Now that we have established that we are indeed the wife of the Messiah, we need to look at how the wife is to behave. Let’s paraphrase that also to see what is actually said, and see how it applies to us as believers.
Wives submit to your husbands as to the Lord… a wife should submit to her husband in everything…the wife must respect her husband. [Ephesians 5:22–33]
Let’s define submit:
The English definition seems a little negative.
- To yield oneself to the power or authority of another: to submit to a conqueror.
- To allow oneself to be subjected to some kind of treatment: to submit to chemotherapy.
- To defer to another’s judgment, opinion, decision, etc.: I submit to your superior judgment.
In the Greek the word definition becomes a little more clear. It’s more like voluntary subordination than forced groveling. The word is hupotasso, and the lexicon gives us the following:
- to arrange under, to subordinate
- to subject, put in subjection
- to subject one’s self, obey
- to submit to one’s control
- to yield to one’s admonition or advice
- to obey, be subject
- A Greek military term meaning “to arrange [troop divisions] in a military fashion under the command of a leader”. In non-military use,it was “a voluntary attitude of giving in, cooperating, assuming responsibility, and carrying a burden”.
In the world, it’s no wonder wives have so much trouble with this. How can you submit unless you trust your husband completely? We know that no human is trustworthy except for Jesus. Just as it is difficult and rare for a man to truly love, it is also difficult and rare for a woman to truly submit to a man.
It’s a waste of time here to even get into the inadequacies of man. Someday the Lord might ask me to write a book on marriage and the responsibilities of the man and the woman. But true marriage is only possible in the Lord. It is an institution that He ordained. Anything less than a covenant between God, a man, and a woman is not really a marriage in the Christian sense.
Basically, these things are only possible by the power of the Holy Spirit and the grace of God. They are so contrary to our flesh, that even under the power of the Holy Spirit they are extremely difficult. Of course, Christianity itself is totally impossible without the power of God.
But here we are talking about building a marriage relationship with Jesus himself. Try to imagine how deeply the Holy Spirit is invested in this process. He will do anything He can—and obviously that is a great deal—to enable us to submit to our Lord.
He wrote a whole book on the subject that we call the Bible.
How much of the Bible is about submission?
Obedience is better than sacrifice: 1 Samuel 15:22
Humble yourself under the Lord: James 4:7–10
Put others first: Philippians 2:3–4
Serve the Lord with gladness: Psalm 100:2
Make all your requests unto Him: Philippians 4:6
Repent and hang your old man on the cross: Romans 6: 3–11
Ask for the Holy Spirit: Luke 11:13
It’s impossible to please God without faith: Hebrews 11:6
The longer I live in the Kingdom the more I realize that putting myself under His lead and guidance is essential to my survival. Whenever I try to put myself forward I quickly realize the stupidity of that course of action. My only hope is to submit to His wisdom, knowledge, and love. Increasingly, all I want to do is please Jesus
Exactly, in that manner, I have come to see this as my wifely behavior to my husband. I love my place in the Kingdom as much as I love Him.
He is worth it all!