We Are Submissive. Submission to God is not passive! Submission is actively taking control of our selfish nature and handing the control to God. Only then can he provide us his best.
Daughters of Sarah Bible Study session 2 (1 Peter 1:6-15).
Submit in Faith
How can a wife submit to her husband, who is at best imperfect and sometimes fails to lead in right directions? We submit through faith in our mighty God! We submit joyfully in the freedom of God’s protection. We submit actively in the holiness made possible by grace. In our last session, we learned that we are “chosen…for obedience” through the “sprinkling by his blood,” into “an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade — kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time” (1:4-5).
In our own power, or our husband’s power, there is always vulnerability for the things we value to “perish, spoil, or fade,” no matter how wise our plans. As we submit to God’s plan in faith we are “shielded by God’s power.” No matter how poor our husband’s decisions may be, we are shielded! We may suffer some consequences with him, yes. But we will not be overthrown. Our God will see us through. We have his word!
“In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that your faith of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed” (1:6-7).
Our submission to our husbands is a monitor of our faith in and submission to our God. It is not enough to submit reluctantly or grudgingly. Submission sounds like a passive word. We want active control. Yet this is not different from what we want in every area of our lives. God says, “No.” He requires us to give control of our lives to him. Only then can he provide for us his very best.
Submit in Freedom
If our husbands have control, does that not override God’s control in our lives? No. As the leader of our home, our husbands are to submit to God’s control as well.
But what if my husband doesn’t submit to God’s control? That frees me from this requirement of submission. Right?
We are just looking for excuses. God says neither we nor our husbands are given ultimate control. God requires submission as an act of obedient faith. God never requires submission so he can get control. God already has control!
This frees us to submit to our husbands knowing that even if our husbands rebel against God, they cannot lead us into areas where we are not, by faith, “shielded by God’s power!”
We don’t want to be passive. We want to be active, and that is exactly what God has called us to! The submission that God requires is never passive. It must be active obedience to and acceptance of God’s plan for us. How can we actively submit to our husbands and ultimately to God?
“Therefore, prepare your minds for action; be self-controlled; set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed” (1:13).
Ah, the control that we so desire! But not control of our husbands. Ours is a higher calling: self-control. We must prepare our minds for action by acknowledging that God is our ultimate authority. We must determine to cooperate with God by embracing God’s plan of submission to our husbands.
We must be self-controlled. No longer can we allow ourselves to assume the leadership role in our homes. We must relinquish control of our homes and take control of our attitudes, thoughts, and actions. We must discipline ourselves to submit to our husbands in accordance with the command of our God.
Submit in Holiness
We must not allow our minds to dwell on the possible consequences of what appears to us to be poor judgment on our husband’s part. Our hope must be “fully set” in God’s grace. Because of his grace, Jesus lives in us by faith. Jesus is being revealed in our lives every day as we submit to God’s authority. Ultimately Jesus Christ will be revealed in all of his glory in power on high. We will be there with him, partakers of his grace that gives us acceptance in his love!
So now, as wives, we are faced with a choice. God says, “As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do” (1:14-15).
Lord, give us the courage to submit, and teach us the way day by day. Amen
Questions for Discussion
- Why is it harder to submit to our husbands than to submit to God?
- Can we submit to God without submitting to our husbands?
- How does submission set us free?
- How can we be self-controlled?
- What is the ultimate goal of obedience in verses 14-15?
See also: What we believe about submission
Scripture taken from New International Version unless otherwise noted.