READ. Breathe. repeat…
Wives, in the same way, submit yourselves to your husbands, so that even if they refuse to believe the word, they will be won over without words by the behavior of their wives when they see your pure and reverent demeanor.
1 Peter 3:1
For this is how the holy women of the past adorned themselves. They put their hope in God and were subject to their husbands.
1 Peter 3:5
Wives submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord.
Did you breathe? Because if you just read those verses – you may need some oxygen. So go ahead and take another deep, d e e p breath then promise you’ll hang on with me for just a few more minutes. I know you can and I really want you to hear this.
On March 14, 1987, my wedding vows included the word “obey” but only because that was what “Christian” women said. The reality was that my rebel heart didn’t mean it one bit. I knew that word really meant submit and I was not about to be a doormat. Not me. I was a modern Christian woman and that ideology was no longer applicable in my modern world.
Funny how after 32 years of marriage – I can look back on that young girl with deep affection and think; Praise the Lord Jesus for loving us right where we are – even when we have it all wrong.
You see I did something incredibly naive. I pulled verses from scripture and plopped them right out of context. I isolated specific scriptures and somehow convinced myself that wives were the only people who were called to submit. I felt jipped, restricted, discriminated against and enslaved – it didn’t seem fair that women were singled out as the only ones who had to let someone else lead.
I missed soooo much.
I missed the beginning of Ephesians 5 – you know, the chapter all about wives submitting and husbands loving their wives like Jesus loves the church? Yeah, did you notice that whole section of Paul’s letter starts out telling EVERYONE to submit to ONE ANOTHER?
Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.
or how about
…for you, brothers, were called to freedom; but do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh. Rather, serve one another in love.
Young men, in the same way, submit yourselves to your elders. And all of you – clothe yourselves with humility toward one another…
1 Peter 5:5
Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
Do you see it? Submission isn’t just for women. It’s a theme that runs through scripture. And it is at the core of relationships for the Christ-follower. In the Greek the root is from hupo and tasso; to subordinate, to obey — to be under obedience, subdue unto, submit self unto.
Wives, in the same way, submit yourselves to your husbands…
The same way? In the same way as what?
In the same way as was outlined in the text preceding chapter 3. Where Peter tells the recipients of his letter to…Submit yourselves to every human institution – whether to the king as supreme authority or to governors…Where he tells servants to submit themselves to their masters with all respect, not just to the good and gentle ones but even to those who are unreasonable. Where Peter reminds the followers of Christ; servants & free, husbands & wives, young & old about the One who showed us the way of submission. The One whose footsteps we truly need to follow. The One …
Who committed no sin,
neither was deceit found in His mouth.
Who being reviled – did not retaliate;
suffering did not threaten,
but He gave Himself over to Him judging justly.
Who Himself bore our sins in His body on the tree,
so that, having been dead to sins, we might live to righteousness.
By whose scourge marks you have been healed.
1 Peter 2:22-24
In THAT same way – submit.
Even when it’s uncomfortable.Even when it’s not reciprocated. Even when it is unfair and even when it brings suffering. Because suffering for what is right is a blessing. (1 Peter 3:14)
You see, To this you were called. (1 Peter 2:21) Christ suffered for you – leaving you an example that you should follow in His footsteps. Like Jesus …give yourself over to the One who judges justly. (1 Peter 2:23) “Put your hope in God” – as the holy women of the past did. (1 Peter 3:5) As Jesus did. As every single one of the twelve men entrusted with the gospel did. As every single icon of our faith did. Because submission isn’t just for wives – it’s for every person who has proclaimed Christ as King of Kings and Lord of Lords. If God is first – You are second. If God is first – everyone else is first – and you are second.
So breathe that in and rest in it. Submission is not for women only – Jesus tells me, this I know.
Father. There is none like you. Everything in the heavens and the earth is yours and this is your Kingdom. We adore you as being in control of everything. Riches and honor come from you alone and you are the ruler of all mankind. Your hand controls power and might and it is at your discretion that men are made great and given power. Jesus, you are King of Kings and Lord of Lords and through you, Jesus, the law of the Spirit has set us free from the law of sin and death. We are free. Free to be second. Free to give fully of ourselves to your good and pleasing and perfect will and free to give fully to others out of reverence for Christ, as unto you. Help us Spirit, when submission is hard, to remember Jesus’ example. Help us to live in freedom as submitting servants to the One True King. And so let it be.
Take some quiet time today to watch this video about the crucifixion of Christ and consider the incredible love and submission that held him there.
Today’s post was written by Nora Elkins.
Nora is married 31 years to her first love, Scott. They have raised four children into adulthood and are now enjoying the reward of professional grandparenting. Nora can be found living the real-life version of “Fuller House” in her four generation household – where her 96-year-old dad is the favorite playmate of her precious grandkids. She is a “maker” at heart and loves creating personalized gifts – whether it’s for her shop on Etsy or special orders from friends. She also enjoys coloring in her bible and documenting her faith through journaling and bible study. You can find her serving at our Longwood campus where she practices the spiritual gift of warm hugs and happy smiles and if you’re lucky you may even catch her dancing to the music in the parking lot before service.