God’s Surprise for Women (Part I)

I am preparing this lesson in March of 2003, almost 10 years after the Lord first gave me some very clear thoughts on Biblical Submission. This lesson is in the middle of 3 lessons/ classes I am giving on the subject. At the last lesson I have you some thoughts and letters written by two women who were in that first class in the early 90’s. They had never heard the subject of Submission taught. Their marriages were falling apart and they felt “why not try it- nothing else had helped”.

Both women are now in the midst of very happy family situations. One just had her 5th child and the second is expecting her 5th. They both credit the understanding of Submission as the reason their marriages came back together. This is a quote from one of the women: “I didn’t really believe that my husband would ever get saved. I am not sure how to put this, because Matt’s salvation is not a result of anything I did, but I think it would be safe to say that God used the submission that he Lead me in- in Matt’s life. Praise Him.” They both went on to learn and study Biblical Submission, and I think took the teachings much further than I had gone.

In our next class I am sharing some thoughts of my daughter Becky and her husband Jim on “The Power of Agreement”. They don’t even use the word “Submission”. They have a very happy marriage and family and minister together around the world. The teaching I shall give you today, I believe, is truly in the middle of the lesson I have given, and the one I will give next time.

Some I think have wondered why I dont use some of the many books that are out there on the subject of Submission. But I feel strongly that the Lord would have me only share what I have learned from my own experience or what He has given me directly. I will clarify this by saying that I will use the thoughts in a book “if” they are in line with what the Lord has given me, and with scripture, and what has been true in my life in whatever particular struggle they are sharing. I love Dr. Dobson’s books and many other reliable authors. However, I feel with the subject of Submission, I shall mainly share what the Lord has shown me, and my personal struggles with this important issue.

Oswald Chamber’s Devotional Book, “My Utmost for His Highest” is one of the devotional books I use each day. I love what he says in his Dec. 15 message, and to me it relates to my giving my own lessons on the subject of Submission and not the thoughts of someone else. This is what it says in part:

“Strive to re-express a truth of God to yourself clearly and understandably, and God will use that same explanation when you share it with someone else. But, you must be willing to go through God’s winepress where the grapes are crushed….Then the time will come when that very expression will become God’s wine of strength to someone else. But if you are not diligent and say, “I am not going to study and struggle to express this truth in my own words; I’ll just borrow my words from someone else,” then the words will be of no value to you or to others…. Your position is not really yours until you make it yours through suffering and study.”

Another devotional book I use each day is “God at Eventide” and part of the message for Jan. 4 says: “Direct their attention from earth’s allures and mirages to Me, your Companion of the Way. Tell them of your Joy in Me.” Yes, what the world is saying about women’s roles is a mirage. In Webster a mirage is defined as “something one accepts as true but is actually false. A misleading of the mind. Deceiving.”

I also base my teaching on Titus 2:3-5 which also says in part, “and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be sensible, chaste, domestic, kind and submissive to their husbands, that the word of God may not be discredited.” When I hear women say, “Those thoughts are for Bible times only and not for today, I think of Hebrews 13:8 which says, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.”

We all hear in various forms of the media about the “Powerful Women” and “Enlightened Men”. Yes, we need enlightened men, but there is a better way to bring them to that point that being a powerful women. If men had followed God’s plan for their role as husbands there wouldn’t have been a need for a women’s revolution. Yes, men are becoming more aware and sensitive, but that is what God had wanted from the beginning. Now we hear of the powerful women and those who are not spoken of with derision. “Stays in the kitchen”, “Home Baking Cookies”, “Standing by her Man” are all said with the feeling that if you do those things you are a brainless, unthinking doormat who only says, “Yes, Sir”.

But let us look at God’s example of a good wife in Proverbs 31. We will read out loud verses 10-31. We need to read this once in awhile when we become brainwashed. What do we see about this woman:

  1. She is anything but a brainless woman
  2. She is strong physically
  3. She has her own business
  4. She considers a field and buys it (This implies such a partnership with her husband that he trusts her to make important financial decisions)
  5. She opens her mouth with wisdom (This implies that she does have brains and something to offer.)
  6. Her husband trusts her
  7. Her children respect her
  8. Her husband praises her

There are 21 verses of this Proverb telling the wonderful qualities of this women. Is there such a chapter praising the qualities of a good man? With 21 verses? God was not prejudice against women- as the world leads us to believe.

Some other thoughts about the Proverbs 31 woman. We know she was submissive or she wouldn’t have been put as an example. For New Testament scripture would not contradict those truths. So we also see that she was:

  1. Submissive to her OWN husband. Not other women’s husbands and not men in general.
  2. She was not a submissive business woman
  3. She was not a submissive runner of the household
  4. She was not a submissive, passive woman in her dress
  5. She opened her mouth in wisdom and not passiveness

The world likes to picture the “Submissive” woman as meek, drab a little, who wears dull colors, speaks when spoken to, and has no opinions of her own. We are to be submissive to our husbands, but we can be in control of other areas of our lives. It truly does take a strong woman to try to be submissive to her husband. But there is a secret to being that kind of women and having that kind of relationship with our husbands. Let’s find it in what the Bible tells us. It seems to be a mystery.

I personally love mysteries. I have read all of Agatha Christie’s books and also own the entire collection. I love to find clues and solve mysteries. It becomes a challenge to me. Let’s look at Submission as one of God’s mysteries that he wants us to discover. He likes to challenge our thinking. Jesus often spoke in parables rather than just coming out with what he meant.

Daniel 2:28 says, “There is a God in heaven who reveals mysteries.” And I love Daniel 2:20-23 which says in part: “Blessed be the name of God forever and ever, for he alone has all wisdom and all power. 21 World events are under his control. He removes kings and sets others on their thrones. He gives wise men their wisdom and scholars their intelligence. 22 He reveals profound mysteries beyond man’s understanding. He knows all hidden things, for he is light, and darkness is no obstacle to him. 23 I thank and praise you, O God of my fathers, for you have given me wisdom and glowing health, and now even this vision of the king’s dream and the understanding of what it means.”

Ephesians 5:31-33 says,  “31 (That the husband and wife are one body is proved by the Scripture, which says, “A man must leave his father and mother when he marries so that he can be perfectly joined to his wife, and the two shall be one.”)32 I know this is hard to understand, but it is an illustration of the way we are parts of the body of Christ. 33 So again I say, a man must love his wife as a part of himself; and the wife must see to it that she deeply respects her husband—obeying, praising, and honoring him.”

Ephesians 6:19 says “And also for me, that utterance may be given me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel.”

Webster tells us that a mystery is something beyond “human” comprehension. In strictest use- “implies the things incapacity for comprehension by human reason.” I love that implying that humanly we cant discover this mystery. But with Godly wisdom we can.

Ephesians 5:21 “Be subject to one another out of reverence for Christ.” Yes, we are to be subject to each other but someone has to take the lead. This makes me recall a story/ fable I once heard, about a women pregnant with twins. Everyday she prayed that she would have the most polite twins in the world. Then she never had her babies. And many years later she died an old woman. Upon cutting her open they found two tiny little old men, each saying “No you first, no you first, no you first”. Dumb story, but you get the point.

As we read Ephesians 5:22-33, as wives we love particularly verses 25-33 which says in part: “Husbands, love your wives as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her… even so husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself.” But how do we get that cycle started that our husbands will treat us in this way. We all know couples who say, “I’ll love her in that way when she start submitting”, and “I’ll start submitting when he loves me in that way.” We can only be responsible for our own actions- not our husbands. We as wives can take the positive steps toward “getting the ball rolling” even if we do not “feel” like it.

We can….

  1. “Show” respect
  2. “Show” love
  3. “Submit” in action if not in heart

Make the effort- get the process in motion. Once in motion his love will soften your heart so that you will “want” to submit- not just in action but in love and respect from the heart. We have the choice of being the one to first start- or being in a dead heat, each waiting for the other to start.

I think a powerful verse for husbands to consider if this, I Peter 3:7 “Likewise you husbands, live considerably with your wives, bestowing honor on the woman as the weaker sex, since you are joint heirs of the grace of life, in order that your prayers may not be hindered.”

What this is saying to Christian husbands is if they do not treat their wives in the way God has said, their prayers will not be answered and that is very powerful. Ephesians 4:15-16 says, “15 Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ. 16 From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.” This is the same with marriage, when each part, husband and wife, is working properly (according to God’s principles) the marriage grows and builds up itself in love.

God shows us the way through scripture. He does have a plan. We need to read the instructions and follow and obey them. Then we will succeed.

Back to getting the wheel started… I had to learn to share my feelings in love. If we don’t do that bitterness occurs. Saying “this is how I feel, but I will do as you feel best.” We are then putting it into God’s court. By speaking the truth in love, and submitting to your husband, you are putting the wheel into motion.




(Continued in Part II)