Submission, as we talked about last week, is a disposition or an inclination to follow the leadership of another. When we remember the purpose of marriage as being a representation of Christ and the church, submission makes sense.
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Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands. ~Ephesians 5:22-24
Submission begins and ends with submission to God. In the case of marriage, it is the disposition of the wife to follow and submit to her husband as he follows and submits to Christ. How Mommy and Daddy emulate submission matters in order to put on display the beautiful picture of the Gospel – the Son submitting to the Father and sacrificing His body for all of our sins – for our children.
Three Lessons Our Children Learn from Mommy & Daddy’s Lifestyle of Submission
1. A lifestyle of submission teaches our children how to live under authority.
I am certain that each of us is attempting to teach our children to obey Mommy and Daddy. It is likely that Colossians 3:20, “Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord,” is quoted at least once a day in your home.
How are your children doing on submitting to your authority? Is it possible that your example of submission within your marriage is being mirrored back to you through your children’s actions?
When our children see Daddy submitting to the will of God, or even the leadership of his pastors, they see what obedience looks like. Likewise, when our children see Mommy submitting to the will of God, and especially her husband, our children learn that God’s order of authority exists and is not meant for only them.
Submission to another is for our good and for God’s glory. Just as Mommy and Daddy are required to submit to another, our children are expected to submit to Mommy and Daddy. Through our example, we can help our children learn how to live under God’s ordained order of authority with joy.
2. A lifestyle of submission teaches our children to count others more significant than themselves.
Living a lifestyle of submission will mean, at some point or another, you will have to concede your position or preference. We are born to want what we want when we want it. Unfortunately, concession of one’s desires will not be taught to our children by our culture. In fact, they will be taught just the opposite. In our me-centric society, it is particularly difficult to live a life of submission.
However, we are exhorted in Philippians 2 to “do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than [ourselves]. Let each of [us] look not only to [our] own interests, but also to the interest of others.”
Therefore, it is all the more significant that Mommy and Daddy purpose to live a lifestyle of submission for our children so that they will have a real, tangible example of humility for them to emulate.
3. A lifestyle of submission teaches our children that we serve a great God.
My friends, it takes great strength and character to submit. We see this perfectly in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Unlike Christ – the example for our husband’s leadership – our husband’s will fail to lead us well. When we submit even when we disagree (but never to follow in sin), we give God the ability to show His power.
Through our example of submission, our children will see that mistakes are made, but God is faithful in all circumstances – eager to forgive us our sins (1 John 1:9) and make our paths straight. They will also see great faith in action – assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen (Hebrews 11:1). God will intervene where necessary. We can trust God to lead our husbands to lead us.
Teaching our children to live under authority within the boundaries God has graciously provides rest on the shoulders of Mommy and Daddy. It is through Mommy and Daddy’s example that our children will learn gospel defined submission.
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What are you doing today to emulate submission to your children?
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