Well, I took some time to speak to women about submission. Actually, I always do since in my heart, I know how submission can impact a marriage. Mine did and I pray that yours will too.
Over the course of our marriage, God has convicted us in areas of our weaknesses far beyond our imagination. I have seen God molding my husband as he draws closer to Christ, and He too has changed my heart.
As I write this, my heart keeps being convicted by the word of the Lord, more and more in areas that I am still weak in. I have grown, we have grown, but I constantly ask the Lord to mold me. I do not want to faint. We don’t want to faint.
Submission is hard. Sacrificial love is harder, but God knows we can do it. Not by might, not by power, but by the help of the Spirit of God.
Well, when God tells us to submit, the set scenario is that we ought to submit to an already set hierarchy by God. He has placed someone as the head of the family – which implies leadership too.
He is a God of order and order is He. We cannot negate the truth nor understate that a “head” will always be there.
The Bible tells us to submit to ungodly husbands too that they may be won over by our behavior that exudes Christ.
1st Peter 3
In the same way, you wives, be submissive to your own husbands [subordinate, not as inferior, but out of respect for the responsibilities entrusted to husbands and their accountability to God, and so partnering with them] so that even if some do not obey the word [of God], they may be won over [to Christ] without discussion by the godly lives of their wives, when they see your modest and respectful behavior [together with your devotion and appreciation—love your husband, encourage him, and enjoy him as a blessing from God].
The ball now switches over to our husbands, or let me be more general. The men.
I admit I grappled with the title of this series, because for one thing, we misinterpret love to think that it’s about the feelings we have to each other.
There is love, but what the Bible tells us to give, It’s not just love as a feeling, but SACRIFICIAL LOVE.
A Love that is hard. A love that brings tears to your eyes. A love that risks being rejected. A love that bears and holds no offense. That is the Love am talking about.
Yes, there is absolutely nothing wrong with being attracted to each other, but with time, the “feelings” wear off, probably because we don’t put a lot of effort in each other, or are too busy – stuck in the race of providing for our families.
Seasons, come and go and they do affect our marriages – positively or negatively. So sacrificial love has to be one that stands true through all seasons of life.
When I look at the word of the Lord, it’s interesting how God calls attention to the things that don’t so often occur to us naturally.
We do not submit naturally, therefore, God needs to remind us to submit.
Children have a tendency to disobey their parents, and that’s why God commands them to obey and honor their parents.
The same way to the men. It’s easy for them to love their jobs, cars, electronics, adventure, time with their boys, their parents, but it’s another thing to love their wives.
It’s not easy for them to “leave and cleave.” That is why they are commanded to leave the “father and mother” and be one with their wives.
That’s is why they are commanded to love their own wives as themselves.
I came across an article THE SEVEN STAGES OF THE MARRIED COLD
A husband’s reactions to his wife’s colds during seven years of marriage
First year: “Sugar dumpling; I’m really worried about my baby girl. You’ve got a bad sniffle, and there’s no telling about these things with all the strep throat going around. I’m putting you in the hospital this afternoon for a general checkup, and a good rest.
Second year: “Listen, darling, I don’t like the sound of that cough, and I’ve called Doc Miller to rush over here. Now you go to bed like a good girl, just for Poppa.”
Third year: “Maybe you better lie down, honey. Nothing like a little rest when you feel lousy. I’ll bring you something. Have we got any canned soup?”
Fourth year: “Now look, dear, be sensible. After you’ve fed the kids, and got the dishes done, and the floor finished, you better lie down.”
Fifth year: “Why don’t you take a couple of aspirin?”
Sixth year: “I wish you’d just gargle or something instead of sitting around barking like a seal all evening.”
Seventh year: “For Pete’s sake, stop sneezing! Are you trying to give me pneumonia?”
I shared it with my husband and had a good laugh but we couldn’t help review our marriage again.
Well, he hasn’t yet told me that I bark like a seal and he sure takes care of my running nose when I have a cold – but – the reality of the matter is, most marriages, end up like this if not worse, barely 3 years into marriage.
The husbands turns into an angry narcissistic man, while the wife overly demands.
No one heeds to the needs of another and everyone, and without blushing, pulls strings towards themselves.
Ephesians 5 draws attention to what a husband’s love should be like to the wife. It’s a love that Paul describes in 1st Corinthians 13.
25 Husbands, love your wives [seek the highest good for her and surround her with a caring, unselfish love], just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her, 26 so that He might sanctify the church, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word [of God], 27 so that [in turn] He might present the church to Himself in glorious splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy [set apart for God] and blameless. 28 Even so husbands should and are morally obligated to love their own wives as [being in a sense] their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself. 29 For no one ever hated his own body, but [instead] he nourishes and protects and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, 30 because we are members (parts) of His body. 31 For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother and shall be joined [and be faithfully devoted] to his wife, and the two shall become [e]one flesh. 32 This mystery [of two becoming one] is great; but I am speaking with reference to [the relationship of] Christ and the church. 33 However, each man among you [without exception] is to love his wife as his very own self [with behavior worthy of respect and esteem, always seeking the best for her with an attitude of lovingkindness], and the wife [must see to it] that she respects and delights in her husband [that she notices him and prefers him and treats him with loving concern, treasuring him, honoring him, and holding him dear].
Ephesians 5 gives us a clear picture of how a marriage should be. The wives, draw lessons from the submission of the church to Christ and the husbands draw their lessons from Christ! Can you imagine Christ himself? It’s a very high calling.
To be a mortal man whose standards have to be like Christ is just a high calling.
Christ does not expect perfection but he calls on all men to “press on” and work to be like Him.
Philippians 2:13 says that
“It is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose”.
Therefore, it’s God who works in you Mr., It’s God who works in our husbands to WILL and to ACT according to the purposes of God.
He doesn’t expect you to use your strength to submit to your husband, or to love your wife. He gives us divine enablement to do so.
The model that Christ gives to us in Ephesians 5 is therefore not only GOOD but PERFECT.
Christ, Jesus Christ is the picture of manhood. He is the epitome of love.
When He washed the feet of His disciples, all were awed by His humility, but that didn’t lower his Status from being the Almighty God, the savior.
He still was and still the Lion of the Tribe of Judah who was humble enough, a Lamb who was slain. He was obedient even unto death.
He died on the cross, not because we were worth it, but He was passing a message to the man, “Sacrificial love” is what He called the man to do.
Sacrificial love will win your wife!
Brace yourselves, this will be tough love!
Husbands, love your wives [seek the highest good for her and surround her with a caring, unselfish love], just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her…
1. Sacrificial love involves “giving yourself” up for your wife.
Can you imagine someone loving you to a point of death? I don’t think there will be any point in life that your husband will be asked to die on your behalf.
At least not in this country, but that was the kind of love that was demonstrated by Jesus.
He gave His comfort up.
He gave His splendor up.
He was beaten 39 stripes that we may be healed.
He became poor, that we may enjoy life in abundance. He loved us that much.
Definitely, it’s the little things that go along way in building your marriage, but as you do them, what is your motivation Mr.?
The motivation of Christ was to reconcile us back to the Father. He did not want us to perish but have everlasting life. (John 3:16)
His motivation was Love.
You might say you help her do laundry, shopping, help her around the house, but what is your motivation? IS IT LOVE or are you SELF-CENTERED?
Are you helping her so that she can re-pay you back?
Are you giving yourself up for her to gain something back?
Giving yourself up for your wife means that sometimes and maybe most time, you will choose her needs over yours. You will take care of her first.
You will listen to her first. You will give up your pride. You will take on her faults.
You will apologize for things you haven’t done for the sake of peace. You will prefer her always even when she’s least preferable.
You will choke saying “I AM SORRY” – and be the first to initiate it.
You might tell me,”What if she pissed me off?” I will ask you the same, did you initiate your own reconciliation to Christ?
We made the mistake, actually we sinned and perverted the beauty that comes with headship and submission, so ideally, we should be the ones running to Christ, but He did what love does. He ran to us.
Arms open wide and said, “I love you, I still loved you even when you sinned.” “I am here, I will be here, just choose me, because I will never fail you.”
Christ took all our sins, and because a Holy Father cannot associate with darkness, momentarily, the Father departed from the Son at the cross. Jesus cried out, “Father, Father, why have you forsaken me!”
We were the cause of all the turmoil of Jesus Christ at the cross, yet, He took it all up.
You will have to take your “wife’s sins” cover and protect her as you deal with the root cause. That is the sacrificial love husbands are called to do. It is not easy, but it should be done.
(Well, let me bring a word of caution to the wives. It does not mean that just because you husband loves, you will end up doing all the wrong things. That you will squander all the money, sleep around with other men, flirt, and be disrespectful to him. Remember that in marriage, you can be a crown to your husband or cancerous to his life. Proverbs 12:4- which of the two are you?)
So it is your responsibility Mr. to initiate reconciliation in your marriage. I know women initiate it too much.
I know it’s the woman who will move mountains to apologize and seek peace with her husband. But if we are to follow the model of Christ, if we are to follow the epitome of manhood – who is Jesus, if we are to pursue peace with all men, then, it’s your highest calling dear husband, to initiate peace in your marriage.
Christ did that. It’s not because we were too smart, good, obedient or faithful, but he “gave up” his comfort for our redemption. That is the kind of love husbands should have for their wives.
Ask yourself, as you give yourself up for your wife, what is your goal? Is it love or plain manipulation?
Do you sacrifice yourself for your wife?