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Submission Isn’t A Wife Thing
There is nothing more frustrating hearing the verse “wives submit to your husbands..” used so heavily out of context. Submission isn’t a wife thing.
CORRECTION: Submissions isn’t ONLY a wife thing, and it’s time to talk about it through the same light and lens as the one who designed it; Abba God, Himself.
Would it surprise you to know that the act of submitting isn’t as demeaning and obnoxious as society makes it seem? And it’s not as exclusive to wifehood as the church makes it seem. Or even to humanity. There isn’t one element of creation that doesn’t submit to the design and direction of the Creator.
The waves and the sea (Genesis 1:9-10, Exodus 4:21-22, and Mark 4:35-41)
The ground we walk on (
Even the heavens are on assignment for God (Genesis 1:14-19 and Psalm 19:1-6)
The rocks ( Exodus 17:6, Psalm 78:15, 1 Kings 13:3-5, and Isaiah 48:21)
And although mankind has been given the free will choice to decide whose will we submit ourselves to, we; being made in the very image of God were still intended to submit to our Creator.
Created for This?
Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over a]”>[a]all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” 27 So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.
Have you ever thought about what this verse actually means? I’ve always known that God looked at mankind as special. After all, He crafted us with His own hands (Genesis 2:7). I always thought that’s what the words “made in His image,” were referring to. But it’s actually so much deeper than that.
The Hebrew translation of the phrase In His Own Image is tselem, which means,
“a shadow of, likeness (called from the shadow forth), a representative figure, resemblance.”
**Note: You can find this information in the Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance.
From the very beginning, God chose you and Imeto be a reflection of Him and more to the point a representative of Him. This is the commitment that we made to Him when we accepted His gift of salvation and were adopted into His family. He became the one we committed to honoring. He became the one we vowed to live for. And that my friends, is the heart of submission. It is engraved in our very being from the beginning of our existence. But even God has given us the free-will to determine who we are going to submit our lives to. As children of God, we’ve chosen to submit to our Heavenly Father.
Submission isn’t a wife thing, it’s a “Child of God” thing.
I could name so many Old Testament stories where this concept proves itself.
Noah submitted himself to God and a result His entire family was kept safe during the flood.
Abraham submitted to God’s instruction and God established the Hebrew nation through Him.
Moses (although hesitant at first) submitted himself to the instruction of God and lead the Hebrews out of Egyptian slavery.
Joshua submitted to God’s instructions when attempting to take the land of Jericho and as a result, he and his armies won the battle before ever lifting a finger.
Those are some Old Testament Examples. Now let’s look at the New.
Would it suprise you to know that Jesus spent His ENTIRE life submitting himself to the will of His father? When His time of betrayl came even then His prayer was, “Your will be done.”
Over and over again in the New Testament Jesus talks about how His only mission is to accomplish the will of the Father and that He is determined to do only as His Father would have Him do. He gives this same instruction to the church (the body of Christ) whom He also refers to as the Bride of Christ. From this, we can determine that submission isn’t about domination but about honor.
God sent us His son to redeem our sinful lives and lead us into sanctified lives; lives set apart from the rest of the world for His glory. We accomplish this by submitting our heart, soul, and bodies to Christ (our Bride Groom) and honoring Him through obedience. When we are obedient to Christ we bring glory to our Father.
Submission isn’t a wife thing; it’s a “Bride (Body of Christ)” thing.
Which bring us to Ephesian 5:22, the verse that has Christian women up in arms:
“Wives, submit to your husband as unto the Lord.”
By now you have seen that God design for submission and the world’s defenition of submission are polar opposites! God designed submission to come from a place reverence and love. Our culture has taken it from an act of voluntary honor (something that is given) and allowed it to become something demeaning and dominating.
Before we get to the part about wives submitting I also want to add here that wives; your husband is not off the hook. Remember how I said submission is a Body of Christ thing? Well, if you’re husband is walking with Jesus he’s included in the church body. Which means he too has determined that he will yield to the leading of the Spirit and honor God in all he does.
Submission isn’t just a wife thing, it’s a husband thing too. 😉
**Note: Biblical submission comes with God established boundaries. IF by chance your husband isn’t yielding to God’s leading, this is how you handle it.
When we look at submission through this lens it’s really not a terrible thing. I don’t if you feel it too, but it’s like the weight of the word and the expectations that went along with it aren’t on my shoulder’s anymore. Submission is no longer this self-serving thing that men require. It’s something that God looks at with honor. It’s something that He established for His glory and our wellbeing.
The act of Submitting was never meant to serve men; it was meant to serve God. It’s not just a wife thing, it’s a body of Christ thing. That foundation is laid throughout the entire Bible. And even greater than that, the ultimate example, the very life of Christ is entirely wrapped up and swaddled in Jesus’ commitment to the will of the Father. Churches have been saying for years that we want to love like Jesus. A goal we cannot accomplish without determining to submit ourselves to the will of God also.
It isn’t about your husband or even about men. We aren’t told to submit because we are inferior, misguided, or have nothing better to bring to the table as women.
We choose to submit because of the oneness it creates within the body of Christ. That unity is such a beautiful sight to God, and it allows Him to perfect His work in us individually and as a whole. It’s not just a wife thing, or a marriage thing, it’s a “Lead by the Spirit of God” sort of thing. The kind of thing so powerful the enemy could only hope to find a way to distort its truth. And unfortunately, he’s been far too successful. He’s associated it with weakness on the part of those yielding and power on the part of those demanding. When in reality our ability to yield to the Holy Spirit is the very thing that gives us strength. See how He’s twisted this?
Submission isn’t a bad thing. It’s a life-giving thing. It’s an “on Earth as it is in Heaven” kind of thing and THAT is the kind of measure we should be welcoming into our lives.
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