Wednesday, August 13, 2014
“The Home: Wives”
You’re listening to The New You, the daily broadcast for people who have been made new by the blood of Christ. I’m Robert Hatfield, and here is today’s Scripture:
Wives, submit to your own husbands, as is fitting in the Lord (Col. 3:18).
This week on The New You is all about God’s pattern for the home. I’m not here to push my own views about the subject, and this is certainly not a political issue. No, this is a biblical issue. The Bible is clear concerning the roles of husbands, fathers, wives, mothers, and children. May God help us all to fulfill our place in His pattern for our families.
Wives, you are front and center on today’s program, and the verse before us is one that has been somewhat touchy in the past. Colossians 3:18 says that wives are to submit to their husbands. This is echoed in Ephesians five, 1 Corinthians eleven, and elsewhere in Scripture. If someone wanted to summarize the role of women in the home in just one word, I think that word would have to be “submit.” Let’s explore this thought in three facets: first, we’ll see the grounds for submission, second, the attitude of submission, and, third, the atmosphere for this submission in the home.
First, upon what grounds is the wife to submit to her husband? I mean, wasn’t this just a social trend in the first century, eastern culture? It’s a valid question, and the Bible gives the answer. The grounds for the woman submitting to the man go all the way back to day one – literally! That is, day one of the marriage institution. You recall that Adam, the man, was created on the sixth day of creation. Upon surveying all that had been made, God concluded that it was not good for man to be alone. Then this happened: “The LORD God said…’I will make him a helper comparable to him’” (Gen. 2:18). So, God caused a deep sleep to fall on Adam and the first surgery was performed! God took one of Adam’s ribs, “and closed up the flesh in its place. Then the rib which the LORD God had taken from man He made into a woman, and He brought her to the man” (Gen. 2:21-22). Why was woman created? To be a helper to man. Now does that mean that the woman is lower than the man? Of course not. She was made from his side, not his head (as if to indicate that she was above him) or his foot (as if to indicate that he is above her). She is his equal. Yet, their roles are different, aren’t they? She is his suitable helper.
This is why Paul, in 1 Corinthians eleven, describes the order of things in this way: “the head of every man is Christ, the head of woman is man, and the head of Christ is God” (11:3). Then, Paul continues: “For man is not from woman, but woman from man. Nor was man created for the woman, but the woman for the man” (1 Cor. 11:8-9). This issue of submission is not a cultural issue; it is an issue of creation order. The Bible sets the record straight.
But in the second place, let’s notice the attitude of submission. What does it mean to submit as a wife to your husband? Well, this is really an attitude, or a frame of mind. The Greek word that is used in Colossians three actually means “to arrange oneself under, to subordinate.” Paul uses the present middle imperative tense which indicate that the wife voluntarily submits to her husband! Why? Because she wants to obey God. Brother or sister, this is not a position of slavery; this is a position of honor. Not because it is an honor to submit to a man – nope, has nothing to do with it. This is an honor because it is an honor to do God’s will and to fulfill my role according to His plan.
Third, there is an atmosphere in which this submission will best take place. This is the part where I shift my attention away from just wives to speak to all of us for a moment. Why would a wife voluntarily place herself under her husband in submission? Well, first because she wants to please God. But, secondarily, I think she would do so because he is fulfilling his role in the home. So, when Colossians 3:19 is in place – “Husbands, love your wives” – then the right atmosphere will be set for Colossians 3:18 to take place. Is this to say that a wife can use her husband as an excuse for unfaithfulness to God? Of course not. I’m simply pointing out that God’s plan is always best. Don’t you agree?
Let’s wrap it up: In the home, there are roles for husbands and there are roles for wives. Men, sometimes it isn’t easy or fun to be the spiritual leader. Women, I’m sure that sometimes it isn’t easy or fun to submit to your husband. But this is, in a very elementary way, God’s plan for our homes. May God bless your home and mine.
Memory Verse: Let’s take a look once again at Psalm 1:1-2.
Blessed is the man Who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, Nor stands in the path of sinners, Nor sits in the seat of the scornful; But his delight is in the law of the LORD, And in His law he meditates day and night. (Psa. 1:1-2).
Sometime today: Read Colossians 3:20, where the Bible has some instructions for children. That’s tomorrow’s topic on The New You.
Thanks for joining today me on The New You. New episodes of this broadcast are released each weekday, Monday through Friday, from The Light Network. Archives of this program, episode transcripts, and more Christian podcasts are available there, too, at thelightnetwork.tv.
I welcome your questions, comments, or suggestions for the show! My email address is firstname.lastname@example.org and my voicemail number is 903-26-LIGHT, that’s 903-265-4448. I’d love to hear from you!
This is The New You, I’m Robert Hatfield, and I hope you have a great day!