LOOKING TO PRAISE AND WORSHIP JESUS THE CHRIST, THE SON OF THE LIVING GOD. 18 No man has ever seen God at any time; the only unique Son, or the only begotten God, Who is in the bosom [in the intimate presence] of the Father, He has declared Him [He has revealed Him and brought Him out where He can be seen; He has interpreted Him and He has made Him known].

Sunday, April 29, 2007

AN ELEVATION OF WIVES

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

“Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.” Paul compares the submission of wives to their husbands to the submission of the church to Christ. How does the church submit to Christ? Happily. Willingly. Faithfully. Constantly and consistently. Dependently. In this way the Christian wife submits to her husband.

But one more thing. Look at what Christ has done for the church. In a very real sense, Paul is actually elevating the status of the wife! The Gentile woman in Ephesus had no real rights at all. She was expected to stay in the house almost all the time unless she went out with her husband. She did not have rights of citizenship. She was not an important part of the guild or the temple. She was looked down upon and mistreated by all the men of the society. They were often in conflict with their husbands.

Paul is telling Christian wives that they are no longer to live like the Gentiles. They will no longer be in a position of servitude to society in general. They are to be devoted to their husbands and they are to offer their submission to their own husbands, not to society. They are no longer mere property, owned by their husbands. They are partners in their marriages and they can share with their husbands by voluntarily offering their submission to them. Paul says that Christian wives have great personal value. Christianity did not subjugate or oppress women when it came into Greek society. Christianity liberated women and elevated their status in both the home and the community!

Our society makes it very difficult for Christian women to offer submission to their husbands. Women are pressured to go out and live their own lives, to make something of themselves. Feminism cries out for women to shake off the centuries of oppression. The liberation movement demands erasure of the gender differences and wants complete equality. If Paul were writing today he would say, “Don’t live like the world lives. Be filled with the Holy Spirit and willingly and lovingly submit to one another. Christian wives, celebrate the high status given you in Christ and offer your submission to your husbands as an act of your worship of God.”

What if your husband isn’t a Christian? What if he is a selfish brute? What if he takes advantage of your submission and is completely unworthy of it? Those are very difficult circumstances. All I can give you are the words of Peter, “Wives, in the same way be submissive to your 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” (1 Peter 3:1, 2). In those cases your loving submission is not only an act of worship offered to God but also a powerful tool for the Spirit to use in the life of your husband.

11 Comments:

Blogger Gayla said...

I just needed to say that this series is going way too fast for me to keep up. :o

April 29, 2007 10:25 AM

 
Blogger Shiloh Guy said...

I'm sorry, Gayla. I'm feeling a little self-conscious about blog hogging and I kind of wanted to get this series over with so you guys could get back to your excellent posts. My heart tells me that I honestly didn't want to create any resentment among my teammates by posting too long on the topic.

Why don't you guys get together via email and let me know what you want me to do with the next several posts on husbands.

Thanks for giving me your thoughts on pacing issues, Gayla!

Dave

April 29, 2007 2:23 PM

 
Blogger Gayla said...

Dave, you're not being a blog hog, by any means. YOUR posts are excellent! I'm enjoying the series. I don't think anyone would mind if you slowed it down so we could all engage in some discussion on each post, and hopefully others would join in as well. I know I certainly wouldn't mind.

April 29, 2007 4:33 PM

 
Blogger Bluecollar said...

Dave, you are not a blog-hog. Please feel free to slow down. THERE IS NO NEED TO HURRY! Please slow down. We need discussion and meditation.

Mark

April 29, 2007 4:40 PM

 
Blogger Shiloh Guy said...

OK, then. I am at your service. I'll let this stand a couple of days to see if there is discussion forthcoming. I'll keep looking at the comments so I can join in the discussion. We'll just take a breath and see what comes!

Thanks for everything. I'm so enjoying my delightful association with all you guys!

Hope you had a blessed day of worship today. We had a very good day at Shiloh. Welcomed our new Worship and Arts Leader. I'm looking forward to his ministry with us.

Dave

April 29, 2007 8:35 PM

 
Blogger Susan said...

I haven't yet read all of the posts on this subject, but it's a very needed topic of discussion these days. Timely in my own life as well.
May I humbly suggest that the ladies (me, too!:-) start a short series on the flip side of this coin after the current thread of wives' submission?
Same subject - marriage.
Different perspective: the x chromosome.
I want to let Dave complete the series first though. It's a good one.
Any of you ladies want to jump in first after he's left the pool, or shall I?
Happy to be here.

April 29, 2007 10:01 PM

 
Blogger Bluecollar said...

Susan - WELCOME!!!!

I'm so looking forward to your work here. I'm so blessed that you have accepted.

Mark

April 29, 2007 11:15 PM

 
Blogger Bluecollar said...

It is such a shame that so many Christian husbands (myself included, until this series, thanks, Dave) are so demanding that they are anything but representatives of Christ to their wives. So, even though the wife is elevated in Christ, she doesn't really feel that way because their husbands are so into the "me boss" thing. I am guilty of that myself. Consequently my wife does not know about any such elevation.

May God be merciful to me a sinner.

April 29, 2007 11:33 PM

 
Blogger jazzycat said...

Dave,
This is a good series as I am learning quite a bit from your thinking on this subject.

Susan,
Welcome to the Bluecollar team.
wayne

April 30, 2007 8:36 AM

 
Blogger Gayla said...

"What if your husband isn’t a Christian? What if he is a selfish brute? What if he takes advantage of your submission and is completely unworthy of it?"

As you said, this is a tough one, to be sure.

But positionally the husband is still head of the home. And it's a divinely appointed one at that. For that reason, he doesn't have to 'earn' it.

Now, I'm not at all saying that submitting to, being a servant to, or even loving this kind of man is EASY. Far from it. But if a Christian woman finds herself in this type of situation, this is one of many opportunites to press into the Lord.

May 01, 2007 9:58 AM

 
Blogger Shiloh Guy said...

Gayla...Positionally? Could you talk about that concept a little?

I want to say that Paul is not speaking positionally at all. I think he is talking relationally and the mistake we have made is in assigning position instead of focusing on relation. The entire context seems to be relational. Even "the head of the wife" is relational just as "Christ is the head of the church" is relational, not positional.

Dave

May 01, 2007 10:24 PM

 

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