Monday, November 01, 2010

Submission and Forgiveness

As I observe the body of Christ (the church) and its many congregations, there appears to be some misunderstanding on what God’s word actually says about certain (sometimes controversial or unpopular) topics. And, I am so thankful for pastors who address these issues anyway despite possible criticism for speaking the truth.

I am a HUGE advocate for #1 biblical, healthy parenting and #2 biblical, healthy marriage (for various reasons) and I wanted to post some FANTASTIC publications here from Pastors John Piper and Mark Driscoll to help clear up some confusion because it is not of God (1 Corinthians 14:33) but rather a way that sin is enabled to continue to run rampant under the false belief that God is being honored.

Submission

The first is a wonderful message by John Piper called “The Beautiful Faith of Fearless Submission”. But wait, before you might assume what pastor John has to say, I want you to know it might not be what you think. So, I have copied and pasted some excerpts here that caught my attention!!! To read or watch this in its entirety, please click here.

John Piper reads and teaches from 1 Peter 3:1-7. He states,
"The deepest root of Christian womanhood mentioned in this text is hope in God....

"What Submission Is Not
Here are six things it is NOT based on 1 Peter 3:1-6.

1. Submission does not mean agreeing with everything your husband says. You can see that in verse one: she is a Christian and he is not. He has one set of ideas about ultimate reality. She has another. Peter calls her to be submissive while assuming she will not submit to his view of the most important thing in the world—God. So submission can’t mean submitting to agree with all her husband thinks.

2. Submission does not mean leaving your brain or your will at the wedding altar. It is not the inability or the unwillingness to think for yourself. Here is a woman who heard the gospel of Jesus Christ. She thought about it. She assessed the truth claims of Jesus. She apprehended in her heart the beauty and worth of Christ and his work, and she chose him. Her husband heard it also. Otherwise, Peter probably wouldn’t say he “disobeyed the word.” He has heard the word, and he has thought about it. And he has not chosen Christ. She thought for herself and she acted. And Peter does not tell her to retreat from that commitment.

3. Submission does not mean avoiding every effort to change a husband. The whole point of this text is to tell a wife how to “win” her husband. Verse 1 says, “Be subject to your own husbands, so that even if some do not obey the word, they may be won without a word by the conduct of their wives.” If you didn’t care about the Bible you might say, “Submission has to mean taking a husband the way he is and not trying to change him.” But if you believe what the Bible says, you conclude that submission, paradoxically, is sometimes a strategy for changing him.

4. Submission does not mean putting the will of the husband before the will of Christ. The text clearly teaches that the wife is a follower of Jesus before and above being a follower of her husband. Submission to Jesus relativizes submission to husbands—and governments and employers and parents. When Sarah called Abraham “lord” in verse 6, it was lord with a lowercase l. It’s like “sir” or “m’lord.” And the obedience she rendered is qualified obedience because her supreme allegiance is to the Lord with a capital L.

5. Submission does not mean that a wife gets her personal, spiritual strength primarily through her husband. A good husband should indeed strengthen and build up and sustain his wife. He should be a source of strength. But what this text shows is that when a husband’s spiritual leadership is lacking, a Christian wife is not bereft of strength. Submission does not mean she is dependent on him to supply her strength of faith and virtue and character. The text, in fact, assumes just the opposite. She is summoned to develop depth and strength and character not from her husband but for her husband. Verse five says that her hope is in God in the hope that her husband will join her there.

6. Finally submission does not mean that a wife is to act out of fear. Verse 6b says, “You are her [Sarah’s] children, if you do good and do not fear anything that is frightening.” In other words, submission is free, not coerced by fear. The Christian woman is a free woman. When she submits to her husband—whether he is a believer or unbeliever—she does it in freedom, not out of fear
."


To the Abused Child or Spouse

Please, I beg you, as Stormie Omartian states,
"If you are in any kind of physical or emotional danger, remove yourself IMMEDIATELY from the situation to a place of safety and get help. You can pray from there while your husband receives the counseling he needs." (THE POWER OF A PRAYING WIFE. © 1997. Harvest House Publishers. Eugene, Oregon. pgs. 28-29.)


God will provide and protect you! He will place people in your life who will support and encourage you biblically, be understanding, and compassionate. Do not get discouraged! Not everyone will be able or want to help. Pray for guidance and receive God's instructions (to your heart and through others). When a door closes, do not loose heart...another will open (Proverbs 16:9).

Forgiveness

The second bit I have in this article is 10 Things That Forgiveness Is Not from Mark Driscoll. I posted it before but want to reiterate what it said and I feel it goes well with Pastor John’s instruction on “The Beautiful Faith of Fearless Submission”.



Forgiveness is NOT:
1. Approving or diminishing
2. Enabling sin
3. Denying a wrongdoing
4. Waiting for an apology
5. Forgetting
6. Ceasing to feel the pain
7. A one time event
8. Neglecting justice
9. Trusting
10. Reconciliation

Be very clear, dear sister in Christ, as to what God's word says! There IS a difference between marriage (the worldly example of Christ's relationship with the church) and a master to slave relationship. Thankfully, God has given us the Holy Spirit to guide and convict. All honor and glory are His.
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