Monday, October 10, 2016

Wives, Submit to God

Part II:

Wives, Submit to God

Are you ready for the punch?  Are you ready to swallow that pill, even if it’s bitter?  Good, I’m glad you are up for the challenge!!

In my previous blog (Part I:  It’s Okay To Be a Woman), my hope is that you discovered the importance of being the woman God designed you to be.  And if you aren’t sure of that woman, I encourage you to become sure of her.  I also hope you realize the importance of seeking God first in everything you do.  This seemingly small shift had a huge impact on me. 

By learning the power of strategic prayer, in seeking to know God (not just understand what He is) and be able to discern His voice, I discovered I was a lot stronger than I ever imagined.  For years I hid behind a mask of strength, my mask of strength.  The problem with a mask is that it prevents people from seeing who we really are.  It also kept me from knowing God.  While wearing this mask, I came across as uncaring, unloving, so strong that I needed no one.   In various seasons of my life, I didn’t have the time, or the choice, not to be strong.  But oh how lonely it was hiding behind that mask.

I will never for get the light-bulb moment that I realized just how much my mask was hurting me, keeping me from being the woman God designed me to be. 

1 Corinthians 13:4-7  Love is patient, love is kind.  It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.  It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.  Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with truth.  It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.”

This scripture was not new to me; I’d read it many many times.  However, I was now reading it with a “clean heart and renewed spirit”.  It was like reading a check list of who I am, but…I’m not sure the people around me would have checked of many, if any, of those qualities they saw in me.  Being the logical person I am(sometimes) I couldn’t just blame everyone around me, claiming it was them not seeing me.  No, that gentle, yet thundering voice inside me was now speaking loud and clear.

Finally, I submitted to God; begged forgiveness for rejecting the woman He designed me to be.  I took off my mask, and am stepping into my true nature, being obedient to God’s command.  Easy?  No.  Simple?  Yes.  You see, if we rely on our own resources, we will fall short every.time.  But when we wholly submit to God’s plan, we are renewed!!  We will mount up with wings like eagles!! (Isaiah 40:31)  I am a strong woman, and to GOD be the glory!!!

Wives, we must be willing to submit and obey God.  Period.

Wives, if you are unwilling to submit and obey God, just stop reading now…because you will read what I’m about to say, and you will gag on the pill that must be swallowed.  Honestly, I’m still drinking, from my cup of grace, to wash this pill down.

1 Peter 3:1-5  Wives, in the same way submit yourselves to your own husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives, when they see the purity and reverence of your lives…it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.  For this is the way the holy women of the past who put their hope in God used to adorn themselves.  They submitted themselves to their own husbands…

Ephesians 5:22Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord.

Ephesians 5:24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands.”

This is what God commands of a wife.  Easy? ~insert hysterical laugh here~  Um, NO!

Something I like to do, because I’m a big nerd and a bit stubborn…is to get a clear definition of a word that I get caught up on, and muddles either what I’m trying to convey, or what I’m trying to understand.  So, let’s unmuddle.

Submit – (verb) to give over or yield to the power or authority of another; to subject to some kind of treatment or influence; to defer to another’s judgment, opinion, decision

Ok, that’s pretty clear.  And you know what?  I have zero problem submitting to God!!  Because His is worthy, mighty, faithful, loving, peaceful, joyous, awesome!  I know in my knower that wonderful things happen when I submit to Him, I’ve seen them, experienced them.  So, yeah, it’s a no brainer there.

But...submit to my husband???  Seriously??  Have we warp back in time?

Well, yes, we kinda have.  We’ve gone back to the very beginning, where God created a woman to be a helpmeet (noun - anything that aids or assists; a companion and helper, a spouse).  That is what we were designed to be.

Follow me down this path, if you would:

Ever worked with a team that has two leaders?  Or two people that want to be leaders?  Ever danced with someone and both of you were trying to lead the steps?  Ever had kids that get one message from dad and another message from mom and end up in trouble because they had two different messages?  Ever had two head chefs in the same kitchen?  None of those situations go smoothly or end well.  Someone has to take the lead position.  Someone has to follow. 

We even have dominant hands, arms, feet and legs.  Even our brains have dominant sides! All of them, seamlessly, work together without effort.  Our strong arm or leg will do most of the heavy lifting, while the other arm is there to support and stabilize.  It doesn’t matter if we work out of the right side of our brain (creative, imaginative, insightful) or the left side of our brain (logic, language, writing).  We have the proclivity to be more of one side than the other, but without the other nothing would come to fruition.

Look at your life.  Somewhere in your life story, you see the benefits of having both dominate and subordinate features.  Your dominant arm is pretty useless without the support of the other.  Your creativity would be lost if you couldn’t transfer it into words or on paper.  Even your logic would trap you if you couldn’t think outside of the box!  It is simple and easy to thank God for the way we are designed.  Once I discovered, and understood, the way God designed me, I became my biggest fan!!  I love being me!!

God created marriage in the same way He designed our body and our brain to work in unison.  He gave clear guidance as to how this unit will function at peek capacity.  Once you discover, and understand, the way God designed marriage, you will see how simple it is.  Though, honestly, it won’t be easy.

Matthew 7:13-14Enter by the narrow gate.  For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many.  For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.

“The way is hard that leads to life”…well, then the question is…do you want life in your marriage?