Monday, December 13, 2010

Submission to Authority Part 3: Family Matters

Parents over Children – Proverbs 6:20-21, 15:5 / Ephesians 6:1-3 / Colossians 3:20. You may be in your 20’s now, but you should still honor and be interested in your parent’s opinions. They know who you are and what you need and what you’re about. Did you inherit infallible wisdom along with your emancipation? Parents have a responsibility as well – Ephesians 6:4 / Colossians 3:21. Some parents abuse their authority while other parents abdicate their authority: but that doesn’t mean that that no parent should have authority over their children.

Husbands over Wives – Ephesians 5:22-24 / Colossians 3:18 / 1 Peter 3:1-6. Husbands have a responsibility as well – Ephesians 5:25 / Colossians 3:19 / 1 Peter 3:7. Christ showed us submission and love perfectly, and it is the pattern for marriage. We submit ourselves to God and to one another by submitting to our God given roles. For the woman the question isn’t, “Is he worthy?” the question is “Are you willing?” For the man the question isn’t “Is she submitted?” but “Am I serving?” The man must serve his wife even when she isn’t submitted, and the wife must submit to the man even when he isn’t serving. The opposite of this is when both man and woman are both just looking to say no to each other. She is looking for excuses not to submit, and he is looking to avoid giving himself completely to her service. They don’t respect each other, they don’t respect their God given roles, and they don’t actually respect God’s Word. That isn’t a marriage where Christ is the center and you are a couple at war with the devil; that is a miserable existence where Christ is only a figurehead and you at war with each other.

The family unit has roles that were designed by God. If we don’t submit to God’s design, we don’t submit to God, and the devil will not be resisted (James 4:7). It’s not about ability it’s about authority. That authority is established upon the priority of God in our lives. It isn’t about talent it’s about team. It isn’t about intelligence it’s about order. If everyone is out of order, all your energy goes to getting everyone in line first, and the leader cannot even see if the decisions are right, he is just trying to get things in order first. Conversely, when everyone is in line and things go wrong, then he can see what needs to be changed. Submission is not about inferiority, or about women keeping their mouth shut. It is about glorifying God. When a wife doesn’t submit to her husband she is failing as a disciple of Jesus Christ, not just as a wife. Submission is about honoring Christ, not a husband’s talent, intellect, or decision-making skills.

Women are required to submit to their husbands entirely. That doesn’t mean the man is to rule as a tyrant, or that she has no say. No, the man and the woman should be consulting one another on most everything, but in case of a tie, the man bears the responsibility and accountability for the final decision. This frees the woman; it doesn’t constrain her like a shackle.

The Christian wife may believe that submitting to her husband means she must never speak in a way that seeks to correct him if he is wrong. This is not true. The biblical commands related to discipline in the church apply as much to marriage partners as to anyone else. If all of us are to submit to one another, we must somehow carry out the discipline commands in a way that does not violate the principle of submission. Submission and rebuke are not incompatible. The wife is not to submit to any other man in the same way as she does to her husband.

A woman is not required to submit if her husband asks her to sin. Now this is not simply your definition of it, but a clear biblical case. If it violates the woman’s conscience she should speak up while still submitting. Of course a woman is not required to submit to one who is insane, or when they are being violently abusive, or when they are drunk or drugged up (not just because they got drunk one time, but when they are drunk and would be making an irrational decision, like, “give me the keys”). A woman is not to submit to an adulterous relationship.

“Living For Today With An Eye For Tomorrow”©

1 comment:

Even So... said...

This is part of session #7 in a 10 session basic training and membership class at our church. You can see all ten weeks in .pdf form on the front page at

You can also see and download them from our "eDocs" section at SermonAudio...