Here’s a thought, for married couples - just in time for Valentine’s Day – a replacement for that dreaded “s” word, “submission.” It’s the same word, only in a different language (the Biblical Greek). How can submission/hupotasso (pronounced “heap-o-tass-o) be hilarious? Is this some sort of joke?
Stay with me…for just a moment. In 2 Corinthians 9:7, Paul talks about money and giving. He tells us that the best way to give is not grudgingly, but cheerfully and joyfully. “God loves a cheerful giver.” The Greek word for “cheerful” is, literally, “hilarious.” So, God loves a “hilarious giver!”
Taking that thought into the context of the marriage relationship and the wife’s role, it is possible to carry out your God-given role in one of two ways: either 1) submit (that is, place yourself under his protective care and headship/leadership) to your husband grudgingly or 2) submit first to Christ and then to your husband cheerfully and joyfully. Voluntarily, even, since you understand that there is equality in marriage even as there is a division of responsibility/roles for the good of the marriage relationship. The best, God-blessed option is #2, by the way.
Here’s the really funny part, the hilarious part about hupotasso/submission. If you have a Christian husband who understands his role and strives to carry it out with humble headship, with a servant-leader mentality – meaning, he puts his wife first, as Christ puts us first – a Christian wife is giving herself to someone who puts her first! That’s exactly what the world wants – to be first! – and has devised all sorts of other selfish (not selfless) ways to try to get there.
But you know God’s plan, which turns the world’s ideas upside down and inside out – so you get the meaning of this, which means you get the last laugh. That’s hilarious hupotasso!
But in all seriousness, and this is a serious topic, the love that spouses have for one another should be modeled after the love that Christ has for his bride (namely, us, God’s people). His love is selfless, unconditional, relentless, and sacrificial. In the “other John 3:16,” the apostle offers a vivid picture of “true love.” “This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters…Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.” (1 John 3:16,18).
Grateful with you for Christ’s love,
Pastor Stephen Luchterhand