Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Who me? Submit?

As you know, I am so blessed to be involved in a Bible Study Fellowship study. This year we are studying the life of Moses. We have taken almost 30 weeks to get where we are, but we currently are finishing the book of Numbers. Chapter 30 discusses the importance of keeping a vow and how we are known by our word. BUT it also has a section for women who make a vow and then find that their father or their husband do not allow them to complete their vow.

God gives ALL of us principles about submission. Men are not exempt from submission; in fact they bear the greater accountability to God for their choices as they have been ordained by God to lead their households. Women are given exemptions by God if their father's or husband's mandate another course of action.

I feel compassion for Christian children who are under the authority of harsh parents who are overbearing and do not use their leadership responsibly. I also know that God sees their condition and intervenes on their behalf. I also know that God can use even unpleasant circumstances to accomplish his purposes in our lives. As grown women, we have much more freedom and enjoy more "grown up" priviledges, but I believe that God honors women who will obey his principle of submission to their husbands and will hold their husbands accountable for wrong choices.

If I only pick and choose the principles God gives me in scripture, how am I honoring him as Lord of my life? If I only choose the pleasant and do the things that I like to do, how am I growing in grace. How will I ever learn to put to death my flesh and my strong will and choose the things of the Spirit if I only do what I like and never subject myself to disciplines of the faith?

I do run the risk of being treated wrongly by those in authority (all authority), but like Joseph, I have a defender who is greater than any foe and able to overcome any circumstance that does not accomplish God's purpose in my life. Submission is not a terrible thing. I choose to submit out of love for my Lord Jesus Christ and in submitting to my husband, and other authorities (boss, government etc) I am following my Lord's commands becoming more pleasing to him.

Recently, I had a conversation with a woman in her 30's who is about to be married for the first time. She has enjoyed some independence and now struggles with the concept of submission to a husband. She want's to maintain her independence but enjoy the benefits of marriage. I don't believe that two people can become one if they both remain independently two people. When we marry we choose to become a unit and our actions become centered on making that unit successful.

In my own personal marriage, God knew that I was very strong willed, so he gave me a husband who is even stronger. God knew that I needed someone equally strong to counter my own selfish desires and to challenge my unholy behaviors. Sometimes it has felt as if he were overbearing, but God knew that if I were to become a Christian who really lives my faith that I would have to endure some chastening, some molding, some unpleasantness. My husband didn't create the unpleasantness as much as my selfish attitudes did. I thank God for giving me the husband that he did to grow me up and teach me what holiness, grace, forgiveness and love are really about. I know more about the depths of God's love for me because he has given me a strong willed husband to love. I know more about Christ's submission to the cross, because God has given me hardships to endure to make me a better servant for him.

If we always resist the unpleasant we may just be resisting the chastisement and the character building that God is putting in our lives to conform us into his image. If you are enduring unpleasant situations take heart! God knows your circumstances and is able to see you through your trials and bear you up. His grace is sufficient for all of our needs. Look to him and find the comfort you need.

God bless you as you seek him and as you serve him!

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