“Aprub!” (approve) was my father’s most favorite answer to almost anything I would ask from him. From toys, clothes, food, school supplies, name it, if he can get it, he will give it to me. It was his way of making me feel loved, apart from the time he spends with me, despite his very busy schedule.
I thought I was never spoiled, since I never really became a brat, who whined and cried when my parents couldn’t get me what I wanted. Although, thinking about it now, I actually cannot recall any specific instance when my father gave me a NO for an answer. Aprub! I remember his line so clearly, until today.
Since I married Joey, things started to change. I had to learn to surrender to his authority over our family. Out of habit, oftentimes, I get disappointed when he would decide to go against my plans and wishes. It had always been a continuous struggle.
“Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands.”
Ephesians 5:22-24 ESV
You see, this isn’t about being unfair in a worldly sense. These verses are commanded to us wives, basically for our own good and for the good of the family. But, how? How is it good to submit? Well, God has appointed husbands to be the head of the family for they are given the responsibility to LEAD. Men are created and designed this way as we see in this verse:
“But I want you to understand that the head of every man is Christ, the head of a wife is her husband, and the head of Christ is God.”
1 Corinthians 11:3 ESV
Just so you know, God originally didn’t design marriage this way, when he created the world. It only changed the moment Adam and Eve failed to obey God, and committed the very first sin.
“To the woman he said, “I will surely multiply your pain in childbearing; in pain you shall bring forth children. Your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you.””
Genesis 3:16 ESV
And because we are fallen beings, born in sinfulness, these things are what we encounter today. This is our struggle in our own marriage. This is our common struggle as women: all of us have that inner desire to get what we want. How many of you can relate? Oh yes, you! Yes, Momma, I see you. You’re just like me, as I am like you. The struggle is real. Very real.
Submission is an act of obedience through faith. But why do we even have to submit anyway? Simply because God commanded it. That alone should be enough to shake us and make us obey immediately. But God is a good God and and has been gracious in giving us the chance to know why we should submit to those who are in authority over us.
“Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment.”
Romans 13:1-2 ESV
We all know that God blesses us when we obey him. When we are faithful to His commands, he spares us from conflict and difficulties in life. This is why we should strive to sumbit to our husbands, and to our governing authorities. Is there a limitation to this? What if they are unreasonable? Biased? Unfair? We STILL submit. Whoever abuses his authority, God will deal with them in His own perfect time, for He is sovereign above all things. If a person becomes physically abusive though, that is another story. Those people should immediately seek counsel. We also should be wary when we are asked to do unbiblical things, we don’t submit to that either. This is why knowing God’s commands and instructions through reading His Word, is truly vital.
Take note and please do not be mistaken. Our motivation to obey should stem from our thankfulness, for the undeserved grace that He has given us believers, through our Salvation, in Christ Jesus. It can’t be because we want something from God, that means nothing at all. God does not owe us anything! Everything we have is purely by GRACE.
“For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.”
Ephesians 2:8-9 ESV
Remember, we have already been blessed, and out of the overflow of our hearts should be that desire which is to give God glory, by pleasing Him, by doing the all the little things that would make Him feel loved and honored. Just take for example how much you value your child’s obedience, it feels good that they trust you, knowing that you know what is best for them doesn’t it?
I am a work in progress in the area of submission. The focal point of our marriage is to bring back to God all the glory. So, when I find myself doubting or questioning Joey’s decisions and choices, I try my best to look at it from a different perspective. That even if it is not what I wanted at that moment, because God is sovereign, it will ultimately be for the best, for my own good. In order for me to do that willingly AND joyfully, I must develop my trust in God’s supreme authority. After all, it is easier to submit when you know to whom you do it for, and that is for God.
Joey and I will still go through a lot of challenges in our marriage. Like I have said, I am still a work in progress. It is my prayer that when I don’t get things my way, I will always be reminded of who I am, what my role is as a wife and a woman, and how God is sovereign above all things. It is also my prayer that Joey will remain as forgiving and patient as he is, for all my mistakes presently, and those that I may still commit in the future.
All glory unto God alone!