There's no greater act of submission than the willingness to die for another person.
Thus the cross of Christ, which is the example, is the ultimate example of submission in history. So husbands, you love your wives like Christ loved the church and gave himself for her. Submission is hard for us. We like to be in control. But as Skip Heitzig shares in his message today, the kind of submission the scriptures call us to in marriage is not one-sided or oppressive.
It's mutual and it's for our best. Then after the message, stay tuned as Skip and Lenya discuss how mutual submission has enriched their marriage. That act of self-sacrificing love is an act of submission. I'm submitting my will to the will of God by honoring my wife. That's a huge act of submission. Jesus in love died on a cross. He submitted to the Father's will.
And did you know we've got a special resource for you this month that'll encourage you in God's Word and let you sip on the same coffee Pastor Skip drinks as he studies scripture. Someone once estimated the cost of the services that mothers perform. The amount was huge. We know moms don't do it for money. They do it out of love.
While we can't repay our mothers, we can honor them. Here's a great suggestion. It's a special bundle of resources we're calling the Heart Songs package. It features heart songs. There's a Psalm for that, a powerful five-part series led by Lenya and Janae Heitzig designed to teach you to depend on God's love, power, and comfort in every season of life. You'll explore what the Psalms say about love, jealousy, fear, security, and longing.
Maybe you can think of a time when you really, really wanted something. This Psalm is kind of about that. It's this longing, this desire, this hunger that the Psalmist is expressing, and his longing is for home. In addition to this encouraging series, you'll also receive the Sheology Quiet Time Journal, perfect for daily Bible reading to make notes as you follow the Heart Songs series or for your personal prayer time. Plus, you'll get a bag of Skip's Library Roast coffee, the coffee Pastor Skip chooses when he studies in his personal library. The Heart Songs package is our thanks for your gift to support the broadcast ministry of Connect with Skip Heitzig.
So request your Heart Songs package today when you give online securely at connectwithskip.com slash offer or call 800-922-1888. Okay. We're in Ephesians five today as Skip Heitzig begins his teaching. Talking about submission today. Yes. Give us what your, as a wife, as a woman, what's your definition of submission? I think it's relinquishing your rights. It's not that we don't have certain rights as human beings, but sometimes we give them up.
We relinquish them generally out of honor or love to reach a higher goal. Okay. That's a great definition.
That's something to really chew on, which we're going to do in our message today. You say that the Lord taught you about submission even before we were married. Tell us how that happened.
It's a good thing for you, isn't it? Listen, as President Reagan once said, I'm a blessed man. My father was instrumental. Before Skip and I were married, I was a part of a mission organization called Youth with a Mission. And I went there for a school that lasted six months. And at the end of the school, they wanted to hire me to be the school secretary. However, hire meant in a mission organization. You were free.
That's right. Work without pay. And so I came home to California, my dad, my parents. And I had already told the school, yes, I'm in.
But when I got home, I realized financially it would be a big burden and I'd have to sell my car and sell everything else and tap out the bank account. And one morning I was praying. And as I was praying, it was one of those red letter moments. Have you ever opened up your Bible and you feel like the scripture is like God incarnate? It's like a word out of heaven. Oh, my gosh. And so I was asking him literally, what do I do?
Should I go back? I said I would. And financially. And here's the passage.
Second Corinthians 10. And here is my advice about what is best for you in this matter. And I was like, oh, OK. And it was pretty much saying you should do what you said you were going to do.
You know, whether it's financially burdensome. So you made a promise following up with the promise. Yeah, I did.
So I ran upstairs and I told my dad and I said, I'm going back to you that the mission to be the mission secretary. And he said, no. And I thought he said, how much do they pay? Nothing, nothing.
And so how much does it cost? Everything. And so he said, look, I'm your father, I'm your head. And if you go, you go without my blessing. So what do you do then if you feel the Lord is telling you to do something in a situation like this, but your head, your father or your husband says the other thing very quietly at night, strangled. No, so I thought I should go call my spiritual leaders, the ones I had promised to go work for Dave and Debbie Gustafson. And I said, oh, my gosh, the Lord spoke to me of it underlined in my Bible and I dated it and everything. And so they said, you know what, Lenya, you need to submit to your earthly father and let your heavenly father work. I was deflated like a helium balloon.
I mean, I was so discouraged. So I went up and I said, OK, dad, I submit to you. And if I'm supposed to stay here, I will. And my father's a podiatrist. So submitting to him meant I was going back to work in his office and wash dirty feet. So it's really, really, very biblical.
That's right. So I you know, that's what I told him. So what happened next? The next morning I came down and he was reading the paper and he goes, honey, why don't you sit down? He goes, I was really troubled last night.
I couldn't sleep well. And I kept thinking, if you think you heard God's voice and you don't obey it, then I'm hindering it. So you can go with my blessing, but not my financial support. If God's in it, he'll provide.
Wow. That's a pretty wise thing for a dad to say, isn't it? Like, look, I don't want to stand in the way of the Lord, but he's going to have to show you that it's his way by providing God showed my dad. So what what character in the Bible ministers to you most about submission? Sarah, because twice her husband asked her to do something very difficult.
Say you're my sister, not my wife. Twice a king and a Pharaoh take her into a harem. And twice Abraham gets spanked and told, why did you lie to me? So she trusted God even more than she trusted her husband to take care of things.
And the Lord did ultimately deliver her both times. So what finally, what you say to gals who may have a problem in a marriage with the issue of submission gals, let go of the rope. Don't have a tug of war with your husband. If you let go, God will take hold and they won't be able to wrestle with God.
OK, thank you, Lenya. See you at the tug of war. Just kidding. This morning, would you turn in your Bibles to the book of Ephesians? Chapter five. Shall we pray? Oh, Lord. We're dealing with. The issue that we deal with today.
It's not easy. But Father, just us being in this room at this time is an act of submission of sorts. We have made a decision. To leave our home, to get in our cars, to come here and to submit in our time. With our hearing, engaging our bodies as well as our souls to listen to what you would say to us through the word of God. And furthermore, sitting and listening through the entire message that we might apply and obey is yet another act of submission. Or we pray that you'd help us, help us to hear, help us to implement. And help us to course correct if that needs to happen. We would see this as a an appointment where you're tweaking our future. And we pray that you'd help us do that in Jesus name.
Amen. Listen, there's some words that when you hear them, they're harder to hear than other words. I could come up with a list to begin with, and I did.
And you could add to these on your own. Words like death, hell, depression, recession, layoff. Words like foreclosure, divorce, cancer, inoperable, infertile, loneliness, paralyzed, sin, war, breakup. Those words are hard words to hear.
Because when we hear those words, they imply a certain amount of pain, bias, injustice and fear. But let me suggest another word that is also hard to hear. And it's the word submit. It's a six letter word. To many, it's a four letter word.
In fact, to some couples, it's the hardest word in their relational vocabulary. I saw a cartoon where a pastor was preaching behind a specially built pulpit. A large stone wall with gun turrets where his pulpit, and he was peering out behind between the little crevasses in the gun turret. And he said, my text today is Ephesians 522, wives submit to your husbands. You notice I have no such wall. It's because I believe that at the end of this message, you're going to understand and you're going to actually see this as something good.
You're going to love this idea. That which is the hardest word, you'll see as the healthiest word. So we're in chapter five of Ephesians. You brought a copy of the scriptures I trust.
And here's what I have noticed about this section. Most people begin the section of Paul dealing with marriage in chapter five, verse 22. And it's because it says wives submit to your own husbands as to the Lord.
So they assume that's where it begins. And I've also discovered that many men have this verse memorized. It's their life verse. They may not know a lick of scripture, but this is embedded. They know it in several translations. They even know it in the original Greek.
Well, that's unfair relationally. And it also happens to be out of context biblically. Because the thought of submission in verse 22 doesn't begin in verse 22 begins in verse 21. That's where the thought is introduced in verse 21, submitting to one another in the fear of God. Not only that, but if we step back to verse 21, we really have to step back to verse 18, because grammatically, that's where the thought begins. In this section, and I won't spend much time on this, verse 18 has two imperatives or two commands. The two commands, one says, don't do this, but do this. The two commands are followed by four present participles in the Greek.
I just want you to notice them, and then we'll get past this. Speaking is one, verse 19. Speaking is number 19. Singing is number two, verse 19. Giving, verse 20. And then number four, submitting. Those are present participles in the Greek. Two commands followed by four present participles, and we're dealing with the fourth one today, submitting.
I read a statement that said, every man needs a wife because many things go wrong that he can't blame on the government. A man wrote that, and it was a man who did not read verse 21. So what I'm going to do with you today is give you four statements that are in your worship folder, four statements about submission that come from the text of the Bible itself in Ephesians. Statement number one, submission is mutual. It's not one-sided. It's not for one person in the relationship.
It is mutual. Notice verse 21. Submitting to one another in the fear of God, wives submit to your own husbands as to the Lord, for the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ is the head of the church, and he is the savior of the body. Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ, so let wives be to their own husbands in everything. And then to the husbands, husbands, love your wives as Christ also loved the church, and the rest is principally given to the husband. One of the great things about Paul is that he was simple. It was Churchill who said, the greatest of all ideas can be expressed simply and often with one word. These are great ideas, and Paul essentially gives husbands and wives simple roles.
Notice I did not say easy. Every married couple knows these are not easy roles, but they're simple. He doesn't say, husbands, here's your laborious list. You take out the trash. You clean the garage. You look after the yard. You walk the dog. It just says, husbands, love, that's the word, love your wives as Christ loved the church.
Not complex, simple. He didn't say, wives, your job list is such and such, but simply, wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord. But here in verse 21, we discover that submission is mutual.
Now, I'm going to show you something that I hope will blow your mind. Look at verse 22, and it's good to have a copy of the Bible so you can see it for yourself. Verse 22 says, wives, and what's the word that follows wives?
Submit. Do you know that that word is not there in the Greek text? It just says, wives, to your own husbands. So the word is in your Bible in the translation because it's implied because of verse 21.
So this is how it reads. Verse 21, submitting to one another in the fear of God, wives, to your own husbands as to the Lord. Husbands, love your wives. So the point is, every single person in the family relationship is called to be under submission. The principle is verse 21. The examples, and there are four of them, follow it. Wives, husbands, children, parents.
All four have roles of submission. For the wives, submit to your husband, verse 22. For the husbands, verse 25, love your wives. For the children, chapter 6, verse 1, obey your parents.
For parents, principally fathers, chapter 6, verse 4, don't exasperate your children. All of those are roles of submission in submitting to one another. You get the point? Now some of you men, the wheels are turning and you're thinking, no, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait. You're saying me, the husband, the head, the man, I'm supposed to submit to my wife? Good going, you got it. You have a keen eye for the obvious.
That's exactly what the text is saying. Husbands, you have a role as well to submit to your wives. You go, what would my role be? Verse 25 is your role and my role. Husbands, love your wives as Christ loved the church and gave himself for her. You say, what does that have to do with submission? It has everything to do with submission. There's no greater act of submission than the willingness to double your role. There's no greater act of submission than the willingness to die for another person. Thus the cross of Christ, which is the example, is the ultimate example of submission in history. So husbands, you love your wives like Christ loved the church and gave himself for her. So the point then is that every single person in the home, whether it's a husband or a wife or parents, have a certain role of submitting to one another in the fear of God. What does the word mean anyway, submission? The Greek word is hupa taso, hupa taso. It has a military connotation.
Don't get stumped by that. It simply means to arrange in order or in file or in rank to get in order underneath someone else. That's what it means. So the idea is you're willing to relinquish your rights.
As I see it, let me give you what I consider the best definition. Submission is the willingness to cooperate with and adapt to the needs of those you love. Wives, do that to your husbands. There's something else I want you to notice, especially men, I want you to notice. It does not say women, wives, obey your husbands.
Now let me finish my thought before you go with that in your minds. It doesn't say that. That would be a different Greek word that Paul does use in this section. When he says children, chapter six, verse one, obey your parents in the Lord. And the word obey is hupa kuo.
He doesn't use that word. It's also used a few verses down when he says slay or servants, be obedient to your earthly masters, hupa kuo. But for the wife, he doesn't use the word, he uses the word submit, hupa taso, to arrange in order underneath someone else.
Here's the point. Wives are not to be treated like children or slaves. They are partners in eternal life. There's a mutuality, there's a mutuality, there's a mutuality, there's a mutuality, there's a mutuality, but for the function of a family, there must be submission. So when you hear the term submission, it does not imply inferiority or superiority. It implies functionality. Someone has to be the head so that this thing can function properly. That's true in any area of life.
But it implies mutuality and it implies functionality. Now, I'd like you to turn to another passage. Keep a marker here, keep your finger there, and turn back to 1 Corinthians chapter 7.
Just go left a few blocks, you'll find it. 1 Corinthians chapter 7. It's a great example. Verse 1.
You found it? 1 Corinthians 7 verse 1. Now concerning the things of which you wrote to me, it is good for a man not to touch a woman nevertheless because of sexual immorality. Let each man have his own wife and let each woman have her own husband.
Do you understand? See how the language infers mutuality. Not one has a person, but both share each other.
Verse 3. Let the husband render to the wife the affection the affection due her, and likewise also the wife to her husband. The wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does.
But don't stop there, men. Likewise, the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does. Both partners then submit because both belong to each other. So submission is the willingness to cooperate with and adapt to the needs of those you love.
Here's the big point. Every single person in life and principally in these family relationships has a role of submission. Men, women, children, parents, and get this.
Ready? Even Christ is called to submit. I hope that grabbed your attention. I want you to see it in the Scripture. You're in 1 Corinthians 7. Go over to 1 Corinthians 11. 1 Corinthians chapter 11.
You'll see how this principle works out and why it's applicable. 1 Corinthians 11 verse 2. Now I praise you, brethren, that you remember me in all things and keep the traditions just as I delivered them to you. But I want you to know that the head of every man or husband, in context, every man is Christ, and the head of woman is man, and the head of Christ is God. Now, does that verse mean that Jesus is somehow inferior to God? No, we would be heretics if we stated that. Jesus said, my father and I are one.
Paul the apostle said Jesus was in very nature God, but he didn't have a problem submitting to God the Father. That's Skip Heitig with a message from the series Keep Calm and Marry On. Find the full message, as well as books, booklets, and full teaching series at connectwithskip.com. Now, let's go in the studio with Skip and Lenya as they answer some questions about today's teaching. Skip, lots of couples struggle with this idea of submission.
I have no problem. I just want everybody to know I'm just a pro at that. So let's talk about how mutual submission and understanding of this teaching from Scripture has helped enrich our marriage. Like, you submit to me all the time, right?
I do, I do, and I'm going to explain how. I'm glad you talked about mutual submission, because the Bible says we're to submit to one another in the fear of God, and that's, you know, that teaching in Ephesians is often taken so much out of context. It's like the role of the husband is to be the boss and the role of the wife is to submit. Before that, we're to submit to one another, and submission, we submit to Christ, we submit to one another.
How? Husbands love your wives, that's how. That act of self-sacrificing love is an act of submission. I'm submitting my will to the will of God by honoring my will to honor my wife. That's a huge act of submission. Jesus, in love, died on a cross.
He submitted to the Father's will. So we're to love like Christ, love the Church. Women, then, are to follow the leadership of a man. That's hard sometimes, too, right? Because we make decisions that you go, eh, not so much. It's good for us, though, because it keeps you on the onus of hearing God. Exactly. If I allow you to do that, I'm allowing you to listen to God and calibrate and do things. If I take that away from you, then it's not... And I remember the times when you said something to the effect of, you know what, this is on you, and you have to be responsible before God for this, so I'm going to submit to that. It's like, oh yeah.
The weight falls on your shoulders differently. Yes, it sure does. Thank you, Skip and Lenya. We hope this conversation with Skip and Lenya encourages you to see how your marriage can be a powerful testimony to others, and you can help connect others to God's Word with a gift to keep teachings like today's broadcast coming your way. You can give a gift today at connectwithskip.com slash donate. That's connectwithskip.com slash donate, or call 800-922-1888.
Again, that's 800-922-1888. Thank you. Be sure to tune in tomorrow for the conclusion of Skip's message, The Hardest Word in a Marriage. Connect with Skip Hyten is a presentation of Connection Communications, connecting you to God's never-changing truth in ever-changing times.
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