2014 Archives

Submission: Is it a One Way Street?

on

bothways

Why does much of the Christian community have this strange idea that men are supposed to be the ones in charge, calling all the shots, while women are supposed to learn to submit to what their husband says? That’s what I want to talk about.  Most people would actually use scripture to explain why they believe such a thing, so let’s take a look at the scripture describing submission.

Ephesians 5:21-28 Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.

Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.

Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself.

Ok now as you’ll notice, I made one little section bold. That’s where this idea comes from. I’ve heard a lot of different viewpoints on this topic, because of my struggle in the early years of my marriage I read a lot of books about breaking a woman’s strong will, and learning to submit to your husband in all situations (no matter what). I’ve even seen people who attempt to redefine the word submit, just to make this whole ordeal a little less ugly and unlikable. Basically in the original Greek translations, the word submit means to be subject to. There’s no way around what the word actually means, but I want to share something that may really open your eyes when you read the whole portion of scripture that I provided for you.

Submission should be something that goes both ways in a marriage.

I hope that didn’t shock you too bad, there. Because honestly, 7 years ago, if I had read that in a book, I would have closed it and assumed that person was deceived. But I’m not deceived. It’s right there spelled out for us in scripture in verse 21 (the one everyone with an agenda skips). Let us look at the whole passage of scripture again.

Ephesians 5:21-28 Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.

Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.

Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself.


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In a marriage, we should submit to one another.

Things should be give and take. If only one party is doing all the submitting, then there’s no balance, and they wouldn’t be submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ, as the bold portion of scripture above states.

It’s a big problem when someone decides to pluck one verse out and nail someone else with it to try to make them do what we want. That is not healthy. The Bible has to be taken as a whole. It makes sense as a whole. The Bible balances itself and explains itself as a whole. Taking one scripture out and not considering it in light of the entire book as a whole, is a confusing and slippery slope.

Just because the Bible doesn’t specifically spell it out in that passage of scripture that husbands should also obey their wives (Just like God told Abraham to do when Sarah wanted to cast out Hagar), doesn’t mean it isn’t God’s will. That is skewed logic. Let’s use that same skewed logic to look at a different portion of that scripture. When we do, I think you’ll start to realize with me just how ridiculous that skewed logic is.

Ephesians 5:21-28 Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.

Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.

Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself.

This time I put the emphasis on the “husbands love your wives” part. Well that portion of scripture does not tell wives that they must love their husbands. So using the skewed logic that many people use with verse 22, should I then come to the conclusion that it isn’t God’s will that wives should love their husbands? Some of y’all are thinking I’m nuts to say that. Of course the Bible says in other places that LOVE goes both ways, so you can’t just take that verse, and assume the love only goes both ways. Except that’s what people have done with verse 22. They don’t quote verse 21, and they pretend like it doesn’t exist, and they pluck that one verse out and use it to control others.

It is not God’s will that people be controlled by other people. It is His desire that people would have self control, which is a fruit of the Spirit.

Now before anyone misunderstands me, let me make some very clear statements: I’m not saying that wives should demand submission, any more than I believe husbands should demand it. I am not taking a stance against men, nor am I throwing biblical headship out the window. I’m simply proposing to you that there are many people misunderstanding this submission thing, and it’s about time we put it in proper context. 

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"I’M GOING TO REFRESH YOU ON A BREEZE!"

by Jo Ellen Stevens

Hello Spirit Fuel Readers. I wanted tell you a story about something that happened to me a few years ago in a Summer not unlike many Summers that My husband and I had for many years of learning God’s provision. This particular Summer it had been very hot and humid and truly it seemed like one of the leanest Summers that we had in a long time.

OUR TIME OF NEED

We were Pastoring a small church at the time and we both had been working at the school for many years and each Summer we had no jobs and had to trust God for the provision for how we were going to live through that few month period. This summer was no different. At the end of the year I would always start getting this feeling of almost panic wondering how we were going to make it that Summer. This particular Summer when that panic hit me, God said “ I want you to take the money that you have in your purse and send it to a particular ministry. I was like “but God that is all that I have and it may have to last….”

THE NEW BREEZE

Being Obedient, I went on-line and sent the money that He told me to. A few weeks later, I was outside in what seemed like the hottest day of the year. There was not a breeze to be felt, when suddenly, this little cool breeze came across me and I said out loud.,“THANK YOU GOD FOR THAT BREEZE!” He spoke to me that day as I said that and said. “I AM GOING TO REFRESH YOU ON A BREEZE DAUGHTER.” I thought, “what could this mean? I got up from there and went into the house that day and no sooner did I get in there until the phone rang. It was a member of our church and the woman on the other end said “my husband and I want to buy you a new car! We were looking at a couple of them and saw a particular one and it was called a “PLYMOUTH BREEZE!” That night we went to get the BRAND NEW RED BREEZE and we drove around and around that town in it, feeling like millionaires. The Lord at one point told me to look at the new car next to me and said, “see that car” and I said, “yes Lord!” he said, “the blessing of the Lord it makes rich and he adds no sorrow with it!” I said, “What do you mean Lord?” He said. Well, you have a new beautiful car and so do they but, they have a payment book and you do not!"  

You see, what it’s all about is obedience! Obedience and thanking God for the small things like the little breeze that came over me that day and obedience even in the small things. I didn’t think my small offering that day would do anything, but in my obedience we reaped a great harvest and refreshing!” Not only that, God let me know that year that he saw and he heard my plight! This is why when God says sow a seed, he has bigger plans for it than you can imagine or think. My friends, obedience is key! I want to encourage you, that if you are reading this and feel led to sow a seed into this ministry, that God is faithful to refresh you and show himself strong in your time of need! Not only that, He always gives back, pressed down, shaken together and running over!” He wants to show you His faithfulness in your life and wants you to know that you know that it came from Him!

Arise Shine! Jo Ellen Stevens

Sow a seed right now into Spirit Fuel in this moment of grace for breakthrough. Step into breakthrough and choose Our Father as your provider and provision. Sow a seed of $50, or $25, or $75, or, $155, or $355. By sowing a seed today into Spirit Fuel, you will be helping to reach more people on the internet for the Kingdom of God. Thank you for your support!

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