Submission & Divorce, Part 1
Companion blog to “Q&A with Pastor Steve: Submission & Divorce“
For thirty plus years I (my flesh) fought the Holy Spirit inside me to have its own way. I believed and fought for my equality and/or superiority in every area in my life, from work to marriage. I, being a believer, had such conflict inside. I loved doing a great job for my boss. I yearned for my husband to be the head of the household physically, mentally, and spiritually, but I dare not say these things out loud for fear of reprisal.
All of the so called ‘Christian women’ that I knew pedaled a soft form of feminism that demeaned their husbands and celebrated themselves. I was raised to believe that if you didn’t have a highly celebrated and respected job while married it meant several things:
- Your husband was unfairly blessed with charisma and wealth. You were unfairly blessed with beauty as a trophy wife. You must be super busy behind the scenes constantly cleaning up salacious messes, thus pitied.
- You were too stupid to see that your status and class needed to be elevated.
- You were too stupid or lazy to do anything about your low status/class.
The mirror told me trophy-wife was out and I knew that I was no Marie Curie. So what was left? I was going to work like a dog and marry a dog? So I dedicated nearly twenty years to an unbiblical marriage mess. God, His order, and His blessings were nowhere on my radar. I’d rarely seen non-resentful submission modeled, yet something was burning inside me to pay attention. My soul was crying out to rest in the arms of something safe and satisfying. I wanted to be worthy of being cared for and not have to earn it. (Irony, huh?)
In Pastor Wilson’s Q&A on January 21, 2018, “Submission & Divorce“, he absolutely destroys the notion of submission to others (husbands, bosses, etc.) as being a demeaning thing. We didn’t learn this stupidity from the Bible; we learned it from the world. We allowed the world to redefine God’s gracious order of submission and turn it into a greater being dominating a lesser being for some evil intent. Well, that is exactly what the devil wants us to think about the idea of submission. The sensational stories of abuse victims in the news certainly back this up.
…but what if the Bible had its own version of submission and it worked in our favor?
Biblical submission is a higher calling for a chosen people. It brings about a rare and precious joy. My heart absolutely aches for the Christians I know who feel they know better than God’s plan; who are constantly fighting for acknowledgement and respect. What they believe is a lie, plain and simple. If, when it comes to marriage, they even remotely knew God’s plan, they’d know that men in a marriage have a much greater responsibility to submit to their wives than women have to submit to their husbands. …Mind Blown!
It’s the Biblical principle of authority and submission that leads to us being served to the utmost!
It is now my privilege to know women (me included) who gladly submit to their husbands under God’s beautiful order and enjoy husbands who absolutely dote on them and serve them shamelessly. You want to see Christ in action? Marry a man dedicated to Biblical submission.
Satan wants to sow fear and wreck every Christian’s life by telling them that submitting to another person is demeaning. Satan is a liar and the Nobel Prize winner of misinformation. Biblical submission is the key to some of the most incredible satisfaction you can know on earth, even when the one you are submitting to deserves no honor (aka a jerk).
I suffered under a vicious, abusive, alcoholic marriage for nearly twenty years. I rose up with anger and determination to fight the fight of a thousand women. It did me no good. I was embittered and became cruel and unkind myself at times. I could feel myself becoming the evil I hated. I often asked God to rescue me but He didn’t. One day, I bought every book on Christian marriage and divorce from the book store. I studied relentlessly. Most all of the books talked about submission and I discard those ideas as ridiculous. Surely God could see my circumstances were different.
It wasn’t until utter exhaustion and defeat had robbed me of all my fight, that I cried out to God. Here’s the strange part. I didn’t cry out for God to save me from my circumstances this time. I cried out to be able to submit to my husband. I begged God to give me the strength each day to rise and pray for him and to be the wife I was called to be, regardless of the oppression. I prayed God would give me the ability to love that man with every fiber of my being and to find joy in it all. I begged God to take my life if I could not do these things with joy and strength. Something inside me (the Holy Spirit) told me that God’s design was the only plan that had a chance. This cry was about submitting to God. It was not about my happiness, my three kids, or my husband.
It was a supernatural miracle of the Holy Spirit. Yes, I wanted to be free of my pain, but somehow, I wanted to be right with God more. I am so thankful that the Holy Spirit was there, inside of me, to teach me to trust God’s plan even when I was not smart, good or faithful. I went to church most Sundays and even met with two pastors but none of them showed me my sin in the situation or called my husband to repentance as Matthew 18 instructs. I was absolutely a sheep alone and lost from the herd. The shepherds left in charge were asleep. Would God ever come find me before it was too late?
My will was broken and then, Grace
In a whirlwind series of miraculous legal events, my husband was removed from the home and prevented from contact for seven years. Every time he stepped a toe out of line, he was slapped in jail. God was at work protecting me and my children. All I had to do was submit to God’s Biblical order, repent of my sin and grace was poured out. I stopped asking God to line up with my will and started lining myself up with His will.
It’s hard to imagine but just like Israel in the desert after being rescued from Egypt, I rebelled hard against God. I had my freedom and I wasn’t about to give God any credit. Then God stepped in with more kindness toward me. He redeemed the situation by providing me with a new Godly husband that fulfills the righteous call (submitting) of a husband. God’s kindness was undeserved and I was beyond ashamed. This led to repentance and obedience; which lead to an unquenchable craving for God’s ways instead of my own……yep, that’s God’s plan in a nutshell.
I am now so very thankful for the evil I was once married to. I never would have cried out to my Maker without those two decades of abuse. I needed those horrible and rebellious experiences to break me of my arrogance and lack of submission. I can honestly say I would do that marriage all over again to have the precious gift of submission I now have. Praise God for His kindness and disciplining hand.
Biblical submission doesn’t require two nice, equal people doing nice, equal things to make honor and respect work. It only takes one flawed believer following a real plan. What is that plan? If you really want to know, you will listen to the Q&A from January 21, 2018, “Submission & Divorce“.
Next week we will look at the misinformation surrounding divorce. Do you have a legitimate reason for divorce? Maybe so. Maybe not. Do you have Godly elders shepherding you properly through the madness? If not, you need to know this doesn’t excuse you from dealing with the sin in the situation, regardless if it’s yours or your spouses. You must takes steps to resolve and restore the sinner(s). That’s how we grow in holiness and set ourselves apart from the world.
I hope you will subscribe to this blog and keep learning all God has to teach through these lessons taught by Pastor Steve Wilson of Grace Community Church.