Monday, September 19, 2011

Monday, September 19 - Jody

Today's reading from the Chronological OT/NT Reading Plan is : Isaiah 23-25, Ephesians 5:17-33

Happy Monday Everyone!

Okay, how can I help but write about Ephesians 5:25-33? We're all familar with the jokes around "wives submit to your husbands", but what really resonated with me today is God's simple instruction for Christian Households. I believe that God created these simple instructions for a strong, healthy, loving marriage.

There are not hundreds of verses needed to explain the recipe for a successful marriage in God's eyes. It starts actually in a verse I have never noticed before in this passage.
21 Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.

For Christ's glory shining through and reaching beyond our Christian homes, we must first EACH submit to the other.

Now, more specifically - what does this look like for the wife?
22 Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord.

Hmmmm, submit myself to my husband as I do the Lord... This is a double instruction for us wives. First, we submit to God, THEN submit to our husbands.

And - what does this look like for the husband?
23 For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.
25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 26 to make her holy, cleansing[a] her by the washing with water through the word, 27 and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless

I don't know about you, but I think the Husbands got the taller order here. There is a whole lot of responsibility tied up in these verses!

It is so interesting that I got this passage on my day to blog. I struggled for years with this word - submit. With the concept of submitting to my husband. I even made sure the pastor at our wedding wouldn't use the word. Then, the stronger and more mature my marriage became, the more I grew up and realized the love that comes from mutual submission (and sometimes MY submission), I became ok with it. When you see the absolute love someone has for you and for doing what's in your best interest, the love, respect - and submission - is a natural by-product.

I know most of us have probably reached this realization in life, and this could be a redundant message, but with so many marriages in a sad state in today's world, I just want to encourage you to keep at it. Continue to submit your marriage to God and submit your love to each other.

Tomorrow's passage: Isaiah 26-27, Ephesians 6


LaughingLady said...

It's a word I've struggled with, too, until relatively recently. I'm so glad God has helped me understand it better ~ and love HIS vision for marriage and what it's supposed to tell the world about His relationship with His bride, the Church.

Miriam said...

Great post, Jody. I actually realized not long ago that the biggest reason I struggled with "submit" was because society tells us women are better than men a lot of the time, often without us really noticing. Remember Tim "The Toolman" Taylor? Always clumsy, often buffoonish, sometimes chauvinistic... he did have redeeming qualities as well, but when you grow up seeing these TV families where the wife is usually put together and keeps everything running properly and has all the bases covered and the husband says and does silly things and is always coming to the wife later to apologize, it affects your view of what a husband/wife relationship should be, even if your parents have a Biblical viewpoint of marriage and live it out in front of you every day.
I've come to realize that I have no problem submitting to my husband. He loves and respects me and he takes my opinion and feelings into consideration (most of the time), so leaving the final decision up to him isn't a big problem for me because I know he's considered the family, not just himself. Does that make sense? Not to say we never disagree or that he always makes the same decision I would have made, but I never feel like he considers me to be his subordinate who is to follow his orders. We discuss the decisions, even if he makes the final call.

TammyIsBlessed said...

I love that the instructions are within the framework of "submitting to each other". And then we're given specific commands which are both naturally difficult to do and yet exactly what the one needs from the other.

It can be very difficult for wives to submit to their husbands and yet respect from their wives is something that's vitally important to husbands/

Same thing with love for the wife.

And yes, I think husbands got the taller order!