What was God’s design for authority in today’s world?
How are we to respond to authority?
How come a husband is commanded to love his wife as Christ loved the church?
Why must a wife submit to her husband in order for a marriage to be successful?
I realize this topic can be controversial and my intent is to display what God’s word teaches us and not my personal opinions.
I will tell you right away that the culture we live in today does not conform to a Biblical point of view when it comes to this subject.
There is nothing wrong with fighting for women’s rights and equal treatment in society, but in marriage God designed things to work in perfect harmony.
A husband and wife should complement each other in every way.
One of those ways that a wife is commanded to complement her husband is to submit to their husband.
Submission does not mean being a slave or a doormat.
A wife is to willingly submit to her husband and husbands should never need to demand that submission from their wives.
Let me list a few verses from God’s word that give us reasons to believe a wife should submit to her husband:
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.
God has placed the husband in a role of authority when it comes to his wife. Another way to put it is that a husband is responsible for his wife.
A husband should never act as a dictator. And, he should never feel the need to control his wife while she willingly submits to him.
God has appointed the husband to this role and given him the burden of leading his wife in a God glorifying manner.
The reason why I call it a burden and a responsibility is because a husband cannot dismiss his duty and should he fail in his headship he will answer to God.
But I want you to understand that the head of every man is Christ, the head of a wife is her husband, and the head of Christ is God.
1 Corinthians 11:3
For a man ought not to cover his head, since he is the image and glory of God, but woman is the glory of man. For man was not made from woman, but woman from man. Neither was man created for woman, but woman for man.
1 Corinthians 11:7-9
Let a woman learn quietly with all submissiveness. I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quite. For Adam was formed first, then Eve; and Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and became the transgressor.
1 Timothy 2:11-14
Please, please, please do not assume there is any kind of inferiority in a wife’s status as it compares to her husband.
Submission does not equal inferiority.
Headship does not mean domination.
Christ willingly submits to his Father, but His status is equal before God.
Women are equal in value and worth to men. Both are created in God’s image.
Another way to say this is that husbands and wives are Equal, but Not the Same.
God designed men and women to have different roles in a marriage.
When I ask ‘Why do we sin?’, I am not referring to committing a crime or breaking a commandment from the Bible.
What I want to know is why is there ‘Sin’ in the first place? Where did sin come from? What is its origin?
The first reference to sin in the Bible is in the Garden of Eden. After Eve was deceived and Adam sinned, God banished them from the garden to a life that included pain and eventually death.
Wait… Did you get that? I said after Eve was deceived… and Adam sinned!
What Eve did, by disobeying God and eating the forbidden fruit, was definitely sin, but it is important to realize who committed the real ‘Sin’ before God.
This is very important. Especially in marriage. We have to understand the order of creation first, then the roles in marriage, and then we can establish that it was Adam’s responsibility to lead his wife in their marital relationship.
This is why Romans 5:12 sort of ‘blames’ Adam for bringing sin into the world.
Sin entered the world because one man sinned. And death came because of sin. Everyone sinned, so death came to all people.
Adam had the responsibility to lead and since didn’t protect his wife from the snake’s deception, Eve was deceived and Adam sinned.
Adam sinned because he didn’t put a stop to the manipulation that Satan was causing in his bride. He was responsible.
I will state again that what Eve did by disobeying God’s command, was still a sin, but she wasn’t aware of it. She was deceived and then to make things worse, she motivated Adam to sin with her. Yikes!
Why? Why did Eve believe Satan? How could she accept his lies?
To put it simply, Satan’s Apples are the lies we live with everyday.
Some of these lies we believe to be true and some of these lies we recognize as deception; so, we fight them.
What are the lies of today that we are fighting against?
The list is too long. We have fallen so far…
BUT, there is hope. Hope in the truth of God’s instruction book for our lives. The Bible.
You may laugh at that, but I promise you that all the answers to our questions are in this one book called the Bible.
Let’s look at the original Satan’s Apple for a few minutes…
We can read the first two chapters of Genesis and see this beautiful creation God made. After He declares everything as ‘good’, and makes man and woman in his image, this angel called Satan enters the Garden of Eden as a snake.
God gave very few laws to Adam and Eve when they were placed in the perfect Garden, but Satan wanted to challenge those decrees and tempt God’s beautiful creation into everlasting doom.
The serpent was more clever than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. The serpent said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat fruit from any tree in the garden’?”
This question was a manipulation by itself because God had commanded that Adam and Eve could eat from ANY of the trees except from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.
The Lord God gave the man a command. He said, “You may eat fruit from any tree in the garden. But you must not eat the fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. If you do, you will certainly die.”
So, why did Satan ask Eve if God had told them that they couldn’t eat any fruit?
Does the Bible address eating or abstaining from eating meat? Yes.
The key chapter that many Vegetarians rely on for their biblical reason for not eating meat is Romans 14.
Let’s look at a few key verses from this chapter that a vegetarian might use to justify their decision as biblically based.
Accept the one whose faith is weak, without quarreling over disputable matters. One person’s faith allows them to eat anything, but another, whose faith is weak, eats only vegetables.
The argument for tolerance and acceptance on this matter is found in verse 3:
The one who eats everything must not treat with contempt the one who does not, and the one who does not eat everything must not judge the one who does, for God has accepted them.
Further justification can be found in verses 6-8:
Whoever regards one day as special does so to the Lord. Whoever eats meat does so to the Lord, for they give thanks to God; and whoever abstains does so to the Lord and gives thanks to God. For none of us lives for ourselves alone, and none of us dies for ourselves alone. If we live, we live for the Lord; and if we die, we die for the Lord. So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord.
Verse 13 even suggests that we should not pass judgement on one another for the choices we make regarding the consumption of meat:
Therefore let us stop passing judgement on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in the way of a brother or sister.
As with any instruction we may receive, it is critical to look at the context of this letter that Paul wrote to the Romans. It is important to know a few things about the setting of this time period.
First of all, there was no FDA. There was no internet for people to go research what they thought was best for their bodies. In fact, the level of privilege we enjoy today to chose what we want to eat everyday was nonexistent.
People in this time, right around 56 or 57 A.D., didn’t wake up and say, “I am going to be a vegetarian.” Food was food. The teachings of the old testament, specifically Leviticus 11 and Deuteronomy 14, revealed what God designated as ‘Clean’ and ‘Unclean’ when recognizing animals that were acceptable for food.
But please understand that people of this time were not arguing for the ability to chose a special diet like it was their right to do so.
Let me lay out the context of this chapter a little better so we can let it interpret us rather than using our own personal agenda to interpret it.
I am a Believer, a Husband, a Father, and a Servant.
I find the Bible to be the primary and one true source of instruction for our lives. In our world and the culture we live in, it can be hard to believe that one book could contain all the answers.
I don’t believe we can interpret the Bible. Rather, the Bible interprets us.
I will not back down or let the world tell me what is right or wrong. I choose to find the answers about how to live my life from His holy word of gospel and law.
Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called and about which you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.
1 Timothy 6:12
Whether my life ends today, or I am blessed with many more hours, days, and years, I want to leave this place knowing I did everything I could to share the truth of the Bible with as many people as possible.
I do this with no expectation of reward, but as an example of what my Savior did for me.
Because I am weak and fall so short of living a holy life, I want to “die” every day and rise to be baptized in the faith that we must follow to find any meaning and purpose to our broken lives.
I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.
2 Timothy 4:7
Sometimes, in a “good fight”, we have to first determine who we are fighting. Are we fighting the world as a whole? Are we fighting a certain group of people or government? Are we simply fighting an idea? Are we fighting against God? Or, are we fighting with ourselves?
It seems to me that the Bible is very encouraging about “fighting the good fight”, but what is that exactly?
At a high level, with no deeper understanding of the text, we may think we understand the Bible’s instruction, but I would challenge that simple view.
I commit to a full understanding. I commit to a belief that the Bible interprets us. We must take time to understand who or what we are fighting.
For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.
No matter how much we feel alone in our beliefs, when we have come to the correct understanding of how God intends for us to operate and be examples of Christ, we must stick to it.
We must hold strong and not let the media, our culture, or the environment around us bend what we know to be true.
Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him.
Let me end by saying that the very best way for me to “fight” is to get down on my knees and pray.
I am not able to convince anyone to believe what I believe, or follow what the Bible says by my own power or influence.
Outside of constant prayer, my one and only tool for rebuke and reproof, is the Bible. I will not use the Bible as a hammer or a fear inducing element in my debate. I will use it as a support and safety net that correctly interprets every situation in life. Of course, the Bible may say we are in the wrong or are acting in sin, but gracefully, I am not the one who will deliver the punishment for such sin.
The Lord will fight for you, and you have only to be silent.