Submission and the Martha Attitude
Two messages by Dr. S. M. Davis.
“The Seven Fold Power of a Wife’s Submission”
- It changes her whole attitude toward life.
Submission is commanded in the Word, and obedience to the Word in the right spirit brings joy and freedom.
- It protects her from her husband’s wrong or foolish decisions.
This is illustrated in the story of Sara and Abraham in Egypt. She submitted to her husband’s foolish demand and God did miraculous things to protect her and to protect him.*
- It helps her grow in Christ
She will be learning to trust God, instead of herself or her husband.
- It helps make her husband what God intends him to be
Submit to your husband and let God deal with him. Let him be the head so God can deal with the head the way He wants to. Duck out of the way so what God sends hits the head, not you.
- It helps her influence her husband to do good
The Shulamite woman influenced her husband to build a room for Elisha. God rewarded her with a son. This is talking about Godly influence, NOT in nagging, NOT by manipulation, but in appeal the way Esther appealed to the king.
- It protects her husband
She protects his back side—his most vulnerable side—by giving support back home.
- It gives her the power to change her husband
I Peter 3:1 …They may be won over without a word by their wives’ conduct, when they see the purity and reverence of your lives.
Eph 5:33 See that she reverence her husband. You need to respect, honor, believe in him, encourage him, praise him. Husbands have a need to be a leader and to be reverenced. Don’t ever let it be that your husband feels or believes that anyone else is a bigger cheer leader of him than you are. And reverence him more than you do any other man—even the pastor.
* The second item on the list above really knocked me over! I had always had a big question mark in my mind about that story of Abraham and Sara. I had always thought that was an awful, un-loving, un-protecting, un-husbandly thing for Abraham to do to his wife. He was more concerned about himself than about her. I used to angrily ask God why Sara had to go through that. And why she had to submit to that. She could have been raped for goodness sakes!! There was never an answer.
Now here was the answer. Here was a preacher, a man, admitting that Abraham had been wrong and foolish (stupid) in coming up with this solution. And the preacher went further to say that it was Sara’s Godliness in that situation that saved them, not Abraham’s less than brilliant strategy.
That was a very new thought. It was Sara’s Godly submission to her husband that saved her from him and his silly decision. So I couldn’t use the excuse in my mind anymore that I couldn’t submit to a man that kept doing things I thought weren’t very wise or discerning.
All of this spoke to me when I first listened to this message in 2000. I knew the Scriptures about wives submitting to their husbands, but I had found excuses for not obeying them. I had gotten caught up in the feminist attitude of my college days. I had also told myself in 1984, after I left my first husband, that I would never again let any man control me.
“One Attitude No Lady Should Have”
From Luke 10:38-41 and John 11
Martha rebuked Jesus three times.
1. “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to do all the work by myself? Tell her then to help me.” She even ordered him around.
2. “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.” Another rebuke. Her strong influence had caused Mary even to echo her words. (She did follow that, though, with a word of faith: “But even now I know that God will give you whatever you ask of him.” She also said these words of faith, “Yes, Lord, I believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of god, the one coming into the word.” Yet still she later rebuked the Lord again.)
3. “Lord, he will stink !” In other words: Are you sure you know what you are doing?
Martha found fault with the Spotless Lamb of God ! ! ! The Martha types are always correcting, always rebuking. They always have to be in control.
When I first heard this message, I saw myself so much in the Martha attitude he described. I knew that I would probably have also found fault with, and maybe even rebuked, the very Son of God. This shook me up vigorously. A couple months later I studied the message even more in depth in order to rid my whole being of this toxic attitude.
In 2000, these messages together with a talk to homeschooling mothers by Shelly Hendrick brought me under deep conviction. I was convicted by what Shelly said to get rid of all paraphernalia from former boyfriends. I’m ashamed to say that this was hard for me. I still had some photos and a couple items that had been given to me as gifts, and I was really attached to a couple articles by a certain one. But I burned it all.
After I burned things. I felt another layer of peace in my soul.