Category Archives: Marriage

Wives Submit!

In more than 35 years of pastoral ministry I haven’t met a man, married or unmarried, who couldn’t quote this biblical phrase from Ephesians 5:22 “Wives, Submit!” Oh, they may even be un-churched, unsaved, but they knew women are “supposed” to submit to men.

I heard a nationally known preacher once say, “Women, accept it, you are inferior to men.” Of course, in 2015 he would be taken out “behind the wood shed” BY WOMEN!

Why does the Bible say things like this? Isn’t this one of the reasons people say the Bible is so outdated? Could God have been thinking about this century or was he even aware culture would change and we would need a Book that can change with the times? Let me address this last set of questions first.

Truth is truth no matter the age or century.
We know mathematical truth is true throughout eons of time. The laws of physics remain untouched. The Bible is timeless truth written by men who were inspired by the Hoy Spirit.

The Bible is a Divine/human document. Both the words and writers are inspired by God THEREFORE the Bible is “God’s infallible Word”. That settled; let’s now answer this question, “Did God really say, ‘Wives Submit’?”

Tweet: That settled; let’s now answer this question, “Did God really say, ‘Wives Submit’?”

Let’s read the passage in its context: Ephesians 5:21 – 24 NIV 21 Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. 22 Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.

In this passage we discover, YES, He said women are to “submit to their own husbands in EVERYTHING.” We probably need to start with a working definition of “submit”.

The word means to “yield the right of way”. Have you ever gone to an intersection and seen a YIELD sign. We learn this means let the other person go first then it’s your turn. Great you say, “then I get to choose whatever the family gets to do and everyone can take their turn after me”.

Like in the old days when baths were on Saturdays and the whole family took a bath on the back porch in THE SAME #2 washtub. They started with Mom & Dad then from the oldest to the youngest ALL IN THE SAME water.

That’s where the saying came, “don’t throw the baby out with the bath water”. (Poor Baby, and poor family where men think this is how submission is interpreted, “I get to go first”).

There are THREE key truths in this passage that inform us on how to implement biblical truth in modern society:

#1Submission is mutual, “21 Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.” Yielding the right of way is for both men and women. Actually, it is for the whole family but it isn’t likely self-absorbed children or teenagers will gravitate to this quality too early in life. But it is a truth based upon the golden rule, “Do unto to others as you would have them do unto you” or the Law of Love. Christ modeled this submission for us by being willing to die for our best interest. Out of reverence for Him we follow His lead.

#2Women are equal to men. The passage above says, “wives, submit to your own husbands”. It doesn’t say, “Women submit to men”. There is role clarification for the dynamics between a husband and wife. In the beginning God created humankind in his image and He made them,   “Male and Female”… both are in His image. “Great”, you say, “she still has to give to me first”. Well, read on.

#3She is to submit to her husband “AS SHE DOES TO THE LORD”. The truth is He continues in verses 25 – 31… seven verses for the husband; three verses for the wife. Now ask yourself the question, ”What am I asking my wife and my family to yield to?” Is it self-centered or Christ-centered ideals. The Christian man, because he has surrendered to Someone else to be in charge of His life MUST yield the right of way to Christ. Women love Christ, they love to follow Him, and they devote their lives to serving Him. Are you like Christ? This is where true submission is realized.

The biblical principle for a glorious marriage may not be easy but it’s simple: “wives treat your husband like you treat Christ; MEN act like Christ”. Be willing to die for the salvation of your family, Become the savior (little “s”) of the family and be willing to sacrifice for their good. Ask them simply to follow you as you follow the Lord.

As you surrender to Christ’s Headship, you will see others follow you as the head of the family. As you “yield the right of way” you will witness the family follow suit. Even your teenagers are begging for a role model. They are looking all around for one. You can be the one who models Christ character, someone they can submit too. Let’s be true men of God and love our families as Christ loves them. Then we’ll reap the benefits of our family’s submission.

Tweet: “wives treat your husband like you treat Christ; MEN act like Christ”. – Mike Harrison @MultiplyingMen

MikeHarrison
Mike Harrison
Senior Pastor of Church 212

The Most Stable Force Ever (by Stephanie Harrison)

The following blog is written by Stephanie Harrison:


Early in 1980’s my marriage, ministry and melancholy self was failing. It had a serious hold on me. I had everything to be happy about–a home, health, and a husband that loved me. I found myself in the pit of despair. Hating the world, all types of people groups and especially females with jazz, attraction or talent. I became a Black Widow spinning my web to hold my husband captive at my will.

Controlling, jealous, bitter and envious of others, I decide to destroy all special relationships my husband held at bay. Locking our selves in our home for years , no friends, family, TV, newspapers, or books. Allowing one thing that was not intrusive, the Bible. Obsession of Mike was continually preoccupying or intruding my thoughts. Fear of losing the love of my life put me in a place of destroying not only my life but destroying his. Mike couldn’t go to the store without me, watch TV, visit his Mother, speak to anyone nor have a friend. When he stepped out of the web so graciously spun, the poison of my mouth and heart accelerated by actions of rage trapped him again. He became paranoid of my next moves. Would I put my fist through another window, another shotgun to my head, jump out of the car into traffic or make a fool of him in public by an outburst of anger?

Hanging on to the one good book in our home and crying out to God in despair, the only hope of deliverance. Reading the word and wanting to be free of the gloomiest spirits, black bile and violent outbreaks of anger. Doing the things I hated and not doing the things I wanted became a constant struggle of impulses of anxiety, guilt, fear and hating my self. Linking all my dark morose emotional offenders including excessive grief, loneliness and alienation from the trauma of my childhood experiences was my Parent’s divorce, a car accident which left facial scars then the rejection to follow with childhood stabs and growing up without either parent.

My husband was controlled, manipulated, abused, and bound by the web of my fears, he never gave up on me and decided to be the Christ I needed. He took me in his arms and said, “I’m going to love the little girl in you until you get healed”. The first sign of a pivotal change from “Unbelief”. Wanting to believe he truly loved me and would be the one to bring healing to my broken unbelieving heart. I decided to give him a chance to love me. He worked with me daily using the tool of God’s unconditional love. 1 John 4: 16. “We have known and believe in the Love God has for us”. I knew God loved me, I didn’t believe he loved me, I knew my Mike loved me, I didn’t believe he loved me. I didn’t believe I was lovable. Mike helped me believe, my believer was restored.

My husband, Mike Harrison, the most stable force ever in my life, a man like Christ, resistant to opposition or ill condition, was not easily moved or disturbed by my extreme emotional disorder, yet planted his feet in a stable foundation of his belief in God’s transforming love. He was enduring in the storm, a permanent fixture, consistent, dependable, not showing or marked by erratic or volatile emotions or behavior. Having no mode of decay; indefinitely long-lived love broke through my melancholy blue funk, dark hole of my destructive path. I am forever grateful.

Tweet: So men, “Love your wife as Christ loved the Church and gave Himself for her.” Ephesians 5:25 – Stephanie Harrison

You will be astonished at your remarkable results.

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Stephanie Harrison
Executive Pastor
Church 212

Why Not to Bank on Love: A Woman’s Perspective

Return weekly for blogs from our various writers:

We can’t forget how helpful it is to hear the wisdom of our other halves. Below is a message from Heather Marie Harrison, wife of Daniel Harrison posted on her personal blogging page regarding some personal tips for marriage.

To get more blogs from Heather and other writers in our community, please subscribe to the right and they will arrive straight to your inbox every Monday–men talking manhood.

Also, you can follow our podcast channel here.


32 “If you love those who love you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. 33 And if you do good to those who do good to you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. 34 And if you lend to those from whom you expect to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, to get back the same amount. 35 But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, for he is kind to the ungrateful and the evil. 36 Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful… -Jesus Christ, Luke 6:32-36

I wasn’t thrilled that this night’s lesson on Spiritual Growth was on the subject of “love.” Which is typically contrary to my nature, but this confession reflects the state my heart was in. I attended class dutifully, but with a muted and unengaged mind– cloaked with disenchantment, bitterness, and pride. I had once described this rut I was in to a confidant as being “exhausted” in walking “in love.”

Three and a half years of marriage and a foundational, grueling nearly 1-year-long engagement to my spouse had cultivated a sickened heart full of “hope deferred” (Prov 13:12). Although my husband and I were confident the Lord had set us apart to be one another’s, we were infantile in effectively knowing how to love and care for one another. I was swayed to and fro by any wind of “doctrine” or belief concerning my husband based on the circumstances of our love. My justice-geared mind was plagued with assessments:

I’m his wife; he needs to love me; he’s not loving me;

he is loving me, now; he’s not again;

he’s not being Christ-like;

he’s so good to me; he’s horrible!

For so long, I had been calculating the hurt my husband had caused me and, unknowingly, tallied a debt in my heart toward him. Tweet This: So much so that when my husband would display a genuine act of love, my gluttonous heart devoured it as payment toward the debt he owed me. It was impossible for me to appreciate the gift of love for what it truly was.

And through the balm of this Scripture, if there were any way possible to hear the condition of one’s heart, you would hear a groaning sound as a piece of my hardened-heart turned upon hardened-heart relaxing into a beating muscle. Through this verse, the Lord revealed the entitlement I carried.

Why do you lend to those from whom you expect to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, to get back the same amount” (verse 34).

Jesus showed me I had been lending my love to my husband in order to “get back the same amount.” I had become an entitled wife. Through the truth of Scripture, I had to humbly come to the conclusion that this “lending” formula did not work. With my entitlement addressed, the Lord gently and lovingly led me to steady ground: Heather, your ability to love is not affected by anyone else’s inability to love you. He further would ask the question He would ask me time and again (to which I would abandon the pursuit of change), if I never changed the person you invest your love into, would you be at peace to still love them? He challenged me to turn my “lending” love into “giving” love. And at the completion of the Scripture that struck my heart, the Lord addressed my innate sense of (high) justice.

“[God] is kind to the ungrateful and the evil” (verse 36).

He completely disarmed me. Every defense that I had raised in order to protect my beliefs, my rights, my needs, (my, my, my…), God called me to lay down every one that had been stunting my ability to walk in Christ’s love. The Lord brought me back to the covenant I had made to my husband and showed me that the covenant was a promise that I would love my spouse for his lifetime; based on my role in this promise, the covenant that I had entered was not about a promise for me to be loved for my lifetime.

I can gratefully say that this building block became a part of my life… and unexpectedly, by the grace of God, became adopted by husband. It wasn’t the tainted aim of the reformation of my love, but it became a result of what the Lord had done in our life.

Tweet This:
“The Lord demolished our old way of loving one another and led us away from banking on love– away from lending love into the promise of giving love.” @212LadyBug @MultiplyingMen

Hallelujah.

Heather Harrison
More from heather @ heathermarieharrison.wordpress.com
Heather


10 Tips for A Lasting Marriage

We can’t forget how helpful it is to hear the wisdom of our other halves. Below is a message from Heather Marie Harrison, wife of Daniel Harrison posted on her personal blogging page regarding some personal tips for marriage.


10 Tips for A Lasting Marriage

Below are 10 Milestones my husband and I have discovered during our 5-years of covenant with one another. I hope you find encouragement in whatever He ministers to you through these insights!

1) Jesus Christ is the Foundation and Leader (Deny yourself– daily; HE is the final authority)

2) Don’t give up on your spouse

3) Love yourself (not in contradiction with #1, Matt 22:39)

4) Love your spouse

5) Divorce isn’t an option for us

6) Spiritual Growth is key for a healthy marriage

7) Choose to be “for” your spouse and make it CLEAR that you are.

8) Human beings have a natural design to desire to be known and a default to hide; in order for your spouse to be “for” you, you must present yourself vulnerable, open and honest… No matter how “ugly” you think “it” is in your heart. (Don’t fool yourself into thinking you’re protecting your spouse by keeping secrets).

9) There is a promise for healing of reoccurring sin. It may surprise you. Many of us Christ-followers assume since we are connected directly to the Almighty and Creator God, Overcomer of sin and death, Healer and Savior of the world, that we can be healed just in the private relationship between you and Him. However, check out the formula He gives us regarding this topic found in James 5:16.

10) Forgiveness wins. patience wins. kindness wins. love wins. even when the other person is not playing. Luke 6:32-36 (see Why Not to Bank On Love)

by Heather Marie Harrison
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Heather