Though I had planned on a very fun date night idea (which I’ve decided to save for next week) last night Jared and I spent the evening in, and I spent the evening in bed. It always has frustrated me how weak my immune system is. He’ll come home with a slight cough and the next day I go down with aches and a fever. Needless to say, it gave me a lot of time to contemplate – mostly on serving your spouse. Both Christians and non-Christians alike shiver at the word “submit”. In the Bible it says it very clearly in many places that wives are to submit to their husbands. But what these passages really point out is servitude – men desire and need respect, women need and desire love. And though every human needs a bit of each of these – this is the huge disconnect between the sexes- we, as women, are far better at loving, and men are far better at respecting one another. With this said, God asks us to make ourselves servants to our spouse.
Ephesians 5:22 “Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands. Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.”
I heard one professing Christian reel against this portion of the Bible, claiming that her husband was going to hear her opinion no matter the issue and that she thought it was ridiculous that he should have more say that her. (add an angry face, slightly sweating, and flailing arms)
Well, first I’d like to point out that this claim is ridiculous in itself. Nowhere in this passage does it say “wives – let your husbands walk all over you and you don’t get to have an opinion on anything”, no that’s not what it says. Have you instead ever asked yourself “Why is God commanding me to submit to my husband?” or “Why is God commanding me to love my wife?” You would think the answer would be blatant. BECAUSE ITS HARD! Its not natural for a woman to unconditionally respect her husband, it is easy for her to love him though. How many men have you heard complain that they know their wives love them, but are very certain she doesn’t LIKE them? The same goes for men. Men are not wired to love their wives the same way their wives love them, but women crave it. God commands men to love their wives as Christ loved the church because men will struggle with it from day one.
Serving your spouse is not meant to be easy – its supposed to be hard, that’s what sanctification is about.
But as I lay here in bed I realize how good I’ve got it. My husband is creeping around, trying to be quiet to not disturb me. He’s taking our puppy out to go to the bathroom without me having to ask. He’s asked about 5 times in the last hour if he can get me anything. He has homework to do and I’m sure he just LOVES going out in this freezing weather time and time again. But that’s serving. Putting your spouses needs before yours is serving your spouse.
Yes, submit is a scary word, but it means to give unconditional respect to your husband, even when he doesn’t deserve it.
Yes, loving your wives may seem daunting, especially with emotional roller coasters and obsessive cleaning, but God demands it, love your wives unconditionally.
I read in Sacred Marriage by Gary Thomas that servitude can become a sort of game. When you enjoy serving your spouse you want to outdo them constantly. “Well, my wife made me those amazing brownies to take to work to share, but how can I better serve her when I get home tonight? Maybe I can clean the kitchen or let her relax and I’ll make dinner.”
Serve your spouse, care for their needs before yours, love unconditionally, respect unconditionally, and you will be rewarded in Heaven.
I know many of you who are consistent readers aren’t married yet – but that doesn’t mean you’re off the hook necessarily. Much like you save your body and protect your heart for your future spouse, as do you serve your future husband or wife by practicing unconditional love and unconditional respect: you serve your future spouse by serving others first. Practice unconditional respect with your father, your brothers, or even the guy you’re dating right now. Same for unconditional love – practice with your mother, your sister, or the girl you are currently seeing. By learning to put others before yourself you will be better prepared for your future marriage.
I hope you all can take away from this the importance of servitude, as Christ was not only our Savior, but a servant to His people who turned away and rejected Him. Christ was the ultimate servant, and as we endure this life attempting to be more like Him, we must also learn to serve one another.