Honoring Christ: Key to the Wife’s Motivation
How have you responded so far to the biblical teaching on submission presented in The Excellent Wife? Peace begins this chapter explaining that wives’ responses can range anywhere from objective acceptance to absolute rejection.
“Few wives naturally have the right heart’s attitude to be submissive to their husbands. Even if a woman desires to please God by being submissive, she will not always feel like being submissive.” Oh, how true.
I try to start each day by settling the issue of authority in my life by affirming that I am a woman under submission, submission to Christ and submission to my husband. The really hard part is maintaining the right attitude about submission throughout the day and regardless of my circumstances. This chapter is dedicated to 20 biblical principles that form the foundation for our motivation to be submissive.
1. A wife should be grateful for what God has done for her.
2. A wife should look to the example of Christ’s submission to the Father.
3. A wife should repent of any wrong thinking by renewing her mind with scripture.
4. A wife’s true beauty and adornment comes from being submissive to her husband.
5. Biblical submission shows love to God.
6. Biblical submission is a way to show love to her husband.
7. Biblical submission should be viewed through God’s sovereignty and goodness.
8. God uses others to put pressure on a wife to be submissive.
9. A wife should train herself to be biblically submissive.
10. A wife should learn the biblical dynamics of authority and rebellion.
11. A wife should seek truly biblical counsel from someone who will exhort and admonish her to be submissive.
12. A wife should humbly receiver her husband’s biblical correction and reproof.
13. Study the character of God.
14. A wife will honor God’s word by being submissive to her husband.
15. A wife can be motivated to be submissive in the “big things” by being faithful in the “little things.”
16. Biblical submission is one way for a wife to be a “living sacrifice” for the Lord Jesus.
17. A wife should realize that being submissive is a fruit of her salvation.
18. A wife may be motivated by personal testimonies of women who are already submissive to their husbands.
19. Realize that sometimes she may be “suffering for righteousness.”
20. A wife should remind herself of the potential grievous consequences of not being submissive.
Of the 20 listed by Peace, numbers 2, 7, 11, 13, and 14 have already proven to be strong motivators in my life regardless of the situation.
In times when I don’t want to obey the Lord, I ask myself the same questions that I ask my children when they want to rebel: Is it right or wrong to obey God? Right. What do I need to do to obey? (Answer depends on the situation.) Can I do it on my own? No. Pray for help from the Spirit and walk in Him. Die to self that Christ may live through me.
Doing that is incredibly difficult. Then there are times when it is a joy. Even times when I think it is an adventure because I can anticipate what God will do as I am obedient to Him.
I can think of a couple of situations in which I disagreed with my husband, but rather than argue and force my opinion, I chose to submit to his leadership, pray, trust God, and wait to see what He would do. I can look back and see that He worked everything out and in a much better way than I imagined.
Then there are a couple of things I am praying about right now. God is definitely working in one of those situations, and I am beginning to see an answer from Him. I am still waiting on the others. But I do not doubt that God will do what pleases Him and what will be good for us.
For me, what follows is a powerful motivator:
What is the chief end of man?
Man’s chief end is to glorify God and to enjoy Him forever.
How can I best fulfill this calling as a wife? In what way can I maximize my enjoyment of God today in my relationship with my husband? Simply put, I cannot enjoy Jesus when I’m not obeying His Word to me regarding submission to my husband. When I keep Jesus the focus, submission can be a joyful thing. It isn’t always. Sometimes it’s hard and sometimes it’s a little scary. But knowing Christ and fellowship with Him is better than the fleeting pleasures of sin.
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