…about hospitality, the fruits of the Spirit, child-rearing or time management…anything but submission. Our culture has beaten down the Christian perspective of marital submission relentlessly in the latter decades. Feminism has intimidated us to even speak of our Biblically submissive roles. Satan has blockaded our days with arenas of embarrassment…places where it seems terribly antiquated and even funny to say, “I am submissive to my husband,” or “I obey my husband.” The women with whom I work out at the gym would never let me live it down if I said something like that. Tele-marketers have even scoffed at me because I told them I needed to ask my husband before I make a large monetary commitment. How long has it been since you saw a female celebrity profess that she lives under the authority of any man? Oprah doesn’t applaud the obedient woman as the model for society.
When I write and speak about submission I pray for boldness to say the Will of God, because, frankly, the Will of God about submission has been dismissed by our culture. I can often see in the eyes of my audiences that I am saying something they have not been hearing in their classes and from their pulpits. But I will continue to teach Biblical submission for two reasons. First, the Bible teaches it. Second, we are not doing it.
Here they are…the only reasons we need as Christians.
- Ephesians 5:22: “Wives submit to your own husbands as to the Lord…”
- Ephesians 5:24: “Therefore as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their husbands in everything.”
- Ephesians 5:33: “…let the wife see that she reverence her husband.”
- Colossians 3:18: “Wives, submit to your own husbands as is fit in the Lord.”
- I Peter 3:1: “Wives, be in subjection to your own husbands, that if any obey not the Word, they may also without the Word, be won by the behavior of the wives, while they behold your chaste conversation coupled with fear.”
- I Peter 3:5: “For after this manner in the old time the holy women also, who trusted in God, adorned themselves, being in subjection to their own husbands.
- I Peter 3:6: “Even as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him Lord, whose children ye are, as long as you do well…”
- Titus 2:3-5: “That [the older women] may teach the younger women to…be obedient to their own husbands…that the Word of God be not blasphemed.”
Did you notice the straightforward nature of these injunctions? Did you feel the strength of words like obey, submit, subject and reverence? See, you and I can argue that submission in our culture is extremely difficult. We can argue that it doesn’t really fit into our evolving society. But we cannot argue that it’s not commanded in the New Testament.
Oh, there are those who argue that Paul’s and Peter’s instructions about submission were limited in scope; that these injunctions were intended to apply only to the particular culture to which they were addressed rather than to broadly apply to all cultures thereafter. But this argument has no scriptural merit. Examine closely the instructions of I Timothy 2:11-14. Though these verses more specifically apply to submission to male authority in worship, the principle of origin is applicable to our study.
Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection.
But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.
For Adam was first formed, then Eve.
And Adam was not deceived, but the women being deceived was in the transgression.
Whatever the reason for this submission, it originated in the Garden of Eden. Its application began with Adam and Eve. The principle was in effect during the lifetime of Sarah (I Peter 3: 6) and continued to the culture of the apostles. Since we are instructed to be subject to our husbands as “the church is subject to Christ” (Ephesians 5:24), surely the principle is still binding. Different people…different eras of time…vastly different cultures and societal norms. One universal teaching of the God of all cultures. The origin of this submission teaching is not culture. The origin is creation!
Taken from You’re Singing My Song, by Glenn and Cindy Colley, www.colleybooks.org, Huntsville, AL