Thursday, August 18, 2011
A Humble Servant and A Wonderful Wife
"Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands" (Ephesians 5:24)
Today I want to talk about the woman I have the honor to call my wife. Heather is having another birthday celebration today so I want to talk about her. You might be thinking, "That is odd selection of Scripture to pick to honor her" but let me explain. This is an area of Heather's life where she excels. God has given her a great amount of grace to be able to live this out with a husband like myself. In the passage we read how the church is to submit to Christ. Christ loves perfectly and always works things out for the good of his bride. He loves his bride unconditionally. The way he loves us should make easy for us to love him back but that is not the case. As believers we still sin against God. Even though he has awakened us to his great love we still turn to other gods to love upon. Our love is weak and conditional because of sin. It doesn't make sense when know of his great love for us.
With that in mind, consider the calling Christ has placed upon two sinners in marriage. He has given the man and the woman different roles in marriage. The husband is to be the leader and the one who sacrifices for the sake of his wife. The wife is to be a helper and encourager in the marriage, submitting to her husband as the leader. The two are to respectfully compliment each other in submission to the design of our Creator. This won't be done perfectly because of sin. But when I read this passage I can't help but think of how wonderfully my wife lives this out. The command is to submit to your husband in everything (unless it is against God's will). This is not an easy task because this text is commanding Heather to submit to me in everything. I cannot imagine what it would be like to have to submit to a sinner like myself. This also reminds me of my great responsibility as a leader in our marriage. Yet I see Heather excel in her submission. I don't see her complain but rather submit with joy. To the world this makes no sense at all. When I see how I have treated her at times I wonder how and why she does submit. I'm sure for her this is not always easy. So what does make sense of this high calling for husbands and wives?
The only thing that makes sense about a wife submitting to a fallible husband is the gospel. Marriage is supposed to be a human illustration of the gospel. By grace I am aware of this reality and by grace Heather is as well. This is what makes leadership such a joy for me and what makes submission such a joy for her. I don't lead perfectly and she doesn't submit perfectly but we strive daily to be more and more like Christ so that our marriage will be a reflection of his love for sinners like us. We strive by his grace and for his glory so that our marriage will magnify his great name to a lost world. This is only accomplished through what Christ accomplished on the cross. His life, death and resurrection makes sense of marriage. Sinners saved by grace united until death do them part for the glory of God.
I love you.
Grace upon grace,