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Her name was Fannie Lou Hamer, a fierce ’60s Civil Rights activist in mean old “we ain’t gone never change” Mississippi. She was sick and tired of being sick and tired and decided to do something about it, even to the extent of taking on the Democratic National Convention to challenging the seating of the all white Mississippi delegates at the convention.
Not too long ago, I was sick and tired of being sick and tired. I began to ask myself some hard questions. How could I, as a firm believer in the Lord Jesus Christ, still find myself in a place of worry and anxiety? Why was I still wrestling with the past rather than trusting God not only for my future, but also for my present? Why was I still putting my trust in mankind (that had already proven it should not be trusted) rather than in a God who had proven Himself to me over and over and over? “Why,” as one woman asked me those many years ago, “was I being made out to be the bad guy?” And why was I still pitching my tent in that miserable valley? Why was I rehearsing my misery as if I were preparing for some big production of “Nobody Knows the Trouble I’ve Seen?” I do know I am wired for worry; what I finally realized back then was that I needed to submit that predisposition to the authority of God. But how?
I eventually declared to myself, “Enough is enough,” and determined to fast and pray on the matter. I entered into the fast with the thought that I would fast until God declared “The End.” This time I also decided that each time a hunger pang hit I would think on the Word of God and pray. In times past, when the hunger pangs hit, I only thought about food. This time I turned my appetite to God to feast on His Word and to hunger for His righteousness. This became my daily routine and the stronger the hunger pangs, the stronger my prayers.
It is not important how long I fasted, but when I came out of that fast, I came out with the calm assurance that through it all Jehovah Shammah is indeed with me. These days my worry switch is not so easily flipped; after all, if God is for me who (or what) can be against me. I have a peace that confounds even me. When I do feel the tickle of worry, I immediately turn to God (Phillipians 4:6-7).
No, I have not reached perfection. There are still days when the enemy points out the losses, what I do not, and probably never will, have. There are days when I still wonder “What the heck happened?” There are times when Mr. Screwtape pokes me in my spirit and asks, “So, where is the love?” But, when those moments show up, I remind myself that I am the apple of God’s eye. He has my name written on His hand. He catches my tears in a bottle. He will be my vindicator long after I’ve forgotten the hurt and gotten over the heartache. He truly is my light and my salvation. He fills the voids in my life and I am (thank you, Marvin Sapp) stronger and wiser and so much better.
I get joy when I think about what He’s done for me!
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Apple founder Steve Jobs has died.
As it relates to marriage, the term “submission” can be a very dangerous one. This term, in the hands of someone who isn’t clear of the bible’s teaching on the subject, can be misused and cause great damage. Oftentimes, male pastors who are in battle for headship of their own homes live through other men in the church by providing them with ways to keep “their wives” in check. On the other hand, there are also female pastors who are equally in battle for headship over their husbands. Standing as lead over the men of the church, the female pastor seeks to also teach them how to keep their wives in submission. However, she herself often times is not in a state of submission to her own husband.
The end results are a group of very disgruntled married women because they are receiving the bitter outcomes of an erroneous usage of scripture.
This article seeks to argue the heart of the Ephesians 5:22 passage – which reads from the King James Version (KJV), “Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.” This article will also seek to clarify the target of Ephesians 5:25 which reads (KJV) – “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it…”
RE-THINKING EPHESIANS 5:22
The term “submit” as used in this passage of scripture is a military term, literally meaning to fall under the authority of. This submission is not one that is brought on by force but one whereby the person submitting has proper honor and respect for their leader.
Wives are to be led by their “own husbands.” One of the problems with today’s society is many couples are allowing the influence of others to determine the leadership in their marriages; this will never promote balance or unity within it.
I hear the argument of some who state, “Submit unto your own husband? But he is not worth me following….he is not doing his part…he is not qualified to lead me…I know more bible than my husband does…” These are all very possible concerns within a marriage and ones that can lead to great strain and stress, but the reality is – YOU CHOSE HIM.
Men who become husbands don’t all of a sudden adopt ways of life that are unsuitable to them when they are single. Contrary to popular opinion, married men make better decisions and are more calculated when making bad ones. Women who desire to be wives must understand more about the man they intend to marry, because in the end, they are held to volunteer themselves under his authority; and that is biblical submission.
The common error with the teaching of this particular text is that those typically seeking to teach it are often the ones who should first be living out their own instructions found in it. Meaning, husbands are not to be seeking to ENFORCE this text in the lives of their wives. It is the Christian Wife’s responsibility to adhere to this text, as unto the LORD, and live out her role towards her husband as found within it.
This leads to the question of perspective regarding the meaning of as “unto the LORD.”
Notice the writer, the Apostle Paul, is speaking to wives directly and not to husbands. This is very important to understand. The husbands are hearing this conversation as the Apostle Paul is sharing, but they are not receiving the instruction, he is directly addressing the wives. The husbands do not need to use the Apostle Paul’s words to the wives in order to “force” them into submission. For a husband to force his wife into submission is to set her up to commit a direct sin against God.
Wives were told that their submission to their own husbands was as “unto the LORD” – NOT that their submission to their husbands was for his glory or sake. Therefore, if a wife was to submit to her husband because she is commanded to do so by him– she is not submitting of her own free will and even in obeying her husband’s “forced submission” she is not doing so in respect or regard to Christ.
Husbands must be careful because many would rather “force submission” upon their wives instead of allowing their wives to grow in their relationship with the LORD so she can submit on her own and from a biblical perspective. This leads directly to verse 25.
RE-THINKING EPHESIANS 5: 25
Ephesians 5 and verse 25 states, “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it…”
Just as the Apostle Paul was speaking to the women in the hearing of the men – here, he is speaking to the husband’s in the hearing of the wives. But what does it all mean?
Husbands are to be in submission to Christ and by doing so they are able to love their wives like Christ loves the Church. There is no doubt that the bible records countless events whereby the Church was not living unto Christ as she should have. However, Christ never forced submission upon the Church – HE just kept on loving her. Christ never lashed out at the church or abandoned her in her greatest days of weakness – HE kept on loving her.
This should also be the case with husbands. The Apostle Paul is allowing husbands to understand that there will be days when their wives’ relationship with the LORD will hinder her ability to be in proper relationship him. During those times the husband must learn to “love his wife, even as Christ also loved the church.”
WHAT TO DO
As we re-think marriage I offer three challenges to the submission argument.
EDUCATE HUSBANDS ON HEADSHIP
Husbands need to understand that when it comes to marriage – submission is not a word that should be used to force the wife to obey them. Husbands must be educated on how to be in right standing with the LORD themselves and how that right standing will lead to two things – 1) Grace from God upon the wife to desire to submit unto him and 2) Grace from God upon husbands regarding their egos.
GRACE FROM GOD UPON THE WIFE
Many husbands, especially Christian ones, live inside of marriage never fully realizing that the tension between them and their wife can be overcome by a proper personal relationship with God. Husbands who are in proper relationship with God and/or are more sensitive to the promptings of God have better success in marriage. Why is that the case?
It could be argued that one reason this is true is because God will settle in the husband’s mind the best way to understand his wife when an issue of submission arises. A husband is at a greater advantage of where his wife is in relation to him if he is spiritually conscious of where his wife is in relation with God. He cannot expect her to be unto him what she will not be first unto God.
GRACE UPON THE HUSBAND’S EGO
Since men are most often more physically powerful than women – “man-forced-submission” can take on some dangerous and totally unbiblical manifestations. Husbands must be taught the dangers of even desiring their wives to submit by force.
Forced submission, on the part of the husband, is often tied to a bruised ego of some sort. In the husband is an inherent expectancy that he will be unto his wife a savior of sorts and his thoughts about himself are directly connected to his ability to be so. When he realizes this cannot be accomplished, his personal identity begins to alter, shift and or is totally shattered – and the ego driven man will seek to restore his view of himself by identifying the individual who caused the shift in order to retaliate. His ego, if not challenged by his own command to love his wife as Christ loved the Church – will cause him to become “god” over his wife.
Where God doesn’t enforce her submission, the husband reasons that he will do God’s job for HIM and force her to submit. Often these “forcings” are manifested in a form of domestic violence where power and control rule the ego.
As a husband understands headship he also begins to understand that, although he is the head of the wife, he does not deserve such an opportunity outside of God’s governance. Every husband, in fact, has himself a head – God.
Husbands must be trained to never be ego-driven but to be instead God-motivated.
EDUCATE WIVES ON HEADSHIP AND LORDSHIP
Many women desire marriage but most don’t desire to be actually led by the man they marry. Much of this mindset has to do with the influx of culture superseding the institution of marriage and, on a certain level, women marrying men who never qualified as ‘husband-material’.
It is clear for a woman entering the institution of marriage that she will be led by her husband; this is referred to as headship. Headship assumes the wife understands her husband’s role over her life and that she is willing to submit to his headship because of God’s LORDSHIP in her life.
Married women have as their head – their husband! For women who don’t like this idea – don’t get married. Consider, what woman would not want the headship of her husband when she understands his role as a servant under Christ is to provide a covering of protection over her life?
Women transitioning into being wives must be educated to agree with God regarding the headship of their husband as it will strengthen her overall marriage and be an essential element to her relationship with Christ. Women who are not already under the LORDSHIP of the LORD will not submit to the headship of their “own husband”.
EDUCATE COUPLES ON RELATIONAL ACCOUNTABILITY
Marriage is such a sacred institution, it is truly the joining together of two people by making them “one flesh”. How do two people become one flesh? They do so by abiding by the Word of God and not allowing personal vices to thwart their individual obedience to God.
Relationship accountability does not necessarily mean the individuals in the relationship are keeping one another in proper harmony with one another, but that they are keeping one another accountable to the LORD.
As couples are considering marriage and are enrolled in pre-martial classes it should be taught that submission is an issue of wives conforming to the Word of God regarding their own husbands. Obedience is required! Additionally, husbands ought to be taught that submission does not keep the relationship accountable; loving your wife during times where she is not in submission, however, does.
In the end, when issues of submission arise in a marriage – couples must discipline themselves to not search the scriptures so much for what their spouse ought to be doing, but rather to understand their own individual responsibility within the marriage according to the scripture. Husbands are to love their wives as Christ loved the church. Husbands must concentrate on this command most when the wife seems to have lost focus on submission. Likewise, wives must maintain focus on the LORDSHIP of the LORD Jesus Christ who commands them to submit to their own husbands. For both, obeying the scriptures may be a seemingly insurmountable task, however, difficulty does not exonerate obedience; especially when it is to the command of scripture as it relates to the institution of marriage.
Next week – WAY #9: RE-THINK ADULTERY
Luis Moore Facing Attempted Murder Charges for Shooting Patience Boyd & Jaelyn Rodriguez Over Marijuana Debt Owed by Rick Rodriguez
Luis Moore charged with attempted murder after opening fire in front of Bronx apartment, shooting two kids, Patience Boyd & Jaelyn Rodriguez, over $400 unpaid loan to buy marijuana.
|Luis Moore charged with attempted murder|
TRAVESTY: Luis Moore, 23, opened fire in front of a crowd at an apartment building in the Bronx, aimed at a rival, Rick Rodriguez, 20, over an unpaid $400 loan to purchase marijuana, injuring two small children — Patience Boyd, 2, in the head, and Jaelyn Rodrigez, 6, in her neck. Moore turned himself in to police and has been charged with attempted murder. What a POS.
CBC Member Rep. Andre Carson (D-IN) Says Tea Party Wants "Blacks Hanging on a Tree" in a Shameful Reference to Lynching
Congressional Black Caucus member Rep. Andre Carson (D-IN) under fire for saying the Tea Party wants “blacks hanging on a tree” in a shameless reference to lynching blacks.
|Rep. Andre Carson|
Rep. Andre Carson (D-IND) and card-carrying member of the Congressional Black Caucus said the Tea Party wants “blacks hanging on a tree,” in other words, lynched. I can’t understand why some blacks walk around with this chip on their shoulders from the Jim Crow days? Er, it’s time to let it go. This is another reason why no-one in their right minds would take the Congressional Black Caucus serious because it seems as though fomenting racial tensions is just what they love to do.
Rep. Andre Carson, a Democrat from Indiana who serves as the CBC’s chief vote counter, said at a CBC event in Miami that some in Congress would “love to see us as second-class citizens” and “some of them in Congress right now of this tea party movement would love to see you and me…hanging on a tree.” Source
At this juncture, there is no room or need for such inflammatory accusations being hurled in any direction. This is a turn-off to many voters like myself. Some people just love to interject race and Jim Crow into every dogfight. Let me close by saying Rep. Andre Carson should be forced to resign for using such inflammatory language. There should be no tolerance in Washington for this type of language. It’s amazing that Maxine Waters and the other members of the CBC are silent on Andre Carson. Why haven’t the people in his district called him to task? There is a terrible double standard in this country on matters having to do with race.
Christian Painter Stephen Sawyer’s "No Appointment Necessary" Painting Portrays Jesus as a T-Shirt & Blue Jeans Wearing Dude Flexing Tattooed Tricep
Is Christian painter Stephen Sawyer’s latest painting, “No Appointment Necessary,” portraying Jesus flexing tattooed tricep and wearing a t-shirt and blue jeans an insult to Christians?
Christian paint Stephen Sawyer has taken his craft to a new low — denigrating Jesus as a tattooed, t-shirt and blue jeans wearing dude, flexing his right tricep, with his “No Appointment Necessary” painting. So, I guess we can look forward to seeing a hip-hop Jesus Christ coming soon!
The 58-year-old Christian artist’s goal, according to his “Art for God” website, is to use his paintings to “reflect the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth in the 21st century.” The painting described above has appeared in hundreds of different newspapers around the world, Sawyer says, including the Jerusalem Post.
“Those people who have tattoos, many of which are bikers, who have turned their heart over to God … instead of them being embraced by Christian fellowship … they had Leviticus being spouted out at them,” Sawyer told The Christian Post on Tuesday while explaining the purpose of the painting. “That was my open hand slap to say, ‘Stop judging people based on the outside of their cup,’” he said.
He was referring to Leviticus 19:28, which in the New International Version says, “Do not … put tattoo marks on yourselves.” Source
Of course, no-one knows what Jesus looks like and I guess that’s up to one’s interpretation of the Bible. I guess if he wanted to be accurate from a historical context, he should have portrayed Jesus with a darker complexion.