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Exposing the Truth About Submission

Giving the best

Let's face it. None of us like the idea of submitting to someone else.

"No one's going to tell ME what to do!

One thing for sure, submission is not just an issue for wives. Yes, Ephesians 5:22 does say, "Wives, be subject to your own husbands", but submission is a responsibility that applies to every one of us. Submission is inescapable and universal. Everyone submits. Scripture gives several examples:

  • 1 Peter 5:5 - "Likewise you younger people, submit yourselves to your elders. Yes, all of you be submissive to one another, and be clothed with humility for "God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble."

Having an independent spirit makes us extremely vulnerable to satanic suggestions. Whereas, having a submissive spirit to God's appointed leaders, puts us in a place of protection. (This doesn't mean we will always agree with our leaders, however, the Bible says we are to pray for them.) Leaders need to be operating in the fear of the Lord and be submissive to other leadership to earn the right to be trusted.

  • Spiritual leaders have authority over a church congregation, (Hebrews 13:17)

  • Governing authorities (elected officials, police officers) have authority over citizens (Romans 13:1)

  • Husbands have authority in the home (Ephesians 6:1)

Before you shut me down, hear me out. I've found that what many people react to on this issue is not authority, but the wrong use of authority. What they're reacting to is authoritarianism. Authoritarianism is something we should react to, whether it occurs in a oppressed country or a Christian home. A man has moved from proper authority to authoritarianism in his home when he demonstrates the following symptoms:

  • he lacks interest in his wife's input and disregards her feelings,

  • he forbids the children to discuss his decisions with him and is reluctant to let them make decisions on their own as they mature,

  • he trusts few people,

  • he displays an intense need to control those closest to him.

The mature man who practices biblical headship in the marriage relationship can be recognized by three characteristics:

  • he loves his wife sacrificially,

  • he loves his wife with understanding,

  • he loves his wife with verbal praise.

If I could define headship in a nutshell, I would put it this way: Biblical headship for a husband is giving the best of all that he is to those under his care and authority. Biblical submission for a wife is giving the best of all that she is to the one that is in authority over her. Several hundred years ago, Martin Luther described it this way: "Let the wife make the husband glad to come home, and let him make her sorry to see him leave." That's good teamwork! In most cases, the wife wants to see her husband win in life. She is on his team. When a man begins to understand that, he views his wife in a new way. She is a strategic gift to you! She has eyes that see what you don't, a mind that processes information from a different perspective, a heart with sensitivities you do not possess, and a personality with strengths that offset your weaknesses. That's meant to be a protection for you. That's why it is important for you to tap into her perspective as you lead your family. When she offers a constructive criticism, learn to listen to her with an open mind. It may save you from making a few mistakes in life.

Ephesians 5:21 - "Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ".

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