Nevertheless, let everyone of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife that she reverence her husband.
Do you ever wonder why God put that in there? I did...for a long time, I couldn't figure that one out...Oh, I spent alot of time doing word searches and trying to figure out how the original Greek didn't say exactly what it said but finally God got a hold of me and asked, "When are you going to just take Me at My Word?" OUCH. Not exactly what this Christian Feminist wanted to hear. I didn't grow up in a home where biblical submission was practiced...I really don't think it was known about to be completely honest, so I did come at this from somewhat of a disadvantage. I was raised knowing that "I could do anything a man could do, only better!" So for years after coming to the Lord, I felt that I could still be everything I wanted to be....including the head of my marriage. Now I didn't exactly put it into those words but that is what it was none the less. I tell you this only to assure you that if you are struggling with this area in your life... You are NOT alone!
What I was very surprised and even somewhat incredulous to learn was that while many translations replace the word reverence in this verse with respect, that is not an accurate translation. You see, this word is only used one time in the New Testament and it means exactly that...reverence or reverential awe or fear. That is alot different, at least to me, than respect. Strong's says that it is to be in awe of, to revere exceedingly. My Webster's dictionary says that reverence means a feeling or attitude of deep respect, tinged with awe, veneration. It also means the outward manifestation of this feeling and a gesture indicating deep respect. To venerate means to regard or treat with reverence. To reverence is to treat with deference or reverential obedience. Deference means to show respectful submission and yielding to the judgement, opinion or will of another. WOW....that is important stuff!
There are several verses that elaborate on this such as:
Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.
Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as is fit in the Lord.
1 Peter 3:1-6
Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husband; that if any obey not the word, they also may without a word, be won by the conversation of the wives;
While they behold your chaste converstation coupled with fear.
Whose adorning let it not be that of outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of the gold or of putting on of apparel;
But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corrupltible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.
For after this manner in the old time the holy women also, who trusted in God, adorned themselves, being in subjection unto their own husbands.
Even as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord, whose daughters ye are, as long as ye do well, and are not afraid with any amazement.
The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things;
That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love thier husbands, to love their children,
To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to the own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.
To love is to be profoundly tender towards someone, to have passionate affection for one another. As you can see, love, affection and devotion go hand in hand. I like the definition for devotion as well: profound dedication, earnest attachment. As godly wives, we are to have profound dedication to and earnest attachment to our husbands....God didn't say IF he was a good husband, IF he treated us the way we think he should... but to do as UNTO HIM....to submit to one's husband as UNTO THE LORD....that is a HUGE step of faith. Believe me, I KNOW! I did not want to give over MY RIGHTS to my husband....I was a joint heir, a fellow believer...why did I have to give in? Why does it have to be me? It just didn't seem fair...
What does fair have to do with obedience? What do "my rights" have to do with the laying down of my life and taking up my cross and following Jesus? You know, obedience is easy when it's something we want to do anyways but when it's not....well, it is REALLY hard... but I am here to tell you....it is oh so worth it.
Why did Sarah call Abraham lord? He wasn't the most straight forward fellow. Sarah called him lord because she reverenced him and honored him and in doing so, she honored God. Can we, as His daughters, do any less today? Do you know how God will honor your obedience to His holy word? He will do exceedingly, abundantly, over and above anything you could ask or think!
I have thought so much on how a Christian marriage is a mysterious representation of Christ and His Bride. As Christ's Bride, would you refuse His rule over you? Would you not submit to Christ's leading? How can we represent this to an unbelieving world when we don't show this in our own marriages? Do you reverence your husband in your marriage? Do you eagerly await his return home and make it a special place he desires to come home to? We would never, as believers, refuse Christ and yet here we are blessed with His representation in the form of our husbands, who are the head over us, just as Christ is the head over the church, and we fail to submit to them in godly reverence and love.
I pray that our hearts are open to the conviction of the Holy Spirit....that they would be smitten and that there would be nothing left in our hearts that will not submit to the Word of God.
Again Father, I ask that you forgive me where I have failed over and over, time and again. Forgive me where I have failed and walked according the the world and it's ways. Fill me afresh with your Holy Spirit and help me to be obedient and submissive to Your word. I ask You in the name of Jesus Christ, who walked in total submission to You.....Lord, make me like Jesus....
Post a Comment