Strong women typically are not thought of as meek and gentle, humble and submissive wives. We tend to picture strength in women as those who work as hard and in the same ways that men do. Of the meek, gentle, humble, and submissive women we hear or say things such as “She gave up everything to stay at home and care for her husband, or care for her children” “She home-schools, so she doesn’t really have a life of her own”
Is submission just giving up, rolling over and playing dead?
Submission is more than just saying ‘yes dear’ even when your own opinion in a matter differs completely. The submission of our Savior led Him to prayer and grieving so that He literally sweat great drops of blood. His submission was spiked thorns encircling His head. Hammering great spikes from which to be hung after being beaten until He no longer bore any resemblance to a man. Was this weak? No. This was His very great strength. He says for the JOY set before Him He went to the cross. That is how we should view submission, no matter how difficult it may seem. Submission is joyful, and for most of us we have not yet resisted sin as Christ did to the point of shedding our blood.
What does it really take for us to submit to the authority of our husbands over us?
Submission requires great strength. Submission has respect for the authority and the heirarchy that is established in God’s economy. Submission requires great humility, thinking more of others than we think of ourselves. It requires great service. For most of us it would be nothing to walk a mile for a neighbor in need to give them the shirt off our back – but pick up our husbands plate from the table? We can find that exasperating. Why? Because our flesh seeks to serve its self. Doing a good deed here and there is glorious, and people like us because we’re so kind and helpful. But, mostly our husbands and families are not cheering when we clear the table. It’s the mundane daily grind that seems to go at times unthanked and unnoticed. Submissiveness says “So what? Who cares if no one notices”.
So we must ask ourselves, why is it that we do these things at all? Because it is actually God that we are serving. It is He alone that is glorified, and this does not satisfy our flesh. It is God that we actually serve and submit to – not our husbands, not our families – but the creator and king of all heaven and earth, the Lord Jesus Christ. Who in the end will say to us
“So you too, when you do all the things which are commanded you, say, ‘We are unworthy slaves; we have done only that which we ought to have done.’ ”
When we submit we are only doing what we are supposed to do. Nothing more nothing less. It’s what is commanded. We do these things in living out our faith. This is the nuts and bolts of our walk with Christ. If we cannot get submissiveness down in our home and lives here on earth we will never respect or submit to God’s heirarchy and order in church, and we will assuredly never enjoy it in heaven. We must die to ourselves to be submissive. Submission is against our nature. Plain and simple. The curse in the garden, pronounced on all women
“Yet your desire will be for your husband, And he will rule over you.”
This desire, is not passion or romantic desire. This desire is to be in the place of the husband. This is the desire to have and be the authority. To rule and to reign in areas that God has not given us, as women, authority. Submission is not in the nature of our flesh, and as long as we live on this earth, we will struggle with slaying this sin in our hearts and minds.
So how do we actually live lives in humble submission? It is only possible by first asking God in prayer to make you aware and help you when you are struggling with desiring your husbands place. Pray that He will grant you repentance in this, and He will, because if you are His very own blood bought child He will do all things necessary to conform you into the image of His perfect Son that lived a life of submission, not considering equality with God something to be grasped. As you have thoughts and struggles against your husband in this pray and take every thought captive to Christ.
Be aware that in your husbands you find glimpses of Christ, demonstrations through your husband of God’s love and care for you. Know that on the best day and the hardest days your husband is also at work in refining you, pointing you away from sin and toward the Savior. Yes, even your husband. Yes, even in picking up plates. Yes, even in the laundry that you do. If you are in Christ every single minute detail of your life is foreordained for your good and God’s glory.
Something to think about:
Do I submit to the authority that God has placed over me in my husband and serve as though I am actually serving the Lord Christ?