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Wives: Submissive NOT Subservient!

June 26, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 248

To realize the fullness of God's purpose each of us must submit to God, governing authorities as well as each other. This represents God's order to achieve His ideal. But as you well know many of us fall woefully short. Still, our shortcomings do not change God's ideal or the order necessary to accomplish it. Instead, God constantly calls upon husband and wife and has a contingency plan when we are non- responsive.

Submission permits for order and execution. In sports, war and marriage a well-ordered and well-executed attack has greater probability of succeeding against opposition than one that is not. The word, 'submit' comes from the Greek word, 'hupotasso'. The word, 'hupotasso' is derived from two words: 'hupo' meaning 'under' and 'tasso' which means to arrange in order. It is a military term.

Submission is necessary when husband and wife desire to conquer something bigger than each of them individually and collectively. It is less necessary when relating to each other as people. Nevertheless, a great deal of married life requires things to be ordered and arranged to ensure success. Bill paying, meals and child rearing all benefit from orderly discharge of responsibility. Beyond this, there are the hopes and dreams of husband and wife individually and collectively. They too, benefit from orderly attention to detail and execution.

Ephesians 5:22 provides us with God's intended order for husbands and wives: "Wives are to submit to their own husbands." It is not wrong for wives to be equal with husbands. However, the meeting demands of married life are best accomplished when wives voluntarily place themselves underneath husbands authority. Christ teaches us this in Philippians 2:5-8.

"Think of yourselves the way Christ Jesus thought of himself. He had equal status with God but didn't think so much of himself that he had to cling to the advantages of that status no matter what. Not at all. When the time came, he set aside the privileges of deity and took on the status of a slave, became human! Having become human, he stayed human. It was an incredibly humbling process. He didn't claim special privileges. Instead, he lived a selfless, obedient life and then died a selfless, obedient death-and the worst kind of death at that-a crucifixion." (AMP)

Christ's own words assure us that no one took his life; rather He offered to lay it down with full capacity to take it up again. John 10:17 and 18 reads,

"The Father loves me because I sacrifice my life so I may take it back again. No one can take my life from me. I sacrifice it voluntarily. For I have the authority to lay it down when I want to and also to take it up again. For this is what my Father has commanded." (NLT)

Married love is sacrificial and submission is a choice. It is a choice to come underneath our husbands and arrange self, children, things and others in orderly fashion. Submission is required because we are called to conquer self, train our children, and accomplish great things in the earth. But there is more. God made wives as a help 'meet' for husbands. In Genesis 2:18, God said,

"Now the Lord God said, It is not good (sufficient, satisfactory) that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper (suitable, adapted, complementary) for him." (AMP)

The New Living Translation says it this way,

"Then the LordGod said, "It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper who is just right for him."

Therefore, a healthy and robust discussion on submission should include wives as help 'meet'. The Hebrew word, 'meet' means to surround, protect, or aid. Sometimes wives help their husbands best by taking the lead. At other times they must initiate action by default. The words surround, protect and aid do not imply passivity, mindlessness or dependence. Rather, these words suggest vigilance, assertiveness and the ability to act independently! Sometimes wives must be pro-active in thwarting danger in married life. Submission defines our position and attitude as wives. Help defines what we do as wives. Help can be active or passive. It can look like leading, or following. It may involve sitting or standing, speaking or being quiet. Each wife is perfectly positioned and suited to be the kind of help needed by her husband.

Consider Moses and his wife Zipporah. Exodus 4:24-26 reads,

On the way to Egypt, at a place where Moses and his family had stopped for the night, the Lordconfronted him and was about to kill him.But Moses' wife, Zipporah, took a flint knife and circumcised her son. She touched his feetwith the foreskin and said; "Now you are a bridegroom of blood to me." (When she said "a bridegroom of blood," she was referring to the circumcision.) After that, the Lordleft him alone. (NLT)

We learn a few things here. God was about to kill Moses. Moses had not circumcised his son according to Jewish law. Zipporah satisfied the law by fulfilling Moses' responsibility. Circumcision, that is, removing the foreskin of the penis is bloody, messy work. God reserved this task for husbands and fathers. Yet, here we find a wife and a mother initiating and completing this task. By doing so, Zipporah satisfied God's law and permitted God to spare her husband's life. Zipporah aided and protected her husband. And when she was finished, Zipporah reminds Moses that he is still her husband.

Moses' may have thanked Zipporah or he could have been angered by her actions. The Bible does not say. Perhaps for wives, Moses response is not nearly as important as God's response! God apparently accepted Zipporah's help because He left Moses alone.

Submission in marriage is about positioning and attitude. It is a choice wives make to come underneath their own husbands. Help is about what wives do with their position and attitude. Help may include actions taken (or not taken), tasks engaged, or the willingness to suffer the loss of something valuable for something of greater value. Whatever our actions, wives should do all as unto the Lord, Himself.

Today, I can say that I do know how to support my husband. He may not always agree, or be receptive to my help. And quite frankly some days, I still blow it! But the fact is, God made me a helper fitted to Anthony's exact needs. Then God gave me to Anthony and said to us be fruitful, multiply, subdue and replenish the earth. This task is given to us all.

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