I know that the title of this article might seem a bit odd. By inference, isn’t a Godly marriage supposed to be strong? I mean, is there such a thing as a weak, Godly marriage? The best way I can think to answer that question is this. So many times, we try to be “Godly” without “God.” We find ways to make up our own rules but, to be safe, we make sure they have an appearance of godliness.
Sadly, this behavior extends to our marriages. We behave in ways in our marriages and in our homes that we wouldn’t do in public, especially at church. So, our relationships become like the Bible says in 2 Timothy 3:5, “having a form of godliness but denying its power.” But where does the power come from? How do you tap into it in your relationship with your spouse? While there are several ways to reach out to God and have Him reach back, I have found there is one area that those who have been married for a long time would consider the #1 attribute that has kept their marriage both strong and Godly. It’s the “S” word…submission.
First, let me define the “S” word. Submission is “the action or fact of accepting or yielding to a superior force or to the will or authority of another person.” Now, interestingly, the sentence that goes along with Google’s dictionary definition is “they were forced into submission.” It’s a sentence that vividly explains the way many people feel about the word. It is not something that anyone in their right frame of mind would do voluntarily, right? Why would anyone willingly yield themselves to someone else? I think the answer is found in the way they view the other person.
- Is that person a superior?
- Does that person have authority over them?
- Do they want to do what the other person requires of them?
Before implementing this attribute into our marriages, it’s important to get the answers to these questions in our relationships. Having a discussion about the way each person views submission is the first step in successfully assimilating it into our marriages.
Submission to God
Now that we’ve defined submission and touched on its importance, let’s talk about its place in our individual lives. In a Godly marriage, each person has to make the decision to allow God to take control for themselves. Your spouse can’t do it for you. And, the power that stems from implementing this practice in your marriage is available in full only when both individuals are willing to let God reign.
Sure, there will be some movement if one person goes it alone. But like two ox yoked together, this second step works best when both of you are moving in the same direction. If you take this step in life before you take the step of marriage, your chances of being “equally yoked” increase. Don’t get me wrong, there’s no magic formula. But God’s spiritual formula includes the radical step of submission to His will. It’s up to you to decide whether you’ll go that route.
Submission to Each Other
Now that you’ve taken an important second step and are willing to submit your will to God’s, it’s time to decide if you will voluntarily allow your spouse’s way of thinking to supersede yours. This is important because I’m not saying who should submit to whom. In fact, the Bible says in Ephesians 5:21 that each of you should “submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.”
Some days, your spouse’s ideas will be better than yours. Other days, yours will top the list. The most important part of the process is making a decision together that you will humbly accept and support whichever idea is best.
Submission is a powerful force in a relationship. It’s not a dirty word. It’s not a ball and chain concept. Instead, it’s an opportunity to have the Godly marriage you desire and live a life of love the way God intended.
BMWK, do you willingly submit to God and to your spouse?