Sunday, November 18, 2012

What does Submission Entail?


God commands a wife to submit to her husband but what does that entail? How will it be evidenced in our lives?
Eph 5:33 Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband.
1Pe 3:1-2 Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives; While they behold your chaste conversation coupled with fear.
Submission means accepting my husband as he is.
-Before my brother married his fiancée asked my mother for some tried and true advice on making her home a godly and happy one. My mother told her "A wife should make her husband happy, not good. Making a man good is God's job and He is able to do it!"
-Agape Love-- the love God wants to channel through us -- accepts people as they are, unconditionally. "Just as I am without one plea" expresses how God accepts us and that is how a woman is to love and accept her husband. She is to love and submit to him regardless of his problems and faults, just as God deeply loves us, though He hates the sin in our lives. This does not meana wife is niave or condones her husband's faults. But it means a wife accepts her husband in spite of the problems and gives God the opportunity of working in her husband's life and meeting his needs. It does means she is freed from teh pressure and bondage of an unaccepting attitude and is freed to become a channel through which God can work to change her husband. (1 Peter 3:1-6
-True submission means a wife accepts her husband as he is, without applying her own pressure to change him. A woman's dominance may take many forms - from obvious nagging to more subtle, yet stil wrong types of pressure; leaving tracts or other material around for him to read, giving unasked for advice, comparing him to other men, etc.
Why should a woman never overtly try to change her husband?
-Because real, internal change is God's work, not woman’s. Nagging and convincing may bring external relief, but seldom produce genuine change. God does not ask for woman to be an amateur providence, but to allow Him to work in her husband's life. The woman who does not trust God to change her husband and exerts her own pressure instead, is saying that experientially "there is no God" for her in this matter. She has no faith and instead thinks she has to "do it herself" or nothing will happen in her husband's life.
God is able to change the mind of the authority over her. But if a woman interferes with God's process by exerting her own force-- be it by word and action or by stony silence and condemning attitudes, she blocks God's pressure, the one force designed to bring a man to his knees and his Saviour.
- Because this type of pressure destroys harmony and communion with both God and her husband. A husband-pressuring wife is out of the place God created for her, and therefore she is sinning against God and her husband and breaking fellowship with both of them. Remember, we do not sin against our own husbands until we have first sinned against God!
God's line of authority is:
God
Man
Woman
When a woman refuses to obey God and will not fulfill the role he created for her and commands her to tak, she hinders the work of God in her whole family. She becomes a wedge between her husband and God.
God
Woman
Man
-Because a woman's pressure incites a man to rebel and therefore does not work. It may even aggravate the problem rather than bringing change. Why is this so? Because...
1. His wife becomes his conscience. And since man tends to fight his own conscience, he ends up fighting her. Rather than accepting true guilt, he often transfers it into blame aimed at his nagging wife. Allow God the privilege of using inner pressure. (Rom 14:4, Jer 17:9-10)
2. His wife becomes a person in a superior position, sitting in judgment on him. In a very real sense, she usurps his authority. God repeatedly warns against passing judgment on other and having a critical, condemning spirit. If we are prone to finding fault in others, we can be sure that we have never truly seen ourselves. (Mt 7:1-5, Roms 2:1-3, 1 Cor 10:12)
3. His wife becomes a teacher and a mother rather than a lover. When a woman determines to teach and mother a man against his will, she undermines their love relationship together and assumes a position of authority over her husband. ( Eph 5:33, 1 Tim 2:12)
4. In most cases a man knows the problems exist, but he needs and wants his wife to think of his "better side" rather than concentrating on his negative traits. (Phil 4:8) If he doesn't know about the problem, ( a blind spot) then tell him once in the attitude of a servant and learner. Leave the option to change or not up to him (and back up your advice with plenty of prayer).
Since all this is true, what can a wife do the "change" her husband? Is she a helpless, bound spectator? God has placed before her two powerful tools that He longs to use through her to change a man for His Glory.
1. Prayer (I Tim 2:1-2) Not the words, "First of all". Prayer is not a last resort, but the first recourse. Whe we discern a fault or face a problem, our first reaction should be to pray.
2. Real prayer, joined with meditation in God's Word and an obedient heart, gives a woman authority with her husband's authority, God Himself. She should not hesitate to let God know the desires of heart regarding her husband.
3. Prayer takes your eyes off the man, the problem and yourself and puts them on Christ. It allows you to view the man and the problem as instruments of God in your life, thereby removing a source of bitterness. Have you thanked God for your husband's faults? (I Thess 5:18, Eph 5:20) One reason God has allowed these problems to be in his life is to work character in you. (Rom 8:28, 5:3-5 James 1:2-4) Will you take God's perspective and allow Him to give you His reactions? What happens when a woman has the wrong focus? she allows bitterness to enter and take root. Solomon notes the results the results in Proverbs 21:9,19, 27:15, 30:23
4. Prayer allows you the opportunity to give your expectations to God. Rather than expecting changes from your husband, you expect God to work in His Way and Time. This creates a grateful spirit in a woman, both towards God and her husband. No longer does she take her husband's good attitudes and actions for granted. Now these are not expected behavior, but blessings God has given her through her husband. This frees God to work as He chooses; and it also frees her husband from being a prisoner of her expectations.
5. Prayer gives you the privelege of interceding. When God give discernment of a problem, that is His call to intercession, not to criticism and judgmental attitudes. If a man is out of fellowship with God, in a very real sense his wife can "stand in the gap" for her husband. And even when a man is in fellowship, he needs his wife's supporting intercession; for prayer frees God to bless us and prayerlessness limits Him. (James 4:2, Rom 15:30, 11Cor 1:8-11)
6. Prayer changes your attitudes. You cannot truly pray and harbor bitterness or an unforgiving spirit. As you turn your heart toward God, He is free to cleanse and renew your mind and attitudes.
7. Prayer insures that you are in God's will. Prayer, joined with meditation in the Word of God, and an obedient heart, allows you to get to know God and His ways by putting you in communion with Him. The you can truly commit yourself and your family to Him,, putting your home in a place of blessing (I cor 7:14, Proverbs 3:33, Ps 37:5, II time 1:12)
8. Provoke, (stimulate, inspire) your husband to love and good works by maturing in your own relationship with Christ. As God works in your life, He can channel His love and Himself through you in unique and life changing ways to your husband. Allow God to change you, and your husband will change in reaction!
· Momorize I Peter 3:1-6
· Make a list of your expectations from your husbands. Then deliberately give all of these to God and allow Him to give them back to you as He sees fit. Remember, we are to wait on God alone to fulfill our expectations.
· Have you ever committed yourself and your home to God? Ask Him to work in your lfie to create an atmosphere in your home that will provoke your family to love and good works.
· Have you been guilty of unaccepting attitudes and of trying to change your husband through your own pressure? Let God truly convict you about this and begin to work true repentance in your life. Confess your sin to God and your husband. Be sure to prayerfully consider how you will express your thoughts to your husband, being sure to accept your guilt without implying blame on his part.
· Do you accept your Heavenly Bridegroom, Jesus Christ, as He is? Have you ever measured your conception of God and your expectations from Him with how God reveals Himself to us in His Word? We will not truly know our Lord until we are in heaven, but our life on earth should be a continual growth in the knowledge of God as He truly is. If you are to really know what submission to Christ entails, you must be willing to acce0pt Him as He reveals Himself to us in Scripture-- as Saviour and Lord, as Almighty, Sovereign God. Do you accept what He does in your life, even when it is hard to bear and you can't understand what He is doing? Or do you judge and counsel God on the basis of your human perspective?
· Are you discouraged with the progress in your family relationship? Watch out! That's a sign that you are trusting in yourself and not in God. Confess it to God as sin, get your eyes back on the Lord Jesus Christ, and let Him live His life out through you.
· Is your love relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ growing? If not, perhaps you are not spending enough time with Him in His Word and in prayer and meditation. Or perhaps there is an area in which you have refused or neglected to obey Him?
·
Sister Kimberly
Helpmeet to my beloved James
was originally posted on www.followersofthelamb.com (website is not longer available)
Be ye therefore followers of God as dear children: And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savor. Ephesians 5:1,2

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