Submission

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When Christians hear the word submission, their minds may automatically jump to the controversial subject of submission of wives to their husbands. However, all Christians are called into a lifetime of submission. Christians are called to submit first and foremost to God as stated in James 4: 7 “Submit yourselves, then, to God….”.  Jesus lived in perfect submission to His Father. He never argued with Him about His rights or rebelled against Him. Instead, He yielded to His Father’s will because He trusted Him. He is our example.

We are called to submit to the government and other authorities. Romans 13: 1 states, “Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God.” This means everything from following speed limits to paying taxes. It means we cannot use our own judgment or take what is entitled to us.

Common sense tells us to submit to our bosses, but Christians are called to do even more than submit but to “serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not people…” in Ephesians 6:7. Putting forth our best efforts is a testimony to our boss and coworkers that God is good. If you think you are being treated unfairly, do not seek revenge with poor efforts.

Christian children must obey their parents as it says in Ephesians 6:1 , “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.” This basic relationship teaches us to know our place.

Submission is an attitude fortified with humility and obedience. These are characteristics God wants to instill in us because we cannot live in a proper relationship with the Lord unless we are trained in submission. If we cannot submit to earthly authority, how can we submit to God?

Ephesians 5: 22 states, “Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord.” As women’s rights gained prominence, the above verse became increasingly controversial. Some non-Christians think it is demeaning to women. Even some Christians think this is a verse that was meant for the time period it was written in and does not apply to us. I do not think it is demeaning or outdated.

Our Creator gave a masterful order to the universe. He instituted the laws of gravity. Our Father in heaven also established an order in families. Jesus should be the head of every household. Husbands are called to submit to Him, wives should submit to their husbands, and children must obey their parents.

Women have been given the gift of beauty, the ability to bear children, and a powerful influence over their children’s lives. Yet, women are called to submit to husbands. This does not mean wives should become robotically compliant to their husbands. It means they should yield to their husbands.

Husbands should never misuse their authority to control or abuse women. Rather, they should delegate authority to other people in the household. They should seek the opinions of household members before making decisions. In this way, they become a good Christian husband and father.

Christian wives will become unhappy if they must assume a leadership position because a husband is refusing to lead. When both husband and wife struggle for power, households are too argumentative. Christians who feel their household is out of balance should seek their God-given assigned identity in Christ by meditating on Scripture and praying for ways to conform to God’s design for families.

Christians should have an attitude of submission towards God. Our earthly authority provides a great training ground to learn how to submit. When we submit to authority, we humbly obey God as we should. Whether it is the federal government or our boss or a husband, we respect God’s plan for order when we yield to their authority.

But what about when the authority figure or law goes against God’s Word? What then? God is the highest authority in the Christian’s life. Christians should always obey God even when authorities in your life command you to go against what God or His Word is telling you to do.

In the book of Daniel, we read about Daniel’s character. He was faithful to God and submitted to authority. He worked hard and behaved righteously. His qualities earned him a promotion. The jealous officials inspired a decree which forbid Daniel to pray to God. Yet Daniel ignored the decree that lead him away from God and kept on praying! He feared God more than man so God rescued him from the mouth of lions.

Christians must always fear God more than man. Christians should never depend on the law to tell us what is right or wrong, but we should rely on God’s Word. Believers should tell corrupt bosses they will not break the law to help their bottom line. Christian women should not quietly submit to abusive husbands but seek God’s will in their lives. Those are exceptions in which acting righteously and justly according to God’s Word is more important than submitting to authority.

In most circumstances, submission to authority is a useful tool to help us draw near to the Lord. If we love the Lord, we will submit to authority. In doing so, we are a good example and witness to others. Throughout our lives, we must remember our King in heaven is our ultimate authority. Our Father who loves us deserves our undivided loyalty.

PRAYER: Lord, Help us to draw near to You by submitting to authority. Give us the courage to stand firm on the Word when authority leads us astray. Thank You, Lord, that You hear our prayers. In Christ’s Name, Amen.

© 2015 Kim Bond

Draw Near exists to glorify God and help others draw near to Christ by providing free resources. Click here to learn more about God and here to access free Christian ebooks. Thanks for visiting. Stay blessed!

Why Am I Still Single?

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Single Christians will often beat themselves up. They will ask, “What’s wrong with me, God? Am I unlovable?” The truth is that you are very lovable. There is nothing wrong with you! In fact, you are wonderful. However, you may be falling into a common trap.

As a fun way to communicate the traps, I created singles profiles along with a recommended verse, prayer, reflection, or practical advice. What type of single Christian are you? An unbelievers’s pal? One with skyscraper standards? A lonely angel? Or a waiter dater? Single Christians often fall into one of these profiles based on their personal choices and individual personality.

Profile: Unbeliever’s Pal -The Unbeliever’s Pal spends most of his/her time with unbelievers. This person is oodles of fun. He or she would probably be married to an unbeliever, but they know God wants them to marry another Christian. So they are suspended in singlehood…
Verse: 2 Cor. 6:14 states Can light have anything in common with darkness?
Recommended Reflections: Why do I choose to spend so much time with unbelievers? Am I double-minded or compromised in my actions or thoughts? Do I feel an obligation to save them or take care of them?
Prayer: Lord, please help me to limit the amount of time I spend with unbelievers. Send more Christians into my life. Fill my heart with a unique love for them. Amen.
Practical Advice: Attend more church and Christian events and home groups. Aggressively seek fellowship with them. Stop stooping to an unholy lifestyle for unbelievers. Instead, ask your unbelieving friends to stand upright with you.

Profile: Skyscraper Standards – Mr. or Miss Skyscraper Standards finds it difficult to find the right person. He or she is probably attractive and seems to have it all together. There is just something wrong with every person they date. So this person is perpetually single and searching…
Verse: Romans 9:21 states Or is not a potter authorized over the clay to make some formed things from it, one vessel for honor and one for dishonor?
Recommended Reflections: Do I love myself? Am I projecting my discontentedness with myself onto others? Can I focus on the good in myself and others?
Prayer: Lord, Give my Your loving eyes to see myself and others. Help me to remember You created us fearfully and wonderfully. Help me to focus on the characteristics you love in others. Amen.
Practical Advice: Take time to let go of your own imperfections. Be friendly to everyone and accept all date invitations. Give lots of chances. Accept 2nd and 3rd date invitations even if the first date did not go well. Focus on having a good time instead of finding someone.

Profile: Lonely Angel – The Lonely Angel spends most of their time either alone or hanging with Christians of the same gender. They have a great relationship with God, but they just aren’t really meeting anyone they feel connected to. They are caught in a routine of being single….
Verse: 2Samuel 6:14 Wearing a linen ephod, David was dancing before the LORD with all his might…
Recommended Reflections: How determined am I to become married? Am I allowing the passion for life to exhibit itself? Is a job or something else draining time and resources that should be devoted to finding my future spouse?
Prayer: Lord, Help me to seek my future spouse with passion. Guide me to be available and obedient. Amen.
Practical Advice: Convince a few of your single same-gender friends to do something the opposite gender prefers to do. If you are a guy, hang out at the food court in the mall. If you are a girl, go to a baseball game. Challenge yourself to start a conversation with 3 strangers of the opposite gender by the end of the night. Give one of them your phone number. Rejections are meaningless. Keep going. Tell your friends to set you up on a blind date with one of their Christian friends.

Profile: Waiter Dater – The Waiter Dater is always in a long-term relationship. This person is skilled in the art of relationships, but the relationship they are in never results in marriage. So they are forever single because they are always waiting for a proposal or the right time to propose.
Verse: Gen. 2:1-2 states Thus the heavens and the earth were completed in all their vast array. By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing…
Recommended Reflections: Am I in a healthy relationship or a state of dependency? What is the real reason this relationship has not resulted in marriage? Do I have the courage to commit if it is right? Do I have the courage to end it if I know it is not right?

Prayer: Lord, please give me the courage to do all You have called me to do. Help me to trust what I feel You are telling me to do. Thank You that You always guide with wisdom. In Christ’s Name, Amen.

Practical Advice: Guys, do not make excuses to delay a proposal. If she really is the one you want to marry, isn’t she more important than your next semester of college education? If the rest of the people in history waited until they were financially secure, imagine how many marriages and families never would have existed! Ladies, show yourself some respect and walk away from a relationship when you realize he is just not that into you. If he is into you, he won’t let you go.

I could write a few more, but it is likely that you see yourself in one or more of these profiles. It may be some combination of these descriptions. You may not fit neatly into any of the above profiles. Perhaps it would be better to create your own profile and make a strategy for resolving your stumbling blocks to marriage.

Remember God loves you. He hears your desperate pleas to find someone. He knows your longing to share love and start families. Are you willing to do what He is asking of you to make that happen? God is willing to help you especially when you make yourself available for your future spouse to enter your life. As faithful as he or she is, I doubt they are willing to walk up to your door and knock while you sit there on your computer and ask you on a date….or tell you to break up with that person you’ve been dating seven years…or well, you get it.

In the meantime, enjoy having the whole bed to yourself. If the loneliness gets to be too much, tell yourself, “I want to remember this loneliness so that when I marry the right person…I will have the good sense to stand by their side even when it gets tough.” God is always preparing you for your future and His kingdom. God bless!

© 2015 Kim Bond

Draw Near exists to glorify God and help others draw near to Christ by providing free resources. Click here to learn more about God and here to access free Christian ebooks. Thanks for visiting. Stay blessed!

Is He or She the One?

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Single people walk around with a romantic notion in their heads. It is this idea that God has created a perfect match for them, and they should spend their lives looking for that person who will fulfill their every need. In a sense, that impression is true. The perfect match for all people is out there in the man called Jesus Christ. We should spend our lives discovering more about Him. It is only through Him we will find the wholeness we are seeking. You are probably still wondering who you should marry and how to find them though.

God tells us in Matthew 6 that we should not waste time worrying, but we should instead “Seek first the kingdom and his righteousness.” This advice applies to worrying about who your future spouse will be. Genesis 2:18 states God created woman to be a “helper” to Adam. God may bring someone alongside you to be your helper after you have thrown yourself into a focus on Jesus. An example of ways you can do this is to learn more about Christ by reading His Word and other Christian books, fix your attention on serving in a ministry, and learn to gain freedom from sin.

I once met a man and a woman that lived in the same town but did not know each other. Both answered God’s call to be a missionary and flew halfway around the world. In that faraway country, God caused them to meet and fall in love. Together, they worked as servants of God—helping one another bring souls to Christ. When you seek God’s kingdom and righteousness, God may send a helper to you.

If God has sent this helper to you, he/she will be a Christian. You will be attracted to one another. You will be interested in marrying each other. You will pray about marriage and in His own way God will approve of your decision. After you have married this person, you will realize this is the “one” God knew beforehand you would marry. You both can continue to rest in the fact that you have your perfect match in Jesus even if your marriage gets rocky.

“Do not worry” should not be misunderstood to mean “do not pray.” Persevere in prayer that God would send someone in your path if it is His will, and if not that He would remove your desire to be married. Also pray for patience to wait for your future spouse. Look around you! God may have already sent someone perfect for you. Don’t look back and regret though. Unless God has told you something different, assume old relationships did not work out for a reason.

You may know of some Christian that never married and are worried this will become your fate. Single Christians can and do have lots of fun and freedom. Plus they can relax in knowing they found their perfect match in Jesus Christ who fulfills their every need.

© 2015 Kim Bond

Draw Near exists to glorify God and help others draw near to Christ by providing free resources. Click here to learn more about God and here to access free Christian ebooks. Thanks for visiting. Stay blessed!