Yesterday while at my mom's house we had a little discussion about submission. I should say it was more than just a little discussion. My mom got down right heated, until I finally just said, "Mom, its okay."
Why does that word drive so many nuts? I must say it use to drive me insane. I thought, "There is no way I am going to allow a man to tell me what I can and cannot do!" But that is not what that word means at all. It means respect, love and honor.
No where in the bible does it say a man is more important than a woman. Nor does it say the woman must do everything her husband says to do. Marriage is two people becoming one. Although they are different, special and unique in their own way, together God designs this union to bring Him honor and glory.
Now, submission is not being at your husband's beck and call. It's not bringing him a beer to go with his football game, when your afraid of the consequences if you do not. It is not being belittled, called names, and having one's hand over you at all times. It is not a yes yes yes! I honor my husband by bringing him a cup of hot tea while he is resting. I respect him by taking him a cold glass of water while he is mowing the lawn. I do these things out of love for him, not because I have to, but because I want to bring a smile to his face. I want him to know just how much I do love him. Just as he does special things for me. Today he is taking the last of his money in his wallet he was saving to purchase my medications for the month. Marriage is give and take. It is sacrifice, and it is knocking yourself out to love the other.
In our lives there is always someone in authority over us. Whether we are in school, at work, parents, anywhere we go there is someone who has authority over us. When I was pulled over by the Highway Patrol Officer I knew he was wrong for giving a ticket, even went to court, but I would have never disrespected him in anyway. He thought I deserved that ticket, and I did not. He has authority over me when I am driving on the highway. Just as when I sat in school, the teacher at the head of the class had authority over me. That doesn't mean ownership, it means respect in the highest way.
When I was younger I had a real problem with this submission thing, but as I grew in Christ and grew as a woman of God I understood more and more. I must say, I love my husband being head of our home. The Lord says to the husband that he is to love his wife like Jesus loves the church. That is a great and mighty love. As my husband is head of our home, most of the responsibility lays upon him. The decision making is always combined with both of us, but one day when he sees Jesus face to face, he is accountable for his family, and how he took on the roll as head of our home. If he comes to the conclusion with a decision I do not like, all I must do is say, "Okay, I don't agree with you, but you know best." With whatever consequences come with that decision they are for my husband to hold.
My husband does not tell me what I can or cannot wear. He doesn't tell me where or where I cannot go, but when I go to him I trust his wisdom. I trust his answers to my questions, because I know he loves me. Many times he can see things I cannot see, and the same is true if we switch that scenario. Many times, I am more wise in a situation and we learn to listen to one another. It is all about respect for the other. I would never sit and say, "I am going to do this I don't care what he says!" When I honor my husband, I am honoring God. Just as when my husband is honoring me, he too is bringing the Lord honor. If our relationship with Christ is right where it needs to be, we are going to living in His will, and our love for Him will shine through both of us.
I remember my mom going out shopping and purchasing many things only to hide them from my dad. She would soon pay the bill, and he never knew. Although I think he was a bit smarter than that. She came from a generation where the husband did have his hand over his wife. Women did not wear pants, women did not work, and they had dinner on the table as soon as their husband came in the door. Why? For many this was more of fear than of respect. They knew if they did not have things in order they would soon pay a price. My mom was married before she met my dad, and this man abused her viciously. He almost killed her from his rage. So, see, my mother's view of submission has been distorted from abuse of a man who was to love and honor her. This is not submission ladies, this is abuse. This is not love, it is rage and anger. It is a man showing his power over a woman.
Submission is respect and love. Jesus was in submission under His Father. He choose to love and follow Him out of respect. His Father in turn only gave respect and love to His Son. God shows us a perfect picture of submission.
Being a wife, is being a daughter of the King first and foremost. A wife honors God in every way. She walks in a way such as the virtuous woman as we see in Proverbs 31. She carries herself with dignity and respect. She holds herself with value. In making our relationship with Christ come first, our relationships with others will be as they should. When we pray for our husbands we couldn't be showing our love more for them. When we raise them up, lifting their name to the heaven's we are saying, "I love you". When we choose to love them as we love ourselves, we honor them. When our children see a relationship between their mothers and fathers that is healthy and pure it brings them safety and comfort. It shows them example, and gives them a picture of love.
If you don't love yourself, you will never be able to love another. When you stood in front of that Pastor and said those precious vows, they meant something. They stood for your heart, for your life together as you grow in Christ. With Christ as that third strand there is nothing that can separate you or break the love you hold so dear.
In 1 Corinthians 13 we are given the perfect picture of what love is and is not. Love begins with the Lord.
In Ephesians 5:1 it says: "Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave Himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God."
The Lord shows us what love is, and how we should love here within these verses before us.
In verse 21 it also says: "Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ." He is speaking of everyone here, not just wives. Husbands have those who they also submit to. When they leave for work daily, they are not only submitting to their bosses, but to their families as they take care of them.
In verse 22-33 it tells us all about wives and husbands, may we listen and take in these verses that lead us to healthy relationships: "Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. In this same way, husband ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. After all, no one ever hated his own body, but he feeds and cares for it, just as Christ does the church-for we are members of his body. For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh. This is a profound mystery-but I am talking about Christ and the church. However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband."
When we follow the wisdom of the Lord, His word will carry us to greater love. His love will lead us to greater marriages, and through those marriages we will raise children who will know what love is in the purest form.
I am not the perfect wife, nor is my husband perfect in any way, but I love and respect him. I honor him in every way. I know he would give his life for me, just as I would him. Our marriage is far from perfect, but before me I know I am blessed with the man the Lord has chosen for me. When I see my husband through the eyes of Christ, I do not see his imperfections, but I see only beauty before me.
We are not to keep score, we are to forgive, we are to live just as Christ has called us. When we give up ourselves, when we give up that pride, we can begin to love others just as Christ loved us. Submission is not harmful, hurtful or degrading. Submission is love, care, and giving. There is no other hand I could ever see mine in than the hand of my husband.