This week has started out to be more complicated than the past couple. Just the process of being able to post this was more difficult than it should have been. This leads me to believe there is something that is going to be said that makes all the difference for someone. If I went through all of that just for one person, it is so worth it.
I’m not going to air my dirty like I did last week. That is not what this week is about. I need to get the message out there with the bare minimum of distractions.
That being said, let’s get started.
I have heard this portion of Scripture quoted at weddings just as much as 1 Corinthians 13. We tend to focus on two key verses.
Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. (Ephesians 5:22)
Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her. (Ephesians 5:25)
What I think we tend to overlook is verse 21
Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. (Ephesians 5:21)
When it comes to a relationship of any kind (whether it be husband/wife, parent/child, friendship, etc.), there has to be a certain amount of submission on both sides. We live in a time when women are looked down upon when they appear “submissive”. Being submissive does not mean you are a doormat.
Submissiveness leads a woman to allow herself to be lead. This does not mean she goes along with everything she is told to do without question. This does not mean she cannot be independent. This means she allows herself to be vulnerable. That is something I very much need to learn how to do.
I do not like having to rely on someone else to take care of me. I have been taught to work hard and provide for myself. The vulnerability that would cause me to allow another person to take care of me is the same as the vulnerability that would cause me to allow the Lord to take care of me. Allowing Him to meet my needs does not mean I do not need to work. It means that I trust Him to provide no matter what.
Now that I have covered what we as women should do, we need to talk about what we should expect from our significant other.
Paul tells husbands they need to love their wives as Christ loved the church. Christ gave himself up for the Church. Does that mean our husbands should give up everything to be with us and do what we want? Absolutely not.
Like everything else in life, there has to be a balance. How do men need to be willing to submit? A husband needs to submit when it comes to his own interests. It is for guys to get on a track and have a hard time changing lanes. Husbands need to be conscience of how they spend their time.
Ultimately, mutual submission preserves order and harmony in relationships. It also increases love and respect between two people.
In this chapter of Esther, we find two verses I have heard quoted more times than I count.
And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this. (Esther 4:14)
If I perish, I perish. (Esther 4:16)
Do you remember those subjects that made you cringe you were supposed to examine last week? What about speaking up when you should? This chapter of Esther gives us a pretty clear game plan when it comes to dealing with these things.
1. Calculate the cost. Does the benefit outweigh the risk? What is exactly is the Lord calling you to do? Is more than your own life on the line?
2. Set priorities. What is most important to you? The opinions of man? Or the opinion of God?
3. Prepare. Prepare your heart. Pray. Fast. Find people to help you.
4. Determine a course of action and follow through boldly. Take action with confidence. If the Lord has called you to this moment, then He is right there beside you.
No one is secure in their own strength. Deliverance only comes from God. That being said, He puts you in contact with other believers to help you bear your load. Do not give yourself a disadvantage by separating yourself from them.
God chooses to work through those who are willing to act for Him.
The challenge this week is to examine where you are in this process. Be completely honest with yourself. What subjects have made you uncomfortable? What do you need to learn more about?
Let me know what I can do to help you. We are a community, after all.
Remember to use #prepareyourheart on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest.
Next week we will be focusing on 1 Corinthians 7:1-19 and Esther 5.