Obedience

Obedience to the Word of God, the Bible, is the signature of God’s children.  God commands His children to love one another, be submissive to one another, children are commanded to obey their parents and wives are commanded to obey their husbands in everything.  This particular command generates scoffing and derision from the world.  Unbelieving couples will allow the practicality of mutual submission for the well-being of both individuals, but this has nothing at all whatsoever to do with God’s command to wives to be submissive to their husbands in everything.  The submission God commands, this obedience empowered by the Holy Spirit, is not only for the spiritual well-being of the husband, but also for the spiritual prosperity of the wife.

22 Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord.  23 For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is Savior of the body.  24 Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything.  25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, 26 that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish.  28 So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself.  29 For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the church.  30 For we are members of His body, of His flesh and of His bones.  31 “For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” 32 This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church.  33 Nevertheless let each one of you in particular so love his own wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.  Ephesians 5:22-33

The submissive wife is enveloped by the love of her husband and led by him for her greater progression in the faith and a closer walk with the Lord.  However, suppose the husband isn’t walking in obedience to the Lord and doesn’t really rely upon Jesus for guidance and power to live a godly life.  What is the wife supposed to do then?  Well, God addresses just this situation in the Bible in the third chapter of 1 Peter.

18 Servants, be submissive to your masters with all fear, not only to the good and gentle, but also to the harsh.  19 For this is commendable, if because of conscience toward God one endures grief, suffering wrongfully.  20 For what credit is it if, when you are beaten for your faults you take it patiently?  But when you do good and suffer, if you take it patiently, this is commendable before God.  21 For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps: 22 “Who committed no sin, Nor was deceit found in His mouth”; 23 who, when He was reviled, did not revile in return; when He suffered, He did not threaten, but committed Himself to Him who judges righteously; 24 who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness—by whose stripes you were healed.  25 For you were like sheep going astray, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.  1 Wives, likewise, be submissive to your own husbands, that even if some do not obey the word, they without a word, may be won by the conduct of their wives, 2 when the observe your chaste conduct accompanied by fear.  3 Do not let your adornment be merely outward—arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel—4 rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God.  5 For in this manner, in former times, the holy women who trusted God also adorned themselves, being submissive to their own husbands, 6 as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord, whose daughters you are if you do good and are not afraid with any terror.  7 Husbands, likewise, dwell with them with understanding, giving honor to the wife, as to the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life, that your prayers may not be hindered.  1 Peter 2:18-3:7

There are three relational situations where the believer may find they are mistreated.  In each one of these circumstances they must rely upon the Lord Jesus Christ and do what is right.  Servants must obey their masters and if they are mistreated, receive it patiently, following the example that Jesus Christ, the only One who truly did not deserve the wicked treatment that He received, gave us to follow by patiently trusting God His Father knowing that what He suffered served the greater purpose of saving sinners from their sins and the wrath of God.  If wives are mistreated they are to follow the example of Sarah who had two opportunities to defy the command of her husband, Abraham, when he allowed her to be taken into the harem of Pharaoh and then Abimelech, (Genesis 12 and 20).  God protected Sarah from harm when her husband neglected that duty by not trusting the Lord to protect both himself and his wife from these powerful leaders.  Sarah did not give into fear and was adorned by her trust in God as she patiently and quietly waited for His deliverance.  May we all live our lives with that same reverence towards our holy and loving God.  Finally, husbands may have wives who are cranky and fretful, but God our Father exhorts husbands to dwell with their wives with understanding, honoring them as the weaker vessel so that their prayers may not be hindered.  Mutual love and submission blesses us as we follow the example of our glorious Savior and live lives of godly sacrifice and submission.

What if the husband is grossly abusive, unfaithful, intolerant, vengeful and angry?  Our kind and loving heavenly Father addresses this circumstance in the first letter to the Corinthians written by Paul.

10 Now to the married I command, yet not I but the Lord: A wife is not to depart from her husband.  11 But even if she does depart, let her remain unmarried or be reconciled to her husband.  And a husband is not to divorce his wife.  12 But to the rest I, not the Lord, say:  If any brother has a wife who does not believe, and she is willing to live with him, let him not divorce her.  13 And a woman who has a husband who does not believe, if he is willing to live with her, let her not divorce him.  14 For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband; otherwise your children would be unclean, but now they are holy.  15 But if the unbeliever departs, let him depart; a brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases.  But God has called us to peace.  16 For how do you know, O wife, whether you will save your husband?  Or how do you know, O husband, whether you will save your wife?  1 Corinthians 7:10-16

The unbelieving husband who abuses his wife is causing gross strife and contention.  The believing wife may depart from that abusive unbelieving husband.  She is commanded to remain unmarried or be reconciled to her husband.  For reconciliation to take place that means there must be a change on the part of the abuser.  It is instructive for us to see what the Scriptures teach us about reconciliation.

18 Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, 19 that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation.  20 Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God.  2 Corinthians 5:18-20

Reconciliation is based upon the changed behavior of both parties.  God does all that He can to make reconciliation possible, destroying the enmity that exists between the two parties, the sinner then turns from sin and receives that reconciliation.   In the same way, the wife is reconciled to her husband when she forgives him because he has sincerely and completely turned away from abusive behavior.  If the abusive husband does not repent, the wife may remain unreconciled and unmarried to him, there is no possibility of a relationship.  His absolute refusal to repent breaks the possibility of reconciliation so the believing wife may remarry as the Lord leads.

Finally, even if your husband isn’t walking with the Lord Jesus Christ, but is a fairly decent man, providing for, loving and protecting his wife and children, the Lord will still use him for spiritual protection his family.

3 But I want you to know that the head of every man is Christ, the head of the woman is man, and the head of Christ is God.  1 Corinthians 11:3

22 Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord.  23 For the husband is the head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body.  24 Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything.  Ephesians 5:22-24

The Lord Jesus Christ has used my husband many times to protect me from spiritual dangers through the years even though he didn’t know why.  At one church we attended, the Sunday School class was starting the 40 days of Purpose study.  I thought it sounded great, being ignorant of the dangers, but my husband didn’t want to be involved.  I submitted and at a later date I discovered how the Lord had used the headship of my husband to protect me from the devices of Satan.  We must always trust that our obedience to the Word of God, the Bible, will always lead to blessing and spiritual strength as we grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  Let us remember that only blood bought children of God, who through faith in Jesus Christ have been redeemed, have the desire and the Spirit empowered ability to live God fearing lives characterized by obedience to God’s commands given to us in His Word the Bible.  God bless us.

17 And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.  18 Wives, submit to your own husbands, as is fitting in the Lord.  19 Husbands, love your wives and do not be bitter toward them.  Colossians 3:17-19

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16 Responses to Obedience

  1. Great piece! Unfortunately, far too many believers lose sight of the meaning of “command,” especially in the context of a command from Christ, the Commanding General of the Universe. Command means 1) non-negotiable, 2) non-optional, and urgent (Do it now!). What do you think?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Eliza says:

      Agreed. As a whole, believers major on grace and minor on following their Lord and Savior Jesus Christ in obedient faithfulness which means obeying what He has said in His Word, the Bible. He has revealed in the Gospel of John that obedience indicates our love for Him and our salvation by Him.

      He that hath my commandments, and keeps them, he it is that loves me: and he that loves me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him. Judas saith unto him, not Iscariot, Lord, how is it that thou wilt manifest thyself unto us, and not unto the world? Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him. He that loves me not keeps not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father’s which sent me. John 14:21-24

      Liked by 1 person

      • That’s right, Eliza. Your comments remind me of people in our culture today want to “demand” their perceived “rights,” but not acknowledge that every right has an associated responsibility.

        Scripturally, when we refer to the Bible as “the Manufacturer’s Handbook,” it sounds clever, but it actually does the Bible a disservice. It is a perfect instruction book that comes with an ironclad guarantee. God says in His glorious Word that if you follow my instructions, i.e. obey me, you are guaranteed the most rewarding and meaningful life possible, i.e. an “abundant life.” [John 10:10 KJV] Consider that”

        1. Properly understood, the holistic Christian life is the most exciting life in the universe.

        2. Yet, outsiders frequently view us as judgmental, narrow-minded, dupes.

        What’s wrong? We have paid a devastating price for that dichotomy. It is the source of virtually all national cultural controversies and issues plaguing the American family. Most believers don’t fully understand the first statement, at least not beyond a shallow intellectual assent. Consequently, we present an image that to outsiders ranges from boring to horrifying.

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        • Eliza says:

          I disagree with your analysis dear Lloyd. I believe the error in the church lies in not reverencing the Bible as the Word of God and going to man’s doctrines and opinions for a right standing before God. When this is done, those who follow that route are not born again, but are false brethren and cause the way of Life to be spoken of as evil. These false brethren are eager to give their allegiance to false teachers and follow the broad way that leads to destruction.
          As believers, our call is to walk that narrow way of Life, following Jesus Christ and obeying His will in our lives. We must remember that His will is declared in “He is not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.” Therefore, we share the gospel with the lost and reprove the erring that they may return to the truth. Following Christ is a glorious call that is filled with difficulty, danger and discouragement. If we read the accounts in the Bible of those who truly love the Lord Jesus Christ we will see that more times than not they were scoffed at, persecuted and murdered. Oh wait, that’s what happened to Jesus Christ, even though He perfectly fulfilled all the will of the Father. Can we expect to suffer anything less than what He did as we strive to walk in obedient love to Him?

          And what shall I more say? for the time would fail me to tell of Gedeon, and of Barak, and of Samson, and of Jephthae; of David also, and Samuel, and of the prophets: Who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, Quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens. Women received their dead raised to life again: and others were tortured, not accepting deliverance; that they might obtain a better resurrection: And others had trial of cruel mockings and scourgings, yea, moreover of bonds and imprisonment: They were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword: they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented; (Of whom the world was not worthy:) they wandered in deserts, and in mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth. And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise: God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect. Hebrews 11:32-40

          And say, If we had been in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partakers with them in the blood of the prophets. Wherefore ye be witnesses unto yourselves, that ye are the children of them which killed the prophets. Fill ye up then the measure of your fathers. Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell? Wherefore, behold, I send unto you prophets, and wise men, and scribes: and some of them ye shall kill and crucify; and some of them shall ye scourge in your synagogues, and persecute them from city to city: That upon you may come all the righteous blood shed upon the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel unto the blood of Zacharias son of Barachias, whom ye slew between the temple and the altar.
          Matthew 23:30-35

          Liked by 3 people

  2. gracealone1 says:

    It seems that Lloyd has fallen for the cleverly laid trap presented to him and the world by the Charasmania crowd. “Holistic Christian life….” a term offered with no definition or explanation but one that leaves the imagination to run wild, straight into pleasures of this world. Perhaps a better study, Lloyd, would be the Holy Christian life. Thank you, Eliza, for presenting two pertinent passages that readily debunk the nonsense of a healthy, wealthy, top-of-the-world “Christian” life that is expected (demanded?) by many that do not know Christ. There are many others to be quoted, but one stands out for now: “Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution” 2 Tim. 3:12. Lloyd, I hope you can find a way to lay aside the lies you have believed and humble yourself before the Lord Jesus. And, no, there is no anger here, just concern for one who has been led astray.

    Darrel

    Liked by 1 person

    • Eliza says:

      I don’t think Lloyd meant what you said. He talked about obedience, not name it and claim it. Following Christ is exciting and glorious as He gives us opportunity to serve Him. Lloyd believes the world’s view of the church is because we aren’t following Christ with enthusiastic love, and maybe he has a point there. Remember how Christ condemned the Ephesian church because they had left their first love. So I do concur with Lloyd however, I believe our greatest challenge lies in the fact that the devil has gotten hold of the Scriptures by the hands of unregenerate men who have treated them with irreverent disdain and have produced the corrupted modern versions that have masked the truth that is to be found preserved for us through the Received Text. Then, men who purport to be of God, twist and turn the Scriptures to deceive and mislead so that the average church attender is fed a poisonous fair rather than the healthy growth inducing Word of God. The visible church is full of pretenders and apostates so that those who are lost are left disgusted by what they see. I don’t pretend that sinners desire the Savior, but His work is done through regenerate men and women who reverence Him, His Word and by the power of the Holy Spirit share the truth with the lost so that they can be saved. God bless us.

      Like

      • gracealone1 says:

        I hope you are right about Lloyd’s comment, I would much prefer to be wrong as there are enough charlatans to go around. Guess we’ll have to wait to hear from Lloyd.

        Like

  3. Thank you for leaving me a link to this post. I enjoyed reading it. Well said. There’s nothing I can really add, except that submission is a lovely thing that brings many fruits. It can be challenging at times, but it is far from the negative, burdensome thing that the world tries to present it as.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. tribalmin says:

    Reblogged this on Tribal Ministries Blog and commented:
    So blessed by this powerful word concerning obedience on multiple levels. When I read this blog by Eliza, I rejoiced! Thank you Eliza for your love of our Beloved LORD GOD and HIS WORD.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Eliza says:

      Thank you so very much. We love Him because He first loved us. Praise God He does this wonderful work in all of His beloved children. Your love for Him and His Word is a great encouragement to me. Praise God you rejoiced at His Word. God bless us.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. tribalmin says:

    Just reblogged this wonderful blog on Obedience, thank you so much for your obedience to our Wonderful LORD GOD.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Eliza says:

      Thank you so very much for reading and for re-blogging. Praise our glorious God, our Father, our Savior Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit who blesses us and teaches us. God bless us.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Pingback: United flesh and knowingly actions – Immanuel Verbondskind – עמנואל קאָווענאַנט קינד

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