The arrangement of those particular letters forming that specific word often turn my insides raw.
A “you will obey me” mentality comes to mind.
Wanting to fight, but knowing it would bring no benefit, and would likely make it worse.
Slap on a “spiritual happy face” and label this scene “submission”.
But it’s not just my heart that revolts against that definition. The Lord’s righteous jealousy glows hot when His daughters believe such sinister lies as they actively exchange the truth of God for an insidious Satanic lie wrapped in a package labeled “Christian Wife Qualities”. (Romans 1:18, Nahum 1:2-3)
Is your stomach churning?
The same slippery snake has been doling out sickening, sugar-coated deceptions since time began in the Garden of Eden with his cunning question, “Did God really say…?”. (Genesis 3:1)
It worked in Eden as creation’s very first She, Eve, took God’s original words, added to them, and twisted His intent, making the Almighty Gracious Creator look like a stingy, self-absorbed power-monger. And it works exactly the same for us every time we hold onto a definition of submission that departs from Scriptural teaching.
Ready for some truth?
There’s something richly wholesome about feeding on solid truth, and as Shes in a world of fraud and faux, Truth sets a welcoming banquet like nothing else.
I need truth.
Bring your stretchy pants for this one, girls, we’re gonna’ EAT!
“…older women are to be reverent in behavior,
not slanderers, not slaves to excessive drinking.
They are to teach what is good,
so that they may encourage the young women
to love their husbands and to love their children,
to be self-controlled, pure, workers at home,
kind, and in submission to their husbands,
so that God’s word will not be slandered.” (Titus 2:3-5)
Pastor Paul sent this letter to Titus who was strengthening house churches on the island of Crete. Church leadership had gone awry as self-love took first place and cultural slothful laziness influenced Christ-followers so much that they began to look more like Cretans than Christians. Paul’s letter provided wisdom and practical insight as Titus went to work correcting poor spiritual habits in the churches on Crete.
Let’s join Titus at the table while the Holy Spirit teaches our hearts through His Word!
Teachers (verse 3)
Women are excellent teachers, whether it’s in the classroom, at home, or at work; we were designed to teach others just by the way we live. The woman mature in Christ will leverage her teaching gifts to influence others for the gospel as she trains them to follow Jesus.
Encouragers (verse 4)
Jesus-loving women have grown strong in emotionally connecting and naturally empathizing with others; they are quick to not only notice when encouragement is needed, but give it generously.
Love (verse 4)
Women are natural born lovers and nurturers. We comfort, tend, fuss over, soothe, and foster nourishment. When that woman has sat under the maturing work of the Holy Spirit, their lives will prove it by loving their children, spouses, neighbors, and teammates with a deep, fight-for-you kind of selfless, humble love.
Self Control & Purity (verse 5)
Spotting the admirable characteristics of self-control and purity in Paul’s list, we understand that women who have learned to dance in step with Jesus will be wearing Self-Control as she lives out Purity of thoughts, words, and actions in her hum-drum normal life.
Then comes “workers at home” and my modern, feminist-culture-influenced-self shoots up flags.
Workers at home?
I can’t have a career?
Can’t speak up?
Don’t have influence?
Soon, we’ve grasped so tightly onto a single aspect, wrenching it free from its original place in Scripture to its original audience, that we’ve lost sight of the Lord’s good intention. (verse 3) In fact, our eyes likely missed “kind” altogether, skipped to “submission”, and we’re ready to make heads roll as the feminist flag flies high.
Before we jump on that bandwagon, sisters, would you be willing to sit quietly with me and reach a little deeper into God’s Word to see something spectacular?
Christ Jesus, Lord of all things, Holder of every molecule, submitted.
It was His idea.
He modeled it.
He chose it.
(Colossians 1:15-20, Luke 22:42)
Steeped in Scripture, we start to rightly define submission.
It’s a choice.
Never a coercion.
Never a manipulation.
If you’ve ever been “commanded” by anyone to “submit”, you’ve been the object of severe mistreatment of God’s Word.
Submission can only ever be willfully given.
Submission is our gift to the Lord Jesus who submitted to the Father, by submitting to the cross to pay the death penalty in our stead.
Submission is our gift to a husband if we are married.
Submission is our gift to brothers and sisters in Jesus.
Have you ever read the gospel accounts of Jesus healing diseases everywhere He went as crowds gathered? (John 6:2) Have you ever wondered why there aren’t also stories of relationships suddenly healed and marriages made whole?
The Author of submission
who wrote the rules of love,
knew that forced behavior
would never equal humble, sacrificial love.
Submissive love must be chosen.
Which is why Christ will never force Himself on any soul. We are each given the choice to accept or reject His offer of total forgiveness for our sin as He powerfully pursues us with mercy and goodness. (Psalm 23:6, 1 John 1:9)
Within a marriage relationship, submission is such a stunning gift and holds such great, steadying value that the Greek word translated in our Bibles as “submit” provides the visual of a pillar that upholds a building. It’s an anchoring support. The building, or in the case of wives, the Home, grows shaky without her influence.
She, as homemaker submitting to her husband, has been handcrafted to uphold structure, to protect those within her care, to guard them from harmful influences and cultivate growth as the Gardner of Her Home.
Does She have influence?
And in unique ways that her husband doesn’t because marriage is designed as a partnership.
Should She do whatever her husband says?
Absolutely not, for the Lord God created male and female. Uniquely fitted to work together to reflect the trinity of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
Through submission to her husband’s love, she reflects what Christ Jesus did unto the Father when He chose death to pay for our sin so that
He could be our pillar of safety,
our anchoring support, our guard,
and our nourishment.
Can there be any more stunning role than this?!
She who submits is a She who has great influence and great power,
yet willingly chooses to use those powers to uphold, guard, protect, and deeply, sacrificially love.
The next time you see letters arranging the word “submission”, I hope you’ll think of Jesus.
I hope you’ll think of Pastor Paul writing to Titus, urging him to find Jesus-following Shes who so deeply loved Jesus they couldn’t think of any better investment for their lives than willingly submitting to Christ and their husbands for the strengthening and nourishing of the whole, beautiful family of God!
“Every wise woman builds her house, but a foolish one tears it down with her own hands.”
Be a She who submits to Jesus!
She Day 14
As women who have chosen to surrender our lives to Jesus and pursue following Him, we seek sound teachers who will speak God’s truth to us and encourage us to joyfully serve those around us.
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