Be Submissive –Also You Men

May 25, 2013

God’s Word tells us to show proper respect one to another and to submit to each other and to the governing authorities. (Eph. 5:21 // 1 Peter 2:13-17) However, this does not mean that someone is required to submit to a person who is inflicting on someone else his false doctrine, idolatry, perversion, deceitfulness, greed, violence, or any kind of cruelty –cruelty such as extortion, neglect, insults, harassment, or oppression. Submission to those evil things is forbidden in Scripture and we are never to partner with those who commit them. (Ps. 26:4-6 & ch. 101 // Rom. 16:17-19 // 2 Cor. 6:14-7:1 // Eph. 5:3-7)

When we submit to one another, we are to do so “out of reverence for Christ” (Eph. 5:21), “as to the Lord” (v. 22), “as is fitting in the Lord” (Col. 3:18), in order to honor and respect one another (1 Peter 3:7), in order to model purity, inner beauty, kindness, esteem, self-control, and courage (v. 1-9 // Titus ch. 2), and to do all this so that God’s Word will not be maligned, but instead believed, honored, and spread. (same two passages)

Unfortunately, many church leaders are not making the distinction. They may do so concerning secular authorities, but not when it comes to submission to them or to that of a wife to her husband. In fact, the church seems to be leading the way in propagating the command that “wives should submit to their husbands in everything.” (Eph. 5:24) In everything? Really? Including that which is illegal, idolatrous, or cruel? Unbelievably, there are people who teach this; but, such teaching is completely foreign to Scripture.

What does Eph. 5:24 actually say? It says, “But as the church is subject to Christ, so also the wives to their husbands in everything.” Note the wording –as to Christ. And we know that Christ is a servant-leader who is compassionate, tender, loving, holy, and just. Furthermore, this verse has a context. The whole passage (v. 21-33) is giving instructions concerning the unity of husband and wife, which is to function as one body, as does the church, which is subject to Christ –He who cherishes her, nourishes her, feeds her, and cares for her, in absolute sacrificial, tender, and respectful love.

Verse 25 says, “The husbands, love your wives, as also Christ loved the church and gave Himself up on behalf of it…”

Verse 28 says, “So also [as Christ] the husbands should love their wives as their own bodies.”

Verse 32 says, “Let each one of you love his wife as himself…” No man would dish out distress, or deceit, or violence, or adultery, or insults, or etc. upon himself; therefore men who inflict such things upon their wives are in obvious defiance of God’s Word.

Col. 3:19, along with 1 Peter 3:7-12 & 5:5 teach men that they cannot be harsh, deceitful, insulting, or evil in any way toward anyone, especially toward their wives who, in the Lord’s eyes, they are “one flesh” with (Eph. 5:31), but that they must instead be considerate, humble, loving, and respectful, and that if they are not, their prayers will not only be hindered, but God will be at war against them.

How any preacher could extract the commands given to wives and gloss over those given to husbands, thereby teaching that wives are to submit to their husbands no matter what, is incredulous.

If preachers would teach God’s Word by comparing each verse they promote with the whole of Scripture, what would flourish would be correct doctrine instead of false doctrines that bring oppression and harm to individuals, whole families, whole churches, and society in general.

with love,

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