Submission in Biblical terms is when we submit to wanting God’s way.
Since the Garden of Eden, and mankind’s Fall into sin—we humans have wanted our own way.
In Matthew 6, Jesus reduced life to one simple goal—seeking God’s rule over each day of our life.
Remember Christ’s simple yet powerful words? Please open there with me:
Matthew 6:33 “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. NKJV
Seek Submission to
God’s Rule First
When sin entered the world, the woman desired to rule over the man; the man desired to rule over the woman, and both departed from their God-ordained roles in life. The Fall has impacted every part of our lives, including our marriages—as husbands and wives compete for first place.
Now, instead of being the Christ-like leader of his home, as the Biblical head over his wife, the typical man has become either dominant and forceful—or passive and uncaring.
In response, the typical wife has either resisted her husband’s control, or by his passivity had to become the leader she was never designed by God to be.
That is all because of the sin and Fall of mankind: all the distortion of marriage began way back in the Garden of Eden!
Biblical submission in marriage was designed by God; and His desires for godly marriages can only be understood and applied, when viewed in the proper context of His Word.
God commands each of us to first submit to Him (Matthew 6:33, James 4:7), and to renew our submission to His rule over our lives on a daily basis.
Then, after that chosen lifestyle of submission to Him, God’s Word goes on to describe how submission to God impacts every other sphere of life:
• Citizens are to submit to their rulers (I Peter 2:13);
• Congregations are to submit to their elders (Heb. 13:17);
• Younger believers are to submit to older (mature) believers (I Peter 5:5; Titus 2), and so on. Because:
Mutual Submission is
Part of God’s Plan
Remember the “Spirit-filled” life described in Ephesians 5:1-20? It culminates with the great imperative of Ephesians 5:18. Turn there with me next.
Ephesians 5:18 And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit, NKJV
What happens when God’s plan is followed? When we embrace a Spirit-filled walk the Holy Spirit graciously fills our hearts with a submission that overflows into every aspect of life.
Our topic this morning—grace-prompted submission for wives fits as just one piece of a much larger plan.
The clearest statement of submission for a wife comes in the middle of this much larger teaching about Spirit-prompted submission. If you trace the word and concept of submission in Ephesians 5:21-6:9, it is actually stated or implied seven times. This is the larger context of submission:
• We all are to submit to each other (5:21).
• Wives are to submit to their husbands (5:22).
• Husbands are to submit to being the picture of Christ and the church (5:23-33).
• Children are to obey (submit to) their parents (6:1-4).
• Workers (called bondservants) are to submit to their masters, as in an employee-to-employer relationship today (6:5-8).
• Masters (business owners and managers of today) are to submit to their heavenly Master (6:9a).
• Everyone is to submit to their Master in heaven (6:9b).