Under the discussion of “Men and Revival” comes the need to discuss the biblical term of submission. Often taken out of context, biblical submission is the acknowledgment and observance of the spiritual hierarchy that is described within scripture. In no way does the concept of biblical submission encourage, incite, or give permission for physical, verbal, or power abuse. In no way does the concept of biblical submission take away any individual’s voice or ability to exercise your given rights. And finally, in no way does the concept of biblical submission force you to do things that would compromise your relationship with Jesus Christ.
Obligatory disclaimers aside, biblical submission is quite possibly one of the most freeing concepts that a Christian man or woman can take the time to understand and embrace (yes, men are called to submit as well). Stemming from the hierarchy outlined in 1 Corinthians 11:3, the verse explains “that the head of every man is Christ, and the head of the woman is man, and the head of Christ is God.” To assist in understanding the dynamics of this system, it might be easy to relate it to the corporate world. If the Vice President reports to the CEO, and the middle manager reports to the Vice President, the personhood of either the manager or the VP is neither ignored nor discredited even though they are not assigned the same responsibilities within the company. The fact is that the function of each person is different and helps achieve different goals toward the vision of the company. Should the VP not do what they are supposed to do, then the middle manager has every right to go above the VP’s head and appeal straight to the CEO of the company. In other words, the middle manager doesn’t demand to take over the job responsibilities of the VP, publicly berate them in front of others, or rebel out of frustration by completely abandoning their own calling. Similarly, should the husband not be doing what he is called to do in leading his family, the wife is not forced to submit to incorrect and dangerous leadership. Indeed, she still has every right to go straight to the Lord and refer to what He says as a guide (instead of abiding to misguided leadership).
Back in Genesis, God decreed two items: for the wife to be spiritually submissive to the husband, and for the husband to lead his family. Fascinatingly, it’s no coincidence that men and women of today are tempted to do completely the opposite: women are tempted (or feel forced) to take the reins of leadership within the home, while men are tempted (or feel pushed away) from accepting the responsibility of spiritually leading their household. God’s decrees to Adam and Eve in the garden are not to be seen as restrictive punishments, but instead as guidelines that help us stay away from the fallen-like state of humanity that was brought into the world at the time of Adam and Eve’s sin. God wants the very best for us, and these decrees are His way of helping us to experience His best (at least within the circumstances of the fallen world that we have inherited.
The husband has the calling to lead by example in chasing after the Lord. Last month we related this to how the CEO is the one who is responsible in answering to his company’s stakeholders when things are good or when things are bad. If families don’t have the time for God due to the busyness of the family’s calendar, the responsibility falls upon the man. If the wife feels as if she is unsupported, unloved, unappreciated, or if she carries inside of her a self-image that is anything less than the state of beauty, then this falls upon the man. If the children of the household have no knowledge of the Lord, then this falls upon the man. We men are called whether we’d like to admit it or not, because if we don’t do these things in leading our families in the Lord, then who will?
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