written by: Jane M. Coley, Missionary Wife Date: February 3, 2011
Goal: To help build stronger families through understanding God’s design of submission.
Scripture Reference: Colossians 3:12-17 and 18-24; Ephesians 5:21-33
Introduction: While speaking at a ladies fellowship, here in Kenya, I (Jane Coley) was asked this question, “How far, with this submission thing, is a woman to take it?”. I asked for an explanation to better understand the question and the woman said, “I have a friend who is a very godly woman and her husband often beats her. When I asked her why she puts up with it, she said it was because the Bible teaches that she is to submit to her husband.”.
This is the same question I want to answer for you today... How far are we, as women, to take this submission thing?
(This is Part 1 of a 2 part session. Part 2 - Help Meet)
I. Understanding What Submission Is Not.
A. Submission is not grievous.
B. Submission is not bondage, as in making you feel like you are a slave to the wishes and wants of someone else.
C. Submission is not a punishment on women. God is not punishing women because Eve ate the forbidden fruit in the Garden of Eden.
D. Submission is not restricted to the marriage relationship and a wife’s behaviour with her husband.
II. Understanding What Submission Is.
A. Submission is a godly character trait that every Christian is to emulate (copy). Colossians 3:12-17
B. Submission is an authority order, a chain of command.
1. Submission is not restricted to the relationship of the wife with the husband, submission covers a list of other relationships as well, from the servant with his master, to Christ with God. I Corinthians 15:28; Hebrews 5:8; John 4:34; 6:38; Philippians 2:8
2. It is interesting to note that every portion of scripture that speaks about a wife’s submission to her husband, is found within “a list”. Ephesians 5:22; Colossians 3:18; I Peter 3:1, 5 (look for “the list”)
C. Submission is an accountability to God. Hebrews 13:17
D. Submission is a place of protection and provision. Those to whom we are to submit to, are responsible for taking care of us.
1. The example set forth is that a husband is to love and care for his wife in the same manner as Christ loves and cares for His Church. Ephesians 5:21-33
a. Christ’s death on the cross was to protect the unsaved from hell by providing salvation to those who would believe. John 3:16
b. Christ suffered physical to prove his love and care for us. Romans 5:6-8
2. A husband is to be concerned for his wife, and he needs to be willing to assist her with her burdens just as we, as Christian, are able to expect assistance from Christ. - Matthew 11:28 “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”
III. Understanding the Purpose of Submission.
A. God’s purpose of submission is for it to balance ALL our relationships. Ephesians 5:21 “Submitting one to another in the fear of God.”
Romans 12:10 “Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another;”
I Peter 5:5b “...Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.”
B. The purpose of submission is for all things to be done decently and in order.
1. God is not the author of confusion and there is nothing more confusing than to not know who the leader is; the one responsible and accountable. I Corinthians 14:33, 40
2. Therefore, God designed this chain of command - servants submit to masters, children submit to parents, wife submits to husband, husband submits to Christ, Christ submits to God. (The Church submits to Christ.) Ephesians 5:21-33
C. The purpose of submission is to serve the Lord Christ through serving others. Colossians 3:17-18, 23-24 (see the verses posted earlier)
1. Even the Lord Jesus Christ humbled Himself to serve others.
a. With His death on the cross. - Philippians 2:3-8
b. By washing the disciples’ feet. - John 13:3-15 Vs. 14 - “If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another’s feet.”
2. The teaching of Jesus Christ, by example, is clear, the greatest among us is a servant to ALL.
Matthew 20:27 “And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant:”
Matthew 23:11 “But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant.”
Mark 9:35 “And he sat down, and called the twelve, and saith unto them, If any man desire to be first, the same shall be last of all, and servant of all.”
Mark 10:44, 45 “And whosoever of you will be the chiefest, shall be servant of all. For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.”