|Recently "Kooz" posted the following as a comment to this blog. I thought this was far too valuable to leave it buried among the comments. It's something that I want every visitor to my blog to read.|
If you don't mind, here is a post I wrote on my blog last month that pertains to this subject:
RIGHT OR RIGHTEOUS?
"Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which his is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.
Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the Word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself." Ephesians 5:22-28
Unfortunately, many Christian marriages look much like the first portion of this passage from the Bible. Christian men usually have no problem with wives submitting to them in everything. But, many Christian men fail miserably in the second part of this passage.
In marriage...true leadership is not demanding you be followed....but, creating a relationship and environment that creates oneness between the husband and wife. It is encouraging your wife and submitting yourself to her thoughts and convictions. It is not to sumbit to her will....but to oneness. Most christian men think that it is ONLY the wife's job to submit....not realizing that the Bible calls us to sacrafice something for our wives. Are we raising up our wives spirit....or trampling it?
When we submit to oneness with our wives...we are following biblical teachings. Jesus himself submitted to his bride...the church. Jesus submitted His rights and glory as King out of reverence for His Father. As head, Jesus could have demanded that WE submit unconditionally. But, like Paul...He did not. Jesus knew that there were more important things than merely exerting His rightful authority in the relationship:
"For I tell you that Christ has become a servant of the Jews on behalf of God's truth, to confirm the promises made to the patriarchs so that the Gentiles may glorify God for his mercy."
Jesus taught us submission to oneness by example...He submitted, through suffering and death, to oneness with us. He came to do the will of His Father, not His own will. Oneness with Christ and the church....and oneness in marriage require mutual submission to oneness....and our submission to God's authority makes oneness possible.
"Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ." Ephesians 5:21
Shamefully...many Christian homes are operating only on the first part of Ephesians 5:22-28. Here are some results from a christian study conducted involving christian wives:
84% of married christian women feel they don't have intimacy (oneness) with their husbands.Several problems that men have in submitting to oneness with their wives are natural...and some are learned through wrong doctrine. Men are rebellious by nature...our ego is bigger than our wives...and more fragile. As men...we are usually less sensitive to the needs of others...especially our wives.....we are less emotional. Men are also lazy...to many christian men...they think a good marriage means having peace. You get along with your wife and have all your personal and career goals in place...but, our wives desire oneness with us...a peaceable marriage alone is not sufficient in meeting the needs of our spouse.
83% of married christian women feel their husbands don't even know the basic needs of a woman for intimacy (oneness) or how to provide intimacy for them.
78% of christian woman who are divorced...say that their married years were the loneliest years of their lives.
If you are married...think about it! God bought us at a price through the death and resurrection of His Son....He gave you one of His daughters as a life long mate. In other words...we owe it to our wives to submit to oneness...just as Christ submitted to oneness with us...His church.
Another major problem is our inability and usually flat out refusal to soften our hearts. To accomplish oneness as Christ did with the church...we need to soften our hearts. A few questions:
What creates the most difficulty in your marriage? How do you handle it?
Are we leading our wife or trampling her soul?
Does she feel oneness with you?
Are we making room for HER thoughts, concerns, and opinions?
Christian churches today are full of wives faithfully submitting to their husbands...but not receiving love from their husbands as Christ loves the church. Our churches are filled with woman who unnecessarily struggle with resentment and anger as their needs fail to be met by their christian husbands.
As you/we continue to attempt biblical oneness with our wives you may encounter a slew of doctrinal instruction that is erred in its teachings....in your spiritual journey for biblical oneness with your wife...you may be falsely accused of such things as:
Being told you lack humility even though you are the one who is humble enough to sumbit your own ego for oneness with your wife...you may be told you are selfish...even though you are acting in the best interest of your wife and not yourself....you may be told you are not a true leader...even though you are the one willing to submit your ego to achieve success....you may even be told you are going to hell...for not leading your wife unconditionally...
But, our concern cannot be to appease those who make such accusations based on limited knowledge of our relationship with God and our wives...What is important is OUR relationship to God and OUR wives...to do everything in our power...through Christ... to ask God to put us in check and sacrafice our own desires for the betterment of our wives souls....just as Christ did for us.
In my working career...I have had only two good leaders as bosses. One in particular demonstrated what leadership truly is. He earned and commanded respect because when times got tough...he joined the effort and did whatever necessary so that the entire group would be successful....he was not afraid to get his hands dirty....he was not afraid to execute duties "below" his job title...people followed him because he lifted us up...encouraged us...submitted his ego to acheive a team goal...he created an environment and "spirit" that made us WANT to follow him....which led to higher productivity, efficiency, and respectful relationships.
Are we as husbands doing this? Are we humble enough to get dirty and talk and listen to our wives and learn what their needs are? Are we willing to get really dirty and face our own faults so that we can improve and achieve the team objective....which is oneness? Is our "leadership" lifting our wives up or trampling their very spirit? My fear is that most christian men see themselves as strong...even though they have not really built true strength that comes from the deliberate act of LIFTING UP our wives...
My prayer is that I am continuing to improve on this....to do what the Bible says, and present my wife to the Lord with out blemish or stain...to present her Holy...part of that means that I am to treat her in a manner that does not cause her to hold resentment, anger and regret towards me because I abuse my God given authority. As I move forward in my spiritual race... my prayer is that I love my wife as Christ did the church...and that I will be humble enough to face my own faults and failures in order to present my wife...God's daughter...to Him...without stain... just as He commanded.
Ultimately, we have to ask ourselves as men and as husbands...Do I want to be right or righteous? Right in our own eyes...or righteous in our ability to follow Christ...and love our wives as Jesus Christ loved us...