Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Humble Submission (Philippians 2:1-18)

"… He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross" (Phil. 2:8).

He who is King of all creation humbled Himself, submitted to the will of His Father, served sinful, rebellious human beings, washed their dirty feet, and ultimately died the death of a criminal to bring glory to God. Here we have an exalted portrait of how Christ maintained His rank and station, His equality with God, and yet subordinated Himself to a role of submission and service. Can a wife do any less? Is she too grand, too self-reliant, too noble to submit to the authority of her husband? Does she lose her character, her personality, her equality, her status as a human being when she submits to her husband? Did Christ lose His dignity, His worth, His nobility, His divinity when He humbled Himself and became obedient even to death on a cross? No, quite the contrary. His submission to the will of His Father brought Him even greater glory. And in like manner, the wife who submits to the authority of her husband brings honor not only to herself but to the man she loves and the God she adores.

God created Eve out of the side of Adam. There was a never a time when the woman existed alone, separate from her husband, just as the church has never existed outside of Christ as its head. Like the vine that has its own root, but wraps itself around the sturdy oak, the wife is a distinct person with an identity all her own, but she is dependent on her husband for support and strength. This arrangement of the husband-wife relationship does not dishonor the woman any more than Christ’s role as our Redeemer dishonors Him. Through her submission, the wife brings honor to her husband. Through her submission, she instructs her children by way of example on how to respect those in authority. Through her submission, she shows a rebellious world the honor, peace, and dignity that come through willing obedience to God. Through her submission, the wife conforms to the image of her Redeemer “who being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation.… humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.” As B. M. Palmer writes, “It is enough for her, if she, like Him is exalted through submission to a station of privilege and glory.”

Read Titus 2:3–5. What should older women teach younger women? What does Paul say would be the consequence if wives are not loving their husbands, self-controlled, pure, busy at home, subject to their husbands (end of v. 5)? Pray that older women in your church will instruct the younger women so God’s Word won’t be maligned.