Submissive Christian Wife

Ephesians 5:21 ” Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.”

Recently, I attended a wedding rehearsal for a couple of which my husband, Earl was going to marry the next day.  The bride was stunning, and she was the daughter of a wonderfully gentle and kind couple that are members of our church.

Rehearsal Dinner

Rehearsal Dinner

At the rehearsal dinner, after finishing a delectable meal, the groom’s parents stood and toasted the couple and asked if anyone else had anything to say.  Family and friends stood and told stories and wished them the best, and then a lovely young woman in her mid-twenties stood and offered the couple some advice.  She said that the Bible has the answers to all life’s questions and whenever she needed to know something about marriage and relationships, she looked in her Bible.  For instance, if she wants to know about love, she reads 1 Corinthians 13, and if she wants to know how God created a man for a woman, she reads Genesis 2: 21, and if she wants to know how the marriage relationship between a man and woman is supposed to be, it can be found that a wife is to be submissive to her husband from Ephesians 5 and that a husband is to love his wife and give himself up for her.  I was genuinely pleased by her public stance and her commitment to her friend (the bride) to help her see what God calls for in a marriage relationship.

Many women get their backs up whenever this topic is broached.  But surely it is only because they don’t really understand the profound spiritual nature of what being submissive really means.  Being submissive does NOT mean being a doormat nor does it mean to simply being subject to the passing whims of her husband.

The New Testament teaches that marriage serves as a symbol of the relationship of Christ and His Church.  In the marriage relationship, it is the husband’s privilege to portray the headship of Christ over the family by his loving and sacrificial leadership.  It should be in this case, be the wife’s privilege and high calling to submit to her husband who represents the head of the household  and together to be submissive to the Lord Jesus Christ as the church Head.

Read Ephesians 5, but read the entire chapter, not just the section about the wife’s role.  Ephesians states all the character traits that the husband must work toward in order to even begin to come close to what Christ desires for his as the head of the household.  For the wife, there are perhaps two requirements in the whole chapter, to submit and to respect.  Submission is the voluntary surrender of our rights and self-interest for the benefit of others and for the glory of God.  Paul indicates that Christians, without exception, are to “be subject to one another.”  In this regard, if husbands are truly subjecting (submitting) themselves to the will of Christ in their lives and are leading their family in a Christ directed manner, then wives should not try to deviate from that path nor be an obstacle in her husband’s pursuit of that goal.

One must respect and honor a husband that is walking in step with Christ.  But the husband has a directive in this as well, beyond all that is stated in Ephesians 5, the Bible states, that he should seek her advice, as Elkanah and Abraham did (1 Samuel 1:23; Gen. 21:12), and yield to her when she is right.  A wife, who is wise, will give wise counsel and tell her husband how she feels and what God may be placing on her heart.  A husband should take his wife’s counsel to mind before making decisions for the family and then once a decision is made, the wife should honor her husband’s Christ-led decision.

I am very headstrong and opinionated, but I can tell you this, I have a husband that takes his life and lays it down for the sake of Christ.  He walks the walk and talks the talk.  He studies and prays hour upon hour every day.  I love him, trust him, respect him and most of all, will follow him in any and all major directions that he feels called by God to make.  This is not only being Biblically submissive on my part (which I did have to learn by the way) but a very, very wise move.  For I know God has called me to be a helpmate to Earl (Genesis 2:20), to walk beside him in his ministry, and minister to him, to serve him and to care for him as he helps lead others to Christ.  Therefore I gladly surrender, sacrifice and serve under Christ’s authority through my husband over this house for I see him daily doing the same under Christ and for our ultimate good.

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Reborn to be Free

I would like to take a moment to introduce you to Maggie Mae.  Maggie is our 16 month old Great Dane, and she is a brilliant dog.  She is always surprising us with her cleverness.  We got Maggie when she was 7 weeks old.  Earl took four hours deciding, while watching all the puppies in the litter before finally picking Maggie.  It was her natural curiosity that tickled Earl.  Now, Earl and Maggie are inseparable.  She loves and adores him and will protect him from me at all costs, including hugs and kisses….oh the dog’s life I live.

One day when I was getting ready to start work in my home office, I found Earl and Maggie watching the old 1966 movie “Born Free”.  Maggie does not watch TV normally, but on this particular morning she was so engrossed in the film, it was comical.  It was the end of the movie, where the lioness, Elsa, had been training for weeks to learn to hunt and kill for herself, so she could be set free in the wild and be able to survive on her own. 

Now Maggie has her big dog stuffed toys: a moose, a cow, a turkey and her squirrel.  Each day Maggie is let outside to spend the day in the great wild of our backyard.  As I passed the kitchen window, I happened to see Maggie running past with a squirrel in her mouth.  My thought was “How did she get her toy squirrel outside?” and so I went to go and get it when I noticed her toy squirrel on the living room floor.  My jaw dropped.  I went racing for the window only to see Maggie outside frolicking with a real squirrel, dead in her jaws.  I cannot figure out how Maggie, this huge 140 pound Great Dane managed to kill a squirrel.  Then, I believe as a gift for Earl, she left it on the back porch. 

But in remembering her total immersion in the Born Free movie, I saw her acts as analogous to those of Christians.  When we totally engross ourselves in God’s Word, and we allow Him to teach us His ways, we will actually take what we’ve learned and apply them to our everyday lives.

We are set free to serve God in the capacity to which He appoints us.  Just like Elsa, she went into her natural habitat and after learning how she was to hunt, she applied herself.  When we are set free in Christ, we break the chains of slavery to this captured world of evil and we are given new life.  In Galatians 5:1 “It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to the yoke of slavery.”  We are to walk away from our dependency on what the world has to offer and immerse ourselves in the world that God has to offer us.

We were born to be free in Christ.  It is only through being born again that we taste and live that freedom.  1 Peter 1:3 “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead”.  It is through this hope that we are assured of a new life both here on earth and later in an eternal life with Christ.  For in John 3:3 “Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.”

Where Maggie saw Elsa and learned how to hunt to survive, we should see The Lamb and learn how to love, to have compassion, to give to those in need, to worship and glorify God and to live an abundant life in Him.  For once we learn His way of life we are born again, to be free.

“If therefore the Son shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.” John 8:36

Walking Down the Aisle to Serve…

Galatians 5:13
“For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.”

When Earl and I got married, I did very little of the planning. Truth be told, I did NONE of the planning. I did manage a week before our wedding, to take my good friend Bev and go look for a dress for my big day! Now, I am a very organized and detail oriented person. So looking back, it’s very hard for me to understand how I could have let this big day just happen.

Earl planned everything from the flowers to the music, the cake, and also the car that whisked us away after the ceremony. I got myself into my dress and waited for my queue to walk down the aisle with this handsome man on my arm. Our wedding was a full worship service with hymns, liturgies and a sermon. We spent the sermon portion of the service looking down from the church choir balcony listening to every word and in total awe of the over 300 guests present. We then took our moment to walk down the aisle together to say our vows. After saying “I do” and being presented as man and wife, we came back down the aisle to an instrumental piece that Earl had written, played on the organ…..it was magical! I still to this day, wake up to that beautiful piece of music entitled, “The Proclaimed Word” as it plays as our alarm each morning.

Why am I reminiscing about my wedding day so long ago when I’m talking to my fellow pastor wives? Well, let me just say that, every Sunday morning, I relive that beautiful day of saying “I do”.

Years ago, when I realized that God’s appointed ministry in my life was to minister to my pastor husband, I understood that Earl needed assistance after a worship service concluded. I let you know in my blog entitled, “A Rare Sunday in the Pew…”, that I walk around pre-service to meet and greet congregants and visitors. Well, an extension of that ministry evolved when I understood that Earl was being given numerous prayer requests and concerns as people left the church after a service. In the receiving line, Earl couldn’t greet everyone and at the same time write down prayer concerns I found that by sitting in the front of the church, usually 3rd or 4th pew, I could actually see the service better, but I could also take the opportunity to walk back down the aisle with Earl as he went to the doors to greet attendee’s. Each Sunday, I walk down that aisle with Earl and feel a renewal of our vows, to have and to hold, in good times and in bad, for better or worse.

I stand at the doors with him, hand him gum or a mint in order to relieve him of any dryness of mouth from speaking, and I offer him another ear. Some congregants hesitate to burden their pastor with their request feeling that the pastor has too much to do already. I am someone they feel they can inform and they know I will get it to Earl. I write down the requests, and he is free to continue to greet everyone.

I am right here beside him, being his helpmate and right here for HIM, in HIS service..to this day I say, “I do”…….

Thank you so much for visiting my blog, you have blessed me! Please feel free to leave a comment, subscribe to my blog, and/or share this post with a friend. Be blessed my friend!
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