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Only One risen Saviuor

Only One risen Saviuor
There is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved - Jesus

Friday, 6 March 2015

Submit?

Warning - this is heavy...
 
Ephesians 5:20 "...giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, 21 submitting to one another in the fear of God.
22 Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. 23 For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body. 24 Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything.
 
There is a curious part in my nature that wonders things like how many have been waiting and wondering what I was going to say about this passage. Let me begin by saying I have done two things intentionally. I have added the context of verses 20 and 21 and I have saved the counsel to husbands for tomorrow. I did this so that the preceding context can shed light directly on this sometimes controversial idea of women submitting to their husbands.
 
Verse 20 is an idea repeated often by Paul: Give thanks always in all things. That sounds a bit like wedding vows - for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health etc... It is illogical to be thankful in bad times. It is illogical to be thankful when sick. It is illogical to be thankful when someone treats you wrong. However there is no wiggle room in what Paul said. He said all the time in every circumstance be thanlful. How can that be? What would I have to believe for this to make sense? I would have to believe "all things work together for good for those who love God and are called according to His purpose." Read the life story of Joseph in Genesis for an illustration of how this principle played out in his life.
 
Now verse 21 says to submit to each other in the fear of the LORD. Do you see the connection with verse 20? Sometimes we will find ourselves in what appear to be or are unfair and unjust circumstances. People will be given more control over us than they should have. It may be a boss. It may be a legal situation. It may be a controlling parent. Whatever the case may be God's counsel is to submit and be thankful. Boy that grates against my nature. I want fair and I want it yesterday... God says "No, just submit and be thankful."
 
Then verse 22 says "Wives submit to your husbands..." Weird. It's almost implying that wives had it bad. That being a wife in Paul's day was something you had to endure trusting God that "all things work together for good...". The sad reality is that Paul is not implying it. This was the reality. Men owned their wives...
 
Now I'm not sure how many of you have followed the case of the gang rape in India or the more recent one in Saudi Arabia but it gives us westerners a window into the view of women in some places in the world. They are property. They are disposable. Reading the comments from the men involved makes my blood boil. In Saudi the woman was charged with 200 lashes and 6 months in jail for being out alone and for speaking to the media about her case. The 19 year old woman was gang raped and that is the "support" she got from the legal system theoretically there to protect her.
 
Submit. Always in all things give thanks. How I wish I could make a loop hole. Surely there must be a loophole...
 
Context. We all live in a context. Being a wife in Canada is not the same as being a wife in India or Saudi Arabia. Jesus is giving counsel rooted in love. No matter how bad a context may be it is what it is and refusing to submit won't change anything. If you live in a culture where men believe and the courts support the idea that if a woman is out after dark she is giving permission to men to rape her then it is best to submit to that reality and stay home.
 
Jesus came and lived as one of us. He submitted Himself to bad religion, to a warped culture, to
friends who stabbed Him in the back, to a legal system that catered to public opinion above justice. He submitted to soldiers He created. He submitted to the weight of a wooden cross. He submitted to the weight of the collective guilt of all humanity through all time. He lived a life of constant submission because He trusted His Father - "He who has begun a good work in you will be faithful to complete it."
 
This is heavy truth. It demands we relinquish control and fully trust Him...
 
Tomorrow: The rest of the story...

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