Sometimes wives choke on the verse that says, "Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord." They might say, "I don't want to submit to my husband or anybody else." But before God tells wives to submit to their husbands, God tells both husbands and wives to submit to one another in the reverence of God.
Ephesians 5:15-18 (NIV) 15 Be very careful, then, how you live-not as unwise but as wise,16 making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. 17 Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord's will is. 18 Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit.
Psalms 28:7-9 (NIV) 7 The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and I am helped. My heart leaps for joy and I will give thanks to him in song. 8 The LORD is the strength of his people, a fortress of salvation for his anointed one. 9 Save your people and bless your inheritance; be their shepherd and carry them forever.
Ephesians 5:21-22, 25 (NIV) 21 Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. 22 Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord.
25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her...
Psalms 30:5, 11-12 (NIV) 5 For his anger lasts only a moment, but his favor lasts a lifetime; weeping may remain for a night, but rejoicing comes in the morning.
11 You turned my wailing into dancing; you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy, 12 that my heart may sing to you and not be silent. O LORD my God, I will give you thanks forever.
Psalms 19:1-3 (NIV) "1.The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. 2.Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge. 3.There is no speech or language where their voice is not heard."
The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.-Psalm 23:1
A favorite Scripture passage for many of us is Psalm 23, which begins: "The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul" (verses 1-3). We love that. It's such a beautiful picture of us as sheep being led by our Shepherd.
You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You.-Isaiah 26:3
I remember asking Billy Graham a number of years ago about what he experienced when he gave the invitation for people to come to Christ at a crusade. He said, "When I am preaching and giving the invitation, I feel like power is draining out of me." I understand that, because it is a spiritual battle that rages on. When we are serving the Lord, it can be draining in many ways. It can even be draining spiritually.
Ephesians 2:6-7,10 (NIV) 6 And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, 7 in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus.
10 For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
Psalms 8:3-5 (NIV) 3 When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, 4 what is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him? 5 You made him a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him with glory and honor.
The clear night sky is awe-inspiring. One of my favorite places is a canyon lake far from big cities. The night sky appears to be entirely filled with stars. The band of the Milky Way glows with the light of a million stars. We count the shooting stars until we fall asleep. Now we know so much more about the enormity and complexity of that night sky than David did. It should awe us even more when we consider that our God set all that in place. He decreed the laws by which it all functions. Man is increasingly wondering at the mysteries and beauty we see there.
Job 31:24-25, 28 (NIV) 24 "If I have put my trust in gold or said to pure gold, 'You are my security,' 25 if I have rejoiced over my great wealth, the fortune my hands had gained,
28 then these also would be sins to be judged, for I would have been unfaithful to God on high.
Job continued his defense before his friends. He told how he always helped the needy and took good care of his workers. He said that he was consistent to do those things because he had a fear of God. He knew God required it of him, and that he would be judged if he did not. As we look at Job's defense, few of us can say that our lives come anywhere close to Job's. Yet, the real standard is not Job but Jesus Christ. Thank God for sending His Son to be the sacrifice for our sins.
Job 23:10-12 (NIV) 10But he knows the way that I take; when he has tested me, I will come forth as gold. 11My feet have closely followed his steps; I have kept to his way without turning aside.12I have not departed from the commands of his lips; I have treasured the words of his mouth more than my daily bread.
2 Corinthians 9:6-8 (NIV) 6Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. 7Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.8And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.
Job 1:8-11 (NIV) 8Then the LORD said to Satan, "Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil."9"Does Job fear God for nothing?" Satan replied. 10"Have you not put a hedge around him and his household and everything he has? You have blessed the work of his hands, so that his flocks and herds are spread throughout the land. 11But stretch out your hand and strike everything he has, and he will surely curse you to your face."
We've been looking closely at some important principles to understand when it comes to male headship and female submission. We turn today to 10 things we should know about how Paul's appeal for mutual submission in Ephesians 5 applies to this subject. I should also point out that I was greatly helped in my understanding of Ephesians 5 by the treatment found in Wayne Grudem's book, Evangelical Feminism and Biblical Truth (Multnomah, 2004).