Friday, May 29, 2009
Thursday, May 28, 2009
I read this in My Utmost For His Highest one day:
“Our Lord never insists on having authority over us. He never says, “You will submit to me.” No, He leaves us perfectly free to choose—so free, in fact, that we can spit in His face or we can put Him to death, as others have done; and yet He will never say a word. But once His life has been created in me through His redemption, I instantly recognize His right to absolute authority over me. It is a complete and effective domination, in which I acknowledge that “You are worthy, O Lord …” (Revelation 4:11). It is simply the unworthiness within me that refuses to bow down or to submit to one who is worthy.
Is the mind of my spirit in perfect agreement with the life of the Son of God in me, or am I mentally rebellious and defiant? Am I allowing the mind of Christ to be formed in me? (see Philippians 2:5). Christ never spoke of His right to Himself, but always maintained an inner vigilance to submit His spirit continually to His Father. I also have the responsibility to keep my spirit in agreement with His Spirit. This speaks to the desire of the heart before it comes to taking action. My heart must be willing and desiring God’s glory above my own selfish wants first. When my heart is set on Him, the actions follow.”
This was the heart of Jesus! He told the disciples that He was not here to do His own will, but that of His Father. Likewise are we. Our will is to be conformed to His will. Women are to learn to graciously and lovingly surrender their will to Jesus.
We have to teach women that submission is attitude long before it is action. Submission is not an outward meek obedience with a hateful and rebellious heart on the inside. That is not submission, it is hypocrisy!
Sadly I see the latter quite often. Christian women are told to submit and many of them hate it. They hate having the man rule over them, they hate being at his beck and call. They hate that it puts them in a subservient position in church and in life.
I have encountered very many women, pastors wives, deacon’s wives, women who have been raised in the church, who have heard submission preached and taught all their lives. They go through the action, but they hate it, and they hate their husbands for it. They forget that who they are arguing with is God.
Most often women tell me that they don’t trust their husband! They are afraid to submit to his decisions and leadership. They fear their husband will hold submission over them as a weapon and use it as a reason to mistreat them. It doesn’t help that some men do. Some men equate submission to slavery. They misuse the text and abuse their wives with it. Women who don’t trust the leadership of their husband are ultimately not trusting God. They are forgetting that He is sovereign over the earth and their husband and circumstances. Nothing will happen that is outside of God’s ability to deal with, and nothing that happens will be a surprise to God. When you trust your husband, you are trusting that God is leading your husband.
Other women say they don’t trust their husband’s parenting style. He is too heavy handed in their opinion. The husband does things differently than they do- and the wife thinks she can do it better- so they decide to take parenting matters into their own hands. The wife develops a critical spirit toward her husband in this circumstance and begins to actively undermine his authority. When this happens it only complicates matters to the extreme. When a wife rejects her husbands parenting style she is rejecting the authority God has placed over her and over the kids. This is sending a terrible message to the children and devaluing him in their eyes, removing the reason for the kids to honor and respect him and elevating mom as the only authority that matters! We will talk about this issue in our parenting track in January.
The desire to submit to your husband is a result of your desire to submit to God. Think about that…
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
We continue today with Pastor Bruce Roeder’s excellent exposition on the topic of submission with respect to MEN. I believe that before us as women can truly understand this critical area of marriage and the importance God places on it, we need a full orbed view of it. Pastor Bruce presented this to our training class at RGCM.
A Husband cannot demand respect. This is a big problem in marriage with some men. They want respect; they want submission from their wives. They want it so bad they are willing to sin to get it and thus have made an idol…of respect.
Our pastor said this at the men’s retreat in 2006: “Husbands are no where directed in Scripture to force or manipulate their wives (or any one else for that matter) to be in submission to them through intimidation, threats and harsh treatment.” – Pastor Ted Groves
Pastor Doug Wilson in his excellent work “Reforming Marriage” is even blunter than Pastor Groves in commenting on Eph. 5:25 where husbands are to love their wives as themselves: “A man who does not take particular and tender care of his wife, and who then expects her to be fruitful and lovely, is not being a true husband at all; he is a dolt-the Greek word for this is probably meathead. A man must love his wife sacrificially and he must not expect anything but weeds unless he tends the garden with extraordinary care.” Pastor Doug Wilson, Reforming Marriage
Let me suggest to all you men, not just the married ones that this is a key leadership principle that has a life application that goes beyond the context of the immediate family.
If we want to lay the axe to the root of pride then this is the path, outdo each other in giving honor to the other-Ro. 12:10. For it is true humility and it’s a strength, never a weakness.
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
As we continue learning about submission, I thought it would help you to understand what the Bible means by what it says in those passages that command submission. For today’s blog, I am relying heavily on the teaching of my good friend and co-counselor at RGCM, Pastor Bruce Roeder. He did an excellent lesson for our counselor trainees on the role of the man in submission. The text below is by and large his. I have made a few changes where it fits.
The opposite of huputasso (submission) is rebellion. Rebellion is used in the NKJV, Insurrection in the KJV. Scripture indicates as early as Gen. 3 that woman have authority problems, but this does not mean, men do not.
In fact, it is often times worse for men because in their households the women often have more of spiritual understanding of these things than they do.
Bruce says he hears this sort of stuff coming from the men he counsels:
I don’t need to submit to pagans,
My boss is harsh; my boss is an idiot,
The church has abused its authority and so on and so on.
Many men will say anything, rather than put on humble hoop-ot-as-so. And as a result, they (or we) do not model what hoop-ot-as-so means. In addition to this problem, we must add that biblical masculinity is in short supply in many, many churches…
It has been replaced with psychologized, touchy-feely masculinity that is all about healing inner pain, getting in touch with your inner child blah, blah blah, psychobabble. And maybe that’s partially the fault of the churches that use lame, psychologized, effeminate materials in their men’s ministries and the men simply do not know any better. In other words, while the church goes down the slippery slope to post modernism and adopts a psychologized, feminized view of masculinity we must go back to the Bible and study our Savior to see what masculinity is really like.
We must deem Christ the perfect man to follow/emulate—Stuart Scott
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. 1 Corinthians 11:3 (NASB)
Here’s one of those “tell it like is” passages much of the church seems to be rejecting. Nevertheless, Paul simply says matter of factly that the man is the leader or head. You will notice the man is the head whether he wants the job or not. God just says that’s the way it is and that’s that.
The passage also says something profound about “how to be the authority”- Paul writes, “A man is responsible to Christ.” “I want you to know men, that in your headship you are responsible to Christ.” Responsible means accountable as in “answering to.” The authority men have been given has been delegated and they answer to Christ for its use. This means, among other things, they are limited in their authority by the clear commands in God’s Word.
Men must understand there is a big difference between God’s commands and their personal preferences. Personal preferences may be negotiable, God’s commands are not.
The delegated influence and authority they’ve been given is limited. It is not absolute.
Some men and husbands seem to think they have the authority or the influence to say anything, do anything or require anything—not so. They are an undershepherd under the authority of the chief shepherd whom they represent. And the measure of authority they’ve been given is meant to carry out His revealed will.