Christian Godly Submission In Marriage.
There is a KEY to christian godly submission in marriage and to one another. Submission and rebellion are always for or against someone's thoughts or ways!
God's Rule Governing Submission
As we go over various Scriptures concerning submission, note carefully four very important items. Without knowing these boundary lines, we could be submitting to someone who God doesnt want to control us, perhaps our own spouse.
Notice first that the submitting we do is to be ONLY to that which is from the heart of God.
Secondly, there is ALWAYS a resisting to that which is of the devils heart.
Thirdly, there is ALWAYS a drawing near to God.
And fourthly, there is ALWAYS a moving away from that which is evil.
There is a key to understanding proper submission (submission that is truly ordained of God). This key is found in the Scripture that speaks of the highest order of submission.
THIS IS THE KEY: ALL THAT WHICH THE HIGHEST-ORDER SCRIPTURE SAYS CONCERNING SUBMISSION UNTO GOD MUST HOLD TRUE FOR ALL SUBORDINATE TYPES OF SUBMISSION SCRIPTURES AS WELL. There are servant Scriptures, and there are master Scriptures. A servant is not greater than his master (John 15:20a). The following Scripture is a master, the highest-order Scripture regarding submission. ALL other (servant) Scriptures concerning submission cannot carry their own meaning apart from their master. The servant or subordinate Scriptures carry the heart of the master Scripture.
Lets take a look at the highest-order Scripture for submission:
Therefore SUBMIT TO GOD [and not to the devil], [but] RESIST THE DEVIL ...[and] DRAW NEAR TO GOD... (James 4:7,8).
This is the highest order of submission that we submit to God. God Himself is the Highest! Notice that in submitting to God we are to resist the devil. If we are to submit to God, we are submitting to His thoughts and His ways. If we are to resist the devil, we are to resist his thoughts and his ways.
The Bible says to Let the wicked FORSAKE HIS WAY, and the unrighteous man his THOUGHTS; Let him RETURN [TO THE WAYS AND THOUGHTS OF] THE LORD... (Isaiah 55:7). The Lord is saying that those who have submitted to and embraced any other thoughts and any other ways than His, have sinned and gone AWAY from the Lord. Thats why He says to return. The Lord continues, For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways... (Isaiah 55:8). Why did the Lord say that His thoughts and His ways were not ours, and our ways not His? Because we have accepted someone elses thoughts and ways and rejected His.
SUBMISSION AND REBELLION ARE ALWAYS FOR OR AGAINST SOMEONES THOUGHTS OR WAYS. God wants us to return and submit ONLY to His thoughts and His ways. His thoughts and His ways are only known by knowing Him personally and by knowing what is written in His Word, the Bible.
If we return to His ways of thinking and acting, the Scriptures promise: that we ...shall go out with joy, and be led with peace; the mountains and hills shall break forth into singing before you ...INSTEAD OF THE THORN shall come up the cypress tree, and INSTEAD OF THE BRIER shall come up the myrtle tree... (Isaiah 55:12,13). Therefore, if we submit ourselves to someone that leads us to violate Gods Word or our conscience, we are submitting to the devil instead of resisting him. In reality, we resist God.
This highest-order submission Scripture says to draw near to God. As we submit to anyone, we should be drawing near to God. Of course, our own selfishness can keep us from drawing closer to God while we submit to another. It may appear like were submitting, but we do not have the right attitude or motive in our heart. The right attitude and motive is to please God in all ways. The submission experience should transform us into the likeness of Jesus Christ Himself. If we are submitting to the lies of the devil, we are being drawn to our enemy and becoming like him. We are constantly being changed. That change depends upon who is our lord: God and His instructions, or the devil and his instructions.
Submission Always Has Resistance
Lets examine the subordinate submission Scriptures in light of our submission to God. Godly submission is always to God and against the devil. Satanic submission, or satan worship is always to satan and against God. SUBMISSION ALWAYS HAS RESISTANCE. When youre submitting to God by surrendering control to Him, you must resist the other god. If you are submitting to the devil and his deeds, you are resisting God. Submission ALWAYS includes surrender AND resistance. For no man can serve TWO masters
The highest-order submission Scripture tells us to submit yourself to God: Therefore, SUBMIT TO GOD [and not to the devil]. [But] RESIST THE DEVIL ...[AND] DRAW NEAR TO GOD... (James 4:7,8).
The subordinate submission Scriptures tells wives to submit to their OWN husbands: Wives, SUBMIT to your own husbands, AS TO THE LORD (Ephesians 5:22). Notice that wives are not to submit to another man, but the man of the marriage. More importantly, the submission to the man of the marriage is AS TO THE LORD. What does as to the Lord mean? And to whom is submission rendered? As to the Lord is the way a Christian ought to submit to others. Whether it is our spouses, our employer, or those who are in law enforcement or government authorities, the submission that we render to them is the same submission that we would render to the Lord Jesus Himself as [we would submit] to the Lord. Meaning, God commands us to resist evil no matter what form it comes in and no matter who it comes through.
We have been taught that we are to blindly follow our spouse, but that is just not true. God set up specific guidelines in His written Word for us so we will not be deceived and do wrong. Gods written Word is our foundation. His Holy Spirit will lead and guide us according to that Word. The Lord Himself would not have anyone do anything ungodly (evil) or under coercion or manipulation. In a marriage, submitting as to the Lord is submitting to that which is OF THE LORD in your spouse.
For instance, lets say that an angle spoke to us to do something evil, we would have NO choice but to resist and say, No! The Word of God, which is our instructions on how to submit, says to Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good. Resist the devil ...[and] draw near to God... (Romans 12:9, James 4:7, 8), NO MATTER WHO IT IS! Even if its ...an angel from heaven ...let him be accursed (Galatians 1:8). The Scripture says to cling to what is good (Romans 12:9c).
CLINGING IS SUBMITTING! WHEN ITS OF THE LORD, YOU SUBMIT AS TO THE LORD. WHEN ITS NOT OF THE LORD, YOU DONT SUBMIT AS TO THE LORD. For example, you are not to submit to abuse; its not of the Lord.
For another article, click on Christian Husband Wife Submission.
There are many critical keys in this book regarding divorce, remarriage, submission, interracial marriage and relationships. Click on Divorce: God's Will? to order.