IT IS A HEART ISSUE
We talk about our marriage with so much zeal – not because we are perfect, but because we are continuously being perfected in Christ. The bible says in Philippians 2:12 that, we should work out our salvation with fear and trembling. Notice it’s a present continuous tense. It does not end. Its perpetual and so is working a marriage out.
It’s a daily struggle between the fresh breath of the HolySpirit and the mutiny of the flesh. A power war between right and wrong. Both wake up to battle out and claim victory over our mortal bodies. The devil wants a skeleton stacked shelf of marriages overthrown, the high prized trophy of the divine plan thwarted.
But we will not allow it- not by our strength, but by His grace.
Submission to me has been a struggle – and the devil would rather see me rebel than yield to my husband. But don’t we all struggle in the area of submission? We struggle in obeying our parents, we struggle obeying our leaders, we struggle obeying our spiritual authorities, we struggle obeying the laws of the land, above all we struggle obeying our Faithful God.
It’s the enemy’s stronghold. He perverts submission to seem as if “it’s less, much less” than what we asked for – “Did God really say?”, “Does God really want this?”, “With your status, are you really going to sit down and be lead?” …. These are just but a few of his perfected war lines?
See, I did consider myself a ‘pedigree’ – no pun intended! Maybe a little pun of course! I wouldn’t go out blunt on Johnny telling him how ‘seasoned’ I was. Well, so as not to seem too overt in my own confidence, I thought he too was a pedigree – only that I was the cuter one!
He challenged my intellect to a great extent, but my personality then took the bait of pride. What could he possibly say that I don’t know, plus “what exactly is he saying again?” Our personalities had no choice but to collide.
His optimistic nature makes him a serial risk taker; his choleric nature makes him disposed to lead.
He will plunge in head first! Oh how he loves to just dive into any opportunity. His curiosity can seriously drive him straight onto a cliff and still say, “Okay babe, let’s jump!” I, on the other hand will be like, “No! I am not jumping! You aren’t gonna tell me a thing!”
That was the case day in day out on how we handled our situations. From a minor issue like which road to drive through, to major issues of financial investments. When a serious issue was pending, his choleric side would quickly take over. He would become assertive and I would hold my fort with an unwavering conviction – after all, I was the pedigree! Couple it with our (ladies) intuition!
This situation made us stuck on everything. Our issues would drag on. No one was willing to bend to say, “I am sorry.” We were both right. Technically we were in our own eyes. Winning was my thing, and so was his! So who had the yield sign?
The idea of submission didn’t click too well with me. After all, my ‘leadership’ has never been wanting! Not ever!
Ladies, we all know how we are quick to shout, “Thanks babe!” on our walls when he has surprised you with a bouquet of fresh roses and serenaded you over the exotic mountains. But how about when he forgets your birthday? Not once, but he is a chronic amnesiac to such days? What about when he trivializes important dates like the anniversaries, or doesn’t care less how you like to be treated? Will you still submit?
The word submit according to the Word of the Lord in Ephesians 5 means to “line up underneath.” It’s a disposition to yield, to incline yourself to your husband. It’s an act of will to, not a feeling towards. In other words, you choose to submit. It is a gift you give to your husband, not because he has earned it, but because it is a responsibility from God to gift your husband that gift.
See, if I give you a gift to deliver to someone I had in mind, you have no choice but to deliver it! You cannot negotiate with little nots’ or why he shouldn’t have the gift.
I still like to think it as a gift of grace, because indeed, it will require of you, as a wife, to strip down your titles, accolades, achievements and be a wife – not just a married woman.
It doesn’t begin by you saying it, it begins by you acting it – from inside, out. It is a heart issue. Not a personality nor a temperament trait.
You could be a melancholy but still take the bait of pride in submitting.
You could be a choleric like me, and still stink with pride.
You could be a sanguine, but still not “line yourself underneath” your husband.
You could be a phlegmatic, kind to others but so contentious and full of pride towards your husband.
The lack of submission in a wife shows bloated pride. It is a sickness of the heart that needs Christs intervention.
“You must put off your old self-assertive, mean, uncaring self, son, because it is corrupt with deceitful desires. And put on the new meek and kind self-created by God in his own likeness in righteousness and holiness. In other words, son, you need to be deeply renewed in the spirit of your mind.”
The battle of submission is won first in your heart; it’s not lip service. It is “out of the abundance of the heart that the mouth speaks.” And what you speak creates and changes how your body acts and moves. What your body does affects your soul.
The bible says in Deuteronomy 30:14 No, the word is very near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart so you may obey it.
From the Lord’s mouth to ours as wives, in Ephesians 5:22, He asks us to submit to our husbands as unto the LORD.
You cannot possibly submit fully to an imperfect being if your pursuit is in yourself. The buck stops with Christ. If Christ can deal with your heart, then submission will NOT be an issue to contend with.
You will live a surrendered life; free from the shackles of the world that pervert submission into the issue of “equality” in a marriage – because you know, that you are already EQUAL in Christ, you are a FELLOW HEIR OF GRACE as 1st Peter 3:7 says – you are submitting to your husband’s God given position.
The truth is we are equal before the Lord, but the Lord puts in a system in marriage for order and responsibility purposes.
A marriage cannot have two heads. One must lead- and I highly doubt that you (as a wife) can shoulder the responsibility of answering to Christ! You might desire the ice-cream scoops, the attention, the claps that come with doing things right, but you do not want the punishment that comes with not leading in God’s way, God’s wisdom, or carrying the life draining burden of a broken vow.
Our hearts need to submit fully to Christ. We need to echo this spiritual reality without fear. You cannot fight what God puts as order in a marriage. We are strong in our God ordained place –in submission – but you need a new heart!
“Oh Lord my God, show me my hearts deficiencies…”
Submission as wives in Christ…