Greetings, brothers and sisters.
We have explored in part one of the model relationship. Now, we’re going to look at the specifics in great detail.
Genesis 2: 24 (NIV) – That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh.
This is the foundational scripture that many would use for marriage. Now, pay particular attention to this next point; Marriage is not man-made. It is an institution created by God so that men and women can express their love for each other the way God wanted love to be expressed. As we saw earlier, there is a model, a standard which must be followed for maximum fulfilment in blossoming, loving relationships.
So, why do I say this? If you want a Godly relationship with Godly foundations, you have to do it God’s way; the way He established it and using Godly materials.
Ephesians 5: 31 – 32 (NIV) – For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh. This is a profound mystery, but I am talking about Christ and the church.
The above scripture speaks of the perfect unity of Jesus and the Church (we His people). The marriage relationship or a growing relationship should mirror this exact model. The question now is, what is the relationship between Jesus Christ and the Church, how does it look like and what does it entail? We will look at Ephesians 5: 21 – 27 in greater detail.
EPHESIANS 5: 21 – 27
(Emphasis added and broken down for greater analysis)
Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.
Wives submit yourselves to your own husband as you do to the Lord. For the husband is head of the wife as Christ is head of the church, his body, of which he is the Saviour. 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.
REVERENCE FOR CHRIST AND SUBMISSION
When building anything, the foundation has to be strong enough to hold the extra weight on top. Jesus Christ is the firm foundation (1 Corinthians 3: 11). If one has a sincere reverence for Him, then this aspect will not be a problem. Think about it; would you build ontop of a firm foundation or a shaky one?
Before we touch on the submission aspect, which can ring alarm bells for some, I wanted to touch lightly on this. Submission is not just a biblical woman thing, it applies to men as well. The same way we submit to one another is the same submission that we offer the Lord God Almighty.
In a relationship setting, men who are seeking to become authentic unapologetic men of the Lord God will need to apply their lessons to their submission to God and now tailor that to the chosen lady in their life. There also has to be a healthy boundary as this is more of a process to learn how to submit to their special lady as opposed to the full submission in the context of scripture which is reserved for Husbands and Wives only. Use this opportunity to learn how to submit to her lads!
BE WARNED: HEALTHY BOUNDARIES PROTECT. YOUR BOYFRIEND SHOULD NOT BE LEADING YOU ANYWHERE. YOUR GIRLFRIEND SHOULD NOT BE SUBMITTING TO YOU. THIS IS RESERVED ONLY FOR HUSBANDS AND WIVES.
WIVES SUBMISSION TO HUSBAND
Ladies, as mentioned in the above paragraph and taking what we learnt in the first post into consideration, I’d like to share a small analogy:
Jesus Christ is the husband. The Church is His wife. Imagine you are the Church now, your name is now Church. Jesus is your husband. What do you know about Jesus?
Jesus walks with integrity, loving, forgiving, compassionate and has a no-nonsense attitude when it comes to His Father’s business. Has an epic prayer life, doesn’t deny His emotions, but manages and expresses it appropriately, can protect you, encourage you, has a vision for His life and can lead you to a place He knows you can feel safe, secure and allowed to be who you are meant to be; yourself.
He knows your not perfect; He knows your flaws and loves you because of them and He encourages you gently to be the best version of yourself and will celebrate you along the way. Now, he may correct you in a loving way because He does not delight in anything that disrespects Him or any matter that involves His Heavenly Father and will fight passionately for the matters of God because that is where He gets His strength, worth and identity from. A man who is not ashamed of His Father and will continue to walk His way because He loves God that much.
Would you submit to such a man?
Now imagine a man, who isn’t Jesus, but is striving to have the same qualities, the same mindset, the same emotional disposition as Him. Who is constantly in the Word and can teach and encourage you and sees you for being YOU. He knows He isn’t perfect and will make mistakes from time to time, but knows as long as he follows Jesus, he will be led in the right way.
This is what means to be in submission to a man as on to the Lord. The man must display lord-like qualities, and it must be seen and evidenced, from the inside and out. That’s the man worth submitting to.
HUSBANDS TO LOVE THEIR WIVES
Lads, back to you again.
Jesus Christ gave His life to redeem the Church. He died so that the Church may dwell in the righteousness of Him. He knows that the Church is not perfect, hence why He always teaches the Church to dwell and grow in His Word, where they can find rest, comfort, security and strength.
It is not easy for women. The way the world is set up now, they have to make the extra effort to advance themselves and protect themselves from any hindrances as well as deal with their emotions with or without support. Women are blessed with creativity and the ability to multi-task; once they have a mission, they will complete it. I believe that even when women are tired, they still have to find that inner strength and resolve to push forward to get to where they want to get to.
Imagine juggling so many responsibilities and not feeling appreciated for their efforts.
Men, Jesus Christ died so that the Church can be restored, uplifted and placed on the path of righteousness. Jesus gave His all in the name of love.
My brothers, beware! Look at what scripture says:
Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.
There are alarm bells when a lady claims to love God, claims Christ and does not submit to Him. If she doesn’t submit herself to Him, how much more you?
Benchmark principle: How the male/female submitted to God is a clear indication as to how they can submit to you.
There are so many elements here, but the general message here is that you don’t take away from people you love. As men, respect the advancement of women and continue to add to that so that they may grow in self-confidence, joy and peace When they are tired and weary, be ready and available to step in and to pour love, attention, affection and strength into them so they can rise up and continue on their path towards greatness.
Women are going through battles we have no idea of. Pay attention and love them for who they are. They can only be themselves and you have to recognise and acknowledge that.
I want to stress again that this is in the context of cultivating a successful relationship. This will enable you to discover more about God’s standard in relationships as well as discover more about yourself and the person you’re growing with. Full submission only happens in a marriage relationship.
As women, remember that men also go through battles. They may not speak on them, they may not say due to the resurrection of hurt and pain, or maybe they are afraid of how you will view them afterwards. Some men do what to become the standard where they feel they ought to be, and place pressure on themselves to perform. Truth be told, this pressure they put on themselves, plus the pressure you may have placed on him, the mind can only take so much. Plus, most men do not want to hear about another man’s capabilities, especially that they know within themselves that they are trying and trying very hard.
One cannot, and will not, value full submission if one has not resolved in being willfully submitted to God, through Jesus Christ, first.
I’ve hinted the ladies above (I hope you got it ladies!) and as well as the men, (keep your eyes peeled bro! it’s not all about beauty and favour! (Proverbs 31:30)
Tunde T. Amao