"For wives, this means submit to your husbands as to the Lord. For a husband is the head of his wife as Christ is the head of the church. He is the Savior of his body, the church.”
If you grew up in a family with older siblings, then you might know the “Mercy Game.” Here’s a quick refresher: one person (typically the older sibling) pins you down and pulls back an arm, leg, finger, or whatever else will make you cringe with pain until you wiggle free or cry “MERCY!” As the youngest child for many years, I found a new word that I could yell during that game…”MOM!” That simple word quickly got me out of trouble and my older brothers into trouble.
Why couldn’t I simply yell ” mercy?” That is the nature of the game, and the rule is simple – say mercy, accept defeat, and go on to the next game. However, the idea of submitting to my older brother was not an option. I couldn’t give him the satisfaction of admitting that he’s more powerful.
Ephesians 5:22 says, “…wives…submit to your husbands as to the Lord.” Now hold on ladies, don’t delete this email just yet. Guys, don’t forward this to your wives as a way to prove you’re right. In Ephesians 5:25, husbands are commanded to “love your wives just as Christ loved the church.” This kind of love isn’t a simple card on birthdays and holidays, the occasional roses and gifts or the uttering the words “I love you” in passing. We’re talking about the kind of love that led Christ to die for our sins and to return one day so believers can live in eternity with Him.
Submission is not based on what I experienced in the Mercy Game. Paul is referring to the kind that is driven by sacrificial love and respect. It’s the realization that although I didn’t (and still don’t) deserve it, Jesus chose to put our need for salvation ahead of His own life. Since we’ve received His grace, shouldn’t we show respect and love for those around us by submitting to their roles in our lives?
Who do you need to submit to? Who do you need to show Christ’s love to not because they deserve it, but because they are in our lives for that very reason! Is it a boss that we find abrasive, or peers who are difficult to work with? They are God’s creation, and Jesus died for each of them. Shouldn’t we find a way to “submit to them” as an example of Him living in us? Spend today looking for those people who God has called you to bless this way!
Jeremy Carrine has attended The Journey since Easter 2007. He met his amazing wife Hillary in his first growth group in Fall 2007. You can often find them serving at the 10 am service each week!