Saturday, February 12, 2011

When Submission Feels Unfair

Have you ever felt like God was being unfair? I have probably had some of those moments in my life where it did feel like I was being dished a heaping plate of unfairness.

But recently I was feeling this way as I was reading through the Old Testament. What kept standing out to me was the way women were treated. It just seemed like they were treated as if they were less valuable than men. I was thinking, “Well this is a little unfair God.”

But then I read this verse, which I have probably read a number of times but never really noticed it. This is from the Message Bible, Deuteronomy 24:5: When a man takes a new wife, he is not to go out with the army or be given any business or work duties. He gets one year off simply to be at home making his wife happy.

Maybe it’s just me but that I find that pretty amazing. A new husband was kept from going out to battle; he wasn’t to be tied to anything that would take him away from what God intended him to do…make his wife happy. Suddenly I didn’t think God was so unfair after all.

That is a pretty significant responsibility if you really think about, to spend an entire year focused on your marriage and making your wife happy. I used to think the whole of “submitting to your husband” thing was just too difficult, too far out there. It’s just too hard to do. Why does the husband get off so easy? Why does he get to be submitted to?

Well first of all, the reality is that as believers we are to submit to one another (Ephesians 5:21) but even more than that, if you really think about it we have the better end of the deal. We may have to submit but what is the call of our husbands?

Ephesians 5:25-29 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church—

I would say that’s a pretty tall order. God has designed marriage in a way that isn’t really about fairness. He created man and woman in His image and it’s really not about one having superiority over another.

Instead of getting wrapped up in the “woe is me, I have to do this for my spouse” we should be thinking about the higher calling of pleasing Christ and that means doing as His Word says.

And there is nothing in His Word that is unfair.

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