August 25, 2012

Adorning God's truth as a wife


When I read 4 Responses to the Challenge of Same-Sex Unions (Al Mohler via Ligonier), it really got me thinking. Just last night, we'd had a little conversation in our home about society's attempts to normalize homosexuality and how the Bible provides the plumb-line for our normal: holiness.

Dr. Mohler sums up the conundrum so well:
We are facing a true moral inversion -- a system of moral understandings turned upside down. Where homosexuality was even recently condemned by the society, now it is considered a sin to believe that homosexuality is wrong in any way. A new sexual morality has replaced the old, and those who hold to the old morality are considered morally deficient. The new moral authorities have one central demand for the church: get with the program.
This puts the true church, committed to the authority of God's Word, in a very difficult cultural position. Put simply, we cannot join the larger culture in normalizing homosexuality and restructuring society to match this new morality. Recognizing same-sex unions and legalizing same-sex marriage is central to this project. 
 I thought back to a seemingly unconnected sermon preached by my husband last Sunday. The message dealt with the unbelief of Abram and Sarai as they became impatient with God's fulfillment of His revealed plan for them. Sarai came up with Plan B, drawn from the normal practices of society around them; Abram submitted to her plan, and the rest is history.

At the end of the message, Jeff provided some helpful acronyms including this one which helps us understand what it means to wait on the Lord.



See that A up there? It helps us remember to adorn God's truth -- to live in a way that makes the truth of God attractive to the unsaved. And that's what Dr. Mohler got me thinking about today.

You see, biblical marriage is such a beautiful picture of biblical truth.
Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands. (Ephesians 5:22-24 ESV)
Wives, let's talk a minute. There's so much controversy about wives submitting to our husbands. Yet we are told in Ephesians that our wifely submission paints a picture of a greater submission: the church submitting to Christ.

If I am to adorn this truth -- that is, beautify it -- I must make it look attractive. I joyfully submit as a way of honoring not just my husband, but my Lord. I recognize Christ's authority and sovereignty over my life and that, in this authority and sovereignty, He has placed my husband as head over me. I also adorn the beauty of godly marriage, lifting it to the holy position for which it was intended. And, should I be married to an unbeliever, adorning this truth is a means of sharing the gospel of God's grace with my husband.

If I do not adorn this truth, I damage, mar, or deform this truth. I degrade Christ's authority and sovereignty. And that's what Dr. Mohler ultimately led me to think about. This truth didn't originate with Paul; it was God's original design for husband and wife:
Then the Lord God said, "It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper for him." ...So the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and while he slept took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh. And the rib that the Lord god had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man. (Genesis 2:16, 21-22 ESV)
Of course, Satan couldn't leave well enough alone. As the serpent, he tempted Eve, she invited her husband to participate in sin, Adam relinquished his headship; Abram and Sarai repeated this, and we continue the cycle of sin today.

Elyse Fitzpatrick explains the bigger picture:
When Satan tempted Eve, he wasn't doing so because she was stupid, but rather because he wanted to attack God's designed order, something Satan hates. He enticed Eve to lead Adam, to become more important to him than she should have been; he wanted Adam to worship and obey her, rather than God. He duped her into subverting her role as helper. (Helper by Design, p73-74)
Divorce rates continue to be unacceptably high among professing Christians; churches deal with adultery among clergy and laity alike. These sinful acts have degraded God's truth and authority, especially in marriage, in the eyes of the watching world, for certain. Yet I'm wondering if a more subtle degradation has been even more damaging. Have we, as married Christian women, failed to adorn God's truth as it relates to marriage and womanhood?

Ladies, we didn't get here overnight. While my own mother adorned the truth of biblical submission before my eyes throughout the seasons of my life, the world has had its influence upon me, as well. In my young adult years, my thoughts were infiltrated by a worldview presented by my reading, watching, and by my college environment. In later years, I found my discernment tested even in Christian circles, as I continued to be faced with women disparaging their husbands, openly lusting after celebrities, and seeking their independence (and this was just in my homeschool group!). And, of course, my own fleshly bent toward rebellion continues to this day.

In all of this, what painting have we presented to the world? Have we reinforced an apathy or rebellion toward God and His truth through our own apathy and rebellion? Have we encouraged resentment toward God's authority in our less than joyful submission? In marring the beauty of godly marriage and  godly submission to our husbands, have we laid open the way for homosexual union to be more appealing?

Two people of one gender might level the playing field... is this the rationalization?

Ladies, let's adorn God's truth in our daily lives, hour by hour, minute by minute. Let's show our families first, and then the world, the beauty of marriage and all of God's plan for life. And let's discipline our lives to make this adornment an outpouring of the heart, not merely silverplate for the eyes of others.
...but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God's sight is very precious. (1 Peter3:4 ESV)
I'd love to hear your thoughts on this, so leave me a comment below!

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The Alabaster Jar


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2 comments:

  1. So nice to meet you Suzanne. What an excellent and needed post! So glad you linked up to The Alabaster Jar!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I love the thought that we can adorn the Word of God simply by how we live! It's such a privilege!

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