Of Submission and Value

By Tim White

It is very common to use the attitudes of society to judge God and what He said. Very few situations illustrate this better than God's call for wives to submit to their husbands. However, one of the aspects of living by faith is to trust and surrender to what He says when all evidence screams against it (Hebrews 11:1-2).

God values women and men equally (Galatians 3:28). To view leadership and follower-ship as meaning value or importance is another illustration of our fallen condition. For God, authority and submission speak nothing of value, importance, inferiority, or inequality. However, our sinful minds find it difficult to understand or accept that.

Let me demonstrate. Jesus was one with the Father (John 10:30). Close scrutiny of what Jesus taught and how He was received indicates that this means more than just being in agreement. He was God in the flesh (John 1:14, Colossians 2:9, 1:19).

One of the major problems the Jewish leaders had with Jesus Christ was that He claimed to be equal with the Father (John 5:18).

In the following verses, Jesus is clear that He did nothing except what His Father directed (John 5:19-47). He showed no power or knowledge but that which came from the Father through the Spirit. He lived in complete submission and obedience to the Father in His life on earth.

Did His submission to the authority and power of the Father make Him inferior to the Father? Or was it only an illustration of order?

The Apostle Paul drew upon this "equality with the Father but surrender to the Father" in Jesus' ministry in his letter to the Philippians:
Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Philippians 2:5-8
The main things we notice in this passage are clearly these: 1) Jesus was God in form. 2) Jesus was equal with the Father. 3) Jesus' equality with the Father was not something to earn or lose. 4) Assurances of His equality with the Father freed Him to surrender to the authority of the Father, enjoin mankind in flesh, and die in our place.

So His equality with the Father did not impact order and rule, and order, rule. Submission does not impact value, significance or equality.

God reflected that order when He created Adam and Eve. He created Eve to be the helper of Adam.

This does not devaluate women. As a matter of fact, if man carries his authority in the home in obedience to the Designer, the value of woman is fortified:
Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. Ephesians 5:25-27
Even in a situation where the husband is not saved, a godly woman must submit to his authority, trusting God to lead through her lost husband. This is a powerful tool in his life for change, probably the most powerful influence he has ever encountered:
Likewise, wives, be subject to your own husbands, so that even if some do not obey the word, they may be won without a word by the conduct of their wives, when they see your respectful and pure conduct. 1 Peter 3:1-2
This takes a deeper and growing trust in Jesus Christ in such a situation. Yet, isn't that where God is leading all of us anyway? Does He not want us to trust Him fully despite a world and situations which cry out for us to disobey Him?

Image Credit: Unsplash; untitled; Creative Commons

TagsBiblical-Truth  | Christian-Life  | Controversial-Issues  | Womens-Issues

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Published on 2-9-16