Submission is a word that I have never been completely comfortable with. For those of you who do not know me, I tend to be a bit hard headed and like to think that I am pretty set in my ways. So as my Bible Study approached Ephesians 5 I was a little bit nervous. I kept thinking, ‘I know that as a wife I am called to submit- but…’. Well tonight we finally hit that topic head on. And I have to admit- I LOVED what I learned.
The Lord always speaks truth through my leader and mentor Jane. As my Bible Study is made up of all 20-something age women, it is safe for her to speak to us as single women (only three of us are married or engaged). She began by making a statement that I have heard my parents make a plethora of times before. “Never date someone that you would not marry.” She continued by reading through Ephesians 5:22-33. These verses begin by telling the wife to submit to her husband and tells the husband to love his wife as Christ loved the church. While this all sounds pretty, I had never really thought about what this looks like… Until tonight.
Over the course of the night I realized that if a husband loves his wife the way Christ loves the church then that means he would sacrifice, lead, encourage, suffer, die or do just about anything for her. If a woman finds a man who would do these things for her, of course she would be willing to submit to him. As Christians we are willing to submit to Christ because of His love for us. Our earthly relationship with our spouse should be no different.
Jane’s statement about dating changed by the end of the night. It was no longer just “Never date someone that you would not marry,” but also “Never marry someone that you couldn’t submit to.”
My sweet friend Allie (who was married last summer) spoke about her husband and the love that they share. She explained how she willingly submits to him because of what a wonderful leader he is to her in every aspect- from religion to everyday life. She knows that he will not lead her down a path of destruction and that he is being led by the Spirit.
After tonight I have a completely new perspective on submission. I cannot wait to marry Caleb and submit to him. Of course I want to submit to a man who encourages me to be better, to grow in my relationship with the Lord and loves me unconditionally.
22 Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord. 23 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. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.
25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 26 to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, 27 and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. 28 In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself.29 After all, no one ever hated his own body, but he feeds and cares for it, just as Christ does the church— 30 for we are members of his body. 31 “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” 32 This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. 33 However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.