Lucia's Blog: GOD'S PLAN FOR EVE
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Isaiah 55:8-9

Isaiah 55:8-9

Thursday, February 28, 2019

GOD'S PLAN FOR EVE


"Likewise, wives, be subject to your own husbands, so that even if some do not obey the word, they may be won without a word by the conduct of their wives, when they see your respectful and pure conduct. Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear— but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God's sight is very precious. For this is how the holy women who hoped in God used to adorn themselves, by submitting to their own husbands, as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord. And you are her children, if you do good and do not fear anything that is frightening." 
I Peter 3:1-6


There is a real war going on, a war against the Bible home.  Those who despise the Bible tell us that it is a war for equality. As it turns out, we have learned that it is a war against gender roles as defined by the Bible. It is an attack against Bible femininity.  Modern “feminism” mocks God like Goliath mocked David.  It looks like most of Israel is hiding from Goliath again today.  We must be vocal here about these things and not just stick our heads in the sand. It is happening now!  So, I challenge you to dig into the Scriptures with me and find the definitions and what the Word of God has to say about submission for wives and Bible headship.  My goal is to clarify some of these errors with the hope of changing that perception.

The word "submission" is found in the Bible several times, but sadly many ignore it.  But if a woman is committed to honoring her Lord and living a righteous life to the glory of God, she must be humble enough to accept with a humble heart what God demands of her in life and marriage and about His plan for everything. You see when we approach the Bible as God's ultimate authority, we will be humble enough to understand and apply it in our lives.  God's Word must not be interpreted based on our feelings but instead on what God has declared in His Word without twisting it to suit our needs and our emotions whatever they might be.  May we accept God's Truth on what He calls submission.  May we women of God search our hearts and open them to the riches of God's Truth to change the attitudes of our heart.  May we be more open to applying God's principles of righteousness to show honor and respect to our husbands.  May we look within our own marriages and families and make the necessary changes in our relationship with our husbands and most important our God after this lesson is over.  And while every marriage is different in that some are built on a strong Biblical foundation and godly principles, there are other relationships where that is not the case.  Sadly, some husbands treat their wives poorly, abusing their responsibility and the role that God has given them toward their wives both emotionally and physically.  


I.  WHAT DOES THE BIBLE SAY ABOUT SUBMISSION?

In today's feminist culture, the word "submission" has a bad reputation.  When our rebellious society hears "wives submit to your husband," they immediately get annoyed.  They tell us that submission to a man is demeaning.  They say it is a weakness.  They are in rebellion.  But against who are they rebelling?  Many women and even some of my sisters in Christ have headship upside down.  Just like the world, they seem to forget their obligation to submit to their husbands and respect their decisions.  Moreover, some husbands demand submission from their wives in obedience to the Lord but do not love their wives as God commands, nor do they model faithfulness or devotion to the Lord.  They demand sacrifice when they themselves will not sacrifice.  

I would like to start with the famous words of Ephesians 5:22-33.
"Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord.  For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands.  Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word,so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish.  In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself.  For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, because we are members of his body. 'Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.'  This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church. However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband."

Our text emphasizes the "submission" of wives to their husbands and the "love" of husbands toward their wives.  The roles of men and women are clear in the Scriptures from the very beginning of creation.  It is not a small thing that the apostle Paul inspired by the Holy Spirit reinforced the roles and relationship of husbands with wives by portraying their submission as parallel to the relationship of Jesus with His church.  Can we really submit to God's authority and ignore His demands as found in His Word in the matter of our relationship as husband and wife?  Can we really ignore what the Word of God commands us to do about submission?  Is it possible that submission might bring peace to our home?  Wives must submit to their husbands as unto the Lord.  That is, we must love our husbands because God commands it!  God wants us to treat others the way He does and that includes our husbands, for He commands that we treat our husbands with honor, selflessness, support, and respect.  So we must do as God commands, stepping back and letting our husbands take the lead.  God demands that we serve Him in the roles in which He has placed us as wives and mothers, for that is His divine order.  

First, let us clarify what "submission" is not.  Submission is not defined as accepting physical abuse, but rather it is submission to the husband as unto the Lord Jesus.  In Ephesians 5:21-33 God commands us to submit to one another, that is to yield or to set ourselves under instead of demanding our own way Love must be what rules our homes, that we might prefer one another.  Submission does not mean that the wife is inferior.  Submission is not degrading.  It is not a sign of weakness, nor is it demeaning.  As a matter of fact, submission is a sign of strength.  Submission requires a great deal of strength and character.  Submission is that spirit of meekness and respect a wife has toward her husband.  Moreover, it is an attitude of the heart that is willing to help each other to live a more satisfying, fruitful, content and peaceful life together.  Problems and disagreements between husband and wife are inevitable, but that does not imply that a wife has permission to sin and take matters into her own hands.  Let us take heed here!  When a wife has the right attitude of heart, a submissive heart, a heart of respect for her husband, any problem or conflict in the marriage is more likely to be resolved harmoniously.  Such a heart leaves no room for unpleasant quarreling, bitterness, and resentment.

  • Abraham and Sarah:
There is a married couple that the Bible speaks of more than any other, Abraham and Sarah.   They were descendants of Noah's son, Shem.  They were highly favored in the eyes of God. God spoke to them regularly.  Consider what God said about them:
 "And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great so that you will be a blessing.  I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed." (Genesis 12:2-3).

This special couple was happily married for many years.  God blessed them and gave them great prosperity.  He promised to bless all their descendants greatly.  Notice how strongly God describes Sarah in Scripture in the New Testament as the model wife for us to follow:
"Likewise, wives, be subject to your own husbands, so that even if some do not obey the word, they may be won without a word by the conduct of their wives, when they see your respectful and pure conduct. Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear— but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God's sight is very precious. For this is how the holy women who hoped in God used to adorn themselves, by submitting to their own husbands, as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord. And you are her children, if you do good and do not fear anything that is frightening."  (I Peter 3:1-6).

This text must be of great importance to us wives when it comes to submission.  It instructs wives, to submit willingly to our husbands.  Ironically, this is an unpopular and controversial command in our culture today.  Notice that although he writes "holy women who hoped in God" (in verse 5), Sarah is the only one named.  We are called Sarah's daughters if we do well (what is right or good in other translations).  The "right" thing that she was praised for, was submitting to Abraham her husband, treating him with respect and honor without being intimidated and afraid to do so.  Sarah called her husband "lord."  Not that long ago in our culture, godly women called their husbands "mister."  Mister and Mistress were titles akin to lord and lady.  They were titles of nobility that reflected the noble attitudes that our forefathers understood. They were a recognition of the order of authority, and they were taught by Abraham and Sarah’s example. The fact that we have lost that custom should alarm us!

    • Let us Take a Moment and Consider this Holy Woman's Great Story:  
She is first introduced to us as "Sarai" in Genesis 12.  She was Abram's wife and half-sister. Although they had the same father, they had different mothers.  It was common in those days to marry those who were closely related.  It was not forbidden during the Patriarchal Age.  Later on in the Law of Moses, God did forbid it.  This couple left their home in Haran and went to live in Canaan, this being the land which God had promised to give them.  Soon after they arrived in Canaan, a famine struck the land, and God directed them to go to Egypt.  Although Sarah was 65 years old, she was still beautiful enough to attract a man's attention.  Notice what the Bible tells us:
"When he was about to enter Egypt, he said to Sarai his wife, 'I know that you are a woman beautiful in appearance, and when the Egyptians see you, they will say, This is his wife.' Then they will kill me, but they will let you live.  Say you are my sister, that it may go well with me because of you, and that my life may be spared for your sake.' When Abram entered Egypt, the Egyptians saw that the woman was very beautiful  And when the princes of Pharaoh saw her, they praised her to Pharaoh. And the woman was taken into Pharaoh's house."' (Genesis 12:11-15).

The Egyptian people were under the control of a totalitarian system in which the Pharaoh was acknowledged as the superior lord of the land.  What this means is that he had absolute and complete control over everyone and everything in his realm.  His word was literally the law of the land.  It implies that Pharaoh had all right and power, under their written system of law, to kill anyone he wished for whatever reason or none at all.  It was not uncommon for men with such power to take any beautiful woman he wished and have her husband killed.  This is awful!  So it was not unreasonable for Abram to expect that his wife, Sarai, would be taken into Pharaoh's house.  The only way to avoid the danger was to avoid Egypt, but God ordered him to go there.
"And for her sake he dealt well with Abram; and he had sheep, oxen, male donkeys, male servants, female servants, female donkeys, and camels.  But the Lord afflicted Pharaoh and his house with great plagues because of Sarai, Abram's wife. So Pharaoh called Abram and said, 'What is this you have done to me? Why did you not tell me that she was your wife? Why did you say, 'She is my sister,' so that I took her for my wife? Now then, here is your wife; take her, and go.'  And Pharaoh gave men orders concerning him, and they sent him away with his wife and all that he had."'  (Genesis 12:16-20).

Later, in Genesis 20, we notice that Abram was instructing Sarai again to lie to Abimelech king of Gerar, saying that she was Abram's sister.  Isn't it amazing that Sarai does as Abram says?  It was wrong for him to ask Sarah his wife to lie, telling a half-truth.  But we can be sure that Sarai would never have wanted to be in such a challenging and dangerous situation.  But still, it is remarkable that she obeyed Abram, and God protected her!

Sometimes it's hard to trust the Lord.  It is undeniable that if Abram had resisted Pharaoh, the king might have tried to kill him.  Just imagine if Abraham had been killed because he was Sarah's husband.  Don't you think that her situation would have been worse? Remember what he said to her in Genesis 12:13
"Say you are my sister, that it may go well with me because of you, and that my life may be spared for your sake."

Although God did not tell us what He thought of Abraham's stratagem, it is evident that He preserved this godly couple and continued to bless them.  And because of Sarah's righteous obedience to her husband, Abraham, she was praised and presented as a godly role model to all Christian women throughout all generations.

It is true that women in our culture disagree about the real meaning of submission.  There is nothing that makes feminists madder than the idea of a woman willingly submitting to her husband; that is being under the authority of a man.  It is infuriating to feminist women!  Even for many Christian women, the idea of wives submitting to their husbands is not a very welcome or acceptable idea.

Some Evangelical feminists dare to say that what Ephesians 5 commands women is not to try to rule over husbands but rather to share equal status with them, telling men to do the same.  But the good news is that this is not what Ephesians 5 is commanding us to do. Paul is teaching these Ephesian women to correct their sinful practices and impulses in their relationship toward their husbands.  At no time is the apostle Paul saying to stop recognizing gender distinctions or to share the role of leadership equally in the home and the church.  Rather, Paul is saying,
"Wives submit to your husbands" and "husbands love your wives."

From the beginning, God's intention was for women to submit to male leadership in the home as well as in the church.  But God also intended for men to lead their wives with love, honor, and respect, putting her needs above his own since she is the weaker vessel.  Submission and the fear of God go hand in hand.  The fear of God is central to submission and is its most important principle.  Submission will yield voluntarily in love.  When we place Genesis 1-3 beside Ephesians 5, we see that God's Word is not teaching that gender roles are the result of the fall but rather His design from the beginning.  Christ did not come to eliminate gender distinctions but rather to repair and restore them so that they might work in such a way as to reveal His glory.  Therefore, wives must submit to their husbands, not by force, but willingly instead of taking all matters into their own hands both in the home and in the church.  Then, of course, husbands are to love their wives, leading with Grace.  Marriage is about two relationships and two people, our relationship with God and our husband.  As we grow closer to God, our desire must be to grow closer to our husband as well, loving him more and treating him more kindly, showing him more honor, being supportive and helpful, and willing to be selfless.

Our generation habitually makes all kinds of excuses.  We have forced ourselves to invent all kinds of exceptions when it comes to submissionWe simply don't like it!  Submission is against our modern and godless culture.  For a woman, to do what her husband thinks is best or to do what she doesn't want to do, is not very appealing.  It is true that many don't like anyone telling them what to.  It is a real and ugly fact!  Many women want to be their own boss and do whatever they think is right. Unfortunately, that is their nature but it ought not to be.  We must please God, doing His will and not our own! I wonder if the reason why our women spend so much time resisting their husbands' lead is because they want to hold on to a whitewashed feminism!  Let us take heed!

Frankly, submission is hard because we all have been brainwashed by a "feminist worldview" one way or another, but we must work hard at it if we want to be saved.  We must remember that it is not our opinion that matters.  It is God's opinion that matters and nothing else!  The Bible is crystal clear about wives submitting to their husbands!  God commands wives to do it!  Let us consider other Scriptures besides I Peter 3 and Ephesians 5:22-24 that exhort us to submit to our husbands and in some ways to all male authority.
"Wives, submit to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord."  (Colossians 3:18).
"Let a woman learn quietly with all submissiveness. I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet."  (I Timothy 2:11-12).

Let us keep in mind that a woman's submission to God is the first step in her submission to her husband.  She must not resist God's will, His commands or direction! 

  • The Paradox of Submission:
Every woman I know struggles with submission.  It is a fact that we all are feminists at heart going back to Eve.  We want to be independent.  That is the way we are, but it is not the way God made us.

The Bible is full of paradoxes:  the last shall be first.  The greatest of all is the servant of all.  If you lose your life, you will find your life. Submission is another one of these paradoxes.

Many think that submission implies weakness, being a doormat.  In fact, it is just the opposite. Why?  Because it demands great strength and character.  It is difficult!  It is not the weak women who submit respectfully but rather the strong women.  Do not get me wrong here!  In submission, we will have strength because when we obey God, we find favor with Him.  Notice what the Bible has to say.
"In returning and rest you shall be saved; in quietness and in trust shall be your strength."  (Isaiah 30:15).
"Behold, the eye of the Lord is on those who fear him, on those who hope in his steadfast love."  (Psalm 33:18).

One of the reasons submission is so hard for women is because they want to be the ones in control.  So they believe that when they submit they are renouncing their power, making them feel as if they are losing their influence.  In fact, submission gives us great influence (because it is a legitimate influence), elevating us in the eyes of our husbands, bringing contentment and satisfaction to both. One great example of this great and good influence of wives over their husbands is found in I Peter 3:1-2.
"Likewise, wives, be subject to your own husbands, so that even if some do not obey the word, they may be won without a word by the conduct of their wives, when they see your respectful and pure conduct."  

Our hope must be that of winning our husbands when they are in any kind of error.  Our primary motive must never be that of manipulating but rather of submitting to our husbands as unto the Lord.  This is simply obeying GodWhy?  Because submission is simply an act of obedience toward God and His rule.  This is how we show our obedience and hope in Him.  Nothing else but submission to His will allows Him to make all things work for our own good.  Our hope is not in our husbands because they will make mistakes even when they are mature and godly.  Our hope must be in God because He is our Supreme Ruler.  He never makes mistakes.  He never fails us.

This leads me to the following questions:
  1. Is submission a sign of strength or weakness?  
  2. In what areas as a wife do you need to become more submissive to your husbands?  Of course, you must first submit to God and His authority. 
  3. Is submission hard to practice and obey in your walk with Christ? 
  4. Does your submission show your faith in God? 
  • What Does it Mean to "Be Subject"?

    • "Likewise, wives, be subject to your own husbands."  
      Although submission is hard for many, God in His everlasting Word commands wives to be submissive to their husbands God's will is for wives to submit to their husbands' will.  In a few words, you as a wife must comply with your husband's plan of action, rather than resisting it and trying to execute yours alone.

      Suppose your husband tells you one day that he wants to start having a daily devotional Bible reading in the morning rather than in the evening.  Let's say you refuse to do this because you are not a morning person, and you resist change no matter what it is.  You simply like your routine.

      Now you have here two ways of action.
        • First Way of Action:
      One is not to care and do nothing about it, making your husband have to repeat the same request until he may become a little cross.  He may tell you, "I want you to get up now!"  This, of course, will provoke you into feeling sour and resentful.  When you refuse to submit willingly to him, you are in the position of having to obey.  Most of us, women, hate this! Why?  Simply because we don't much like to be told what to do.  So, what happens when we refuse to submit?  We find ourselves in the role of a child:  we are brought to the point of obeying orders which are against our will.

      However, it is vital that we not put ourselves in that position.  Why?  Because we refuse to submit or cooperate with our husbands.  Unfortunately, this kind of behavior forces our husbands to order us to do what we refused to do willingly earlier.  It becomes an unpleasant situation to be in!  This refusal to submit voluntarily must be avoided!  It is terrible for our marriages and our homes.

      This being said regarding the first way of action, let us examine the second way of action.  It is the right and godly way of action:
        • The Second Way of Action:
      Let's start with the same scenario:  Your husband wants everyone to start early with a devotional Bible reading.  And although you don't want to change the family schedule the way that your husband is directing everyone, but in obedience to the will of God, knowing that you must submit, you right away start thinking about how to make his instruction happen.  Now take notice of the most critical part of this whole scenario:  she, the wife, starts thinking about how to follow her husband's instructions without hesitation and resistance.  Here, the wife is not in the position of doing her will against her husband's as in the first case.  Why?  Because she simply submitted to her husband's will.  She is now in the driver's seat with her husband.  She is cooperative instead of resisting.  And this is precisely the right thing wives are supposed to do!  The wife is trying to accomplish what her husband wants or needs.  We are beginning to see what Bible submission looks like.  It is a wife making a choice not to resist or argue with her husband's will.  Arguing with her husband is not only an ungodly behavior but a terrible example to her children!  Although a wife's opinion on any matter might differ, she can still express it in a respectful and honoring manner without belittling confrontations.  Such discretion brings harmony and peace to the marriage and her family.  For her to express her opinionsadvice and suggestions will always be a valuable aspect of the help she gives her husband as long as she is doing it with a meek and quiet spirit.

      My questions are:
      1. Are you failing to submit to your husband and in which areas?  
      2. What can you do to be on board with your husband's wishes?  
      3. Are you going to resist and rebel or are you willing to do God's will by submitting to his headship?

      • How Can We Better Help Our Husbands Lead?
      Although some wives don't have any problem with submitting to the headship of the husband, they often wish that their husbands would awaken and show some manifestation or indication of it. Women complain that no matter how hard they try to help the husbands acknowledge this responsibility or obligation, they still don't get it.  In fact, I have been asked by some, "How can I make my husband lead the way God has intended him to do?  It is an unbiblical question.  Why?  Simply, because you cannot force or make your husband lead.  But, you can help him be a leader by following him.  How can a wife help her husband be the leader?  By sincerely encouraging him to lead and then by following, respecting and honoring his headship/leadership.  Even when they are not leading in the best way.

      My next question, what if the husband is not governing right?  What if he is not leading in the right and best direction?  This is really difficult for wives to decide or establish.  Frankly, I have met some women, sisters in Christ who were sure they were wiser and godlier than their husbands.  They were very outspoken about this without any reservation whatsoever.  To be honest, I had my doubts even when I had never met their husbands.  Why?  Because to me, they seemed arrogant and self-righteous.  It is sinful!  And they need to repent of this.

      I am not going to deny that some women are more family-oriented than their husbands.  For example, a wife may take the time to instruct the children either in their education or Bible while the husband is at work all day.  She makes the best of her time for the sake of her children.  This is how she is helping him as a helper in the biblical sense of the word, not by taking the headship into her own hands but by merely helping him where there is a need.

      So, my next question is:  How do we help our husbands do God's will?  Here is where wives must behave in a manner that is godly and respectful even when the husband is not obeying the Lord the way he should.  As a matter of fact, a wife is called to behave in a chaste and respectful way in every circumstance of her life. A wife can respectfully ask her husband's opinion on any matter as long as she is doing it in a godly and respectful way.  On the other hand, when a wife assumes or undertakes the husband's leadership or headship, she is indisputably hindering him in his leadership.  Eventually, it destroys his confidence in his ability to lead.  Without a doubt, this can turn into "tearing her house down with her own hands." 
      "The wise woman builds her house, but the foolish tears it down with her own hands."  (Proverbs 14:1).

      You might be thinking, "Well certainly I'm the one taking the leadership!  My husband does not show any ability to lead!"  Frankly, that is not Biblical nor is it true!  The endpoint is that the husband is the head of the wife.  There is no other way!   He is given by God the position of leadership.  Period!   Even, when he appears not to be leading, he is still leading.  He is just leading poorly.  Here it gets dangerous for the strong, stubborn and assertive wife as she tends to make things much worse for him.  It will be a disaster for the marriage and the family! Why?  Because when the wife takes control, her husband's leadership and headship are distorted and abused.  This is not within God's created order.  It is a violation of His Word!

      My next is.
      1. What if the husband is not a believer or a Christian? 
      2. Is the wife commanded to submit to him?  
      3. Why not go to the source of all Truth and find the answer to this question?  
      Let us consider what I Peter 3 has to say concerning our manner of behavior toward the non-believer husbands.
      "In the same way, you wives, be submissive to your own husbands so that even if any of them are disobedient to the word, they may be won without a word by the behavior of their wives, as they observe your chaste and respectful behavior."  (I Peter 3:1-2).

      We can see clearly that a wife's chaste and respectful behavior toward her husband who is not a believer can win him without a word; this being the right and godly way of action, the right strategy. I believe this applies to all believing and unbelieving husbands.  Our chaste and respectful behavior is not only right and godly, but it is also the only way we are going to win his love, respect, and trust that may encourage him to be godly and holy.

      Believing women and believing men certainly know that God created the heavens and the earth by His spoken Word.  Moreover, He is able to raise the dead back to life.  God can transform and regenerate the heart of man.  And there is no doubt in my heart that God can change our husbands' hearts from glory to glory!  Do you doubt it?  

      So, do you find yourself manipulating your husband rather than encouraging him to lead, trusting God to refine and change his heart so that he may be godly?

      • Why Do Women Take Matters Into Their Own Hands?
      There is no room for doubt that one thing that is vital to the learning process of submission is to never take matters into our own hands.  Even Sarah, who has been given to us in I Peter 3 as an example of submission, failed in this area of submission.  She suffered the consequences of such failure.  Let us go back and read the story in Genesis 15.  God made a covenant with Abram in which He promised that his offspring would be as numberless as the stars in the heavens.  We are told that Abram believed God "and He reckoned it to him as righteousness."  However, there was a problem with this promise.  Sarai was barren.  She had not been able to conceive even after many years of marriage to Abram.  And since she was barren, how was she going to have that many descendants?  

      Sarai's failure was in thinking that she could solve the problem herself by telling her husband Abram to marry her slave.  She thought she might obtain children through Hagar.  In the Middle East, this was a common practice.  By having Hagar, her slave, conceive for her, the child would legally belong to Sarai. Thinking that this was the solution to her problem, she gave her slave to Abram.  Hagar did conceive a child.  Needless to say, this solution to her problem generated nothing but more trouble for Sarai. Why?  Because Sarai began treating Hagar with contempt; she was scornful.  It was evident that there was tension and trouble between the two.  Then later, when Hagar gave birth to his son, Ishmael, Sarai became jealous and treated her and the child harshly.  She said to Abraham"Cast out this slave woman with her son, for the son of this slave woman shall not be heir with my son Isaac." And the thing was very displeasing to Abraham on account of his son."'  (Genesis 21:8-14).  There was a strife between the two women and their sons.  A strife that has endured for thousands of years!

      Although Sarai knew God's plan and believed it, it is evident that she had trouble believing and trusting in God's promise.  She deceived herself believing that God was going to keep His promise by taking matters into her own hands.  Her urging Abram to carry out her plan is similar to what Eve did to Adam back in the Garden of Eden;
      "And to Adam he said, 'Because you have listened to the voice of your wife and have eaten of the tree of which I commanded you, ‘You shall not eat of it,’ cursed is the ground because of you; in pain you shall eat of it all the days of your life."'  (Genesis 3:17).

      It is indisputable that both of these husbands, Adam and Abram, got into trouble by allowing their wives to carry out their own plans.  Their failure was in listening to their wives'voices instead of God's voice and instruction.  The surprising thing is that both these men were god-fearing men!

      I am not saying that wives always lead their husbands astray nor am I saying that this text is saying that.  Moreover, I am not saying that the wife should never make suggestions and give advice to her husband at all.  On the contrary, one of the ways a wife can be a helper to her husband is by offering wise counsel.  But wives must be respectful to their husbands and be careful not to cross the line!  Remember that our words carry a lot of value and importance to our husbands.  You may not realize it, but we can influence our husbands a great deal to do good or evil.  This is true in both good and bad marriages.  So let us be careful and not destroy our homes with our own hands because we will have to give an account for this to God.

      All this being said, let us be particularly careful about how we influence our husbands when he is making important decisions or choices.  Why?  Because this can change the future of our families drastically.  So, why not fervently pray that God will give our husband enough wisdom and discernment that h may lead well, pleasing God and doing His perfect will?  Instead of trying to persuade or entice him to accept our point of view.  Why not encourage our husband by telling him that we are praying for him that the Lord may help him to lead the family in the best direction and make the right choices?  I assure you as a wife that this will be good and wise!

      It is imperative for a wife to use discretion and wisdom when trying to give advice to her husband. She must keep in mind that it is God's will and not her will that she wants to be done.  We must remember that God has commanded that the husband be the head of the family.  There is no other way!

      Another example given in the Bible of a wife who also took matters into her own hands was Rebekah, the wife of Isaac, Sarah's son.
      "And Isaac prayed to the Lord for his wife, because she was barren. And the Lord granted his prayer, and Rebekah his wife conceived. The children struggled together within her, and she said, 'If it is thus, why is this happening to me?' So she went to inquire of the Lord. And the Lord said to her, 'Two nations are in your womb, and two peoples from within you shall be divided; the one shall be stronger than the other, the older shall serve the younger."'  (Genesis 25:21-23).

      God had made it clear to Rebekah that the younger twin, Jacob, would be his chosen, God's man. However, Jacob would need to be broken by God to fashion him into a great man, God's man.
      "When the boys grew up, Esau was a skillful hunter, a man of the field, while Jacob was a quiet man, dwelling in tents. Isaac loved Esau because he ate of his game, but Rebekah loved Jacob."  (Genesis 25:27-28).  

      Later in this chapter, we are told that Esau sold his birthright for a bowl of lentil soup to Jacob, his brother.  In the book of Hebrews, we are told what God thought of this act, and of Esau as well.
      "Lest there be any fornication, or profane person, as Esau, who for one mess of meat sold his own birthright."  (Hebrews 12:16).

      Another text that mentions Esau is found in Malachi 1:2-3.
      "I have loved you,' says the Lord. But you say, 'How have you loved us?' 'Is not Esau Jacob's brother?' declares the Lord. 'Yet I have loved Jacob but Esau I have hated. I have laid waste his hill country and left his heritage to jackals of the desert."'

      We are told in Genesis 25 that Rebekah loved Jacob and that Isaac loved Esau.  I am sure that Rebekah knew which of her two sons was going to be God's chosen man.  Later in Genesis 27, we are told that Isaac was getting old and that his eyes were dim and could not see.  When Isaac realized that his death was approaching, he called for Esau, his favorite son, and asked him to prepare to receive his blessing.  Rebekah knowing that this was not what was supposed to happen and that Jacob was the chosen one to receive the blessing, she devised a plan:  Jacob would disguise himself as Esau and deceive his father, Isaac in order to obtain the blessing.  Jacob agreed to carry out the plan. And it worked!  Her plan succeeded, but at a terrible cost to her and all her family.

      When Esau found out what his brother had done, he resolved to kill him.
      "But the words of Esau her older son were told to Rebekah. So she sent and called Jacob her younger son and said to him, 'Behold, your brother Esau comforts himself about you by planning to kill you. Now therefore, my son, obey my voice. Arise, flee to Laban, my brother in Haran and stay with him a while, until your brother's fury turns away— until your brother's anger turns away from you, and he forgets what you have done to him. Then I will send and bring you from there. Why should I be bereft of you both in one day?"'  (Genesis 27:42-45).

      Jacob now is forced to flee for his life.  He wound up at the home of Laban, his mother's brother. While working for his uncle, Jacob fell in love with Rachael, his cousin.  He agreed to work for Rachael seven years instead of the usual three.  And since Jacob did not have the support of his father and other men from his household, he ended up completing all negotiations on his own.  This made it easier for his uncle, Laban, to take advantage and abuse him terribly. Laban deceived Jacob giving him Leah, his older daughter, instead of Rachel on his wedding night. Poor Jacob ended up working another seven years to win the bride he wanted, the one he had been promised!

      Laban treated Jacob exceedingly unfairly.  I think that the reason Laban mistreated Jacob and took advantage of him was because he was penniless and needy when he arrived at Laban’s house.  Jacob brought these circumstances on himself because he had to flee for his life.  Now, just think for a moment what it meant for Rebekah when she realized her favorite son was gone not just for a few days as she had planned but rather for twenty years.  The last time we hear of Rebekah in the Bible was when she gave Jacob her farewell instructions.  She must have died before Jacob came home.  That means she never saw her beloved son again.  How sad!

      Imagine Rebekah having to live with Esau along with his pagan and annoying wives.  I am pretty sure this is something she did not plan for and may have tried to avoid.  All this because she took matters into her own hands, and moved Jacob to deceive his father and receive the blessing and inherit his father's land!  The Bible never again makes mention of Rebekah, of her death or her burial. Perhaps, this is an indication of dishonor.  How could Rebekah thwart Isaac, who was trying to do the right thing, knowing that ultimately God had other plans?  She surely knew that legally Esau was the rightful heir to continue the godly line.  Evidently, she thought that God was not able to cause it to happen without her taking the issue into her own hands.

      None of us can deny that on some occasions we have tried (or have been tempted) to take matters into our own hands.  It should be very unsettling for us.  It is disturbing and even alarming!  Why?  Because instead of wives, taking matters into their own hands, they should be praying ferventlyhonoring our husbands, behaving in a chaste and respectful manner, waiting on God and trusting Him to come to our rescue and save us from all of our trials.  Let us not forget that our God is able!  He is our Deliverer!  We as wives must wait patiently for God's deliverance instead of being presumptuous, taking all matters into our own hands.  We must believe this and take it to heart!

      "The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, My God, my rock, in whom I take refuge; My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold."  (Psalm 18:2).
      "Since I am afflicted and needy, Let the Lord be mindful of me.  You are my help and my deliverer; Do not delay, O my God."  (Psalm 40:17).
      "My lovingkindness and my fortress, My stronghold and my deliverer, My shield and He in whom I take refuge, Who subdues my people under me."  (Psalm 144:2).
      "Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance.  And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing."  (James 1:2-4).
      I want to finish with a few questions to meditate on.  Do you think it is better to trust God and wait for His deliverance instead of taking matters into own our hands?  What do you say is the opposite of submitting?  What is the opposite of head?  What is the opposite of subject?  What is the opposite of love?  And finally, what is the opposite of giving?



      CONCLUSION:

      The word submit or submission is to submit under the authority or power of another person which is usually deemed as mandatory or obligatory.  We are commanded to submit to all forms of authority (speed limit, the laws of our nation whether they're paying taxes, immigration, financial, business and many other laws that we must follow here on earth).  We harm ourselves when we fail to live up to those laws or requirements.  Obedience is to submit or be submissive to authority or laws, being under that authority or the control of someone or something else.  The Bible concept of submission or submitting is much different from today’s idea of femininity.

      In 1 Peter 3:4-6, Peter speaks of submission as being godly.  He commands wives to yield, be subject to their husbands, for this is the will of God.  Our culture has often challenged and made it difficult for wives to obey the command to submit to their husbands.  Our society frames "headship" as "dictatorship."  The only right thing to do is that the wife must voluntarily yield to her husband, seeking out his best interests.  Her yielding is what God demands of her!  A godly and God-fearing wife wants her husband to lead her and the family without her attempting to do it for them.  Our society has failed us in reversing the roles!  We see passive husbands and domineering wives.  Men don't want to lead or provide for their family and are content to be lazy.  Thus, they lay the responsibility of leading their household on their wives.  Many even send their wives to work and are content to not provide for the needs of their family!  Husbands, God has made you responsible for your family, not your wife.  As the head, the buck stops with you!  How can you ask your wife to yield and then refuse to the lead?  Step up and be the leader!  Wives, you are commanded by God to encourage your husband's leadership or headship.  Don't try to seize your husband's leadership just because you think he is not leading!  You still must continue to have a yielding spirit and encourage your husband's leadership.

      In Ephesians 5:22-23, the apostle Paul is urging wives to "submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior."  That is walking worthy of their calling in the marriage by voluntarily submitting to their husbands.  In our twisted and feminist society, the word "submission" has become an unpleasant and ugly word.  It presents a picture of being dominated and oppressed.  They have completely corrupted the meaning of the word and the concept of what the Bible teaches.  Jesus has never asked us to do anything that He did not do Himself.  Jesus submitted to the will of His Father and yielded to His Father's interests.  He commands wives to voluntarily submit to the leadership of their husbands. Husbands, remember that the Lord does not want you to abuse your leadership by forcing her to submit, using punishments or other consequences.  If the wives refuse to yield, I believe there is nothing that you can do but be accountable to God and expect Him to judge the wives if they refuse to repent.  She must voluntarily submit to the husband's leadership without the husband forcing her to do it!  Wives who fear the Lord will submit to the headship of their husbands without enforcement.  Their primary desire must be that of submitting to God's will and that of their husbands.

      It is vital that we stress the importance of wives behaving in a holy way outside and inside the home.  In 1 Peter 3:1-2, he illustrates a wife whose husband is not obedient to God's Word.  She is commanded to win her husband by her godly and holy conduct.  Wives, your godly, righteous lives speak more than words!  But if you behave like the world, you are not obeying God and submitting to His rule.  Period!  You must behave in a godly way regardless of how he acts toward you.  If he does not act like a godly and God-fearing man, the way he must, that gives no permission or right whatever for you to refuse to submit to him.  Period!

      Remember that holy women in the past placed their hope or trust in God and adorned themselves inwardly and outwardly.  They clothed themselves with a yielding or submissive heart toward God.  Sarah is the best godly and yielding example for all Christian wives, and we must learn from her example.  You see Sarah showed a yielding, submissive spirit in the way she treated her husband even her conversations with Abraham.  By following her godly and holy example, we are children of Sarah.  We cannot be heirs of the promise when we behave in an ungodly and unfaithful way.  A yielding wife trusts her husband and acts in his best interest.  She yields or submits to her husband because she fears God and wants to submit to Him, doing what is right.  She is godly and has a quiet and gentle spirit, for she obeys Christ.  Sisters and friends, remember that we must not focus on the externals only.  Our beauty must not be how we look externally, but it must be a spiritual beauty as well.  Our beauty must reveal a gentle and quiet spirit.  Our hearts are precious to God, and so it is a character that is gentle and quiet.  In Matthew 5:5 all Christians are commanded to be meek, i.e., gentle, just like Moses who is praised for his gentleness or meekness of heart toward all (Num. 12:3).  Wives and sisters remember that our most excellent beauty comes from our godliness.

      We must first submit to God and His authority to be able to submit to our husbands.  As we submit to God, we are obeying His plan and authority for us in the home, and it is easier to honor our husband as the spiritual leader of our homes.  As we submit to God's authority, it is easier for us wives to step back and allow our husband to lead.  It is a reminder of what it means to step back and allow God to lead us all.  As God-fearing wives, we must refuse to be in control but let go, for we must not lead and carry the flag, but follow our husband's leadWe must follow, offer, serve, help, share, observe, then we must pour more in than we ladle out.  We must see the blessings of submission in our marriage, step back and make room for our husbands to step forward, for this is God's wisdom for us women.  Sadly, in today's culture, the relationship between husband and wife has been affected by feminism! The seeds of feminism lie within each of our hearts.  Feminism disregards the need for roles, for it equates roles with inherent worth.  But that is not what the Word of God declares!  In the Bible, it is easier to see the fundamental equality of men and women in Genesis 1:27.  Nowhere in the Bible do we read that men are more in God's image than women.  Men and women share equally the privilege of being made in God's image or likeness. We have the same honor.

      We, wives, must submit to the Lord first so that we may submit to our husbands.  Our Lord and Savior is declaring His glory in submission, and He is also teaching wives what it means to submit to Him. We must seek to be delivered from the bankruptcy of the way the world sees marriage!  It is our duty as those who walk in Truth and Love to replace the world’s distorted vision of marriage with a heavenly one.  Let us not forget that marriage displays the glory of the Gospel of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  Everything that pertains to marriage is resolved by applying the foundational principles taught in the Word of God.  Moreover, every married couple must be willing to humbly understand and accept God's will and purpose for marriage.  It is not about "my "needs" or "my rights."  The "her needs" kind of vision of marriage afflicts many.  If we indeed love the Truth, we must accept and follow God’s vision of marriage! So, it is time to awaken from our slumber and stand up and live out God's divine design for us.  Of course, that is, if we truly trust God and revere His holy Word.  Let us be children of Light and not surrender to the pressure of our pagan culture which forces us to reject everything that is godly and righteous!  And let us fix our eyes only on God and not our pagan culture.  With a sincere heart, let us fix our eyes on Him alone and not the giant, feminism, that rebels against God and all righteousness.  Remember, God's ways are perfect and best for us.  Let us let God and His Word work in us.

      So, ladies, if you do not desire to submit and follow a man's leadership, then you must not marry, but you cannot escape your obligation to submit to male authority by remaining single.  To please God, you still must learn to submit your will to the divine will. Period!  Remember, submission does not mean you are inferior.  Do you suppose Christ was inferior when He submitted to the will of His Father?  I don't think so!!  Why?  Because submission or yielding shows strength and godly meekness.  Remember, that when you submit to your husband, you are showing reverence and service to the Lord.  That is, you are serving Christ by yielding to your husband's will and not your own.  For your husband is your head!  There is only one head in the marital relationship.  God created both, husband and wife, as one flesh to function together under one head.  They are not to be autonomous but live together.  God has made the marriage relationship to be as beautiful as Christ is to the church.  Wives, submission is not doing what you always want to do nor is it getting your own way!  Submission is choosing to submit or yield your will and desires to the will of your husband.  This is walking in godliness and love It is devotion to the Lord!  Submission honors and affirms the husband's leadership and encourages him to carry it on.  Submission is not begrudging him his role as head, and it does not undermine the leadership of her husband (1 Peter 3:1-2).  Wives, you are obeying Christ and submitting to His will when you submit to your husband's leadership or headship.  Remember, you will be rewarded for your yielding and loving service to your husband and the Lord.

      Until men and women start realizing what God wants and demands of them as husbands and wives, submitting to His headship and His rule, it is going to be difficult for our marriages to operate and be transformed the way God has intended from the beginning.    Sadly, God's vision of marriage has been severely damaged in our society, but it can be restored to God's original design through the Gospel of His Son. It is my fervent prayer that God in some way will help wives submit to their husbands as unto Him with a sincere and pure heart, the way He has purposed for them.  I know that it is not easy since Satan has tried so hard to pervert our hearts against God's will.  But deep in my heart, I know that it is possible if we start thinking and behaving like children of Light whose primary desire is to do the will of their Father in heaven.  Thanks be to God for the Gospel, which is His power unto salvation!  Therefore, let us reject the world's distorted vision of marriage and the home, and all the lies of feminism and determine to go back to the ancient pathways of God's righteous ways.   Thanks be to God for that beautiful vision of marriage He has set for us which is so much better than our own vision, more beautiful, unusual and more life-giving. 

      May we submit to our husbands as unto the Lord.  For the husband is the head of the wife as also our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ is the head of His church and the Savior of the body.  May it be as the Lord our God has spoken.  May we from a sincere and contrite heart change the course of our marriages.  May we give God much more than we are currently giving Him.  May we stand up like David and fight the giant, feminism, embracing God-defined femininity.  And may we allow His eternal Word to transform, regenerate, refine and change us for His glory.


      Luci

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