Shows Main Idea – A wife’s call to submission mirrors the husband’s call to submission, as he submits to God, which is evidenced by doing for his wife what his heavenly Father does for him.
In the beginning, the male was Adam, and the higher authority was God. The Father created Adam in His image, and Adam submitted to Him. The Father provided Adam a loving and safe environment for him to flourish.
Then the Father created Eve, and she submitted to Adam. This “creation submission construct” set the hierarchy for human relationships. And it was Adam’s job to do for his wife what the Lord was doing for him–to provide a loving and safe environment for her to flourish.
Though God did many other things for Adam, I think you will find that all of those things were within these two parameters: (1) His great love for Adam and (2) His protective care of Adam. Those are the two primary things that all of us need to flourish well in God’s world.
- Will I be loved well by God?
- Will I be safe if I follow Him?
Adam and Eve were different, but the things they wanted were the same: (1) to be loved and (2) protected. While Adam was made by God and instinctively drawn to God, Eve came out of the man and was naturally drawn to him (Genesis 2:18-25).
Now it was Adam’s turn to do for Eve what God did for him: to love and protect his bride. He had a responsibility to image his Creator in a similar way in which he had experienced Him.
- How are you imaging the love of God to your wife?
- How are you imaging the protective care of God to your wife?
To be loved and to be protected are the two conditions that will motivate any wife to submit to her husband. If you do not believe this, I appeal to you to talk to your wife about what I have written here. Ask her the importance of these two things from you to her. Your wife is being asked to do something rather profound: to give up her individual life to blend into you and to follow you for the rest of her life.
Image the Father and Children
Key Idea – The picture a child’s father presents is the earliest ideas that the child will have of God the Father.
If a father is not submitting to God, as evidenced by providing protective care and affectionate love for his children, they will have a hard time submitting to God or relating to others well.
Preschoolers make a number of assumptions about words and their meaning as they acquire language, one of the most important of which is what psychologist Ellen Markman calls the principle of mutual exclusivity. Simply put, this means that small children have difficulty believing that any one object can have two different names.
The natural assumption of children, Markman argues, is that if an object or a person is given a second label, then that label must refer to some secondary property or attribute of that object. You can see how useful the assumption is to a child faced with the extraordinary task of assigning a word to everything in the world.
A child who learns the word elephant knows, with absolute certainty, that it is something different from a dog. Each new word makes the child’s knowledge more precise. Without mutual exclusivity, by contrast, if a child thought that elephants could simply be another label for dog, then each new word would make the world seem more complicated. – Malcolm Gladwell, from The Tipping Point
Call to Action
Let’s Start With Dad
- Dad, is your little girl profoundly aware of your affection for her?
- Does she know that no matter what happens, she will always be protected, safe, and secure because of your undeniable love for her?
- Is she more aware of your encouragement of her or your displeasure with her?
- Are you daily repenting of the things that blur the image of God the Father to her?
- How does she view God the Father? Do you know?
- Are you aware of the theological filter that you gave her–the one in which she sees God the Father?
A Few for the Husband
- Does your wife experience daily cherishing and nourishing from you?
- Are you aware of her secret thoughts that may be bringing division into your marriage?
- Will you ask her to talk to you about how she feels and experiences your love for her?
- Will you ask her to speak to you about how she feels and experiences your protective care?
- Where does she rank on your list of priorities?
- How are you helping her to keep from taking her desire for love and protection, and turning it into a need that drives her to sin?