Have you noticed the large number of young people today who do not want to get married? They are not seeing success in marriage and they are not learning the benefit of God’s order through true submission. God has set up order in all of life. There is a plan of authority and true, godly leadership in marriage as well as other relationships.
In Romans 10:3 and James 4:7, we read that God ultimately wants us to submit to Him. We see verses* in scripture that deal with submission for slaves to their masters. There is scripture that talks of submission to those governing over us. Young people are to submit to their fathers and to their elders. And, there is benefit for submitting to those who have “devoted themselves to the ministry of the saints”. Submission is a sign of order; not domination. I see children running their parents, husbands not loving their wives, wives disrespecting their husbands, and people disrespecting those in leadership. People are not following God and submitting to Him; thus, not obeying God. It starts with leadership humbling themselves before God and then it starts the cog turning the wheel in the right direction.
In Colossians 3:18-20, something stood out to me. I saw a circle of God’s order in the family:
- “Wives, submit to your own husbands, as is fitting in the Lord.
- Husbands, love your wives and do not be bitter toward them.
- Children, obey your parents in all things, for this is well pleasing to the Lord.
- Fathers, do not provoke your children, lest they become discouraged.”
I hear daily of men who do not love their wives like Jesus loves the church; therefore, women are not able to respect their husbands and not submitting to them. Watching this lack of order, children are not learning how to obey this plan of God’s. True submission to God’s ways is not taking place. Children are not seeing the value of it in marriage. Fathers are not, by example as well as words, educating their children of how God wants them to truly submit. When two people get married, who have lived differently, they develop various opinions and traditions. They need to learn how to work things out together by submitting to one another. (Ephesians 5:21) It is a choice to refer back to God and His ways; not ours. How do they learn this if they don’t see and hear it as they grow up?
What if men decided to submit fully to God? In Ephesians 5:25, the comparison is drawn that the husband is to love and give himself up as Christ did for the church. In Colossians, fathers are instructed to not embitter their children or they will become dis-couraged. What if… I mean, just what if…the reason children are growing “dis-couraged” with the commitment of marriage is due to their leader not submitting to God. It does make one wonder. What if the one at the top of the family’s leadership was to fully submit to Him allowing his wife to feel as though she were married to Christ and thus fully able to submit to/respect this leader of the home; would the children be en-couraged? Would they return to the covenant of marriage? I believe so, because God’s standard of order works.
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if during the 20 years (or possibly less if the child goes on to college or moves out on their own) a child was living at home, that they would learn every day by watching God’s plan in action of how this order was to take place. I challenge fathers to step up and submit to God, to put their flesh to death and show their wife and the next generation that when we obey God…marriage works.