Ladies Bible Study
"Becoming a Godly Wife"
"Submission - It's Not What You Think."
Review of last months homework:
This month we are going to continue to look at how God's love affects our attitudes and entire lifestyle, by looking at submission. Submission is not what you think it is and it is really important for us, as Godly wives to totally understand what it is and to decide to be submissive so that we are in the place God has for each of us. Not being submissive, is rebellion, it is that simple and in these next few lessons, we are going to really come to understand what submission is, look at scriptural examples of submissive people and how we translate this into our lives.
What do you think submission is or the Word submission means?
Webster's dictionary defines it as: surrendering to the authority, discretion or will of another. 2. To commit to the decision, consideration or judgement of another.
When you look at these definitions alone, submission sounds like something we don't want to have anything to do with, that it puts us in a position of servitude to another.
But we need to stop and think for a minute, we submit to all kind of things every day.
We submit to local authority when we follow traffic laws, we submit to the federal government when we pay our taxes, we submit to our employer when we arrive at work at a certain time. This does not make us any less of who we are, does it?
But let's take this secular definition, much further.
Ephesians 5:17-22: 17. Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is. 18. And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit, 19. speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord, 20. giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, 21. submitting to one another in the fear of God. Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord.
In these verses Paul starts out by telling us not to be unwise, but to understand what the will of the Lord is. He then goes on and tell us, it is to be filled with the Spirit, singing to one another and to the Lord, giving thanks always.
But then look at the next two verses, He tells us first to submit to one another in the fear or reverence of the Lord.
The first thing Paul stresses is submitting to other Christians in reverence to God.
We think only of ourselves, and then maybe our family and husband, but if push came to shove, the last people we submit to is each other. If a guest Pastor or singer is passing out free product, we will jump over pews or knock each other down to get the free book or CD. But if we were really submitting to each other in love, the Pastor would have to go to each person and give it, because we would be back in the pews saying. "No, you go down and get the book, no you go… no, I insist, you go…" and no one would move. This is definitely not the way it is!
I want us to look at the ultimate example of submission, to see how we are to submit to each other.
John 10:30: " "I and My Father are one.''
Jesus plainly explains part of the Godhead here, He and the Father are one, but it did not change his role on Earth, He came for a specific purpose, to do the Father's Will and that is what he did.
John 8:29: "And He who sent Me is with Me. The Father has not left Me alone, for I always do those things that please Him.''
He submitted to the Father's will and did the things that pleased God.
John 12:49-50 "49. "For I have not spoken on My own authority; but the Father who sent Me gave Me a command, what I should say and what I should speak. "And I know that His command is everlasting life. Therefore, whatever I speak, just as the Father has told Me, so I speak.''
He spoke and taught what the Father instructed Him to teach. He did nothing outside the Father, everything Jesus did, was according to the Father's plan and purpose and He had the choice to do it. Jesus willingly chose to submit to the will of the Father during his life and ministry. It was a willful decision He had to make, just as it is a willful decision we have to make.
Before we can submit to our husband, however, we must learn to submit to God.
Have you taken the time to sit down and actually look at your life, what you are doing, what your goals are, and are they lined up with God's Word and His plan for you. Have you spent time on your face before God, seeking His will in you life.
It may surprise you to know, God's will in your life is to love and serve Him with all your heart, soul and body and then to love your neighbor as yourself.
The first neighbor you see every morning you wake up is your husband! Do you love him as you do the Lord? This takes us back to last month's lesson, is the love of God flowing out of your inner river?
The second thing that is God's will for your life is to submit to your husband as unto the Lord. It is God's will for your life, it is not a choice, it is a commandment, we must choose to obey.
So how do we do it? First we need to briefly look at the husband's role in marriage.
1 Timothy 2:13: 13. For Adam was formed first, then Eve.
Man was created first, to lead, we were created to help him.
Genesis 2:18: 18. And the Lord God said, "It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him.''
Genesis 2:15: " Then the Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to tend and keep it."
This phrase "keep it' is the Hebrew Word shamar:
Text: a primitive root; properly, to hedge about (as with thorns), i.e. guard; generally, to protect, attend to, etc.: --beward, be circumspect, take heed (to self), keep(-er, self), mark, look narrowly, observe, preserve, regard, reserve, save (self), sure, (that lay) wait (for), watch(-man).
In other Word Adam was to tend but also guard and keep out things not created by God, to be in the Garden. Obviously, he wasn't doing his part to guard his home, because he allowed the serpent to come in and beguile Eve.
Genesis 3:6: " So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate."
Adam had already messed up, by not asserting his role as guardian and protector of his home, by keeping the serpent out, nor by stopping Eve from doing the wrong thing, he then participated in it, making matters worse! What resulted is the downward spiral of the world to this date.
It also resulted in what we know as "the battle of the sexes."
Genesis 3:16: "16. To the woman He said: "I will greatly multiply your sorrow and your conception; in pain you shall bring forth children; Your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you.''
This word for desire is: tshuwqah
in the original sense of stretching out after; a longing: --desire.
Several authors, I have studied in this text, explain that this is more than, sexual desire. It means that a woman's desire will be to usurp the husband's role, as head and leader. In other words, we would always be striving to be the one in control, when that was not God's plan, as a result of Eve's making a decision, without submitting to the authority (no matter how non existent it was) of her husband. This is why it is hard for us to submit, our flesh is no longer Godly, and we cannot control it except by the Holy Spirit. Therefore, everything in us wells up to resist submission. And if you look at this verse further, you will see, that God says our desire will be for our husband "and he will rule over you."
So it does not matter, what our fleshly desire is, the husband's role never changed, he is to rule over us.
This is hard for some of us to take, but that is the way God made things. Marriage is a Covenant, the husband is the head, the wife the helper.
Ephesians 5:23-24: For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body. Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything.
If we drew a graph of this relationship, it would look something like this:
God the Father
God the Father is the head, followed by Jesus Christ, then the husband and then the wife.
The Husband relates to two people in this graph, Jesus and His wife. Jesus relates to two people, God the Father, and the Husband. Does this mean we as women of God, can not hear directly from God. Certainly not, Your husband is not responsible for your direct relationship with God, nor are you responsible for his. This simply means Jesus submits to God, the husband submits to Jesus and God and we submit to all three.
(Derek Prince, Husbands and Father's, Chosen Books, 2003).
I hope by now, you are beginning to understand that submission is an act we do willfully, in reference to God. Just as Jesus, our model did. We show our submission to God, by our willing, loving, joyful submission to our husband. We have the privilege of showing the world God's love in a new way, by being submissive wives, not doormats or slaves, but willing partners, standing in the role God created for us.
Let's close by looking at the Proverbs 31 wife.
10. Who can find a virtuous wife? For her worth is far above rubies.
11. The heart of her husband safely trusts her; so he will have no lack of gain.
12. She does him good and not evil all the days of her life.
13. She seeks wool and flax, and willingly works with her hands.
14. She is like the merchant ships, she brings her food from afar.
15. She also rises while it is yet night, and provides food for her household, and a portion for her maidservants.
16. She considers a field and buys it; from her profits she plants a vineyard.
17. She girds herself with strength, and strengthens her arms.
18. She perceives that her merchandise is good, and her lamp does not go out by night.
19. She stretches out her hands to the distaff, and her hand holds the spindle.
20. She extends her hand to the poor, yes, she reaches out her hands to the needy.
21. She is not afraid of snow for her household, for all her household is clothed with scarlet.
22. She makes tapestry for herself; her clothing is fine linen and purple.
23. Her husband is known in the gates, when he sits among the elders of the land.
24. She makes linen garments and sells them, and supplies sashes for the merchants.
25. Strength and honor are her clothing; she shall rejoice in time to come.
26. She opens her mouth with wisdom, and on her tongue is the law of kindness.
27. She watches over the ways of her household, and does not eat the bread of idleness.
28. Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her:
29. "Many daughters have done well, but you excel them all.''
30. Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised.
31. Give her of the fruit of her hands, and let her own works praise her in the gates.
Next month we will look at the role we as wives play as helper, and how submission is a big part of this role.
1. Continue to pray the Pray based on 1 Corinthians 13, continue to write in your journal how your life is changing and be prepared to share with the group.
Proverbs 31: 10-31: If you can find a truly good wife, she is worth more than precious gems! 11. Her husband can trust her, and she will richly satisfy his needs.
12. She will not hinder him, but help him all her life. 13. She finds wool and flax and busily spins it. 14. She buys imported foods, brought by ship from distant ports.
15. She gets up before dawn to prepare breakfast for her household, and plans the day's work for her servant girls. 16. She goes out to inspect a field, and buys it; with her own hands she plants a vineyard. 17. She is energetic, a hard worker, 18. and watches for bargains. She works far into the night! 19. She sews for the poor, and generously helps those in need. 21. She has no fear of winter for her household, for she has made warm clothes for all of them. 22. She also upholsters with finest tapestry; her own clothing is beautifully made--a purple gown of pure linen. 23. Her husband is well known, for he sits in the council chamber with the other civic leaders. 24. She makes belted linen garments to sell to the merchants. 25. She is a woman of strength and dignity, and has no fear of old age. 26. When she speaks, her words are wise, and kindness is the rule for everything she says. 27. She watches carefully all that goes on throughout her household, and is never lazy. 28. Her children stand and bless her; so does her husband. He praises her with these words: 29. ``There are many fine women in the world, but you are the best of them all!'' 30. Charm can be deceptive and beauty doesn't last, but a woman who fears and reverences God shall be greatly praised.
31. Praise her for the many fine things she does. These good deeds of hers shall bring her honor and recognition from people of importance.