Hidden Treasures

The Bible is much more than a book of religion.

Marriage series #4: Submission

In Ephesians 5 God gives husbands and wives some humanly impossible commands to obey. He commands wives to submit to their husbands as unto the Lord and He commands husbands to love their wives as Christ loved the Church and gave Himself for it. But remember this. God never commands us to do anything without giving us the power to do it.

The Holy Spirit’s ministry
That power God gives us is the gift of the Holy Spirit.
1. The Holy Spirit regenerates those who trust Christ as Saviour. Titus 3:5-6
2. He seals us, assuring we will arrive in Heaven. Ephesians 1:13-14 & 4:30
3. He baptizes us, uniting us into the Body of Christ. I Corinthians 12:13
4. He indwells our bodies. I Corinthians 6:19-20 Romans 8:9
5. He convicts us of sin. John 16:8
6. He teaches us Truth. John 16:13
7. He enables us to bear His fruit. Galatians 5:22-23
8. He helps us pray in the will of God. Romans 8:26-27
9. He comforts us. John 14:16-17
10. He gives us spiritual gifts for edifying the Body of Christ. I Corinthians 12

Be filled with the Spirit!
We are not commanded to seek for the Holy Spirit. Romans 8:9 teaches us that we already have Him as believers. However, we are commanded to be filled with the Spirit. That is, we are to be surrendered to Christ so His Spirit can control our lives. Ephesians 5:18 When we are filled or controlled by the Spirit, three results are evident.

Evidences of being filled with the Spirit.
1. God puts a song in our hearts. Ephesians 5:19
2. He enables us to be thankful for anything and everything God allows in our lives. Ephesians 5:20
3. He enables us to submit ourselves to others. We no longer insist on having our own ways nor try to manipulate others. Ephesians 5:21

This is the power that enables us as husbands and wives to be submitted to one another. Now with this background, let us consider the commands God gives us in our marriage relationship. Having commanded us to be subject one to another, God commands wives in particular to submit themselves to their own husbands as unto the Lord. Ephesians 5:22-24

The tyrant complex
Now before any of you husbands get the tyrant complex, I have a word for you. God starts out this whole theme of submission by teaching all of us to have a submissive spirit. Therefore, as wives are to submit to the leadership of their husbands, so a husband is to submit himself to the needs of his wife. That means in plain English that you are to consider your wife’s needs, desires and feelings before your own. In fact, you and I as husbands are to be willing to live sacrificially for our wives.

When I proposed to my wife over 50 years ago, I asked her if she would be willing to go with me as my wife wherever God led me. She gladly said yes and she has faithfully followed as God has led me in the ministry. ( Recently Pat read this and reminded me that her answer was not “Yes”  but “Anywhere!” ) And that has been the case. But through those years she and I have talked over every major decision in life and I have considered her needs and desires as I made decisions.

I do not command my wife to submit to me. The husband is not called to command his wife. Rather, God commands the wife to submit and because she is submitted to God, she offers glad, willing submission to her husband.

Consider your wife’s needs
So next time you are tempted to try to command or force your wife to give you a drink of water or do anything else for you, DON’T! Instead, get up out of your chair and go get your own drink and while you’re at it, ask her if you can bring her something.

Next time you plan your vacation, plan it together, considering her needs and interests above your own. Husbands, if you are surrendered to the Lord and if you will start submitting to the needs of your wife, you will be surprised how quickly your wife will turn around and start looking to you for spiritual leadership in your home.

Remember, none of us can be the husbands and wives we ought to be unless we are surrendered to Christ and filled with His Spirit. Only then will we have the power to surrender our wills to one another and live to please each other.

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March 27, 2006 - Posted by | Marriage Series

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