Morning Moments

with Sandra Bivens Smith

Submission

6 Comments

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. (Ephesians 5:22-23)

This doesn’t sound much like what we read in the magazines or hear on TV does it?

I don’t know about you, but I need to be reminded of this command – often. Being stubborn and strong-willed, this is an area in my own life where the Lord has a lot of work to do.

Right now some of you are thinking “you don’t know what my husband is like”, or “what if my husband takes advantage of me”, or maybe “who’s going to meet my needs”.  Wrong thinking, wrong message.

There are three good reasons that I’m pretty sure you think that way.

Reason #1:   God said you would (To the woman he said, “Your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you.” Genesis 3:16b).

Reason #2:  You tell me that’s how you think (see reason #1).

Reason #3:  It’s how my mind works (see reason #1).

As the Lord continues to work in my own life concerning submission, I find that my load doesn’t grow heavier, surprisingly (to me) it grows lighter.  As I come to be more and more obedient to God’s command, and more and more dependent on His grace, I am enjoying many blessings in my relationship with my husband and with my Lord.

Still not sure?  Here is another passage that helps me when I struggle with submission:

Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, (Colossians 3:23)

When we do all things for the glory of God we don’t see burdens, we see beauty.  Go ahead, try it.

Sandra

Author: Sandra Bivens Smith

Christian Writer Speaker Small Group Leader/Teacher

6 thoughts on “Submission

  1. I am so grateful for having learned Gods definition of submission early on in my marriage. Just like other areas in our christian walk we don’t get it right every time but I thank God that I am able to see and understand this precious gift.
    I read some commentary once that really helped me. Paul (author of Ephesians) talked a lot in military terms. The word he uses in the verse you quoted “submit” means “to come under”. Is that not a beautiful picture of how we would want to see our marriage? A husband protecting his wife by covering her and protecting her.
    It goes without saying that in the military everyone cannot be in charge. You would not only loose the war but also each battle along the way.
    I have learned I must trust God and his word as he directs me in my dealings in every aspect of relationships; including my marriage.
    In my opinion as far as feeling like your in a marriage where you are being mistreated or abused you must seek counsel from the Lord and follow him. We are given a lot of instruction on godly living and principles throughout the bible but when you study scrioture in its entirety you cannot miss the fact that God is ultimately concerned with the motive of our heart.

    Sorry this is so lengthy just sharing what’s on my heart

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  2. This is disgusting and you should be ashamed of yourself for spreading this. Women are not lesser than men, they do not need to “submit” to men. You should say that they don’t need anyone but the Lord, and if they have a dependable and kind-hearted husband, to not be afraid to look to them when they need extra support (and vice versa for men to women). As a mother and grandmother to women I do not understand how you could ever encourage your girls to submit to anyone but God. This mindset leads to so many women staying in abusive and unhealthy relationships and you are continuing that. Spread unity and mutual respect instead of creating a class system within a marriage.

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    • Disappointed. The very purpose of this blog is to share the truth of God’s word with other women and I am not ashamed for doing so. I do regret however that you were so greatly offended at what was intended to be an encouragement. At this point let me say that I have been on the other side of this issue and for many years felt as you do.

      Unfortunately the devil has distorted God’s truth and blinded many to the understanding of His word. One of his many distortions is the misunderstanding of what submission is really about. Sadly, we have confused submission with subjugation. Our Lord Himself willingly submitted to the authority of the Roman rulers, does that make Him lesser than they? Certainly not! If you have ever had a job and worked under a supervisor, you willingly submitted to your boss’ authority, did that make you less than the person for whom you worked? Of course not.

      It is God’s word, not my own, that calls us to submit to one another as an act of love for Him and for each other. Whether in this matter or many others, we need only look at the state of our world to see the consequences of living outside His perfect ways.

      (I would also direct you to my response to Cyndi reagarding your additional concerns.)

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  3. If the husband is a abusive or unfaithful what does the Bible say to do.

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    • Cyndi, thank you for giving me an opportunity to address this very important issue.
      A woman should never subject herself and/or her children to violence. While the bible doesn’t speak directly to abuse within a marriage, it is very clear on how God wants the family to function. Here are some passages (there are many others) that I hope will address your question.

      “Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her” (Ephesians 5:25)

      “Likewise, husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way, showing honor to the woman as the weaker vessel, since they are heirs with you of the grace of life, so that your prayers may not be hindered. Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind. Do not repay evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary, bless, for to this you were called, that you may obtain a blessing. For “Whoever desires to love life and see good days, let him keep his tongue from evil and his lips from speaking deceit; let him turn away from evil and do good; let him seek peace and pursue it. For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and his ears are open to their prayer. But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.” (1 Peter 3:7-12)

      God commands men to love, care for and cherish their wives. Abuse would certainly be a violation of His command, and there are severe consequences for such disobedience. For understanding we must carefully and prayerfully, led by the Holy Spirit, study the whole counsel of God. There is much more digging that could be done on this issue but hopefully this will give you a starting point.
      (Other passages you may want to look at are 1 Corinthians 5:11, Galatians 5:13, Romans 13:1-2)

      Concerning your question on adultery and divorce:
      And I say to you: whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery.” (Matthew 19:9)

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