Tuesday 20 Feb 2018
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John 6:49 -50

Your forefathers ate the manna in the desert, yet they died. But here is the bread that comes down from heaven, which a man may eat and not die.


The marriage that God ordained - Woman/Wife/Mother and Helper

Article Index
The marriage that God ordained
Divorce was never an option in the eyes of God
It is better not to marry - Mathew 19:10?
Woman/Wife/Mother and Helper
It is a holy union that requires the daily presence of God
The reality of separation and divorce
All Pages

Woman/Wife/Mother and Helper

Wives submit to your husband as is fitting in the Lord– Colossians 3:18.

This instruction remains a controversial issue in many homes today especially with the advent of the women liberation movements and various civil rights groups who from lack of knowledge about the position of God on this issue are quick to jump on the wagon of those who see this a demand for women to become subservient to their husbands.

No one should even try to interpret this instruction without taking into account the instruction that was also given to the husbands through the inspirations received by Paul. The instruction to the wives was not given in isolation, the best way to read this verse is to picture both the wife and husband seating before a marriage counsellor, and he (God) on his part counsels the couple in each other’s presence what they need to do in order to build a successful marriage.  The best way to interpret this is never to assume that God called the man aside and gave him a different set of instructions of how to treat his wife as a lesser partner.

It is sad when believing wives allow the peace which this instruction ought to deliver to them be taken away by the satanic counsel that advices them to become rebellious in their home and refuse to submit to their husbands. It is sad to witness and listen to how wives are being taught even in the church to become rebellious in their homes and in their marriages, something that goes contrary to the instructions that came from the Lord. Before any one go asking for my head please hear me out, this instruction does not ask for some slavish, dogmatic, subservient submission. It is true that over the years the true meaning of this instruction has been compromised, it is true that it has been abused and it is true that it has put wives in a position where their vulnerability have been subject to exploitation. Nevertheless all wives must be careful not to be led astray by the teachings or ideologies that encourage them to jettison a sound counsel that is inspired by the Lord. This was the reason why I took on the men first. I am not ignoring the issues which i have raised and these will be addressed later. The scripture recognises all those issues and the scripture gives sound and godly counsel on how to deal with them as well as how to protect themselves.

To start with this counsel is not given for everyone; I speak to Christian wives and women because it is directed at them. As the instruction clearly reads, it is to be carried out as it is fitting for those in the Lord. The question that needs to be asked in the first place is this, what are the wives asked to submit to? Is there any benefit in doing this and what security do women have to keep them from being exploited and abused? What really does this submission entails? I believe these are the questions that need to be answered even before a woman goes into marriage in order that they might get a clearer picture of what this act of submission entails. These are the training programmes and counselling sessions which they should be taken through while preparing themselves for marriage. But before we I go on, I need to ask; is it only the women who should submit to their husbands, what about husbands do they have any instruction to submit to their wives as well?

Let me start by answering the last question, you see although we love to highlight the instruction for women to submit to their husbands, it must be said that we do so at the expense of the bigger picture. What is the bigger picture? Well let us look at the scripture:

Let the husband render to his wife the affection due her, and likewise also the wife to her husband. The wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does. And likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does. – 1 Corinthians 7:3-4.

The truth is, if the marriage is built on love, then the act of submission is demanded from both husband and wife, they are both to submit to one another. That is the bigger picture.

This exposition sets out to explore what God had in mind with regards to marriage; it sets out to look at wholesome position of God on the issue of marriage, not just some aspect of it. It is not enough to look at the part where God declared that he is against divorce, without looking at the bigger picture, such would put people in a form of bondage and set them on a part of rebellion. When he declared that he hates divorce, he has the whole concept of marriage as he designed it and wanted it to be established in mind. So before we begin to rationalise the position of the scripture in isolation using human standards, we need to understand that there is the need to take everything on board. God did not create women/wives as slaves or servants to males/husbands, they are equal partners in the eyes of God, although one is the head of the family unit, God sees them as one, since he declared them to be one.

But there is a form of submission which the role of the man as the head of the family demands and I must stress again, it is not a slavish demand, rather it comes as a result of what the man represents to the family and to God. We need to take a deeper look into the form of submission that is being advocated here; It is not a submission to the whims and desires of the man, it is not a submission to his carnal desires, but rather it is to the will of God that is entrusted into his hands as the man/husband/father and in his position as the head of the family unit.

It is hard to teach this truth without almost being seen to be encouraging women to become rebellious. I say this because in the world we live today a number of Christian women are saddled with husbands who no longer follow the instructions which Paul gave to all men. A number of them I am sad to say, they cannot be said to be living after the will of God for their household, nevertheless the will of God who is Head of all family unit on earth remains.

You may ask what is the will of God that is entrusted into the hand of the husband in his position as the head of the family? We can see this from what the scripture reveals about the reason why God set up the family unit using marriage as the building foundation. We get a glimpse of this from the position of God with regards to the earth he created and the man he made in his own image to inhabit it;

God blessed them and said to them, Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it.

Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground – Genesis 1:28.

When he said for man to fill the earth, he does not mean for them to fill with just about the seed of their loins indiscriminately, rather he had a plan to fill it with spiritual and godly people and we see this from what God mused on about Abraham;

For I have chosen him, so that he will direct his children and his household after him to keep the way of the LORD by doing what is right and just, so that the LORD will bring about for Abraham what he has promised him. – Genesis 18:19.

For every believing family this is a very important information they must keep and remember about God’s will for their family, the one that he entrust into the custody of the head of the family. It is vested with the authority to defend it and accomplish it.

Then God said, Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over…. – Genesis 1:26.

Therefore when I listen to what some of the so called believing husbands get up to in their homes it would be hard to keep a straight face and keep on telling the wives to continue to submit to a position that is obviously no longer tenable. The dreaded question remains, what if the husband has strayed or does not believe in this teaching, what if the husband is not a believer? What if I have a husband who does not subscribe to this notion, yet he demands my submission simply because tradition or the culture we subscribe to demands it. Should I continue to submit myself to such?

In order to answer this question, we would need to look to the scripture for direction and for direction and instruction;

How do you know, wife, whether you will save your husband? – 1 Corinthians? 7:16.

Wives, in the same way be submissive to your husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behaviour of their wives, when they see the purity and reverence of your lives. - 1 Peter 3: 1-2.

There is deep spiritual wisdom in this verse, you see the truth remains this act of submission which is required from the wives although it puts them in a vulnerable position, I must state clearly nevertheless that this is a powerful position as opposed to a weak position, a position so powerful that it can either deliver the wayward husband or seal his fate.

Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers. – 1 Peter 3:7.

Although the scripture refers to the wives here as weaker partner, the weakness implied here is because of her vulnerable position. Even though this position is vulnerable, God has built a form of defence mechanism into it, it almost like a clause that guarantees the protection of the wives. What is this defence?

so that nothing will hinder your prayers.

Women need to stop looking at this position as a completely weak one, it is not, especially if they know how to stand dutifully in it and tap into the authority which that position gives. I want all wives to know that they have certain authority to protect themselves with, this is revealed by what the verse above tries to minister.

Revisiting the scripture again, what prayers is implied here by this scripture verse? Hmmm I have seen men who trampled, abused and exploited this position of vulnerability only to turn around and accuse their wives of being responsible for their downfall or bad luck in life. You see as a godly wife you do not need to lift your hands to defend yourself, God already has your back, he did not ask you to put your neck on the line for the fun it, instead you have been given the gift to complement the man he made, while the man is the one who carries the responsibility. You see your submission is a blessing without which the man would fall flat on his face in defeat.  Even the world recognises this truth hence the saying ‘Behind every successful man is a woman’.

So when God said:

The LORD God said, It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him. – Genesis 2:18.

There is a profound saying in this and if we meditate long on this we would begin to see the bigger picture which the mystery of marriage holds. A mystery I hope and pray that this exposition can tap into as revelation knowledge that would benefit the reader. There is a deep mystery behind the instruction given to wives to submit to their husbands; as a result I want wives to look beyond the literal interpretation they would be missing out of the power this position holds as well as the blessings it can bring into their home. I say this because it is only in the spirit that they would be able to come into the understanding of the message behind the instruction. It is as a result of this that the scripture mentioned as godly, the women who submitted themselves to the instruction by submitting to their husbands.

For this is the way the holy women of the past who put their hope in God used to make themselves beautiful. They were submissive to their own husbands, - 1 Peter 3:5.

The question remains how is this submission to be carried out? This would be answered in the next chapter.