Monday, April 21, 2014

365 Days with God - Day 122: Completely Misunderstood

I'm giving myself a challenge. Read the Bible each day for a whole year, following the ESV Study Guide 1-year plan. Each day, I will post whatever God has revealed to me in His Word, and how it is changing me. A friend of mine once said that nothing has changed her life as much as reading the bible each day - and I'm excited for how this will change me. Join me on an adventure into the heart of God - and day by day, we can learn more about who He is and what that means to us!

- Andy Catts

Day 122, April 21, 2014
Readings: Psalm 121, Numbers 1, Isaiah 38, Ephesians 5:22-33, Ephesians 6:1-9

Heard this one used wrongly?

Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord.

I bet you have.

But what do we see if we look at the whole thing?

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 it's Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands.
Husbands, love your wives as Christ loves the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. (Ephesians 5:22-28)

This message is probably going to be for the guys. Mostly. How often is the first portion of this misused? All the time! Think about how God loves you, how God pursues you, how God leads you. It's not with a rod. It's not through yelling and domineering. It's gentle. It's loving. It's encouraging, uplifting and amazing. God never demands, "I am your master, submit to me." Even though it is completely within his rights to do so. And so we shouldn't either.

But there's a completely different part of this that is even more important, and even more challenging. Men have a responsibility that is bigger, harder and more challenging than submission. Not because wives are so hard to love, but because it's so hard to love them like Christ loves the church!  He loved the church before they knew him. He loves us when we walk away. When we curse his name. When we give ourselves to others. Again and again, he loves us no matter what.

Men, do we love our wives that way? Do we love them no matter what? Do we pursue them with passion, and care for them gently? More important than our wives submitting to us is that we love them. Christ loved us long before we submitted to him (if we've submitted at all!) He asks us to love our wives first, foremost and to the best of our abilities. If you think you're doing all that and your wife still isn't "submitting" to your leadership, then we can talk. Because I guarantee that if you love your wife like Christ loves the church, you won't have anything to worry about.

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