Submission to our husbands must begin first with our supreme submission to the Lord Jesus Christ. When Christ is supreme in our hearts, the order of God’s creation and the way He ordained the husband and wife relationship to reflect the profound mystery of Christ and the church will be a simple matter.
Our first, supreme relationship is with Christ for He is our everything.
When we have our priorities in place then the submission the Bible talks about is simple.
Look back to 1 Peter 3:5-6:
For in this manner, in former times, the holy women who trusted in God also adorned themselves, being submissive to their own husbands, 6 as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord, whose daughters you are if you do good and are not afraid with any terror. (NKJV)
In verse 5, Peter reminds his readers to look back to the holy women in former times. He says these women trusted in God. They adorned themselves with an incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit and were submissive to their own husbands (verse 4).
It begins with trusting in God and then cultivating a gentle and quiet spirit — a spirit of submission.
In my marriage I know I had had times of self-centeredness and a spirit of rebellion as I interacted with my husband.
My own desires have caused me and the biblical principle of submission to “butt heads.”
When I do not put my trust fully in Christ and I become self-centered and choose not to submit, things in my marriage seem to get a bit complicated.
For example, a contentious spirit between my husband and myself develops; conflicts grow and intensify or even multiply! Quickly things become a jumbled mess.
But when I choose to submit, to Christ and my husband, then my marriage becomes much simpler.
Decisions are made, trust is enhanced, and godly roles for each spouse are fulfilled.
It is a precious thing. Simple submission.
A word of caution — just because submission brings simplicity to your marriage relationship it does not mean that it is an easy thing. No, like the entire scope of our new life in Christ we must cultivate the things of God in us. We, however, are not alone in doing this work. Philippians 2:12-13 reminds us,
12 Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling,13 for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose. (NIV)
It is God who works in us in order to fulfill his good purpose!
Get your supreme relationship with Christ right first and then the simplicity of submission will flow into your marriage. Cultivate the new life of Christ living within you and things become simpler.
I am reminded by the Psalmist to immerse myself in the law of the Lord (the Word) to gain simple refreshment.
The law of the Lord is perfect, refreshing the soul. The statutes of the Lord are trustworthy, making wise the simple.8 The precepts of the Lord are right,giving joy to the heart. The commands of the Lord are radiant, giving light to the eyes.9 The fear of the Lord is pure, enduring forever. The decrees of the Lord are firm, and all of them are righteous.10 They are more precious than gold, than much pure gold; they are sweeter than honey, than honey from the honeycomb.11 By them your servant is warned; in keeping them there is great reward. Psalm 19:7-11 (NIV) (emphasis mine)
When we are choosing to be in a right relationship with Christ, submitting to His Lordship over us, we are then able to submit to the husband he has given us.
This week, keep it simple. Focus on the supreme relationship you have with Christ and submission to your husband will begin to be cultivated as you choose to walk in “the statutes of the Lord which are trustworthy, making wise the simple.”
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