by Debra A. Reitz
Over the past three decades, we have seen our culture turn into a society of self-help and support groups for almost any problem, from Alcoholics Anonymous to Weight-Watchers. These groups provide the support individuals need to harden themselves against the temptations of their particular weakness. The goal is for them to get enough strength to stand fast and overcome it.
Some of these groups use the buddy or sponsor system for immediate strengthening during a crisis. You can call them at any time, for any reason, if temptation becomes more than you can bear. Those who have found these methods to be not only successful, but life-saving, will praise these groups for their wonderful work and their success. They are the walking success stories which build up and strengthen the organization. Working within these groups, abiding by their rules and their admonishments, will strengthen their ability to help you.
We all seem to grasp these concepts but fail to apply them in the areas of the home and our submission to our husbands. We can take this principle of strengthening or supporting someone and apply it to our home and our husband by looking at a comparison provided for our learning in Ephesians 5:22-33 (KJV):
“Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing. Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church: For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church. Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband.”
In this admonishment from Paul to the church at Ephesus, we see a parallel of the head of the Church, Jesus Christ, with the husband or head of the home. Many of us would have no problem understanding the idea of supporting the authority of the Lord over the body, yet still have problems understanding the husband is in the very same position in the home. We can see where we could cause the body to be weak if we allowed sin to reign in our midst. We can weaken or strengthen the Lord’s hands by our actions.
In the same way, in the home, husbands can be strengthened or weakened by our actions. Our understanding must be perfected regarding our role under the authority placed upon them, their future accounting to the Lord for the home, and our submission and the devastating results of being non-submissive.
As wives, we can help our husbands to stand or to fall before the hand of the Lord. We can strengthen the hands of our husband through our submission and teaching submission to the children, or we can weaken his hands by being rebellious, difficult, quarrelsome, and indignant when we do not get our way, even circumventing his authority to get what we want.
We can hold a weak husband up to the brightest light of the Lord, and he will become strong, or we can shadow the authority of a strong husband and make him weak and languish in the dimness of dishonor.
In giving our husband the due respect and submission, and not circumventing his authority to rule in the home, we can help him to stand with dignity before the Lord and hear the admonishment to both husband and wife, “well done, thou good and faithful servants … enter into the joys of your Lord!”
by Debra A. Reitz