Priceless Woman Ministries
Julia M. Faulkner
This is a very hard study for me to write. There is so much running through my mind right now that I want to share with you! I hope that I can take all that is there and get it on paper in an orderly way. *God help me do this* keeps resounding in my heart and my mind.
In all honesty, I never thought I'd be one writing a ladies bible study on submission. It has only been in the last few years that I gave in to God's leading and submitted myself to my husband as is God's will for all married women. Oh! but what joy and peace and happiness I have felt! Submission God's way is so rewarding. Maybe that's what I want to talk about here. The who, what, when, where, and how of wives submitting to their husbands.
Jesus told us that a house divided against itself will fall. How true that is! Many homes are now broken homes because there was one too many people trying to be the leader in the home. The wife is that person. Often I wonder why wives would tear apart their homes. I would believe it to be many things.
First and foremost, there has not been an example for the wife to follow and there has been no training. Titus 2:3 - 5 "The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things; That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed." Where are the older women who are supposed to be teaching us younger women? It would seem that they are either on the job or are retired and traveling with grandpa. Or maybe they figure they've already raised their children, got them out on their own, and now their job is over. Hmmm. Well, the only thing I can say about this is "NOT!" I mean no disrespect to my elders, but we need our older women to teach us younger one's how to be a loving wives and mothers; how to be a keepers at home; how to be obedient to our husbands! Oh to have someone teach me! I believe our young mothers, and even those not so young but still have young children, or maybe are still newly weds, need someone to guide them along. Ladies, our responsibility to our daughters and our young women does not end when they marry and have children of their own! God help these young women who so need the wisdom and experience of the older women of whom God's speaks in His word. For who else is there to lean on?
Next I believe that the women's lib has destroyed and warped the true meaning of biblical, scriptural submission for wives. They have us thinking it's a terrible, awful thing to be obedient to our husbands. Since when did we stop listening to God and start listening to the world? God's way is always the perfect way! Instead of the wisdom of Godly women, we now have the wisdom of world. 1 Corinthians 3:19 "For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, He taketh the wise in their own craftiness."
Last, I believe that wives who refuse to submit to their husbands as God instructs us to do are in rebellion. Both to God and to the leader of their home. Anytime we deny God's way and seek our own, that is rebellion. Why do humans rebel? That is a good question. And also a hard one to answer. I believe it's mostly that we don't want anyone telling us what to do. Be it our husbands, our parents, our bosses, our pastor. Anyone in authority.
Now, what do you think would happen if the vice president of the United States decided he didn't like what the president was doing and he argued with him about everything? Getting mad and having a fit because he didn't get his way, and he just knows his way is better. He's itching to be in charge. While I believe the president should stop and listen to the vice-president, I know that the final authority lies with ONE man. If there really were two leaders on this country, both with equal powers, then it would not take long before things would get out of hand. There would be a split, with everything being torn apart because you've got two people trying to make decisions and be the leader. This is impossible. There cannot be two leaders. How many armies have you ever seen that have two captains running things?
You know, wives are like the vice-president of the home. The men are the presidents, but wives are like helpers or assistants who offer opinions, or suggestions and ideas, love, and support. It is good for the husband to listen to her, but ultimately it is up to the husband to make the final decision. This is the system that works! This is the system God has laid down for us.
Ephesians 5:22 "Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord." Wives are to submit to their husbands just as they submit to the Lord! And I firmly believe that any woman not submitting to her husband cannot be in total submission to Christ. For she is rebelling against the very word of God. But what is the husband's responsibility in all of this submission business?
Ephesians chapter 5: "25: Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; 26: That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, 27: That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. 28: So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. 29: For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church: 30: For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones. 31: For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. 32: This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church."
Would you not agree that the husband has the greater responsibility here? I think so. That is an awesome calling for men. To love their wives as Christ loved the Church and gave himself for it! Think of what husbands do for us. They give most of their day working a job to feed, shelter, and clothe their wives and children. This is a great sacrifice I believe. Just as Christ nourishes and cherishes the Church, so men ought to nourish and cherish their wives. Women are merely called to be in submission, men are commanded to love, cherish, nourish, and give their lives for their mate. Which calling would you rather have?
Look at Ephesians 5:32: "This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church." God intended that marriage be a reflection of Christ and his bride! What a wonderful thought that should be to us. Christ loved us so much that He gave his life for us. He nourishes and cherishes us. Because of this great love, we submit ourselves to him to be his servant. And God says that this is the way it should be between a man and a woman. Once again, looking at the wife, we see that just as she submits to Christ, she should also submit to her husband.
The husband's role reflects that of Christ. The wives role, that of the Church. Isn't that a beautiful comparison?
A wife is her husband's helpmeet (servant) and is to bear his children (fruit). Isn't this the same role as the Church? To be a servant for Christ and win souls (bear fruit) for Him?
A man seeks a woman to be his wife; woo's her; sacrifices his life to meet her needs; loves, cherishes, and nourishes her. Just as Christ gave His life for us; seeks us out; draws us to Him; loves, cherishes, nourishes us.
Our temporal, earthly marriage is a reflection of the eternal, Heavenly marriage of Christ and His Bride. What does you marriage reflect?
Nowhere in the word of God do we ever find that the men are to submit to the women. In fact, the women are instructed to not only submit but, just as the men are to love their wives, younger women are to be taught by the aged women how to love their husbands, children, and home (See Titus 2). Now let me add one thing before we move on to my next point. Ephesians 5:21 "Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God." Man and wife are one, but at the same time she is in subjection to her husband, we see that we are to submit to one another as brothers and sisters in Christ. Does God contradict Himself? No. The next verse tells us that women are first in subjection to their own husbands. But there is nothing wrong with serving our brothers in Christ. It's just that our husbands come first. Now, if the husband if doing filling his role as husband according to the word of God, and if the wife is filling her role according to the word of God, then they are in one accord according to God's will for marriage. It's when wives try to get around their role that that unity is broken.
What women fail to understand about submission is that it truly is for our own good. I can just hear the gasps now from the women's libbers. Well, let them gasp! There is a reason for women being in submission to their husbands. And, while it is a sad story, it is also a very simple explanation.
I Peter 3:7: "Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered." Women are weaker vessels. Is that bad? Well, if God made us that way, then no it isn't. Look at Eve. She was the one who was deceived. And that is the main reason we need someone to look over us per se. Women are tenderhearted, loving, trusting creatures. Because of this, we can easily be lead astray. Men are stronger in the areas where we are weaker (without strength). The serpent did not seek to deceive Adam. He knew who the weaker creature was.
Is submission punishment for what Eve did? Genesis 3:16 "Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee." No, I believe it is more a means of protection. We should thank God for taking care of us in such a way.
Ladies, let me challenge you to take a look at your marriage. Are you doing your part?
© 1996 by Julia M. Faulkner, Sonshine Publications