Creflo Dollar - Mutual Submission - Part 4
Ephesians chapter 5, and we're gonna look at 25 through 33. Well, you know what, I want to show you Jesus in action before we, hold your place at Ephesians 5. Let's go to Luke chapter 2 and 51, Luke chapter 2. 'Cause I figure if you find Jesus doing something he's telling us to do, we probably need to do it. Submission releases God's favor, and the place of submission is the place of blessings. Submission releases God's favor, and the place of submission is the place of blessings. Now, so Jesus now is in the temple. He wanders away from Joseph and Mary. And he goes and he starts teaching in the temple. And they find him, and Jesus in verse 49 said, "'How is it that you sought me? Wist you not that I must be about my Father's business?' And they understood not the saying which he spake unto them".
All right, now check this out, verse 51 and 52. "And he went down with them". He submitted. "He went down with them, and came to Nazareth, and was subject unto his parents". He was subject unto them. "But his mother kept all these sayings in her heart". All right, so here is Jesus submitting and made himself subject unto them. And look at what happened in the next verse, "And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man". Notice what happens, as a result of his submission and subjecting himself to his parents, submission became the place of blessings, it became the place of favor, it became a place where things begin to happen in his life. The favor of God is released because a person understands the power of submission. The blessings of God are released because you understand the power of submission. And remember, this is available to both a husband and a wife, a man and a woman. Submission is the place of favor and blessing.
Now, any man that fights submission, not interested in submission, don't want to submit, you must know by now, you gonna submit to somebody, willingly or unwillingly, okay? But to submit to God becomes a whole new story here. So, I thought what I'd do here is, since you're taking some notes, I want to talk to you and give you three kind of approaches to define submission like what it is. Last week, I told you what it's not. Submission is not forced obedience. Submission is not leaving your brain at the door. Submission is not being blind.
So, what is submission then? Well, number one, submission is, it's mutual. In other words, it's something that, as husband and a wife, we hold in common, it's mutual. Biblical submission is mutual submission. And Paul reminds us that we are all part of the body of Christ, and we submit to one another, it's mutual. Now, that's kind of big in some Christians's life because they, you know, we've only been trained, whether people did it on purpose or not, that submission was something for the wife. And that's just not the truth. If it's not mutual, if submission is not mutual, it's not biblical submission. If submission does not pertain to both the husband and the wife, the man and the woman, it's not grace-based submission. So, we can't keep talking about submission, "All right, women, now we gonna talk to you. Let's talk about submission". No, no, no, no, no, it's for everybody, it's for everybody. And even when you're not married, it's for you as a Christian.
So, number one, submission is mutual. Number two, submission is bearing good fruit. Everybody say, "good fruit". Submission is bearing good fruit. The will of God bears good fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree can't bear good fruit. Matthew chapter 7 and 18 says, and it's referring to biblical submission, will bring, it'll bring forth love, it'll bring forth joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. And then it also says that it will honor the image of God in each person and help him or her to pursue his or her calling in Christ. So, when we submit to each other as Christ led us in each circumstance, we are walking in the perfect will of God, and we will bear good fruit. Submission that bears bad fruit is not biblical submission. You can't tell me, "Well, I submitted," and you're feeling bad and you're feeling depressed, and you want a divorce. That's, something's wrong with that. Something's wrong with that. Biblical submission is going to bear good fruit. And we need to talk more about that in the future.
And then the third approach to this definition of submission, biblical submission is not only mutual, it not only bears good fruit, but biblical submission is centered on Christ, it's centered on Christ. Biblical submission always pulls us towards the cross. Biblical submission, I mean it's this whole deal of I'm submitted, and part of that is doing what's right based on what Jesus has modeled. And so, when we demand power based on gender, and any other social identity, we are not living in the example of Jesus Christ. And we submit to each other based on those gifts. You know, Christ even directs us in, I think it's Ephesian 4:11. He said Christ himself gave gifts to men. He gave the apostle, the prophet, the teacher, the evangelist, for the perfecting of the saints. So, he gave gift to men, and so we believe that biblical submission strengthens marriages. They foster stronger and mutual partnership. And you will find out a little later on, authoritative marriages take away the opportunity for discussion and choice and impartation, and all those things. 'Cause you got one guy who just, he's deciding everything without any more input. That's just not how this is supposed to work. Everything about submission is pointing back to the cross of Jesus Christ and is pointing back to what Jesus has defined as right and the example for us all.
Now, let's go to Ephesians chapter 5, Ephesians chapter 5. Some of you who are not married but are getting married, you ought to thank God for this series. Y'all ought to get the series and listen to it all over again. Ephesians chapter 5 and verse 25. In fact, let's start at verse 21. Ephesians 5:21, "Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God. Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands," but notice what he said, do it according to the pattern, "As unto the Lord," like you would submit yourself to the Lord to do what's right, okay. "For the husband is the head". We know that head is not a dominance or authoritative. We know that the husband is the head. He is the source by which nourishment flows, love flows, that's what head means. Head means you're the source of love. You're the faucet that love and nourishment flows to your wife. Husband, be the source of the wife, even as, "Even as Christ is the source of the church".
Love and nourishment flows from Christ to the church. "And he is the savior of the body. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything". That's the right thing that we saw in 1 Peter chapter 3. Then he says, "Husbands, love your wives," how, how? "Even as Christ also loved the church, gave himself for it. That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, that he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but he nourishes, he cherishes it, even as the Lord nourishes and cherishes the church". And he's saying you should be nourishing and cherishing that wife. "We're members of his body, and of his flesh, and of his bones. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and they shall be joined together unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh".
He says you gotta leave to cleave, leave to cleave. You ought not be going and depending on mommy and daddy. Once you're married, once you married, the car breaks down, wife, don't call your daddy to fix the car. Husbands, don't be coming back to your wife, I mean your mama and doing that, you gotta leave to cleave. Men got to learn how to let your mama go. Now, I'm not talking about, you know, ignoring your mama, but your mama finished raising you, all right? Your wife is not your mama. And you need to, you need to... nobody probably know what I'm talking about here. It's just like, you have to leave to cleave. Everybody say, "Leave to cleave". You're not gonna be able to cleave properly if you don't leave properly, amen. All right now, watch this, he says, "This is a great mystery; but I speak concerning Christ in the church". Now, here's what I'm after today. "Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself," now, this is interesting, "and the wife see that she respects her husband".
The King James uses the word "reverence". Wives, see that you respect your husband. Now, let's go over this just for a moment. The aspect of head here in Ephesians. This passage is developed in Ephesians 5 where Paul holds Christ to be the head of the church as the man is the head of the wife. So, here the husband is encouraged to take Christ as model in causing his bride to grow. You're looking at Christ as the model to cause your bride to grow, to realize her full capacity, to become all that she can be, nourishing and cherishing her, being the faucet that will flow love and nourishment into her life. Now, it is the power to build up rather than to tear down. You're the head, you're the faucet, so you can build up and not tear down. And like I said, male authoritative headship marriages does not allow a free exchange of ideas in decision making as equals which develops maturity in the wife and in the husband. If you're just the authority making all of the decisions, you're gonna end up with a house with bad pipes.
Somebody says, "What you're talking about"? I did that; I was trained on to be the authority. And Taffi and I just got married. We're moving out of our apartment. We're going house hunting, you know? And just that weird part of me that just, you know, this is the house. And she said, "Well, don't you think we need to keep looking"? I said, "I got this". And she looked at me like oh, okay, backed up. I wish she hadn't, I wish she'd have fought me tooth and nail 'cause I could have got a lot more than what I got. So, I got this blue house with burgundy shutters because I can afford it, we can fix it later. And then one night we're in the bed sleep, and all of a sudden I hear this noise, pop, peep, pop. Pop, peep, pop. I said, "What's that"? She said, "That's the pipes on the house you bought". I learned a lesson. I need her impartation.
So, I got a chance to do it again. And we stepped into this one house I said, "I think this is it," she says, "I don't think so". I said, "Mmm, submitted, whatever. Let's go, let's keep going, let's go. Let's get on out of here now 'cause I don't want to hear that pop, peep, pop". Went outside to cut the grass, and I guess the cesspool or something busted. And it was all, I hurried up, got out that house. I didn't know how much that was gonna cost, so I had to get up. "Well, how's the grass"? It's real moist right there. Praise the Lord, you can grow almost anything there, amen. Because Christ is referred to as head and source of the church, he supplies, to all of us, nourishment and tender care, as should the husband for his wife, nourishment and tender care. The wife, in turn, reciprocates that. The wife must respect him and return the self-sacrificing love which he freely gives.
Now, listen to this carefully now, I'm taking you somewhere. The issue of respect is a need in a man's life, he needs that. A man's highest need is to feel respected, whereas a woman's may be, you know, to feel loved. And I'm gonna show you how you can get all those met. You can't lavish lots of love on your husband, I mean that's great, but if you don't also show that you respect him and you maybe criticize him in public or question their decisions all the time, they're going to feel disrespected and then they won't feel loved. So, now all of a sudden, the issue of respect needs to be talked about because I would imagine that respect is as equally important to a wife. What is it that Paul is after as he divides these different roles up and he says, "All right now, you love and you respect"? No, no, Paul is bringing in context teamwork, and he's bringing in context how this has all got to be mutual in order for it to work. There is no, "You do this, and I'mma do this because you need this more, and I don't need that more".
You know, you came up with all the little five languages. You need this, but you need that. And I feel like, you know, I'm looking at some honeys. I'm like, I want some of that too. It was like when I was growing up, and my dad used to, you know, I have four sisters. And my mother used to bring Valentine candy. You remember them big, old, red heart, and it had all them little nice little candies on the inside of that? And he come coming on me talking about, "You know, you a boy, you don't get no candy". And I'm like, "I'm a kid. I want some candy too". Candy not for no little boy, so I went in there and I just ate all my sisters's, and when I finished them, I went and got my mama's. And I'd just sneak in there and get in a little nibble. You know, like, boys can't have the thing, yeah, but they can sure sneak around and steal a couple of them. You understand? So, respect is important. I want you to listen to me very carefully here. Respect, as I said at the beginning, is the glue that holds relationships together, respect is.
So, why is respect so important in relationships? Respect in your relationship, it builds, listen to this, feelings of trust. It builds safety. And it builds well-being. Feelings of trust, safety, and well-being. That's what respect will build. So, if you have a wife who has built walls up and you're wondering where those walls came from, it's 'cause she doesn't feel safe. And if she doesn't feel safe, it's probably because she doesn't feel respected, which means it will ultimately affect your intimacy because she don't feel safe. She don't feel safe telling you the truth. She doesn't feel safe being who she is. She doesn't feel safe adding things because, you know, it's a constant disrespect. "I feel like if I tell you the truth, then you're gonna scream and holler and disrespect me again. And I'm just gonna add more to the walls, and the walls get bigger and bigger". So, we're not only gonna talk about what respect is, but we need to talk about, can you tell when you've been disrespected? It seems like I miss people that can't tell that they've been disrespected. So, how do you know if there's respect in your relationship? 'Cause some people don't know when they're being disrespected. Well, let me give you eight quick ones right quick.
Number one, you feel safe being around each other when there's respect there. You feel safe because you know there's respect there.
Number two, you know it's okay for both of you to express who you are. You can express who you are and do that as an individual in a marriage because you feel respected. I can express who I am.
Number three, when you disagree, you listen to each other and you're patient with each other. So, when you disagree, you can listen and you can be patient because you know that there's respect there.
Number four, you don't yell or talk over the top of each other. Oh man, men, we have an issue with that. I know I had an issue with it. It had to stop. I was gonna lose my marriage if I couldn't figure out how to fix that part because that was showing disrespect or it was devaluing my wife. So, when you can yell and you can yell to try to talk over that person, it's disrespectful.
You know when you're respected, what is this, number five? When neither of you are controlling the other person's choices. When somebody tries to control your choice, that's disrespectful, there's no respect there.
Number six, you both talk openly about your needs and wants. When there's respect there, you can both talk openly about your needs and your wants. You can both, instead of, you know, you want to talk about it and then all of a sudden, "Well, why we talking about it right now? I tell you what, we gotta pay some bills before we be". See, that's disrespectful. I'm fittin' to build another wall up, and you get on my nerves. There's no respect there when that can't take place.
Number seven, you both allow the other person's space if they need it. You both allow the other, when there is a respect, you will allow the other person space. "You know, I don't wanna talk about it right now". "No, we need to talk about it now, you brought it up". See, see, see, nah, that's disrespectful. That's disrespectful. When Taffi and I taught on how to fight fairly online, one of the things was, you know, dude, you gotta allow people to step away for a time if they need to. Sometimes you just might be too hard to handle. She just trying not to cut you. You need to let her have her space.
Number eight, you can both admit when you've made a mistake. When there's respect, when there's respect, you can both admit when you've made a mistake when there's respect.
All right, stay with me now. Now, in all of this, don't forget to have respect for yourself. Don't forget to have respect for yourself. Remember that you are valued and that you matter. When you have respect for yourself, you have to remember, "I am valued and I matter". 'Cause when you're in a relationship where there's disrespect, disrespect will try to get you to a point where you don't remember that you matter and that you've, especially church-type stuff. I love church, but it's like this condemnation by using Scripture. I've seen so many women, mainly, go around thinking, "Well, I don't matter, and I don't have any value or say so 'cause I'm supposed to submit". That's not what that is. That's disrespectful. What you think and feel is just as important as what somebody else thinks and feels.