“Selfish- a judgment readily passed by those who have never tested their own power of sacrifice. ” -George Eliot
That’s what submission really boils down to- your power of sacrifice. When we are able to put ourselves aside, we unleash great potential. Instead, we begrudge the idea, and limit the power of God in our lives.
Oh, wow how I have neglected this over the years. I haven’t seen the potential of God in my submission. I have seen it as a curse. I’ve even said, “I hate being a woman.” I have despised the opportunity God has blessed me with to imitate Jesus.
What if Jesus would have begrudged submission? Simply put, we would both be lost and have no chance at redemption.
You know, the husband/wife relationship is parallel to the Christ and the church. I learn a lot about what it means to be submissive from the Master teacher himself, Jesus, and his relationship with his bride, the church.
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. Eph. 5:23-24
I can also learn a lot about what submission isn’t.
The Father loves me because I sacrifice my life so I may take it back again. No one can take my life from me. I sacrifice it voluntarily. John 10:17-18
Just as God the Father could not demand that Jesus lay down his life, a husband cannot demand that a wife submit. This is a willing, voluntary sacrifice. It’s not with teeth clenched. It is doesn’t require biting our tongue. It does come from a deliberate heart.
2. Resignation of strength
But when the leading priests and the elders made their accusations against him, Jesus remained silent. Mt. 27:2
We do not have to resign our strength, but at times we do have to restrain our strength, as Jesus did before his crucifixion. Jesus could have come into Pilate’s court with guns blazing. He could have had a turning over tables moment, but instead he restrained his unfathomable strength. He didn’t even speak.
I think for a wife this strength would look a lot like Esther. If you haven’t read that little Old Testament book, pour a coffee and cuddle up on the couch and go meet Esther. She was a dynamic woman. When her people, the Jews, were facing annihilation, her husband, the king was the only one who could stop it. She didn’t nag. She didn’t storm into the palace demanding action. No, she requested the presence of the king and prepared a feast. She did this knowing that he could have ordered her execution. She patiently waited for the right moment. Her gentle strength saved her people.
3. Burying your gifts
God works in different ways, but it is the same God who does the work in all of us. A spiritual gift is given to each of us so we can help each other. 1 Cor. 12: 6-7
God has portioned each of us with a gift. He doesn’t expect us to neglect or hide that gift in the name of submission. However, the gift we think God has given may not be it after all. God won’t ask you to serve him in ways that defy your role as a wife.
I will walk in freedom, for I have devoted myself to your commandments. Ps. 119:45
No commandment of God will enslave us. It is quite the opposite. Obedience to God’s commands gives us freedom. We have to remember that, “Loving God means keeping his commandments, and his commandments are not burdensome” (1 John 5:3).
Ladies, today let’s look for the opportunities that God is placing before us to show a deliberate, voluntary sacrifice for the man we have been united with in the covenant of marriage. Let’s have eyes for service and love. Let’s be ready to honor God by honoring our men.
Tomorrow… we will talk about adopting our husband’s legacy.