Submission and Self Sacrifice

Colossians 3:18-25 (ESV)

Wives, submit to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord. Husbands, love your wives, and do not be harsh with them. Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord. Fathers, do not provoke your children, lest they become discouraged. Bondservants, obey in everything those who are your earthly masters, not by way of eye-service, as people-pleasers, but with sincerity of heart, fearing the Lord. Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ. For the wrongdoer will be paid back for the wrong he has done, and there is no partiality.

There is a difference in wording in a similar passage in Ephesians 5:25 (ESV)

Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her...

When I was young, and newly married, I was bold enough to remind by beloved bride that it states in the Bible that she was to be submissive to me. Boy was that a mistake. I have since learned how important it is for the husband to be self sacrificing for his bride.

If we as husbands and wives would be serious about putting each other’s needs first, life would be much easier on us all. I think there are many of us who do a pretty good job at thinking we are being in step with the Biblical admonition to put others first, but to me it is really hard to do this on a daily basis especially in the context of our marital relationships.

I have a tendency to think of others first, except for my wife. I forget sometimes that my first allegiance, and dedication is to her. She needs to be first, other than the Lord.

Yes, the Lord is first, even above my beloved, but she is next. Then others, and finally myself. To be honest, I think I put myself a little higher in priority than I should, at least sometimes. So I will continue to strive to consciously choose others over my own needs, until willpower is no longer an issue.

Jesus put the Father's request above His own desires, and comfort. He gave all, that we may live. How can we do anything less than serve Him?

If we work heartily in all that we do, as if for Jesus, we are serving the Lord. Regardless of where we work, what we call our profession, we are called to do all as unto the Lord. We are told to treat others as we would like to be treated. We must give to others and the Lord will reward us as He sees fit.

May God, the Father of Our Lord Jesus, help each of us to see ourselves in the light of His Word, and bring us into compliance with His directives. Come Lord Jesus! Live in and through us.

by Virgil Stripes

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