Monday, March 28, 2011

Lesson 6: A Heart That Follows

Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. – Genesis 2:18

As we continue our study and strive to be the wife we are meant to be, we discover there is more to our role of wife and there are other qualities we need in order to be the kind of wife God wants us to be. Our next assignment is to follow our husband’s leadership.

Submission – primarily a military term meaning to rank oneself under someone else.

This heart attitude is lived out by leaving things to the judgment of another person and yielding or deferring to the opinion or authority of someone else.

This concept may be new to you and you may find yourself hesitating. Keep studying your Bible and the Bible will help you to cull out that heart attitude that God desires in you.

“Be Submissive One to Another”

First – Christian lifestyle is one of submission. We are called to be “submitting to one another”.

Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God. – Ephesians 5:21

God’s desire for us – whether we are married or single, young or old, male or female – is to honor, serve, and subject ourselves to one another.

We, as Christians, are to…

That ye submit yourselves unto such, and to every one that helpeth with us, and laboureth. – 1 Corinthians 16:16

Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God. – Ephesians 5:21

Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you. – Hebrews 13:17

Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. – James 4:7

Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord's sake: whether it be to the king, as supreme; 14. Or unto governors, as unto them that are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers, and for the praise of them that do well. 15. For so is the will of God, that with well doing ye may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men: - 1 Peter 2:13-15

Servants, be subject to your masters with all fear; not only to the good and gentle, but also to the froward. – 1 Peter 2:18

Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble. – 1 Peter 5:5

We will begin to reflect Christ’s character as we move away from selfishness and, acting out of honor for other people, defer to them.

A heart willing to follow and submit, dedicated to honoring and yielding to others, is to be the heart of God’s people, His church, and His women.

When it comes to marriage, God arranged for the sake of order that the husband lead and the wife follow.

But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God. – 1 Corinthians 11:3

God, the perfect Artist, designed marriage to be beautiful, natural, and functional by giving it a single head, the husband.

This doesn’t mean, that wives are not able to offer wise input, discuss, or ask questions for clarification. But the husband’s leadership does mean that he is responsible for the final decision. The husband is accountable to God for his leadership decisions, and we are accountable to God for how we follow that leadership.


We are responsible for whether or not we submit.

Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. – Ephesians 5:22

No one can do this for us and no one can make us submit, we must choose to defer to our husband and follow his leadership.

Are you giving the gift of headship to your husband? Are you experiencing the rightness that comes from a decision to follow God’s plan for marriage? Are you using your privilege of choice to follow God…and your husband?

An Important Distinction

Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. – Ephesians 5:22

“Who” is clear – wives

We are to submit to our own husbands, not to other people we admire and respect. This is a very important distinction.

What if your husband isn’t a Christian....

Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives; - 1 Peter 3:1

The exception to following your husband’s advice is if he asks you to violate the teachings from God’s Word.

Looking Up Helps

Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. – Ephesians 5:22

“How” – Do it heartily.

And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; - Colossian 3:23

Look to God.

Something to Think About

What is the scope of our submission to our husbands?

Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing. – Ephesians 5:24

So when “Yes, but…” or “But what if…” comes to mind, remember this scripture “…in everything.”

Start with the small things to start submitting “in everything” and then build from there.

A Life of Faith

Why is it that we hesitate to submit to our husband’s leadership? … fear

For after this manner in the old time the holy women also, who trusted in God, adorned themselves, being in subjection unto their own husbands: 6. Even as Sara obeyed Abraham, calling him lord: whose daughters ye are, as long as ye do well, and are not afraid with any amazement. – 1 Peter 3:5-6

Faith is the opposite of fear.

And he said unto them, Why are ye so fearful? how is it that ye have no faith? – Mark 4:40

It is by faith that we believe God works in our lives directly through our husbands. It is by faith in our sovereign God that we trust that God knows our husbands’ decisions and the end results of those decision, and trusting that God redeems, if not guides, those decisions.

And the apostles said unto the Lord, Increase our faith. – Luke 17:5

As the apostles did, ask God… for the strength to submit.

The Root…The Motive for Submission

That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, 5. To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed. – Titus 2:4-5

Our respect and deference to our husbands testifies to all who are watching that God’s Word and His ways are right. That makes God’s call to nurture hearts that follow our husbands a high calling indeed.


1. Dedicate your heart to honoring your husband.
     Change requires a decision.

2. Remember to respect.
Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband. – Ephesians 5:33

Ask yourself this simple question: “Am I treating my husband as I would treat Christ?”

3. Respond to your husband’s words and actions positively.

     a. Phase One: Say nothing!
     b. Phase Two: Respond with a single positive word. “Sure”

4. Ask of each word, act, and attitude, “Am I bending or bucking?”


Define the following words:

o Respect – an act of giving particular attention; high or special regard

o Notice – polite or favorable attention

o Regard – attention, consideration; a protective interest

o Honor – a showing of usually merited respect; one whose worth brings respect or fame;

o Prefer – to give priority; to promote or advance to a rank or position

o Venerate – to regard with reverential respect or with admiring deference; to honor with a ritual act of devotion.

o Esteem – the regard in which one is held; worth, value, opinion, judgment

o Defer – a deliberate putting off

o Praise – to express a favorable judgment of; to glorify; to express praise;

o Love – affection based on admiration; the object of attachment, devotion, or admiration

o Admire – to regard with admiration; to marvel at; to like very much

o Exceedingly – to an extreme degree

In your prayer journal – make a commitment to submit to your husband. Look at it often!

Focus on your husband – What do you plan to do? What specific actions do you plan to take, to submit to your husband?

Write in your journal of an instance where you were aware that you actively chose to submit to your husband this week. Then thank God for that opportunity and His grace to make that choice.

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