A Divine Picture
Maybe you've heard that old saying, "You may be the only Bible that some people ever read." Perhaps that is what God intended in a Christian marriage, as described in Ephesians 5:23-27:
For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church, He Himself being the Savior of the body. But as the church is subject to Christ, so also the wives ought to be to their husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her, so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy and blameless.
What an awesome responsibility!
When Michael loves me as Christ loved the church and when I respond in submission to him, we are a divine picture for the entire world to see. This certainly makes our marriages appear different from the model the world is trying to sell! The husband is to sacrificially love his wife. The wife is to voluntarily cooperate with her husband in everything.
What if every Christian marriage lived by these principles? Our marriages would be divine! Our neighbors, our coworkers, and our families would all demand to know how to achieve such great marriages for themselves. And we would have the answer! We would be in the perfect position to share the love of Christ with them. Yes, God, I Get It!
As I have chased the idea of submission through the Bible, one portion of Scripture was the final straw that convinced me of God's opinion on this subject:
Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man,he humbled himself and became obedient to death-even death on a cross! (Phil. 2:5-8)
Jesus Christ chose humility over pride. He is equal with God in all respects, because He is God. Yet He willingly left the throne of heaven to live as a servant on earth.
Jesus took on hunger, exhaustion, grief, temptation, disappointment, and abuse from the very people He came to save. He voluntarily cooperated with God the Father in a plan that required His painful death on our behalf. He humbled Himself.
Humility seems to be an important character trait in God's economy. The Bible is full of Scriptures that reveal God's attitude toward those who are humble in spirit. This, more than any other argument, has clarified my thoughts concerning my role in the marriage relationship:
"God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble" (James 4:6).
Submission requires humility.
I am a proud creature. I can't think of a better way for God to mold me in His image on a daily basis. When I choose to humble myself and respect my husband, placing myself under his authority, I can almost feel God whisper, "Well done."