We've come to the final virtue in our study of Feminine Appeal, and in the seven godly virtues of a wife and mother found in Titus 2. This has not been a study on how to simply be a better wife, a more effective parent, or a lovelier homemaker; it has been an unfolding of what it is to "adorn" the gospel--to show off it's beauty and value-- through our lives. That's what it's all been about: making much of Christ alone!
It is with this focus in mind that we come to the final virtue of submission. There is so much we could say about the subject of submission, but rather than give an overview of this chapter, I simply want to focus on what I am personally responding to with greatest measure.
While my own heart is secure in the fact that submission is not demeaning or an indicator of value, but that "...God has designed men and women to fulfill differing roles, He unequivocally affirms that they are equal in worth and importance. As it says in 1 Peter 3:7, husbands and wives are heirs together of the grace of life." (p. 138)...
...and though I fully embrace the awesome picture that submission is to "reflect the relationship of Chirst and the church (Eph. 5:22-23). The husband is to mirror the sacrificial love of christ by laying down his life for his wife, and the wife is to exemplify the church's joyful submission to Christ by following her husband's leadership." (p. 138)...
...though these truths are firmly planted in my mind, I am well aware of how often I struggle to submit:
"It is actually weakness on display when a wife is not submissive; she is only caving in to her natural inclination to usurp authority and demand her own way. That doesn't take any effort at all." (p. 140)
For some women, this struggle might present itself in conflicts over decisions or future or financial choices. For others of us, the wrestling with submission takes the form of self-righteous pride that squelches loving respect toward our husbands in subtle ways. To respect our husbands is not to idolize them or consider them faultless. It is to be honoring in our tone of voice, actions, attitude, and speech. How often do we feel we have done our duty to submit, just to find that our attitude of heart is one of disrespect or lack of honor towards our husbands. What futility!
"We must vigilantly study our husbands and perceive character traits worthy of respect, for how often are we guilty of overlooking numerous admirable qualities? Yet when we esteem our husbands, amazing results will follow. They will strive to be worthy of our respect, and simultaneously our own feelings of respect will grow." (p. 148)
Submitting to our husbands with respect, honor, and graciousness, is an attitude of obedience to Christ. It is to Him, for Him, and for His glory and renown that we seek to submit in humility and faith. As it says in 1 Peter 3:5:
"For this is the way the holy women of the past who put their hope in God used to adorn themselves. They submitted themselves to their own husbands..."
Godly submission not only adorns the gospel; it makes us beautiful as well.
As with every other virtue we have studied in Titus 2, we simply cannot accomplish such a task by our own means; we must be transformed in Christ and empowered through the Spirit. No amount of gritting our teeth will make us godly, submissive, respectfully loving wives. Only by grace will we overcome what comes naturally, and reflect what is divine. And through the divine, Himself, can we partake in the mystery of the union between Christ and the church, her submission to Him, and the headship that brings Him honor and supplies our joy. May we know a piece of that joy in a tangible way, as we discover the beauty of submission in our own marriages.
What would your husband say about your attitude in submission? How would submission in your marriage commend others to the gospel more?
How has this study through Feminine Appeal encouraged your heart? Which of the 7 virtues (loving your husband, loving your children, self-control, purity, working at home, kindness, and submission) are you most under conviction about?
Go to the cross and trust the Lord to complete the work He's begun in you! Thank you for joining me in this study!