I’m the boss… And I have my wife’s permission to say so!
I have often heard this said, and each time it makes me smile as images of the wife wearing the trousers float through my head….
As I was thinking about this saying this morning, it occurred to me that I don’t particularly like having people in authority over me…. It makes me feel somehow less important. Could it be that I have a misunderstanding of what authority is all about?
The Bible teaches that we submit to those in authority over us:
“Be subject to every human institution for the Lord’s sake, whether to a king as supreme or to governors as those he commissions to punish wrongdoers and praise those who do good. For God wants you to silence the ignorance of foolish people by doing good.” (1 Peter 2:13-15 NET; See alsoHeb. 13:17;Rom. 13:1, etc); “In the same way, you who are younger, be subject to the elders.” (1 Peter 5:5 NET)
Going back to the husband/wife relationship, the Bible teaches that the man is the head:“Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife…” (Eph. 5:22 ESV; See also1 Cor. 3:11, etc).
Keeping with the marriage example, however, what the Bible does not teach is that the woman is in any way of less value than the man. And Jesus’ ministry certainly was a prime example of this. We see Jesus honoring women in a society where they were considered less important. In a culture where men did not speak directly to women in public, we see Jesus not only speaking directly to them, but doing so in a caring, loving manner (SeeJohn 4:7-26;John 8:10-11;Luke 7:12-13;Luke 8:48;Luke 11:27-28). Even on the way to the cross (SeeLuke 23:27-31)! We see that women were the first ones to Jesus’ tomb, the first to know He was alive (SeeMatt 28:1-10;Luke 24:1-10;John 20:1;Mark 16:1-8). We see that women were honored by the apostles in the New Testament (SeeRom 16:1-2;Acts 16:13-15;Acts 18:26, etc). We also see that some of Israel’s judges were women (SeeJudges 4,2 Kings 22:14–20, etc). And those are just a few of the examples.
Wait. Doesn’t it seem like the Bible is contradicting itself here? If a woman is to submit to her husband, doesn’t that say that she is of lesser value?
Not at all.
According to the Bible, women are to be submissive to their husbands. This doesn’t mean, however, that they are any less important. Submission is not the same as admitting inequality. You can be equal and submissive at the same time.
We see this also throughout our lives. Take the work place. Whoever is your superior is not more important than you are, they are not of higher value. However, they have been placed in a position of authority over you. And then there’s the church. A pastor and an elder are not more important in God’s eyes than the members of the church. They have been, however, placed in authority over the church members. One final example is the coach of a sports team. The coach isn’t more important than the team members. Hey, he isn’t even the one out there making the ball move and scoring points! But he has been placed in a position of authority over the team members.
Taking this one step farther, let’s take a look at the relationship between God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit: The three parts of one God. We know they are equal, for they are all part of the One, and the gospel of John says, “…he called God his Father, thereby making himself equal with God.” (John 5:18 NLT). Nonetheless, it would seem that God the Father is in charge, because we see Jesus submitting to His Father: “I tell you the solemn truth, the Son can do nothing on his own initiative, but only what he sees the Father doing. For whatever the Father does, the Son does likewise.” (John 5:19 NET; See also John 12:49;John 10:25-29), and we also see that the Holy Spirit is in submission to both God the Father and to Jesus: “Then I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate to be with you forever…” (John 14:16 NET; See alsoActs 2:33).
What we can see, then, from the Bible, is that though God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit are the three parts that make up God, Jesus Christ submits to God the Father, and the Holy Spirit submits to both! Thus, the trinity, each being fully God, submit themselves to one another!
And if God the Son and God the Holy Spirit are willing to submit to the authority of God the Father in order for unity to be maintained, how much more shouldn’t we, being human, be willing to submit to the authority of those God has placed over us?
And while we’re at it, if Jesus and the Holy Spirit, both being equal to God the Father, submit to His will, what does that say about us, His creation? I don’t know about you, but I’m going to think twice about trying to maintain control, when God tells me I need to give Him control of my life!
Oh, and the next time you hear someone saying they are in the boss, and they have their wife’s permission to say so, go ahead and smile; for that is actually the way God intended it to be from the beginning!
In His love,
Lynona Gordon Chaffart, Speech-Language Pathologist, mother of two, Author — “Aboard God’s Train — A Journey With God Through the Valley of Cancer”, Author and Moderator for The Nugget, a tri-weekly internet newsletter, andScriptural Nuggets, a website devoted to Christian devotionals and inspirational poems, withAnswers2Prayer Ministries. Follow Lyn on Twitter @lynchaffart.