Ephesians 5:21; Various
Nightly Devotion - What’s This Honor, and Obey Stuff?
Ephesians 5:21; Various
Tuesday, September 22, 2020
Over the last few months, I have had the honor of talking with two lovely people who want to get married. Most young people who come to me bubble over with mushy gushy love for each other. Cody and Marybeth have come bubbling over with mush gushy love for the Lord and they want to make sure their marriage is not only a blessed occasion but that God will have center in their lives. I am proud of them. I know they have found the first key to success in marriage.
They told me that they want a traditional service with traditional vows. Not too many people want that these days. Most young people just want God to bless the occasion but they really don’t want him meddling in their lives too much. In fact, I remember a man and woman a few years ago who said they wanted a traditional ceremony but with out all that “honor and obey stuff.”
OBEY. The word actually is submission. A Christian marriage is built on mutual submission first to God and then to each other. In fact, Ephesians 5:21 says, “Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.”
Submission is a word that doesn’t go over too well these days. The definition of submission is “the action or fact of accepting or yielding to a superior force or to the will or authority of another person.” For the modern person it means surrendering your will. And that just doesn’t seem to cut it in today’s society. After all “I’m no one’s slave!”
But mutual submission is not slavery. The Greek word ὑποτάσσω - hupotassó (hoop-ot-as’-so) literally means under arrangement. It is a willingness to submit to the plan…God’s plan (38 times). According to the Bible, God’s plan for marriage was the the man should leave his mother and father and cleave unto his wife… the two become one. They submit to God’s plan first and foremost and when they do they are under God’s umbrella of protection and his blessings.
In God’s plan, the husband is the head. But he doesn’t rule as the king of his castle or as earthly rulers. But he rules with love, compassion, forgiveness, and lots of grace. Just like Jesus. The husband rules in submission to God’s plan. The husband works with his wife for the mutual benefit of the family. That is when God’s blessings flow through him.
In God’s plan, the wife is supposed to be the one to nurture her family. She submits to God’s plan by backing up the husband as he follows God’s plan. Even when he gets off track the wife continues to follow God’s plan by praying hard for her husband and sharing God’s word with him. That is when God’s blessings flow through her.
Jesus is the example of submission. Jesus came to seek and save the lost. Everything he did was in submission to God’s plan. In following God’s plan, the Father blessed him, blessed others. Jesus was glorified by God as he glorified God by obeying him. Jesus submitted to God’s plan right down to going to the cross and dying. In fact, Hebrews 12:2 says, “…For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Jesus counted it joy to submit to God’s plan and endured every horrible part of it because he knew our redemption…our salvation depended on his submission to God’s plan. “Not my will but thine be done.”