This is it. This is a watershed moment for The Orchid Blooms. I'm either going to have a massive leap in my readership, or I'll end up shutting the site down because of a giant exodus of followers. There is no topic that polarizes women like this one does. Well, maybe abortion might trump submission, but that's a story for another day.
So, how am I going to do this? Well, I've asked God to illuminate the way. The last thing I want is to misinterpret His words in the Bible, and cause women to disobey Him. God help me. Let's make some things clear before we begin.
If you are a Christian woman (fighting spiritual laziness on every front day after day), then your heart reflexively hungers and thirsts for righteousness. You long for God to search you and know your heart, to see if there is any grievous way in you, and lead you in the way everlasting. You want to be a branch that bears fruit, and you can only remain so, if he prunes you. You want to present yourself as a living sacrifice; you don't want to be conformed to this world. You want to be transformed by the renewal of your mind, and discern the will of God. This all means that you will accept His teaching about submission as the truth. And you will strive to honour Him as you live with your husband. That is Christianity.
I'm going to ask you to approach this as if you have never known what submission meant. Because I can bet for almost all of you, you're going to push your chair back and exclaim, "Hold up, hold up. This girl must be confused." Trust me, I had to stand up and take a breather when I first studied the topic with some friends of mine. I remember telling them, "If this is marriage, I've done it all wrong from the very minute I said I do." It made me angry because no one had ever explained the truth to me before. There are so many lies and misconceptions about this glorious design of marriage; the headship-submission relationship. We have believed so many things that it is not. I won't take time explaining the many views, we know them well; they all basically boil down to: submission=being a doormat/being sat on/being dominated over/being abused etc. And I'm talking about Christian women here. So I pray with all my heart that He helps me pass on what I've learnt from Him, glorifying His Name.
If you aren't a Christian, well, this could go one of three ways. There will be some of you who will read this like you're reading a National Geographic article; the concept will be so other-worldly for you, you'll genuinely be interested. You know, the way you read about these underwater sea creatures discovered only recently that look like swimming dinosaurs or whatever? You'll say things like, "Fascinating. Unbelievable. I would never have imagined it to be this way." You might even forward it to some friends and you'll all remark about how wonders in this world never cease. But you'll move on; forget about it in a day.
The second group of you will blow every gasket you have. You'll shake your head, curse under your breath, and further cement your belief that Christianity is madness and needs to be annihilated because it comes up with endless ways to destroy people's freedoms etc. You'll send me hate mail, You'll avoid me when you see me coming down the corridor at the mall, and you'll never read my work again.
Interesting fact: the Bible talks about you second group. Jesus said this to His followers just before He died:
John 15: 18-25
18 “If the world hates you, remember that it hated me first. 19 The world would love you as one of its own if you belonged to it, but you are no longer part of the world. I chose you to come out of the world, so it hates you. 20 Do you remember what I told you? ‘A slave is not greater than the master.’ Since they persecuted me, naturally they will persecute you. And if they had listened to me, they would listen to you. 21 They will do all this to you because of me, for they have rejected the one who sent me. 22 They would not be guilty if I had not come and spoken to them. But now they have no excuse for their sin. 23 Anyone who hates me also hates my Father. 24 If I hadn’t done such miraculous signs among them that no one else could do, they would not be guilty. But as it is, they have seen everything I did, yet they still hate me and my Father. 25 This fulfills what is written in their Scriptures[a]: ‘They hated me without cause.’ (emphasis my own.)
It is fully expected for Christians to literally be hated. To be persecuted, like I'm fearfully anticipating after this series. So do not find it strange when it happens to you. There is no unique insight or enlightenment the atheist and God-hater have acquired. They are simply created beings that have wholeheartedly rejected the Gospel. It is offensive, repugnant, repulsive to them:
1 Corinthians 1:18
18 The message of the cross is foolish to those who are headed for destruction. But we who are being saved know it is the very power of God. (emphasis my own.)
The Greek word Paul used when he wrote that is MORIA: foolish, dull, literally lacking sharpness. Or in contemporary vocabulary: "these dumb/crazy/deluded christians. You hate us, because you hated Him first. He said He showed up Himself right here in the flesh, performed miracles and wonders, and the people rejected Him then. You reject Him still. But know that He says you have no excuse for your sin. His words, not mine.
A small caveat: if you hate the 'Christians' that drained your mother's savings always asking her to 'sow' seeds; Or those who call themselves preachers, but abuse the women attending his church; or steal money from the parishioners, buying themselves cars and jets; or even those who breathed only hell and damnation and never once told you about the love of God, the security of salvation and the joy of Christ...these were not 'Christians.' And I'm so sorry.
The final group of you, will be the most precious. You who inexplicably find yourself drawn to these words you read, and you find yourself looking up Bible passages on your own, and perhaps attempting to pray to God Himself for the first time. I'm praying for you. That's Him; drawing you to Himself. Giving you His gift of faith. Opening the eyes of your heart. Believe in Him and be saved my friend. That is all you have to do. Believe that a sinless Christ, died the death that was yours on a Cross, taking away every single one of your sins. The price of sin had to be paid; it was going to be us burning forever in hell, because there is not a single good bone in us. We were born into sin. But we don't have to die in sin anymore. We could live out eternity with God; a vibrant, pain-free, sinless, unbelievable life.
Finally, know this. I am a wife learning this every day. I've failed miserably on too many occasions to count. My husband can corroborate that with a straight face.
I'm still making mistakes in this regard. But oh thank God, I've come a long way.
See you tomorrow. Find a Bible for tomorrow's post. And pray for God's help.
You're going to need it.
Christian, wife, mom, doctor, and an alien on earth, on my way to the city of God.