimately if we can’t come to an agreement, I submit to his headship, as to Christ.
Now for those of you who have known me for a long time, please pick up your chin off the floor. The Bible tells me that I am to love everyone, forgive everyone, and I am to submit to my husband as to Christ. None of these are suggestions! But I have the indwelling Holy Spirit within me to show me the way, and I am relying on Him more and more. I still have much to do in this area–trust me–but I can tell you that our marriage has changed, and for the better!
My husband and I are both Type A and headstrong people. In the times we have chosen to meet head-to-head in our marriage, we truly both lost. Donna Gaines said in “Seated”, “We are not to live in competition with our husbands but in cooperation with them. There is a mutual love and respect that is to be exhibited in the home as we live and love like Christ.” I can attest that when we give our husbands the respect they were created to need, they in turn give us the love we were created to need.
For a long time I’ve been praying that my husband would become the spiritual leader of our home as the Lord intended. One of the things I pray for each day is for the Lord to “guide me in my steps and in my words, so that I am not an encumbrance to the work of the Holy Spirit in his life”. What the Holy Spirit has shown me is that I first needed to get out of the driver’s seat, because that’s not God’s proper order. Peter put it like this: “Wives, in the same way submit yourselves to your own husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the Word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives, when they see the purity and reverence of your lives.” (1 Peter 3:1-2) My behavior definitely needed to change!
As the Lord continues to refine me, I am watching a transformation occur in my husband and my marriage. There is a tenderness and sweetness between the two of us that hasn’t been there in a very long time. The changes the Spirit is creating in me, are also creating a tender and receptive heart in my husband.
For a lot of years, I’ve held onto the devil’s lies about marriage and relationships. But the enemy is a liar seeking to undermine a Christian’s marriage, and thereby make our testimony impotent. Our relationships should reflect Christ, because we are imitators of God. “Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children; and walk in love” (Eph. 5:1-2a) Christ loved us sacrificially, and put our needs (salvation) before Himself. That is the model we are supposed to emulate, not the me-first worldly mentality.
Just as husbands are commanded to love their wives unconditionally, wives are commanded to respect their husbands unconditionally. “However, each man among you [without exception] is to love his wife as his very own self [with behavior worthy of respect and esteem, always seeking the best for her with an attitude of lovingkindness], and the wife [must see to it] that she respects and delights in her husband [that she notices him and prefers him and treats him with loving concern, treasuring him, honoring him, and holding him dear].” (Eph. 5:33 AMP)
Bible study author Iva May said, “It is not so much that you trust your husband will hear from God, but that God is big enough to lead your husband without your interference. Your greatest influence, as a woman, is submission and prayer.” If I truly trust the Lord (Proverbs 3:5-6), then I will submit to His will for my life, knowing His way is always better than my prideful way.