On a recent trip my husband and I travelled to his hometown several states away. Since my father-in-law was downsizing from a 4-bedroom house to an apartment in a senior citizen’s complex, we rented a small moving van to transport his bedroom set to our home. I consider myself “directionally-challenged” and often say I can get lost in a paper bag. My husband on the other hand can figure out where north, south, east and west are, and while he may, on rare occasions, become temporarily misplaced, he’s never really lost. You better believe I made sure I followed Glenn’s every move on that 5 hour trip home.
As I followed closely in our car behind my husband who was driving the van, I started contemplating the word “submission”. It’s considered a dirty word in today’s climate of feminism. Webster’s Dictionary defines submission as “the state of being obedient, the act of accepting the authority or control of someone else”.
What does God’s Word say about submission, especially wives submitting to their husbands? “Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands” (Ephesians 5:22-24).
This admonition to wives doesn’t mean husbands are home free! Husbands are also commanded to love their wives sacrificially. “Husbands, love your wives, as Christ also loved the church and gave himself up for her” (verse 25). Wow, a husband is to love his wife as our Savior loves his church? That’s a tall order!
What is the goal of all this submission and sacrifice? Galatians 5 goes on to say, “That He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that He might present to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she should be holy and without blemish” (26-27).
This submitting is something the husband and wife are to do together. Look at verse 21. “Be subject to one another in the fear of Christ”. Thank God we don’t have to try to live this command out alone! Christ Himself is the ultimate example of perfect submission, even unto death. “…Not as I will, but as You will” (Matthew 26:39). God the Son submitted Himself to God the Father. “He humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross” (Philippians 2:8). In light of this, how can I not be submissive to the authority God has placed over me?
While making the trip home, Glenn and I communicated with walkie talkies. All I had to do was push a button to speak to him. I never felt alone. The same can be said for my fellowship with my heavenly Father. I find great comfort, peace, and strength in being able to pray to Him and through reading and meditating on His Word.
My husband and I also took breaks from our travel, walking and talking before getting back on the road. This reminds me of the fellowship that is ours with God. He leads us to refreshment from the Psalm 23 green pastures and still waters.
I made sure I stayed close to that moving van and when a car would come between us, I kept my eyes fixed on that white, orange and green van rear door. Glenn would slow down so that the “obstacle” would pass him and I was once again right behind him. Isn’t that what God does for us, all in His perfect timing? When we feel overwhelmed, “Lead me to the Rock that is higher than I” (Psalm 61:2).
Since the husband is to love his wife in a sacrificial way, it’s not punishment to follow his lead, just as it’s not a penalty to follow our Savior, who has already proven just how much He loves us with his death on the cross in payment for our sins, along with His victorious resurrection. In being submissive to our husbands, we are being submissive to Christ Himself. As Matthew 11:30 says, “For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
God has put authority over us for our security and protection, not to put us in chains. If we can’t follow our husbands and other authorities, most likely we have a rebellious heart toward God.
Submission. After our recent trip I have a whole new appreciation for the word. Just as I fixed my eyes on that moving van, we can “fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith” (Hebrews 12:2). There is a sense of security and peace following my husband’s leadership in our home. How much more do I feel secure and at peace by abiding in Christ and submitting to His leadership, knowing He will eventually lead me to my permanent heavenly home.