Wives, Submit Yourselves

Posted by on Jan 15, 2012

Wives, Submit Yourselves

“Wives, Submit Yourselves”

MP3 Version: “Wives, Submit Yourselves

Scripture Text: Ephesians 5:22-24,33

By Pastor Mike Withem
First Baptist Church
Ranson, West Virginia

Introduction:

A. Now before I say anything else, this morning, I want to make something very clear.
1. There are MANY different ingredients that go into a successful marriage.
2. For example, as we have already seen, you need a husband who, first and foremost, is right with God, a husband who walks with God and communes with God on a daily basis.
3. You also need a husband who understands and fulfills his role as the spiritual leader of his family, a husband who’s leadership is confident, loving and exemplary.
4. You also need a husband who loves his wife as Christ loved the church, a husband who loves his wife with a selfless love, a serving love, and a sacrificial love.
5. You also need a husband who strives every day to be a good husband, a husband who knows his wife, honors his wife, and prays for his wife.
6. And these are just the necessary ingredients that the HUSBAND brings to the marriage.
7. As we began to see last Sunday, there are also some necessary ingredients that the WIFE brings to the marriage, such as a wife who understands and fulfills her role as her husband’s helper.
8. And so, there are many different ingredients that go into a successful marriage, some of which are brought to the marriage by the husband, and some by the wife.

B. Now, because this is true, if ANY of these necessary ingredients are missing from the marriage, there are going to be problems, perhaps serious problems, depending on what is missing.
1. (Illus.- It’s like a pecan pie. While I can’t tell you what they are, I’m sure that there are many necessary ingredients that go into the making of a good pecan pie, and that if you leave any of these ingredients out, the pie is not going to be good. You see, every ingredient is important.)
2. The same thing is true when it comes to marriage.
3. Every ingredient is important, and if a marriage is to be everything that God intends for it to be, ALL necessary ingredients must be present!

C. This morning, I want us to consider a second necessary ingredient that the wife brings to the marriage, and that is a wife who is SUBMISSIVE to her husband.
1. Notice again Vrs. 22 of our text, “Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands,”
2. Then again in Vrs. 24, “…so let the wives be [submissive] to their own husbands in every thing.”
3. Then again in Vrs. 33, “…and the wife see that she reverence her husband.”
4. THREE times in this passage alone, wives are commanded to be submissive to their husbands.

D. Let us begin our discussion of this subject by focusing our attention on the…

I. Meaning Of Submission.

A. When Paul admonished wives to “submit” to their “own husbands,” what exactly did he mean.
1. Let me tell you, first of all, what he did NOT mean.
2. He did not mean that wives are to assume the role of a servant or slave, treating their husbands like their masters.
3. One idea of submission that is widespread today, especially in Islamic cultures, is that the wife is a piece of property, owned and operated by her husband, that she must bow and scrape before him, never offering an objection or a suggestion of her own, that she must not open her mouth or her mind, that she must do his bidding without question.
4. While this may be how some men or some cultures define submission, this is clearly NOT what Paul had in mind when he admonished wives to “submit” to their “husbands.”

B. Well then, what did Paul mean?
1. If he didn’t mean that wives are to be their husband’s slaves, what did he mean?
2. He simply meant that the wife is to place herself under the authority of her husband, realizing that in matters of principle (not preference), God has ordained him to be the final authority as far as the family is concerned.
3. Now I realize that a lot of women, even some who profess to be Christians, object to this concept.
4. (Illus.- For example, many years ago the Southern Baptist Convention, while holding their annual meeting, adopted a resolution on the family that included the headship of husbands and the submission of wives. Well, when they did that, the modernists and liberals within the convention went nuts. They said that this concept was both archaic and demeaning to women.)
5. And so, a lot of women object to this concept.
6. But it doesn’t change the fact that it is a Biblical concept.

C. Let’s look at three more passages that deal with this same subject.
1. First of all, look at Gen. 3:16.
2. Notice what God said to Eve after her’s and Adam’s sin was found out, “Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.”
3. Some have said that this thing of wives submitting to their husbands was strictly the brainchild of the Apostle Paul and the only reason he came up with is was because he hated women.
4. But this statement was uttered by God Himself long before the days of Paul (this statement was uttered when Adam and Eve were still in the garden).
5. Consider also at Tit. 2:4-5.
6. Paul is instructing the older women – notice what he instructed them to do, “That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children,..To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.”
7. Finally, look at 1 Pet. 3:1, “Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives;”
8. And so, even though a lot of women object to the concept of wives submitting to their husbands, it is a Biblical concept.

D. What then does it mean for a wife to submit to her husband?
1. It means to place herself under her husband’s authority, realizing that he is the one whom God has ordained to be the final authority in the home.
2. Now lets notice the…

II. Method Of Submission.

A. Exactly how does a wife submit to her husband?
1. Paul tells us how in our text.
2. Look again at the latter part of Vrs. 22, “Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.”
3. Notice the words, “as unto the Lord.”

B. Now what does that mean?
1. It simply means that wives should submit themselves to their husbands in the same way as they submit themselves to the Lord.
2. But some wife says, “Wait a minute preacher. My husband is a good man, a kind man, a loving man, but he certainly is NOT GOD!”
3. I didn’t say he was.
4. Listen, I know your husband, and I know he is not God (not anywheres close).
5. But as far as the home is concerned, he is God’s representative, (he is the one whom God has placed at the top of the chain of command).

C. I think I can illustrate it like this.
1. In the home, husbands are like magistrates in our society today.
2. Notice what Paul wrote in Rom. 13:1-2, “Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God:”
3. In our society today, we have magistrates (judges).
4. We have federal judges (including the Supreme Court Justices), state judges and local judges.
5. Not only do we have judges, but these judges make decisions that affect all of our lives.
6. They decide what is right and wrong.
7. They decide who is guilty and who is not guilty.
8. They decide on the degree of punishment for the guilty.
9. All of our lives, in some way are affected by the decisions that judges make.
10. Well, someone asks, “Who gives them the right to make such decisions? Who do they think they are, God?”
11. No, they are not God, but they are God’s representatives in society, and because they are, we must willingly place ourselves under their authority.
12. The same thing is true of husbands in the home.
13. No, they are NOT God; however they are God’s representatives in the home.
14. This is why wives should submit to their husbands in the same fashion as they submit to the Lord.

D. Someone says, “But pastor, my husband is NOT SAVED.”
1. It doesn’t matter, you are still to submit.
2. (Illus.- By the way, the vast majority of judges today are not born again. I can just imagine what would happen if you were to tell a judge, “But judge, I don’t have to listen to you because you are not born again!” He is going to tell you, “It doesn’t matter.” And it doesn’t.)
3. Someone says, “But pastor, my husband is NOT A GOOD CHRISTIAN (he’s saved, but he’s not living the way that he should).”
4. It doesn’t matter, you are still to submit.
5. Someone says, “But pastor, my husband DOESN’T LOVE ME the way he should.”
6. Again, it doesn’t matter, you are still to submit.

E. Is there ever a time when a wife should not submit to the authority of her husband?
1. The answer is yes.
2. Whenever her husband insists that she do something which is clearly contrary to the teachings and principles of God’s Word!
3. (Illus.- I realize that this is an extreme example, but suppose a man decided that he was going to rob a bank and insisted that his wife drive the getaway car.)
4. Why should a wife disobey her husband in situations like that?
5. Because ultimately, God is her final authority, and one day she must answer to him.
6. I’m reminded of one occasion when Peter and the other apostles were commanded by the authorities in Jerusalem to stop preaching the gospel.
7. Do you remember what they told the authorities?
8. They said, “We ought to obey God rather than men.” (Acts 5:29)

F. And so, we see the method of submission.
1. We’ve seen the meaning of submission.
2. We’ve seen the method of submission.
3. Finally, this morning, let’s consider the…

III. Model For Submission.

A. Look again at Vrs. 23-24 of our text, “For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.”
1. What is the model of submission?
2. The church is the model of submission.

B. Notice, first of all, that according to Vrs. 23, “Christ is the head of the church.”
1. Now what does this mean.
2. It simply means that as far as the church is concerned, Christ is the final authority.
3. Paul put it like this in Col. 1:17-18, “And he (Christ) is before all things, and by him all things consist…And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.”
4. (Illus.- I’ve told you this story many times before, but let me tell it again. About 35 years ago, when we were preparing to build this building, I went to the Bank of Charles Town, and asked them for a loan. I was interviewed by Donald Smith, who was the president of the bank at that time. During the course of the conversation, he said, “Reverend Withem, where is your church diocese located?” I said, “What?” He said, “Where does your Bishop reside?” Again, I said, “What?” He then asked, “Where is your church headquarters located?” I said, “Heaven.” When I finally realized what he was asking and tried to explain to him how our church operated, he, being an Episcopalian, he could not comprehend a church that answered only to Christ.)
5. And so, Christ is the head of the church, which means that he is the church’s final authority.

C. Well, that being true, the church (this church) has a responsibility to submit to Christ’s authority.
1. But someone asks, “What does that have to do with wives and their husbands?” (Everything!)
2. You see, the church is the MODEL for submission.
3. In other words, as the church is subject to Christ, even so wives should be subject to their husbands.
4. Notice again Vrs. 24, “Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.”

D. Did you notice the last three words in that verse?
1. It says, “…in every thing.”
2. (Illus.- A few years ago I was counseling with a husband and wife and the wife said this, “Pastor, I don’t have a problem submitting to my husband’s authority in most things, but there are few things with which I really struggle.)
3. Struggle or not, the church is the model for submission, and if you are to follow this model, you WILL submit to your husband “…in every thing.” (Can’t pick and choose.)

E. And so, we see the model for submission.

Conclusion:

A. What is the second necessary ingredient that the wife brings to a successful marriage?
1. A submissive wife. A wife who willingly and happily places herself under her husband’s authority, realizing that he is the one whom God has ordained to be the final authority in the home.
2. You show me a marriage where the wife refuses to submit to the authority of her husband, and I will show you a marriage that has some serious problems.

B. But let me say just a word to the husbands here this morning.
1. Before you do too much celebrating about being the final authority, let me remind you of something.
2. Let me remind you that being the final authority, one day you will have to ANSWER TO GOD for how you have used that authority.

C. How about it wives?
1. Are you a submissive wife?

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