THE BELIEVING WIFE AND HUSBAND ARE TO WALK IN A SPIRIT OF SUBMISSION AND LOVE
When dealing with wives and husbands, we must always remember that God's instructions are not grievous. In fact, they are easy and light. God instructs and guides us down the easiest and lightest path possible. (See Matthew 11:28-30).
If we walk down the path God has laid out for us—if we do just what He says—we can experience the most loving, peaceful, rich, and full life imaginable. This is doubly true for husband and wife, for they have the companionship of each other as well as of the Lord.
This morning we will focus upon the responsibilities of the wife, and our next lesson will focus upon the responsibilities of the husband.
1. THE WIFE IS TO WALK IN A SPIRIT OF SUBMISSION - vs. 22-24.
There are three reasons why the wife is to be submissive to her husband.
A. To submit is God's will. In fact, it is a commandment of God. There is to be no equivocation, no argument, not even a question about being submissive: "Wives submit yourselves unto your own husbands." God is God, and as God, He has the right to demand anything of us. But note the words "as unto the Lord." When we do anything, we are to do it as to the Lord. Why? Because we love Him. The Lord has loved us and given Himself for us that He might save us. He loved us; therefore, we love Him. This is always the first reason to obey Him. We love Him; therefore, when He says to do something, we do it as to Him—to please Him.
Now, let us ask ourselves: What kind of spirit is the Christian wife to have as she obeys God?
· A spirit of slavery or love?
· A spirit of hostility or love?
· A spirit of resentment or love?
· A spirit of reaction or love?
The answer is obvious: she is to act out of love. She loves the Lord; therefore, to please Him she submits herself to her husband.
B. To submit is God's order for the family - Ephesians 6:2. There is to be a partnership and order within the family. This is basic for the family and society to exist. In fact, no organization, no matter what it is, can survive and exist without a spirit of partnership and order. Notice three important facts:
(1) The husband is the head of the wife. The word "head" in Scripture refers to authority, not being. Neither man nor woman is superior to the other in being. Men and women are equal in God's eyes. When God talks about man being the head of the woman, He is not talking about ability or worth, competence or value, brilliance or advantage. God is talking about function and order within the home.
(2) The great pattern for the wife to follow is Christ and the church. Christ is the head of the church. This simply means that Christ has authority over the church. So long as the church lives by this rule, the church experiences love and joy and peace—orderliness—and it is able to carry out its function and mission on earth to the fullest. So it is with the husband; he is the head of the family, the ultimate authority in the family. The wife is to be submissive to that authority just as the church is to be submissive to Christ. So long as she and the rest of the family live by this rule, the family experiences love, joy, and peace—orderliness—and it fulfills its function and purpose on earth. This, of course, assumes that the husband is fulfilling his part in the family.
(3) The husband is the savior of the body just as Christ is the Savior of the church. Christ is the great Protector and Comforter of the church. So the husband is to be the protector and comforter of the wife. By nature, that is, by the constitution and build of the body, the husband is stronger than the wife. Therefore, in God's order of things, he is to be the main protector and comforter of the wife. These two functions are two of the great benefits which the wife receives from a loving husband who is faithful to the Lord.
C. To submit is a spiritual mystery - Ephesians 5:23. The wife's submission is comparable to Christ and the church. Again, Christ is the pattern for the wife: as she submits to Christ, so she is to submit to her husband.
as she depends upon Christ for help and protection, so she is to depend upon her husband for help and protection.
as she depends upon Christ for companionship and comfort, so she is to depend upon her husband for companionship and comfort.
Every Christian wife would do well to order her life after the words of this passage and also those in Colossians 3:18, "Wives, submit yourselves unto you own husbands, as it is fit in the Lord."
QUESTIONS TO PONDER
1. What specific things come to your mind when you hear the word "submit"?
2. How good are you at submitting? Why do you suppose that submission runs against the grain of some people?
3. Why do some people tend to think that submission is another word for becoming a doormat?
4. What do these verses teach concerning God's order for the home? If you are married, how easy is it for you to accept this truth and apply it to your marriage?
Next we will take a look at the second part of the passage as we focus on verses 25-33. Herein we will learn that the husband is to love his wife.
Have a great weekend and don't neglect the assembling of yourselves together (Hebrews 10:25).
Your Friend and HIS,