50 shades of white

March 3, 2015

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The Great Commission of the Bible goes beyond evangelism; it is not enough to simply make converts and let them fend for themselves. They must be taught to obey the commandments of Christ as found in the NT. The essence of discipleship is becoming like the Master, and this is brought about by systematic teaching of, and submission to, the Word.

 

 

People cringe at the very topic of submission. And it has probably been taught more often the wrong way than the right way.

 

 

All human authority is under the umbrella of God’s authority, and God’s authority must be obeyed first. You can’t say “Well, my boss told me to lie and I have to lie because he is my boss,” or “I have to do this because my husband told me to.” No, you don’t have to!

If there is a conflict between God’s rules and man’s, the believer must choose to obey God. And bear in mind, there may be suffering involved. Of course we know, as 1 Peter 2:19 tells us, if we suffer for doing good, God is pleased with us.

 

 

Submission is not mindless, childlike obedience without responsibility for one’s actions. So what is it? Whenever submission of the wife is taught in the New Testament, the headship of the husband is equally taught. It is a two-way street.

 

 

In Ephesians 5:18-21, we learn that all Christians, men and women alike, are to be controlled by the Spirit of God. One of the evidences of the Spirit’s control is submission to one another out of reverence for Christ. This kind of Christian submission is only possible if we are being controlled by the Spirit.

 

 

Who is doing the submitting in Ephesians 5:21? Everybody! It is a mutual submission. As Spirit-filled Christians we are to submit to one another. Then Paul goes on to be more specific. In the verses that follow, he describes how that submission looks in various categories. He talks about parents and children. Slaves and masters. Husbands and wives.

 

 

As Paul instructs husbands to love their wives, he uses the analogy, “just as Christ loved the church.” How did Christ show His love for the church? Jesus Christ did not have to leave His throne in heaven. He did not have to come to earth, to live in poverty for thirty-three years in a human body. He did not have to suffer at the hands of sinful men. He did not have to die. Jesus Christ gave up His rights so that we could have eternal life. And this is the same type of love a husband is supposed to extend toward his wife.

Biblical marriage requires mutual submission. Yes, the wife yields her rights and submits to her husband’s leadership. But the husband is to yield his rights to independence, to controlling all the money, and to making all the decisions. He is to recognize that he is married to a woman who is one flesh with him.

 

 

For some men, this is a difficult assignment and a big issue. It is very hard for a man to sacrificially give up his own rights for the sake of his wife. And yet God requires an unselfish love that seeks the woman’s highest good, with no hint of her husband lording it over her. This view of marriage is distinctively Christian, an expression of God’s love acted out through the control of the Spirit.

 

 

It is interesting to note that a man’s prayer life can be blocked if he does not respect or honor his wife. Both partners must keep grace and forgiveness alive in the marriage. When bitterness and resentment are given a place in the home, more is lost than personal warmth and enjoyment. The vital element of the husband’s prayer life, through which he receives both guidance and assistance, will be hindered. No couple should attempt to function within the confines of that sort of handicap.

 

 

A man should prayerfully take his wife’s concerns to heart when making any decision. He should listen to her. He should pray with her. He should seriously consider the consequences she might bear in the wake of his choices. There ought not be too many instances in a good, healthy marriage where a man actually moves in a direction of which his wife disapproves. I heard one of my professors say, “Men, if your wife doesn’t agree with a major decision, don’t do it.

 

 

 

I’ve been married almost 43 years and have a great marriage, one of our strongest qualities is we talk about everything, second, in all those years of marriage I’ve never done anything to make her not trust me, third, we’ve always been faithful, we do everything together. I believe that it is important to protect one another by being together, we are best friends, no separate vacations, no separate bank accounts and no secrets.

 

 

We both know the strengths and weaknesses of each other and we’ve learned to be supportive and gracious at the right times.

 

 

There are many books on the idea of submission and marriage, some are good some are bad. Always buy two of the same books, read them and then discuss them together. If there is something you disagree on, kneel together, hold hands and pray together that God shows you both what is right.

 

 

It’s hard to tear down a marriage where a couple prays together every day.

 

Well this isn’t a marriage seminar so I need to stop.

 

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

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