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Wilful Submission

"22 Wives, subject yourselves to your own husbands, as to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church, He Himself being the Savior of the body. 24 But as the church is subject to Christ, so also the wives ought to be to their husbands in everything."
Good Morning Beloved,
Welcome to worship this Lord's Day!
What a blessing to have you here with us.
Before we begin, I'd like to say there are some passages that a preacher really enjoys teaching. And in contrast, there are those passages, which are not-so-popular, that a preacher knows are going to be controversial. This is one of the latter. 

However, I'd like to preface today's message with the statement, that I did not write this passage. so, if you are displeased by it's message, take it up with God. I am called to teach all of His Word, which I do not bypass or skip over the less popular portions of the Word of God. On the contrary, I deal with them as God calls me to do, to submit to His Holy Spirit and allow Him to speak through me.

Now, I'd like to further say to you husbands, this is not to be taken out of context, which so often occurs with a passage such as this. So tuck your tail, your turn is coming. Because submission applies to each and every one of us. While it's true that this section is speaking to wives submitting to their husbands; I do not want anyone thinking that if they are not a wife, that they can just take a nap. 

So what is the motivation for submission?

You'll need to wait to find out.

Let us first bow our heads in prayer.

Heavenly Father,

We thank You for Your Word; how it feeds our souls, it pulls us out of the world, the truth refreshes our spirit. We’re grateful for Your provision. Lord, I pray for all the women who are hearing this message, that they would able to comprehend and understand how this truth is to work in their lives,we know it is complex in it's application, yet so simplistic in it's understand. I pray that You would prepare the hearts of those with us, and lead each of them to understanding, that Your grace and mercy abounds to them, and that they would return to the principals and priorities You have established. I pray that You would fulfill them in the way that You’ve designed for them. That the watching world would indeed know that we not only speak Your Word, but that we live it, because we believe it.

Father, thank You for the clear instruction. Help us to make application to our lives. I pray that in doing so, it would transform hearts and souls, changes lives through Your Word, empowering those who endeavor to be obedient through the strength of Your Spirit. As a result, may You be glorified and honored by the testimony of our lives.
In Christ's name

Today's Message: Wilful Submission

For many believers and non believers alike, submission carries with it the idea of voluntarily and willingly giving up our rights. As we study this principle, we need to study it from a biblical perspective and not a worldly perspective. A Christian’s concept of submission must come from the understanding of the relationship between Christ and the Church. Christ loves the Church and the Church submits to Him. Wives submit, husbands love, and children obey. Our motive for all of this is Jesus Christ.
I Corinthians 11:3 put this in great perspective. "But I want you to understand that Christ is the head of every man, and the man is the head of a woman, and God is the head of Christ."
Most women today, fail to understand the difference between what they are in the Kingdom and what they are in the family. Therefore, they fail to submit to the purpose of God, which He has uniquely designed for them.
Through the corruption of Women's Liberation movement, the role of women has drastically changed. Families today look different than they did just 30 years ago. Women once characterized by the nurturing of her children, cooking the family dinner, and tenderly reading bedtime stories, who was modestly clothed has been replaced with seductive imagery of scantily clad women, wearing next to nothing, women in business attire carrying a briefcase or in form fitting aerobic attire, many of which are more concerned with their outward appearance and what to wear than they are with their relationship with God and eternity.
Now before you react to that statement, I'm speaking of the many that I have known personally, who by their own admission spend 3 to 4 hours a day exercising yet won't take 10 minutes to have a conversation with their spouse, because he "gets on her nerves." Today's woman is demanding, insisting to be heard, eager to fulfill all of her personal goals. She is rarely happy, even less often satisfied, and for this, is applauded by our culture.

In Proverbs chapter 31, verses 10-13, we see a different woman, according to God.
"An excellent wife, who can find her? For her worth is far above jewels. The heart of her husband trusts in her, And he will have no lack of gain. She does him good and not evil All the days of her life. She looks for wool and linen, And works with her hands in delight."

Open with me your Bibles to the book of Ephesians, chapter 5, as look closely examine verses 22 through 24. I invite you to follow along with me as I read to get our text set in our minds
"Wives, subject yourselves to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church, He Himself being the Savior of the body. But as the church is subject to Christ, so also the wives ought to be to their husbands in everything." 
Today the so called traditional family reflects only 7% of our households. Today the average American family has one child and both parents work outside the home. Today parents are having fewer children and having them later in life. More and more households are blended families with children coming from two or more marriages.

Cohabitation before marriage is more common today than ever. One half of adults under 30 will live with someone before they get married. The census bureau statistics show that couples who cohabitate before marriage are even more likely than others to get divorced. Among couples who have been divorced and remarried, according to the available Census data, 60% of all second marriages end in divorce. I believe those are just startling statistics.

There is little doubt that this is all in the plan of Satan to destroy the sanctity of the institution of marriage. And one does not have to be a trained sociologist to know there is a growing problem in America involving couples simply living together out of wedlock.

In Ephesians 5, the apostle Paul gives us some very foundational teaching on marriage and family. Now before we get too deep in today's study, I want to share three basic teachings concerning relationships in the family. The first is, marriage is not ownership, it's a partnership. In a partnership, neither partner tries to dominate the other. Therefore, equal submission is God’s plan for lasting relationships. The marriage relationship is based on mutual unconditional love.
Someone once wrote, "Woman was not made out of man’s head to be dominated by him, nor out of his feet, to be trampled upon; but out of his side that she might be equal with him; from under his arm, to be protected by him, and from near his heart to be loved by him."
When you see the outcomes of shattered and broken relationships you realize that lasting relationships require mutual submission. The apostle Paul adds in verse 21, "in the fear of Christ.."

The pint is, when Christ is left out of relationships the relationship can become very self centered. “I’ll do what you want but you will do what I want first. If you fail to live up to my expectations then I will find someone else." As I have always said, if you want a relationship to collapse, take Christ out of the center." To make mutual submission work requires equal responsibility. A relationship is in trouble when one or both in the relationship have the view that there are no absolutes in life. It is possible to get so wrapped up in your own world that you lose touch with those closest to you.

We live in a culture, where people are high tech and low touch. Instead of playing with their friends in a park or on the ball diamond, children are much more likely to be in front of a Television playing their Xbox One X, Sony PS5 or Nintendo switch. Relationships with people are being replaced by computers, cell phones and social media. We are more connected and less social than ever before in history.

That's why the church is so vital today, we are a community of loving and caring people. And when one person hurts, we all hurt and when one person rejoices, we all rejoice. We are more like a hospital than a museum. We want to provide healing for human hearts.

When there is mutual submission in marriage both husband and wife willingly make decisions that are best for the family and not just for themselves. That kind of submission calls for servant leadership. Jesus said in Matthew 23:11, "But the greatest of you shall be your servant."

In verse 22, Paul says "Wives, subject yourselves to your own husbands, as to the Lord." So exactly what kind of subjection is he talking about? Not only is a woman to submit, but there is a manner in which she is to submit.. "as to the Lord." As to the Lord, in other words, "Respond to your husband submissively, as if you are submitting to Christ." Let's be honest, that is a devastating indictment against those who deny women's submission. A woman is to subject herself to the Lord, so when you are submitting to your husband, you are submitting to Christ, this is His will for you. 

I imagine that there are many women who think that they are in perfect submission to Christ yet lack submissiveness to their husband indicating they are not. The matter of submission, is actually quite simple. Be submissive to your husbands. The manner of submission is as to the Lord. And with the same level of devotion as you submit to the Lord, submit to your husbands. That's God divine plan and design.

In verse 23, Paul indicates the motive for submission. "For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church, He Himself being the Savior of the body." Just as our body submits to the head, our brains instruct our bodies what to do, because that's God's design, right? I mean our bodies don't dictate to our brains. That's God design for marriage. And when a wife is not submissive to the husband, we have dysfunction, an abnormality.

Then, we have the model of submission, which is as important as the motive and the manner. It means that your are responding because to the created order. And Paul gives us the model in verse 23. "as Christ also is the head of the church." Meaning with the same willing heart that the church has in obeying Christ. In other words, in the same willing, non-grudging, joyful way in which the church is to submit to Christ, so you are to submit to your husband. Now, I realize that's a pretty noble and lofty concept in today's world.

Next, I'd like to draw your attention to the end of verse 23, "He Himself being the Savior of the body."
We joyfully submit to the One who saves us, namely the Lord Jesus Christ. And so the church gladly submits to Christ. We understand our weakness. We understand His great strength. Therefore we submit our weakness to His strength in the church, and the same is true in marriage. A woman is to realize her husband is her protector, her deliverer. That's what savior means. And he is to protect her, but we'll get into that later. 
I want to make it clear that Paul is not talking about submitting to an abusive relationship. He is not talking about being under the absolute control of a husband out of control. Paul is talking about the wife being submissive to her husband’s spiritual leadership. God has ordained that husbands are to be the spiritual leaders of their family – by their words and actions.  
I Peter 3:7 the Apostle Peter writes: "You husbands in the same way, live with your wives in an understanding way, as with someone weaker, since she is a woman; and show her honor as a fellow heir of the grace of life, so that your prayers will not be hindered." 
Wives are to be supportive of their husbands. Wives are to be the number one encouragers of their husbands. Wives are to have a positive influence, not a negative influence on their relationship. You give a positive influence by giving up on a perfect marriage and working toward a good marriage.

Give praise and appreciation instead of seeking it. Greet your husband with affection instead of complaints and demands. Focus on what’s right rather than what’s wrong. Giving mutual support means abandoning all hope of changing each other through criticism or attack. Mutual support and responsibility means you work at spending time together. Go out on weekly dates. Share responsibilities and make communication a high priority.

The next point I'd like to share, is the magnitude of submission, the magnitude of it. In verse 24, Paul writes "But as the church is subject to Christ, so also the wives ought to be to their husbands in everything."
The matter of submission is very clearly and unarguably indicated here. So what does that look like? 
Let's take a look at Titus 2:3-5. "Older women likewise are to be reverent in their behavior, not malicious gossips nor enslaved to much wine, teaching what is good, so that they may encourage the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be sensible, pure, workers at home, kind, being subject to their own husbands, so that the word of God will not be dishonored."
The word encourage translated here from the Greek word, "sphroniz," is a somewhat unique word, it means to train in self control. The older women have a great responsibility to teach the younger women. They are to teach them modesty, discretion, restraint and self control. Who are the younger women?

I'm going to expand a bit further, because I believe this is a matter of importance. Let's look at I Timothy chapter 5, verses 8 through 15. "A widow is to be put on the list only if she is not less than sixty years old, having been the wife of one man, having a reputation for good works; and if she has brought up children, if she has shown hospitality to strangers, if she has washed the saints’ feet, if she has assisted those in distress, and if she has devoted herself to every good work. But refuse to register younger widows, for when they feel physical desires alienating them from Christ, they want to get married, thereby incurring condemnation, because they have ignored their previous pledge. At the same time they also learn to be idle, as they go around from house to house; and not merely idle, but also they become gossips and busybodies, talking about things not proper to mention. Therefore, I want younger widows to get married, have children, manage their households, and give the enemy no opportunity for reproach; for some have already turned away to follow Satan."
The older women, 60 years of age and older, would have the primary responsibility of mentoring and servicing the younger women. Servicing would include visiting younger women in the church, to provide teaching and counseling, as well as perhaps visiting the sick and the afflicted, and providing hospitality to travelers, and likely a children's ministry. Since many children in that day were often left in the marketplace, because they were unwanted. Abandoned boys were trained to be gladiators, while girls were taken to brothels and raised as prostitutes. The widows found them and placed them in good homes to receive proper care.

Men and women both are made in the image of God. And so both are equal before God. They are equal in dignity, equal in value, and equal in the likeness of God that they bear. On the one hand, the Bible tells us that Eve was created after Adam; that she was created from him, and for him. She possesses in herself no less of the divine image than he. And here’s the critical point: the Scripture sees no contradiction whatsoever between these two facts. Why? Because dignity and worth don’t come from our position in a human hierarchy, whether it’s the home hierarchy, or the church hierarchy, or some other social, or political, or economic hierarchy. Our dignity and worth come from our identity as created beings made in the image of God. And we all share that equally, both men and women, husbands and wives.
More importantly, we are not only are we equal by virtue of creation, we are also equal by virtue of salvation. What this means is that men have no advantage over women when it comes to salvation. None of us can claim any moral superiority; we are all sinners, deserving of God’s judgment and saved by grace alone. None of us receives any preference on account of our gender, or ethnic background, or for any other reason. Our worth doesn't come from anything we've accomplished. Our worth comes from Christ, Who gave His life for us. Our value comes from what God gave in exchange for us - the infinitely precious blood of His own Son, Jesus Christ. And that price was the same for each of us, regardless of gender. 
We are all equal in Christ.
May it be so...
And now may the Lord bless you and keep you;

the Lord make His face shine upon you,
And be gracious to you;

The Lord lift up His countenance upon you,
And give you peace.

Now and forever, in Jesus' name

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The Brian Monzon Ministries



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