**** Winner of Glynnis’ book announced at the end of this post****
What does it mean to call Jesus “LORD?”
Just after Jesus washed His disciples’ feet, He said, “You call Me ‘Master’ and ‘LORD,’ and you are right, because that is what I am” (John 13:13). Jesus then follows that statement with these words:
“If I then, the Lord and the Teacher, washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet” (John 13:14).
So what does Jesus’ title “LORD” really mean in our lives?
As I researched, I struggled with where God took me.
“LORD” is from the Greek, “kyrios,” and means ruler and owner, one that has authority over us.
When we call Jesus LORD, we are confessing, with our mouths and our hearts, that we believe Him to be the ultimate authority over our lives. In the first century, an ordinary servant obeyed his master’s direction without objection. He addressed his lord with complete and utter respect. No matter what the master asked of him, he obeyed … period … no matter how tired, how difficult, no matter the consequences, no matter the pain.
This really made me think … when I address Jesus as my LORD, do I respond with this same attitude? Am I saying to Him, LORD, you have authority over every area of my life and no matter what You ask, I will obey.
Oh, how I wish I could say that!!! But I don’t. And what God brought me face to face with was my marriage. Most especially, in my role as Monty’s wife. What I found is that I fall so short.
God’s Word gives me clear instruction:
“In the same way, you wives must accept the authority of your husbands” (1 Peter 3:1). Personalizing this verse, it says: Wendy, in the same way, you must accept the authority of your husband.
Now, did you notice the four little words that precede that instruction: In the same way? What way? To what is Peter referring?
We must go back a few verses to 1 Peter 2:18-21 to find our answer. This is where Peter addresses the relationship between slaves and masters:
“You who are slaves must accept the authority of your masters with all respect. Do what they tell you – not only if they are kind and reasonable, but even if they are cruel. For God is pleased with you when you do what you know is right and patiently endure unfair treatment. For God called you to do good, even if it means suffering, just as Christ suffered for you. He is your example, and you must follow His.”
So, in the same way slaves accept the authority of their masters, we who are wives must accept the authority of our husbands.
Don’t run off yet, please. I know I wanted to!! It’s hard to read these words. But God gives us more teaching on this topic. And we need all the teaching to understand His initial instruction to us.
So, what is that “example” we must follow? Pay attention. The words are VERY POWERFUL …
“He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in His mouth. When they hurled their insults at Him, He did not retaliate; when He suffered, He made no threats. Instead He entrusted Himself to the One who judges justly (1 Peter 3:22-23).
As wives, we are to submit, to accept our husband’s authority … NOT as one who is “less than,” but as one who submits and respects out of honor to God.
And guess what, God calls husbands to submit as well. How do we know that? Because back in Ephesians just before Paul tells wives to submit, he writes these words to husbands and wives:
“Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ” (Ephesians 5:21). Both husband and wife are to submit to each other to honor Jesus and His role in their marriage.
Husbands are called to …
“give honor to your wives … treat them with understanding as you live together. She may be weaker than you are, but she is your equal partner in God’s gift of new life” (1 Peter 3:7).
“be considerate as you live with your wives … treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life.”
Oh, my feathers ruffled a little when I saw the word “weaker.” But rather than get angry, I did a word study of “weak” to determine exactly what Peter meant when he used it here. When Peter used the term weaker here, he refers NOT to moral stamina, strength of character, or mental capacity, but to physical and emotional strength. The Greek word for weak here is asthenestero and refers to physical and emotional weakness.
Friend, I see this as God calling men to be tender-hearted and loving toward their wives, honoring who God made them to be. Peter goes on to tell husbands to treat their wives this way so that nothing hinders your prayers.
Oh, these can be difficult words to read as a wife. Or at least they were for me.
And if you think the commands in Ephesians 5 and 1 Peter 3 are too difficult to obey, you are right … they are … in our own strength! The good news is that with God’s Holy Spirit living within us, empowering us, we are more than able!! Not only are we able, but God promises when we do obey that BLESSINGS FLOW FROM OUR OBEDIENCE!
These verses today caused me to pause and ask if Jesus really is LORD over my marriage. And although my husband and I both believe in Jesus. We pray for each other and our children. We attend worship. Do Bible studies. We both love the Lord.
But, as for me, I confess I have not allowed Jesus to fully be LORD over my heart and my attitude as a wife.
In fact, I have a long way to go!! My sharp tongue, my controlling behavior, and my unwillingness to submit in certain areas (especially when it comes to our kids) really show me that I need some one on one time with God in this area.
I would love to hear your thoughts on what area of your life you struggle with making JESUS LORD OVER ALL. Leave a comment today and share your hard place. I will choose one name to win a copy of my book Hidden Joy in a Dark Corner. Leave your comment before Tuesday at midnight. I will announce the winner on my blog with a prayer for us Wednesday morning.
***** The Winner of Glynnis’ book, Taming the To-Do List, is
Nancy who posted on September 29th at 9:08 am. *****
Congratulations, Nancy! Please e-mail me with your full name and e-mail address so that I can send you your book!