In a previous Word Nugget I looked into Ephesians 5:22 Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. (NKJV)
We came to the conclusion that we need to submit to our husbands; we were created to, designed to and equipped to. The next part: How on earth do we actually do it?
The best analogy I can think of it is to imagine a corporation or company. For many of us it is easy to picture hierarchy, chains of command, authority and submission when it comes to the workplace because many of us work.
So let’s start with the CEO. He is the head of the company and the ultimate authority but he couldn’t hope to do every job in the company. So what he does is creates departments with department managers. He has regular meetings with his managers. He communicates his vision, they get to know him and what he likes and doesn’t like. He gives them each authority to run their departments. He doesn’t watch every move they make, he doesn’t make all the decisions and he doesn’t run all the budgets. He has given them jobs to do within a framework and expects them to get on and do them without burdening him. They are there to help him do his job and not for him to do their job for them.
If he is a smart boss he will enjoy his meeting times with the heads of department. He will listen to their ideas, he will implement their suggestions, he will back them up when they have trouble. He will recognise that they may be experts in their fields, fields he may have little to no expertise in. He will honour them, their expertise and let them teach him. He will make an effort to learn from them in order to be a better CEO.
This all sounds quite idyllic actually but how on earth does this translate to a marriage? A marriage where, according to Genesis 2:24, a man shall leave his father and his mother and shall become united and cleave to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.
So, obviously the CEO represents the husband. He is the head of the wife (Eph 5:23) and the high priest of his home. He has ultimate charge of his wife and family. The buck stops with him. However, he, on his own, is unable to run his home. Husbands needs our help. So, if he is smart, he will realise his need for help and together you will work out who runs which department in your home and family. Together you agree on basically how each one should be run, the standards you strive to reach and the boundaries within which each of you operate in your various departments.
Then what happens in the husband gives to his wife the necessary authority to run the departments she is in charge of. She has a budget and she has a framework. She then uses her expertise to run the department as she sees fit and as she knows her husband would like her to run it. If she is unsure of something she can always defer to him. However, as a husband who loves his wife he actually takes pleasure in watching his wife successfully taking care of things for him and his children.
Let’s take a practical example. In my home I am in charge of our children’s afternoon activities. I hear what they would like to do, I investigate clubs, fees, times, requirements and extra costs involved. I consider it all and then sit with my husband to fill him on what’s happening. I get his input and I make sure he is happy with decisions I have taken. My husband doesn’t interfere, he leaves me to do my job and he trusts my judgement. He has given me the authority to run this department and I do it to the best of my ability. He does not have the time to do it and is really not that interested in making it happen.
Another simple example is I do most of the cooking in our house so I do most of the grocery shopping (not my favourite thing). I have an agreed upon budget and I know what foods he enjoys and so I go ahead and make the best food I can within the budget I have. If I splash out every now and then he loves it because he knows I love spoiling him and I will still keep to my budget. I have made sure that he can trust me. I always act with integrity and respect so trusting me to do the right thing is easy.
The one that gets most woman is that they think submitting means having your husband tell you what to wear! Where on earth did this idea come from?
You’re standing in the fitting rooms and you have on this gorgeous dress that you’ve chosen for a function you’re going to attend. It shows off your curves perfectly, just the right amount of cleavage is showing and you feel like a million dollars. What do you do? Do you buy it or not?
Well that is going to depend on your husband and what he likes. Ultimately you want your husband to look at you and admire you and be proud of you. If your husband would love that dress and feel like a million dollars standing next to you at the function then you buy it. If your husband might feel it’s a little too risqué and would prefer to see you in it alone and no one else to have lustful thoughts then you either buy it to wear for him only or you walk away and choose something else for the function. That is submission.
That is not being a doormat or having your husband tell you what to wear. That is honouring him and a man honoured behaves with honour.