Submission is like a gate to a garden. Out of it abundant blessings flow. We hate it, and we fight being thrown in… but if we belong to God, He puts us not only where He expects us to be but also where He can bless us.
Submission is a mental act of respect. It is a growing in deference. For a wife, it is an inclination toward the purposes of her husband. It is regard and reverence for her man as a man and also as her head. This is anathema to the modern female mind… We have built many protections for ourselves against this kind of vulnerability. Society supports us in all of them. Nowhere (besides murdering our children) does our resistance to vulnerability hurt us more. Our marriages are a wasteland due to our lack of submission. The truth is that women have far more to rebel against than men. The angels had only God to rebel against. We have our husbands added to the mix as well. God not only sees our need and our vulnerability in this but He wants to redeem us in it and use our greatest fears for our very real benefit. Previously, only Eve knew what it was like to walk in lockstep with her husband. As a newly formed bud, she sprang forth from Adam and stayed there. Close. Intimate. She grew and she flourished by her husband’s side, one with his purposes… until that fated day when she stepped away, not only from her husband but from her Maker. As Christians, Christ restores and heals both breaches. What He commands, He will empower and abundantly bless!
Submission is feminine. It is the primary feminine virtue. If we would regain anything as Christian wives, we must start there.
INSIDE THE GATE
Inside the gate is a woman named Sarah and her daughters. We know that submission was Sarah’s primary virtue as a woman. It was her most beautiful adornment, not only in God’s sight but in Abraham’s. When we are called to follow her as her daughters (1 Peter 3) , it is this primary feminine virtue of submission we are following.
Some examples from Sarah’s life… We know that she followed her husband into the wilderness and away from all other comfort. We know that she journeyed where her husband chose. We know that she obeyed Abraham’s extreme request in the direst circumstances, going where he asked and doing what he asked to offer protection… even at risk to herself! We know from scripture that she had a lifestyle of treating Abraham as “lord.” And we also know that the intimacy they shared was still a pleasure in her mind after a lifetime of marriage.
Submission restores much of what was lost relationally in the garden. Man was designed to lead and woman to follow. In restoring those roles, women can leave behind the depression, anger and fatigue that come with power usurpation and the isolation that comes with being at odds with our husbands. Personableness of interaction is restored because trust is restored. The man need not look behind him, wondering where his wife is in the scheme of things. He need not wonder when she’s going to come at him. She is where she is supposed to be, near his side, regarding him and ready to help. He can relax with her and enjoy her. This is a blessing not just because resistance has died away and she is a strength to him, but also because submission is feminine. Our role with our husband is a womanly one and we make ourselves attractive when we fill that place. Every man needs and desires this and yet only his wife was made to fill it.
Submission restores intimacy. In Ephesians we are commanded to reverence our husbands! Some synonyms for reverence are:
Tell me honestly if you felt all of these things for your husband, how would you treat him when he came home? We can only picture it! It is the stuff songs are made of. It is what the Song of Solomon is made of. Our womanly role with our husband begins in our mind and ends in our interactions. It affects our feelings and our desires. The Bible says in Matthew 6:21 “Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” It is a simple, natural principle. When we treasure, value and respect our husband and his position, we grow in responsiveness. Reverence actually restores romance… it is a natural blessing for the woman of obedience. How many songs on the radio reflect the basic connection and yet as we with our Bibles are above it? Satan knows what he is doing when he sets woman against man. In taking a husband’s authority instead of seeking a lifestyle of yielding, in mocking or belittling instead of reverencing, we lift ourselves out of the place where we could adore, and the foundation of intimate connection we so desperately need with our husbands is lost. We are left bereft, often mentally wandering and angry. This is because we were designed for submission and also romance, and yet have neglected our part. The pleasure Sarah had with her husband (Gen. 18) is not disconnected from her feminine role of submission in calling her husband ‘lord’.
Submission gives peace with God. How many times do we seek God during the day? All of the needs we bring to Him daily and our very real need of His presence to see us through often finds a stumbling block in our rebellion. Submission to our husband is where the Holy Spirit leads and we look around and wonder where He is! God knows the real struggles we face and He hears us. He is waiting to fill us with renewed energy and vision for HIS purposes for us. He will give us what we need abundantly if we submit… and He will also flood us with His presence. It is very precious to Him when we have the gentleness that comes with submission. (1 Pet. 3:4)
Submission takes away the burden of leadership we were not designed to bear. It is an act of faith in God to let this go. As we relinquish desire to direct our husbands, we leave space for God to direct him. And in leaving off our contrary directions we wish to go, we use our energies instead in conjunction with our husband. Instead of pulling against him or rowing the other direction, we pray for God’s leadership of him. God not only gives peace to such women but He also will use and increase all of her creative energies and unique abilities in the process. Do not believe the LIE that you can only be unique if you make your own way apart from your husband. That is to follow the myriad of feminist thinkers who have drowned womanhood in one monolithic pall of “freedom.” These are the women chained in their minds to self-will and they all bear the stamp of rebellion. True freedom is in Christ and Him alone! The Psalmist says, “I will walk at liberty because I seek thy precepts.” The fruition of our uniqueness as individuals is part and parcel with our femininity, and the embracing of obedience in submission to our husbands causes strength and new life in many directions. If we will say No to the forbidden fruit of headship… the garden is open!
Submission says No to fear. The culminating of our challenge is found in 1 Peter 3:6. We stumble and falter at the fears placed before us and this is why we grope for control:
“Even as Sara obeyed Abraham, calling him lord: whose daughters ye are, as long as ye do well, and are not afraid with any amazement.”
Fear amazes and stuns, and the culmination of obedience to God is resistance to this fear. Eve feared the loss of some great gain Satan placed before her. We fear loss of control. We fear loss of control of our circumstances and our environment, loss of pleasure and intimacy. We clamor for these things! Though we may lose some things and instead have the great gain God gives, often what we lose could be gained simply through restoration of submission. For all things, obedience is the answer. Faith says, “I believe God,” and steps out.
Question: When your husband comes home, do you belong to him? Let him take precedence in your thought and actions during the day. Submission is a mental act of respect. In choosing to regard your husband, even when he is not there, you will find yourself in love at the end of the day and he will find a true blessing in you!
Question: Do you find yourself angry or balking when you think about your husband? The fear you have must be overcome. Say NO to fear. You must do well and not be afraid with amazement. God is with you! He will pour abundant blessings on His daughters who overcome!