Sunday, July 3, 2011

Dying to Self: The Key to Submission

If you had not noticed, our generation has a new breed of women. You can see them on television, in the stores, in advertising, and now they are running for the highest political offices in our country. With this new breed comes a lot of baggage, especially for those of us who have left the workplace to live out our divine assignment. 

With this divine assignment as mother, helpmeet, and keeper at home, comes a miraculous change of heart from the way you once believed was true. In order to make God's plan for the family work cohesively, the wife has to make a major adjustment, with some aspects that may seem equivalent to having your teeth pulled without Novocaine. I'm talking about submission, which is essentially abandoning yourself unto your husband.

As Christians, we're called to give ourselves to God as a "living sacrifice." The Apostle Paul helps us understand this truth in his letter to the believers in Rome:

I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. (Romans 12:1-2) 

So, how do we truly present ourselves to God as a living sacrifice? In a nutshell, we must die to self. What is the key to submitting to our husband? Dying to self.

A wise friend said it this way:
"Whoever is living under headship directed in 1 Corinthians 11:3-16, Eph. 5 and 1Peter 3:1-6, I never even let myself entertain the thought that we wish our husbands to do everything we want. We want him to be in leadership/headship, and not us in that position. Our jobs are to wear out our knees. Our husbands are the perfect spouses for a very imperfect us, and we are the perfect spouses for a very imperfect husband. For it is through our spouses imperfections that we are taught the fruits of the spirit, and they are in-grafted in our hearts. It is through their imperfections that we learn to pray and lean on our Lord daily, even hourly - that we mature and blossom, that we go through the refiner's fire over and over and come out gloriously. If we submit and die to self on the potter's wheel of marriage, we are then broken, poured out, molded, and fit for the Master's use. Indeed He uses our spouses as a Holy instrument in our lives, and I praise Him for it."
Pretty smart lady! The Bible says this about dying to self:

"I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me." (Gal. 2:20)

"And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires." (Gal. 5:24)

"For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel’s will save it." (Mark 8:35)

Sometimes you may not personally like your husband, but Christ loves him ... and God hates divorce. When you die to self, you put aside what you want, what you need, what he does wrong, all the junk, and let Christ truly live through you. Kind of like the saying "What would Jesus do?" The answer is "Obey God, do what He says is right, and trust that He will take care of everything else."

By doing this, the Lord can make you fall in love with your husband again, if your "new heart" is completely committed and truly obeying God. Surrender and self-sacrifice are the two qualities characterized in the life of Jesus Christ. When we act in this same sacrificial way, we live His life and ministry through us.

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