I’ve come to realize that most men have misconstrued the subject of submission. They want their wives to fear them; meanwhile, the submission that the Bible spoke about had nothing to do with the wife fearing the husband. Let’s read from scriptures:
21 Letting yourselves be ruled by one another in the fear of Christ.
22 Wives, be under the authority of your husbands, as of the Lord.
Verse 21 reminds me of Genesis, how God gave both male and female dominion over the earth. They both had equal rights to rule. Neither the man nor woman was greater. There was gender equality when it came to spiritual authority and personal worth. However, when man and woman come together in marriage, the first thing they must do is to allow themselves be ruled by one another in the fear of Christ. Let me analyze that verse further:
– Ruled by one another
If you recall in Genesis, man was not given dominion over man; rather, he was given dominion over the earth. God explained the jurisdiction of that dominion when He began to mention the sea, the fishes, the birds, the field and so on. So whether you are man or woman, you were not given the authority to rule another man or woman. You can’t attempt to control another man and not be naturally resisted, and I mean man or woman.
God’s idea of marriage alters that arrangement a little. So in that scripture, the Apostle introduces something that would naturally be difficult for man or woman, something that wasn’t in the wiring of man from the beginning. He said, “letting yourselves be ruled by one another”. Believe me, this would have been an impossible situation except for the concluding part of that statement:
– In the fear of Christ
So, both the man and woman can maintain their individual worth, however, when they agree in marriage, they must allow themselves to be ruled by one another in the fear of Christ. That’s right! In marriage, Christ is in charge. So if your husband attempts to rule you outside the fear of Christ, you’re not obligated to respond or obey. Likewise, if the wife attempts to have her way outside the fear of Christ, the husband is not obligated to endure.
If your husband threatens to divorce you because you chose to fear God, try to talk spiritual sense into him. And if he insists, then let him go ahead with the divorce. Who would you rather fear, your husband or Christ? He’s only permitted to rule over you if he’s within the leadership of Christ. Many women have lost their honour in marriage because they don’t understand this.
Verse 22 begins to talk about leadership in the home. It says, “Wives, be in subjection unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord”. So submit to the authority of your husband as though you are submitting to God. In other words, let God be the template by which you submit.
God won’t tell you to steal, God won’t tell you to kill, God won’t tell you to lie, God won’t tell you to forge receipts or any documents, God won’t tell you do compromise or engage in any form of evil, and that’s because He loves you.
If your husband loves you, and I mean Agape love, not just Eros (please refer to my teaching last Friday), he’d never want you to engage in things that displease God. Any husband that does that neither loves you nor fears God. How then can you submit to the authority of a man that doesn’t submit to the authority of God?
A woman recently narrated to me how she ended up in an abusive marriage. Her husband made her do all sorts of evil things in the name of submission. She could have easily refused to do those things, but she feared her husband. She feared what he would do to her if she didn’t obey him.
That’s the very issue right there! Fear and submission are two different things. Many women obey their husband, not necessarily because they submitted themselves, but because they live in fear.
It’s true that God hates divorce, but marriage is not greater than your relationship with God. If the marriage deprives you of your service to God, then that’s a red flag.
I hope this has brought enlightenment to someone.
Remain ever blessed!