submission

Ephesians 5:21 – The Muck-up

“Why do so many people concentrate on Ephesians 5:22-23 and skip over Ephesians 5:21?” – asks Christian marriage blogger Sheila Wray Gregoire, in response to this Pinterest post.

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Interesting question.  First, it’s not really a question, it’s a statement of assumption veiled as a question.

Second, I don’t think it’s a matter of, “so many people […] skipping over ….”   I think it’s a matter of Bible exegesis.  Some people (like Darrell and I) interpret the marriage paradigm as a complementarian, believing that verse 21 is a concluding sentence for Ephesians 5:1-20.  They’re not ‘skipping over it’ from ignorance or even fear, they simply believe it’s not part of the instruction to wives and husbands.  Others, that interpret marriage from the egalitarian paradigm, believe that verse 21 is a topic sentence for Ephesians 5:21-33.

Complementarian or Egalitarian?

It’s an important question that’ll make a big difference in your marriage:  Are you a complementarian or an egalitarian?

In simple terms, complementarians favour specific gender roles for husbands and wives, each with their own power and purpose.  Sometimes it’s referred to as Biblical hierarchy, bridal paradigm, or Christ’s bride/body.  While, egalitarians favour interchangeability of power and gender roles because they don’t define a leader; but also favouring a designated role split. It’s referred to as equality, mutual submission, or 50/50.

To be fair, the Bible doesn’t refer to either classification – we call them these names to differentiate between the two schools of thought.  Complementarians interpret verse 21 to be the conclusion of corporate instruction.  Egalitarians interpret verse 21 to be the preface for the marriage instructions.

The quick response to Sheila’s statement is:  Verse 21 has nothing to do with marriage and everything to do with the corporate body.  By hinging these two sections of Scripture on one verse, you not only blurr marriage into other relationships – lowering its significance, but, you also complicate submission into a dysfunctional mess.

A slower, researched response, is more involved …

GRAMMATICALLY

It’s repetitive and confusing to say:  “everyone submit to everyone wives submit to your own husbands,” see, it makes no sense.  In all of the thought for thought translations (modern versions), you’ll see verse 21 driven into to the next paragraph so it joins the marriage part.  To make it happen they’ve replaced the colon, semicolon, or comma with a period so that the section will complete with verse 20.  Yet in the word for word translations, (KJV, NASB) you’ll find the punctuation left intact making verse 21 the concluding sentence for the previous section.

VOCABULARY

In verse 21, Paul is concluding his general address that targets everyone in the assembly.  We know it’s a corporate address to a body (a group) of believers because he doesn’t name a subject by a noun, instead he uses pronouns in the plural form:

  • (v2) us – “… has loved us and given Himself for us …”
  • (v3) you – “…let it not even be named among you …”
  • (v5) you – “…For this you know…”
  • (v6) no one, you – “let no one deceive you with empty…”
  • (v8) you – “… For you were …”
  • (v14) you – “… Awake you who … will give you light…”
  • (v15) you – “… that you walk circumspectly …”
  • (v19) one another, your – “… to one another… in your heart…”
  • (v20) our – “…in the name of our Lord …”
  • (v21) one another – “…submitting to one another …”

Paul includes verse 21 with all the preceding plural pronouns

But in verse 22, he changes up his target audience. Notice how he signifies his change?  He’s not speaking corporately any more.  He’s not using plural pronouns anymore.  He could’ve said something like, “Now, all you who are married … “  Or, “Those of you who are married…”  Or even, “Any of you who are spouses …”  But he didn’t.

Instead, he distinguishes those who are married by calling them out separately from everyone as well as individually … he speaks directly to wives then directly to husbands:

  • (vs 22-24) Wives, submit to your own husbands …
  • (vs 25-32) Husbands, love your wives, …

Then in verse 33 he wraps up his instruction to all those who are married using a concluding sentence.  He signifies switching back to plural, but not everyone only corporately to those married.  He’s capturing the attention of, every husband and every wife, Each one of you in particular:

  • Nevertheless let each one of you in particular so love his own wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.

Paul makes special delineation for marriage, above the instructions for everyone else.  I think he wants us to know that the relationship rules that apply to everybody, similarly apply to marriage; however, there’s extra weight when you get married.  The aspects of love and submission he’s been talking about up to verse 21, that apply to everyone …  are now going to change.  Love and submission look different in marriage.

SOUL-ution

Prove it to yourself.  Let your own marriage be the litmus test, not what I say or what others say.  Yes, take in information – but see if it brings unity.  Find what brings the peace of Christ, the peace that you cannot comprehend or understand … even though you’re experiencing it.  Ultimately, that’s the light you want the world to see.

A Wife of Excellence

 

The best defense you have from all the negative forces in the world that rally against marriage is to stay enthusiastic about being a wife.  Be zealous in your pursuit of excellence and elevate the view of your husband to the highest regard.

Sometimes the best course of action is to stop over-thinking those negative reasons, and instead, choose to protectively place your marriage well out of the reach of the nay-sayers so they don’t drag you down and tarnish your view.

Have a great weekend!

Being proactive is more than taking initiative.  It is recognizing that we are responsible for our own choices and have the freedom to choose based on principles and values rather than on moods or conditions.  Proactive people are agents of change and choose not to be victims, to be reactive, or to blame others. –Stephen R. Covey

Adversity in Marriage

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You know those memes you see on Facebook, the ones that make you feel kind of old, “If you know what this is click like and share.”  This one was a wringer washing machine, in the catalogue, it was advertised to make laundry easier.  I showed it to my oldest daughter, saying, “I remember helping my Grandmother do laundry with this!  It took about two hours to do one load.”

washers

Two hours doesn’t sound very fast, but compared to the washboard – the wringer washer was a gigantic leap forward for domestic work.  Wash day was just that, a whole day.  It took a whole day’s worth of work and cut it to less than half, by removing the hardest part.

Now we complain about so much laundry.  We (me) have the audacity to actually complain about a task that is 95% automated – are you kidding me?!  Just the other day I let out a tsssk as I walked passed the load(S) waiting to be washed.  And I know for a fact other women feel the same about ‘never-ending’ laundry.

ADVERSITY reveals the true me (and you)

No wonder we can’t handle any real problems in life and relationships with grace for others and dignity for ourselves.

  • “It’s too hard, God would never want me to go through THAT.”
  • “I don’t like this, it doesn’t make me happy.”
  • “Why should I have to do that?”
  • “God is a God of justice.  It’s not fair if I have to experience THIS.”

As we resist with each statement (which sound suspiciously like complaining), we get weaker and less able to actually conquer whatever situation we are in.  The more we focus on just ourselves and the difficulty of the task, the more impossible the circumstance becomes.  We lose sight of the big picture and our place in it.  Forgetting that it was God Who chose us, and what role He placed us in.

And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.  For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren (Rom 8:28-29)

The word adversity captures a wide range of circumstances – from a minor inconvenience to a catastrophe. Whatever the size or discomfort of the difficulty, it does the same thing – it pushes us against the barrier of our comfort zones, thins our skin and forces out a response.

ADVERSITY had revealed the complainer in me

Had I really complained about the laundry as I was climbing the stairs?  Yes.  Something so small and benign.  I hadn’t seen that in myself and it caught me off guard.  I don’t think God views any complaining as small or inconsequential.  Complaining used to be a big problem for me – not so much anymore.  But apparently, there was still a sliver there that needed to be exposed and removed before it spread further.  The virus of sin is like that.

How could I conquer evil with good and be strengthened with gratitude, if I couldn’t even see past a few puny piles of laundry to the blessing of fully automated equipment?  Don’t get me wrong, I know dirty clothes aren’t evil – but the complaining part is.

Nor let us try the Lord, as some of them did, and were destroyed by the serpents.  Nor grumble, as some of them did, and were destroyed by the destroyer. (1 Cor 10:9-10)

Complaining is a fruit of wrong focus – it proves to myself that I’m making it all about me when there is so much to be grateful for:

  • the fact that I do have a fully automated washing machine (and dryer), instead of having to use a wringer washer or a washboard, or go to the laundromat.
  • that my husband has bought the best set.
  • speaking of him, he’s healthy and has a fantastic job.
  • the blessing of all my kids and that they are healthy.
  • that we all have an abundance of clothes!

I could go on and on, but you get what I mean.  When I set my focus on the benefits, gratitude will naturally grow instead of self-pity.

ADVERSITY will help or hinder

I think we can all agree:  People have no control over others and no power to change them.  It’s a good thing, for a couple of reasons.

(1) When you accept how little control you have over circumstances, and the people involved in them, your faith grows—you become a different person.  The more you trust God, the more you mature.  Yes, there’s characteristics we don’t care for in people, behaviours and habits that create adversity in our relationships – conflict with our husbands, but, you’ve got to ask yourself:

Do I really want someone else to have the power to change me?

(2) Because that’s the deal.  If I get the power to change my husband – then he gets just as much power to change me.  My answer would be, no – I only want God to have that power, He’s the only one that can see my heart (and Darrell’s) from a complete perspective. (Psalm 139:16)

SOUL-utions:

KNOW:  I say this lots and I’ll say it again:  We’re going to have trials, turmoil and hurt in our marriages, we’ve got to accept it – we’re told, plainly.  We all have our fair share, God hasn’t picked out some for more hardship or troubles than anyone else.  Beloved, do not be amazed and bewildered at the fiery ordeal which is taking place to test your quality, as though something strange (unusual and alien to you and your position) were befalling you. (1 Peter 4:12)

ACCEPT:  Be open to what God shows you about own heart when you’re in trials; not what you see in your husband’s heart. God already knows the both of you, He wants you to see your own.  But the Lord said to Samuel, Look not on his appearance or at the height of his stature, for I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees; for man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.   (1 Sam 16:7)

LET GO:  We hinder ourselves by focusing on the things in our husbands that we want to change.  The most helpful thing we can do is to let go of this perceived power.  A wife affects real change in marriage through influence, not control.  In like manner, you married women, be submissive to your own husbands [subordinate yourselves as being secondary to and dependent on them, and adapt yourselves to them], so that even if any do not obey the Word [of God], they may be won over not by discussion but by the [godly] lives of their wives. (1 Peter 3:1)

 

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A Marriage Illusion: 50/50

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When I first started to study the life of Sarah I thought she was mindless and weak.  And even though Paul said I could be her daughter if I saw her as a mentor, it was many years before I believed what he was saying; I didn’t want to be her daughter.  I was already a daughter of the feminist movement and preferred the mantra, “I am woman hear me roar.”  But like many other women who’d been raised in that same culture, I found out, albeit the hard way, that I was already powerful and strong.  I was created that way and didn’t need to draw my strength from a movement but from the source:  God.

So began the illumination about the 50/50 split* in marriage and why it’s not God’s view of marriage, but the world’s view.

When I think back I can remember my insides squirming in conflict whenever I came across Sarah, especially this little gem from 1 Peter 3.

It was thus that Sarah obeyed Abraham [following his guidance and acknowledging his headship over her by] calling him lord (master, leader, authority).

This just didn’t translate into fair and equal for me, which is what I believed marriage was about.  He can run his fifty percent and I’ll run my fifty percent.  Now that’s equality.

I believed the equality moniker licensed me to argue whenever “I” believed “I” was in the right.  In hindsight, God is funny … and patient.  It was like He slipped a little burr called marriage, just under my skin and whenever I pushed up against what I thought was IN-equality between us, I felt the sting of that burr.

I struggled with that burr, all the while blaming Darrell because the only time I felt the sting was when my conflict was with him.  My “prayers” for help seemed to fall on deaf ears.  I would point out (to God) all the things that my husband was doing wrong and how he wouldn’t listen to me.  I wanted to do things my way.  I had ideas and solutions on how to run our family, but there was always so much conflict between us whenever we tried to talk about options or solve problems.  And it just kept getting worse.

Weeks turned into months then into years.  I became more contentious about having the right answers.  More determined to fight for my rights; my way.

… and the burr just kept slicing away.

I had created a war zone in our home and a hardened heart within myself.

WHAT IS THE REAL BURR?

While mentally replaying a recent quarrel in frustration, I complained to God, “Fine, I just won’t have an opinion about anything, is that what YOU want?”

SILENCE.  A deafening silence.

(We all have eye-opening, pride-crushing moments in which God in His infinite grace allows us to wrestle with Him so we see the truth of ourselves.  This was one of mine.)

I had been in our kitchen doing dishes and slamming cupboards and the silence stopped me dead when I realized what I had said through gritted teeth and to Whom I had said it.  I fell onto my knees, not so much in repentance and adoration of God, but in a slump of emotional fatigue and confusion.  “Why did You give me a brain if You didn’t want me to use it?  There will be nothing left of me.”

This was the first time I ever heard God’s voice, I remember it like it was yesterday.  “Yes.  There will be nothing left of you; that is the point.  My Spirit cannot work in Darrell or you, with you in the way.”

With that first glimmer of understanding and the freedom that comes with the death of self, the burr started to loosen.

Focusing on getting our own way and own rights, 50/50, clouds our insight to the change God wants to do in us.  The issue had never been about obeying Darrell because he was right, or me “not using my brain.”  But rather God remaking us into whom He created each of us to be; using the tension now present in every marriage:  Desire.

 BEHOLD the real burr        ->       Desire … TO BE IN CHARGE; TO RULE

Yet your DESIRE and longing will be for your husband, and he will rule [with authority] over you and be responsible for you.

It’s my position that Genesis 3 is not a prescriptive text.  God was not delineating what He was going to do to each of us [Satan, Adam, Eve].  He didn’t put desire in wives, but rather He was describing and explaining what we had each done to our own selves.  He was letting us know how the relationships had changed and how they would play-out, on the outside of Eden.

Remember that He’s the Alpha Omega.  He doesn’t just know the future, He IS the future.  He wasn’t making plans for us, He already knew.  In His grace and love for us, He was giving us a “heads-up.”

Eve’s creation is from power and strength, but not with teshuwqah:  the desire to over power, conquer and rule.  Teshuwqah in wives is a consequence of sin and therefore not our natural or most beneficial state.

The challenge for me was (and still is from time to time) to resist the temptation of teshuwqah that lives in my flesh; that rears it’s head to contend when something seems not fair for me, or ‘right’ in my eyes.

Teshuwqah or submit

The nature of 50/50 calls for someone to be that dividing line between the two 50s making sure it’s all equal.  Whether you call it mutual submission or egalitarian style someone will end up being the scorekeeper to make sure that the submission actually IS mutual or to make sure that no one IS actually leading (or that both are leading … equally).  To ensure the dividing line is equal someone is either given the authority to say, or someone takes the authority and says so.

If Satan can keep you fighting for your rights and contending for your 50% of the 50/50, if he can keep your focus on the mutuality of “taking turns submitting” to the earthy fleshly circumstances of life, you will lean more and more on your own steam and less on God’s.  Satan’s goal is to keep you in the mindset he led you into in the first place:  Teshuwqah

In reality, 50/50 is the gender issue, the “he/she” of it.  I had pitted myself against my husband by choosing my own side of the dividing line.  As much as I said I was for our marriage, the evidence of score keeping proves that my heart was not all in.  Make no mistake, a home divided against itself will not stand. (Mk 3:25)  Here are the two blinding illusions:  First:  You cannot give 50% without withholding 50%, one cancels the other.  You are either 100% for your husband or you are withholding 50% in the name of mutuality or fairness.  It is the nature of equality:  someone tracks the transactions.  Second:  No one knows but you and God.

Well, I was a scorekeeper.  And that’s what I hadn’t liked about Sarah; she wasn’t.

Sarah was 100% for Abraham.  Looking at her through my 50/50 lense she appeared wimpy and unacceptable to me.  Sarah was willing to submit herself.  I was teshuwqah; making sure everything was “equal and fair.” I was the one keeping score … calling the shots from on top of my dividing line.

Then, that day on my kitchen floor …. BOOM, I wasn’t.

Isn’t it always like that with God.  He does the revealing, the healing.  All He asks is that we be willing to honestly look.  Even if it is through squinted eyes at first.  And as I began to view Sarah through His lenses, the low value I placed on her changed to overwhelming pride in being able to say, I am a true daughter of Sarah’s!

Her life exemplified a complete and undivided heart of trust in her LORD.  She demonstrated with her own marriage how opposite mine was.  And finally, a new level of dependence on God emerged that I had never experienced.

I will probably never submit as perfectly as Sarah and that’s ok.  At our house we aim for progress, not perfection.

Robyn

The focus shouldn’t be on a quid-pro-quo relationship, but on the marriage vows.  When we keep score, we automatically see the other person as the problem and absolve ourselves from guilt. –Eileen Silva Kindig

 

* other 50/50 references meaning the same thing, include:  egalitarian, mutual submission

 

Submission to surrender

Act of war

Recently I changed the image that I use for verse references in the category of My mouth, my marriage.  BD (userdand) noticed and commented that he liked it, to which I responded:

I find it’s the perfect blend of surrendered wife meets spiritual warrior.”

BD’s response prompted the writing of this post:

“I noticed a subtle use of wording there. I am thinking you do not see them as synonymous, but different sides of the same coin and would be interested in hearing how you feel surrender is complementary to submission.”

He is correct in his observation:  Submission and surrender are different sides of the same coin.

Both English words originate from the same word:  hypotasso.  However, in our English translation it depends on the subtleties of context.  Although grammatically wrong, the words flowed better to capture my meaning.   She becomes a surrendered warrior because of who she is – she is submissive.

Submissive is a WHO, Surrendered is a DO

I’ve used one as an adjective the other a verb.  I am a submissive wife that is able to surrender.  The sentence could be reversed:  I am a surrendered wife that submits.  But this order clouds my understanding because that’s not how God taught it to me.

See the distinction in Jesus

Jesus had an attitude of submission evidenced by His conversation in the garden with His Father. His surrendered heart is demonstrated by the act of following through and being crucified.  The submissive spirit in discussions with God about the execution wasn’t what defeated the enemy, it was the act of surrender:  being executed.  The power of God resurrecting Jesus was the finale in the defeat of Satan.  But without Jesus’ act of surrendering to death, there would have been no resurrection.

The act of surrender is covert

Satan wanted Jesus dead, he’d tried numerous times and in many ways to achieve that goal.  Charles Spurgeon has a great sermon on this you can read it here.  Satan believed that he’d won when he succeeded with the execution of Christ, because on the surface of things, it appeared that Jesus was dead.  But what Satan couldn’t see was the outcome of the act of surrender:  The Resurrection.

Satan knew that Jesus was the Son of God and he also knew that Jesus was going to be executed.  The part that was covert was God’s plan to resurrect Jesus.  God already had the win as soon as Jesus surrendered.

“Checkmate.God

Satan sees who we are and what we are doing; but he cannot see the finale that God has planned to complete our acts of surrender.

Jesus’ act of surrender with the cross looked counter-intuitive to the world’s idea of winning, which is Satan’s perspective.  Surrendering appears to be a loss where the world is concerned – but in the spiritual war it’s the opposite.

It always come back the war

It’s like the military:  They train for action at home base.  Then there is deployment, the act of being at war.  Same division of men with the same ultimate purpose, but different setting and different goal.

Submission is the temperature of the relationship, it’s more of a training ground.  Surrender is the way I act out my submission when Satan attacks me.  Every act of surrender is a sword thrust to Satan.

It is in the moment of surrender that the submissive wife becomes the ultimate warrior in the hands of the LORD.

 

The beauty of submission

Have you ever had a song get stuck in your head?  How about one that peeves you?  It’s not a blatantly graphic song, it just rubs you the wrong way.

For me, it’s 3 Dressed Up As A 9, a song by Trooper. It has been popping into my head since its release way back when.  Normally I would just get peeved briefly and then dismiss it, but this time it kept resurfacing.

It was especially irritating this time because I was studying the controversial subject of submission in marriage and didn’t like the continued interruption.  It seems the more I understand about submission the further out of step I become with the world, while the growth with God, unity in our marriage, and the oneness with Darrell become greater.  The contrast is difficult but also very intriguing.

Admittedly, I used to misconstrue this song as superficial:  she’s not as good looking as she’s made herself up to be, ‘nuff’ said.  Up would go my defensive hairs as I shut down my mind to the rest of the words.

Unable to ignore the song, I opened my computer and googled the lyrics. Pushing past that familiar prickly rise, my eyebrows shot up as I was following along with the words, “OHHH… maybe he’s talking about something else – not merely her looks.”

Although probably not a song about the heart of submission and almost certainly not a Christian song, there may be a bit of truth to extract.  The link for the song is here, if you want to listen to it.  If not, here are the lyrics:

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Skin deep is shallow

At first glance, this woman appears to be the epitome of beauty; but as she draws closer to him and he has the chance to listen to her, something else starts to surface from within her. She has spent a lot of time and cash on her outer shell, while completely neglecting her inner woman – the heart of real feminine beauty.

  • She looked better when she was 20 feet away.  He doesn’t want to be close to her, in her sphere of influence.
  • She is something nice to admire – from afar.  Not going to get involved because she’ll not be good for him – she’ll end up being a waste of his time.
  • Socially, she appears to be like all other women – she fits in with the rest and that’s the problem.
  • Now she’s closer than 20 feet away.    Words, tones, and mannerisms surface.  What comes out of her is what’s inside. She suits herself only, which doesn’t suit him.
  • Move along. You can’t tempt me with all that Decollete you paid so much for.  You can’t use it to cover up what you really are.
  • He is realizing that she is completely superficial and lacking in depth of woman.

She’s a 3 dressed up as a 9

As I got to the end of the song, my first impression of ‘slightly interested’ had changed to surprise.  This song actually matches what I just read in 1 Peter 3 – how did I miss THIS before!?

There is inner work and outer to do: 1 Peter 3:1-6:

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Strategic placement

In verse 3, it’s easy to see from the word [merely] that God isn’t saying, “don’t do this,” but rather, “don’t over-do this.”  Sometimes in the argument of whether wives should ‘beautify/adorn’ themselves, or how much is too much, we miss the bigger picture of God’s strategic placement of this verse.

He sandwiches it smack-dab in the middle of a whole bunch of instructions on submission.  Why, God?  Why put it there? Wouldn’t it have made better sense placed near the verse about, dressing like a guy? (Deut. 22:5)  Or even the one on dressing modestly?” (1 Tim 2:9-10)

Seriously, what does braided hair and barrettes have to do with submissionGod now had my attention.  I had moved from curiously interested to excitement!

This could be big!  It’s like God is saying, “pay attention. The things you do to the outside of your body aren’t nearly as important as how you treat your husband. That treatment comes from the inside of you.  In the shift between verses 3 and 4, God is connecting the dots for us:  submission is what your husband will find beautiful, not the frosting on the outside.

WOWZERS – Look at the ratio of inner to outer:

FIVE to ONE.

  • In verse 1 God is talking about what it is:  It is submission.
  • Then in verse 2 He moves to how it will look:  This is how submission looks.
  • Now in verse 3 the brake gets pressed at a stop sign: THIS doesn’t have anything to do with submission – don’t be fooled.
  • Then, in His usual style, God segues back into the main topic of submission by contrasting the two verses at that stop sign.  It’s brilliant!!  It isn’t until after verse 3, after He has stopped us and gotten our attention that He interjects the word beauty linking it to His main theme – submission.
  • Then in verse 5 He joins it even deeper using the words: beauty, submission, and husband.  He links beauty and submission to your husband!
  • And to finish in verse 6, God doesn’t leave us hanging.  We’ve been given a real life practical example:  SARAH

How I got tripped up 

Often what I wanted to do, was to accept those FIVE references as a … ‘good’ heart kind of thing, much like what is instructed in 1 Timothy 2:9-10, a caring and generous wife woman – rather than an instruction for marriage.   I mean obviously it’s about marriage right?  But there was that darn verse 3 that kept tripping me up.  A good and caring person as I defined it – with the good deeds as instructed from 1 Tim 2:9-10. See the subtle slip there?  If I’m doing good deeds and I’m a caring and generous person in the hidden person of the heart – God knows, right?  If I don’t over-do on the outer person, God knows, right?  See the slip again?

God isn’t talking about the hidden person of my heart as it relates to anyone else or good deeds – like He is in 1 Tim 2 – but only as it relates to my own husband.  He isn’t talking about what kind of mom I am, how much time I spend feeding the poor, cleaning the church, working in the nursery, ministering to neighbors, or any other number of righteous outward actions.

He’s addressing marriage and speaking directly to how a wife relates to her own husband – how she treats him and how she will appear in his eyes.  Verses 1 through 6 are about submission – heart issues for wives.  But in the middle, ever so quietly, God slips in a single warning:  Be careful that you don’t over focus on this.

Bait and switch

To your husband, your true femininity, your real beauty, is not about buying the right brand of make-up and applying it like a true makeup artist on the set of a movie, going to the hair salon every three weeks so your hair is perfectly colored and coiffed, or making sure that your fashions, jewelry, perfume, nails, etc., are the most up-to-date. We women like to be pretty and decorate ourselves. This is part of our femininity, and it’s how God made females. But none if this is more important than a surrendered heart, and it can’t replace one. Not in your husband’s eyes.

Satan uses a single verse to twist and ruin the other 5.  Remember, a little bit of leaven permeates the whole loaf.  Satan wants us to over-focus on what’s not [merely] important.  Here’s the mental ‘switch’ I think he’s after:  if we over-do on the outward stuff, it’s almost like we are surrendering because it’s… well… girlie stuff – we are enhancing our femininity, so we somehow think that this is surrendering.  It isn’t.

So, who do I suit?

The last verse of the song is the clearest for me:  Well, you can say what you like, be what you want to be, you can suit yourself, baby, but you do not suit me.

Do you suit your husband? Or do you say what you like and be what you want to be?  Does he find you beautiful because of your submissive heart?  Or have you put all your thoughts, time and energy in your décolleté?

God didn’t say, “Wives, suit yourselves.”  He said suit your [own] husbands.  He tells us to submit because He knows our husbands will be attracted to that very thing in us – it draws them.  I’m not denying the visual aspect of men, it’s definitely there, but it’s not how well you fill out that new sweater that he adores in you, it’s your surrendered heart.

Décolleté doesn’t have the power or longevity for year after year after year of marriage, but submission [true submission] increases in power. In turn, this power increases attraction to the depth of capturing your husband’s heart.