JESUS ONLY: Part 2 (Day 17)
Submission: A Matter of Choice?
I did not grow up in a home where there was a loving marriage. My father left our family when I was about 10 years of age. As a young adult, I longed to know what a healthy marriage looked like. I really had no concept of the biblical instruction of submission. From my perspective it meant the wife spends her life giving in to what the husband wants and sometimes demands. The Lord graciously provided a couple who allowed me to see what loving submission was. I began to get a glimpse of the fluid nature of this couple’s interaction. It was a beautiful example of what God intended. Not perfect but growing, caring, tender, loving, and most importantly, mutual.
Resignation or submission? We often view submission in the same light as resignation - a giving in or an acceptance of something undesirable but inevitable. And yet, that’s not what Paul is talking about: “Let every wife be supportive and tenderly devoted to her husband, for this is a beautiful illustration of our devotion to Christ.” (TPT)
Our submission is first and foremost to Christ for both husband and wife (see Ephesians 5:24). With this in alignment, we are able to choose to submit to our husbands. It’s our trust in Christ that provides the foundation for this to happen. As I embrace my position in Christ - dearly and completely loved - then I am freed to submit. Submission is not a once and done decision, but rather an attitude that underlies our daily actions towards our spouse. It is grounded in the Lord rather than a husband’s actions or lack of actions. And with so many seasons and challenges in the life of a marriage, it’s imperative that this is in place as its foundation.
- Take time to sit quietly and read through the beginning of chapter 3. What words speak to you about your position in Christ? Write them down.
- What does it look like when you are not embracing an attitude of godly submission to Christ?
- What does it look like when you are not embracing an attitude of submission with your spouse?
- Have you viewed resignation to be the same as submission? If yes, can you identify some specific places or times? Journal about it.
The Wholehearted Marriage: Fully Engaging Your Most Important Relationship by Dr. Greg Smalley and Dr. Shawn Stoever