It's my sincere hope and prayer that we will let God work in our hearts to make His Word come alive with regards to this month's topic.
It's appropriate as we approach Easter that we consider Jesus
and His relationship with His Beloved Church.
Further, how that relationship is SUPPOSED to be lived out in this earth in a picture format through marriage and family life.
I want to focus this month on the essential ingredients of servanthood and submission.
No marriage will be healthy without it. It also brings such satisfaction, peace, and joy into your family, into your household. I wonder if our children, nieces and nephews could all grow up in families where the parents put each other first, how different would the world be?
I will be the first to admit, that when I was younger, though I understood a bit of servanthood, because of how I was raised (thanks Mom & Dad!), I did not have a clue about the need for the word many of you may have feared I would come to one day!
I think they work hand in hand. True servanthood submits.
There is a give and take, we both knock ourselves out for the other.
But, someone has to have the last word.
That's not us, ladies! :)
I want to clear up some mystery about this topic.
Biblical submission is lovely, sweet and rewarding.
I don't believe "submission" the way the world that is lost understands it, is healthy or helpful. I also don't believe we can submit in the wholesome, winsome way we are intended to, outside of the resurrection power of God living inside of us. I just don't believe it. Our carnal selves will do it for manipulation, fear, and convenience. None of these motives are life giving, and empowered by Christ. If you have never lived this in your marriage, all I can say is don't knock it till you try it! And I say that in love! I have had my marriage both ways, and we are both (and everyone around us) INFINITELY more filled with joy, peace and contentment this way. I realize that many people are in marriages where they feel they can't trust their mate with their hearts and livelihoods. I once was one of those people. I was wrong. On the other hand, some of you have mates where you have to walk a fine line. Because you are unequally yoked. I don't care if he goes to church, that doesn't make him a christian or you either. What worked for me as we made a transition in our spiritual lives, is in the matters I differed with him on (because biblical principals permeate ALL of our everyday lives), I leaned into God, and trusted Him as my mate, to make things right, in my heart and in my husband's heart so we would be in unity. That just grew and grew and continues to this day, only now we are most always "in synch". We do learn! The nutshell caveat is submit where you can, lean hard into God for the areas you have to make a stand, trust HIM day by day and see where YOUR journey takes you. There is NOT a cookie cutter recipe for faith. You must seek God for yourself. I can only share my experiences and hope they inspire you to pursue your own journey!
When I finally came to understand who Christ really, truly was to me, 1993, I immediately got my swimmies on and began diving into the Word in my baby steps. It wasn't long before I saw that part of what my heart longed for, was put there by Christ, (and part of it I shed, because it was just foolish, worldly values, which I had outgrown). Which is to say, I desired to be cherished, protected and provided for. I don't know if I can properly convey what a strong work ethic I had at this time. What was a strength had grown a bit out of control. And I was diligently working to make my husband obsolete. Uuugghhh! It sounds so ugly to say. And in all truth, I didn't KNOW that I was doing that. I was just so focused on the next step, the next task, and the next want, so it never occured to me (prior to my conversion) to slow down, and consider what he thought about things, much less what God might have to say.
When I began to know God through His Word, I began to know myself and my husband much better! I can't tell you the sweetness that came to our marriage, from the time that we had literal "pillow talk" about the verses that God had shown me to be foundational to a mariage. I still can picture the grin he got (he is such a kid, Ya'll!) from that moment on (some 12 years or so ago) it has been a much blessed journey together.
Now, don't get me wrong. To this day I learn to die to self, I struggle, I fail. I repent, get back up again and keep moving forward.
As I changed, he changed. As God grew in me, God wooed him. Now we share faith.
As we both learn to die, my life, our life becomes richer, sweeter and more fruitful. The old Bible saying is so true, Ya'll! You gotta die to live!
I want to close urging you to please do yourself a favor, click on this and read the whole of Chapter 5 in Ephesians. I will close with a portion, but it is much more meaningful, if you read the verses preceeding this, to take it in context.
"Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs,
singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord;
Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ;
Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.
Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands,
as unto the Lord.
For the husband is the head of the wife,
even as Christ is the head of the church:
and he is the saviour of the body.
Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ,
so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.
Husbands, love your wives,
even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;
That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,
That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.
So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies.
He that loveth his wife loveth himself.
For no man ever yet hated his own flesh;
but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church:
For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones.
For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother,
and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh.
This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.
Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself;
and the wife see that she reverence her husband."
Ephesians 5:19-33I hope you will consider visiting some of these other sites listed,