Giving not getting

So I began posting last week the importance of wives submitting to our husbands.  It is always interesting to see how people respond to that topic.  Typically is not a pretty discussion because most women want to argue their way out of having to do it. However, the Bible is very clear as to our responsibility in regards to being wives but it also addresses the responsibility of the husband as well.

So let’s take a look at what Ephesians says about the role of our husbands.
Husbands go all out in your love for your wives, exactly as Christ did for the church-a love marked by giving not getting.  Christ’s love makes the church whole.  His words evoke her beauty.  Everything he does and says is designed to bring the best out of her, dressing her in dazzling white silk, radiant with holiness.  And that is how husbands ought to love their wives.

Ephesians 5:22-28, The Message

God has a perfect plan for marriage. His perfect design presents to the world a beautiful picture of Christ’s love and sets the ultimate example for us to follow.  When lived out according to His design, it works.  However we as humans can really screw it up.  Marriages constantly fail but not because God’s design doesn’t work.  Instead because we choose to follow our own path which typically does not turn out well.

So let’s look at biblical headship according to God’s truth.  First and foremost I want to say that in my understanding of scripture these things do not work for those who do not have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.  Biblical submission and headship work and are lived out because of the work the Holy Spirit does within us.

Quick recap from Ephesians where wives are first instructed to submit to our husbands. Ladies when we hear the word submission we sometimes hear weak and powerless.  That word does not mean our husbands are to be the dictators of our home. It does not mean that he is to impose his will upon our lives.  Instead it means trusting our husbands to lead our homes as they walk in step with God’s will for their lives and family.  Submission is an attitude of being responsive, receptive and agreeable toward our husbands which demonstrates what is fitting and appropriate in God’s created order for us as wives. (Colossians 3:18)  It is not always easy because we may not always agree with their choices but it relieves the burden in our lives to provide and protect allowing us to care for our families. As we grant our husbands room to lead, it allows their faith in Christ to grow.

What does it mean for our husbands to lead?  Scripture says that our husbands are to love us as Christ loves His church (Ephesians 5:25).  Let’s start there.  What does the love of Christ look like to us?  Jesus was a servant. He was full of grace and mercy.  He put the needs of others before Himself.  He was a living sacrifice.  He gave up His own life for ours.  The love of Jesus is a selfless love.  It is unconditional and full of sacrifice.  Jesus came to this world to serve, not to be served. (Luke 22:26)

Headship is not a husband’s right to command and control his wife but instead it is a responsibility to love his wife like Christ.  It is about being willing to lay down one’s life for the good of others.  Headship is not given to enlarge a man’s ego but instead build up his family. It becomes his responsibility to sacrificially love his wife.  It is like the verse says, “a love marked by giving not getting.”

So the next question becomes what does this look like when your spouse is an unbeliever or does not have a solid walk with Christ?  This can get tricky but it is important to know that first and foremost, we wives are to submit to Christ.  We ultimately allow the Holy Spirit to lead and we submit to His righteous ways.  We as wives are not called to submit to sin, abuse or mistreatment of any kind.  We have been given a brain to discern truth and the strength to stand for what we know to be right.  Ladies, God did not create us to be our husband’s doormat and so if you find yourself in a situation where abuse or mistreatment of any kind is taking place, that is not God’s plan and should be addressed so that proper counsel can be attained for the family. Again, it is not in God’s plan for any man to abuse his wife or his children and a wife should not submit to this kind of behavior.

With that said, biblical headship is a beautiful reflection of Christ and His love for His bride, the church.  When lived out in our homes, the selflessness, sacrifice and servanthood of our husband’s love for us becomes a true picture of Christ’s love.

Bad words

I have teenagers.  Three to be exact.  A common question asked is “who decided curse words to be curse words?”  I think it is a great question and one worth discussing.  I love the way my kids question things.  It allows me the opportunity as a mom to share truth with them in many ways and help them apply it to everyday life. So when the question of profanity came my way, I turned to Google. I’ve searched the question before and never found anything profound as an answer. This time was no exception and led me to my Bible to look for an explanation.  

As I flipped through Ephesians I found a verse. Ephesians 4:29 plainly reads we are not to use foul or abusive language. Simply put and well stated but did still not answer the initial question. However looking at the verse we began to think about what words might be foul and abusive language? It became pretty easy to decide. How about anything that demeans another human being, takes the Lord’s name in vain or is being used to attack another person. At the end of the day using words or phrases which lack encouragement or love are not helpful. It doesn’t matter who decided what is a bad word, but it does matter that scripture is very clear.  It says we are to speak what is good and helpful and to encourage.  

As followers of Jesus, we are called to be different.  Once we decided to follow Jesus, it meant we chose to act like Jesus, speak like Jesus and live like Jesus. We are not just to act a certain way but speak in a way that brings light to a dark world.  

Ask God to point out those words used which are not good or helpful.  Allow Him to make your words ones that are full of goodness to those in need of encouragement.  Be a light!.

Don’t use foul or abusive language.  Let everything that you say be good and helpful so that your words will be encouragement to those who hear them.  

Ephesians 4:29

Man's helper

Many women say “heck no, I won’t submit!”  To that I say, “to each her own.”  For me, it has become what has drawn me both closer to my husband and into a more intimate relationship with Christ. It is an incredibly beautiful thing and has given me a marriage I always dreamed possible.

As a woman, I have questioned my purpose many times in the past.  Wondered why I was here.  I wandered around aimlessly searching for just who it was God wanted me to be.  My husband became my reminder.I was created to be my husband’s helper, his soul mate.  It is one of my many purposes. God made me a wife to a wonderful man.  

In this modern world in which we live, this truth is not a favorable truth to hear.  Our culture makes this role out to be weak and even demeaning but I have learned that there is power in this role and power in knowing just who I am in Christ.  On top of it all, there is also incredible satisfaction in fulfilling the role that God created for me because being my husband’s helper is a blessing.

Embracing your purpose might be hard but I promise you that your marriage will blossom as you recognize the importance of your role in the life of your husband. Ask God for wisdom as you seek to be the helper, the partner for your husband that you were created to be.

“Then the Lord God said, “it is not good for the man to be alone.  I will make a helper who is just right for him.”

Genesis 2:18

Struggle of submission

Ok Ladies, this can be a tough one.  We wives are to submit to our husbands.  In a world full of out of balance ideas and morals, submission is an ugly word.  In the context of God’s word, it is  beautiful. 
Submission does not make us a slave to our husband but instead his partner.  It means working together and trusting one another.  God placed our husbands over our homes to provide, protect and lead.  We need to allow our husbands room to lead.  When we do we have the opportunity to care for our husband and children without the stress of those things that are his responsibility. It makes us better wives and mommies.  What you’ll find when you let him lead it that your love for him increases as you see Christ lived out in his life. 
It’s now always easy.  It can be a struggle.  We can find ourselves nagging and bitter if we do not always agree with the choices our husbands make.  Pray today that God will give you a tender heart toward your husband.  Pray for the strength and grace needed to allow him to lead while he discovers his full potential in Christ.  
For wives, this means submit to your husbands as to the Lord.  For a husband is the head of his wife as Christ is the head of the church.  He is the Savior of his body, the church.  As the church submits to Christ, so you wives should submit to your husbands in everything. For husbands, this means love your wives, just as Christ loved the church.  He gave up his life for her..
Ephesians 5:22-25 

Falls alone

God desires for us to be in relationship with one another. He designed us for relationships. These verses are a reminder that doing life together, side by side is not only a blessing but provides us with security and comfort as well. There is definitely strength in numbers and having someone to walk beside us, guarantees that we will have someone who will keep us from falling when the weight of the world has fallen upon our shoulders. We need to guard ourselves from living a life of isolation. Pray and ask God to help you reach out and be a friend to someone who needs your encouragement today.

Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed. If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble. 

Ecclesiastes 4:9-10