Please find my teaching notes below to Pt. 2 of the series, “Healthy Relationships.”
In Pt. 1 I introduced this idea of MUTUAL SUBMISSION. Eph. 5:21 “Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ!” It’s all about leveraging who I am for someone else’s benefit.
The KEY Question: HOW CAN I HELP?
Eph. 5:22, 23, 24, 25 are ALL SPECIFIC APPLICATIONS of this principle- “submitting to one another”- mutual submission.
SUBMISSION- come under the mission of… What’s the mission for our marriages, relationships?? Willing to come under that mission!!
Talk to you ladies (married or will be) this weekend, but the men have their turn next weekend! So Paul, v.21, mutual submission, out of reverence for Christ, follows up with v.22, a specific application…
Eph. 5:22 “For wives, this means submit to your husbands as to the Lord.”
SUBMISSION IS IN THE CONTROL OF THE WIFE NOT DICTATED BY THE HUSBAND!
Paul is specifically addressing the wife in this verse NOT the husband! In other words, Paul says that a specific application of v.21 would for wives to look for ways to HELP their husbands (How can I help?), because this is a spiritual act of service to Christ.
Helping is not trying to control or even change… That’s God’s work! Don’t try and control. Be in control…
Of your own emotions, frustrations, etc. The fact is a husband needs a helper, not someone to control him! I’ll elaborate more on this towards the end…
God said to the man, “I’ll make you a helper!” Ask: How can I help?”
SUBMISSION IS A NATURAL RESPONSE TO LOVING LEADERSHIP! The Reciprocation….
Eph. 5:24 says, “Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.”
Everything?? No… Only hunting, etc. lol
When a husband loves his wife as Christ loves the church (Ephesians 5:25-33), then submission- How Can Ai Help? is a natural response from a wife to her husband.
The Greek word translated “submit,” hupotasso, is the continuing form of the verb. This means that submitting to God, the government, or a husband is not a one-time act. It is a continual attitude, which becomes a pattern of behavior.
The submission talked about in Ephesians 5 is not a one-sided subjection of a believer to a selfish, domineering person. Biblical submission is designed to be between two Spirit-filled believers who are mutually yielded to each other and to God.
It’s the act of love that Jesus modeled!
Submission is a two-way street. Submission is a position of honor and completeness. When a wife is loved as the church is loved by Christ, submission is not difficult.
Ephesians 5:24 says, “Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.” This verse is saying that the wife is to submit to her husband in everything that is right and lawful. Therefore, the wife is under no obligation to disobey the law or God in the name of submission.
Everything?? Not exactly!! There must be an “AS THE CHURCH…”
Everything you read about “Christ and the Church” applies to marriage. Everything you read about marriage applies to “Christ and the Church!”
SUBMISSION IS AN ACT OF LOVING AFFIRMATION! Men live for affirmation!!
Men have two primary fears: To be found inadequate and To be controlled by a woman.
A husband wants to be his wife’s hero. He wants to feel like he is worthwhile to you and needed by you. He desires more than anything to see a look of love and admiration in your eyes. He wants to know that you celebrate him, depend on him, feel privileged to be married to him, and expect great things from him. Let’s see what these twin fears in our guys’ lives have to do with us and what will happen if we try to alleviate them.
His fear of inadequacy
Your husband desires to know more than anything that you trust him, that you believe he has the wisdom and talent to succeed.
He is fulfilled when he senses that, despite his inadequacies, you see the possibilities and potential God has given him as your provider and protector. He likes knowing you’re praying for him, rooting for him, assuring him that he still has what it takes to be the man of your dreams.
When he feels genuinely affirmed by you, it makes him want to live up to your trust in most cases. Then even when he falls short, it will be apparent that his desire was to meet your expectations. You’ll see in his eyes that he was trying to please you.
This alone should be some cause for your continued trust and appreciation, as opposed to blanket disapproval.
When he starts to sense that all you ever think he can do is to be sloppy, forgetful, unimaginative, irresponsible, weak, indecisive, and clueless, he will become less inclined and motivated over time to prove you wrong. He knows you’ll only find something to be critical of anyway.
I know husbands are not perfect. Not even close, you say? He knows it too. He’s not delusional. He knows he’s flawed, even if he’s not quick to admit it out loud. But just like you and me, he is not to be defined by his imperfections.
He has been divinely wired to be a leader, father, and provider for your family. And the last thing he needs or wants is a wife who doesn’t believe it, who’s always correcting him, unwilling to either recognize or support these qualities in him.
Men, honestly, even with all their complexities, are really very basic and uncomplicated. Your cutting, nagging comments can wound them deeply, especially when the disapproval builds up over time. What you think of as no more than a little jab about a specific incident becomes a stabbing wound that leaves a hole in their manhood.
But even you—even now—can resolve to affirm your husband and to promise that your trust in him is not gone forever. It may need to be reconstructed with the aid of outside help and ongoing accountability, but he needs to know that your heart’s desire is to reestablish confidence in him.
Second greatest fear… His fear of being controlled
Males and females have equal value, but we are not the same. A woman’s standards and opinions are different from a mans, perhaps in many areas of potential contention. But that doesn’t mean one way is necessarily wrong. It’s just different, though equally as crucial and valuable to the successful outcome of the situation. If you try to control him and force him into your way of thinking, you will break something that probably doesn’t need fixing, just understanding and valuing.
When a husband feels like he’s being controlled, he will eventually shut down completely, relegating his role of leadership to you, since “you seem to be doing such a good job at it anyway.” The result is a shadow of the man you once knew and loved—a deflated, disinterested slacker who makes few decisions and shows little initiative.
Helping him overcome
Two fears. Fear of inadequacy and fear of being controlled. You can do something about them both. In fact, your husband will never get over them without you. But with you … who knows?
You are the ”suitable” helper (Genesis 2:18) the Lord has given him to assist him in realizing that with God’s help he can be proficient, honorable, trustworthy, and fully capable of becoming the man God intends him to be despite his fears.
HOW CAN YOU HELP YOUR HUSBAND?? Men live for your applause! How can you be more affirming?