In today’s Pastor’s Corner, we have a special guest. Last week, Pastor David Huynh spoke about the mystery and model of marriage in Ephesians 5:22-33. He also invited his wife, Kylie, to personally share about what it looks like for her to submit in their marriage. In case you missed it, here’s a snippet of what she said.
I grew up believing that men and women are equal – and that meant that men and women are the same. Our roles are interchangeable. I didn’t believe in submission, because to me that was inequality – and as a woman I could achieve just as much as a man. As a teenager I became the youth leader at my church, and I wanted to become a missionary to China after reading all those Hudson Taylor books! I would never have identified myself as a feminist but my beliefs had been coloured by my culture and my world.
What changed? When I was at uni, I started going to a campus uni group like Christian Union. As I read the Bible with other students, God revealed the pride and arrogance of my own heart. I was finally willing to read the Bible with new eyes and honestly ask, What is the clear meaning of these passages? And, Am I willing to change my mind?
Submission didn’t come naturally to me. I only chose submission because I love God. I submit to authorities, to parents, and to Dave as I submit to Christ. And it is God who powerfully changed my heart to love his ways, for which I am so grateful.
A few weeks ago, Dave reminded us that church is less like a job interview and more like a doctor’s waiting room. We aren’t here to show off our strengths and our worthiness to be saved. Instead, we are all here because we all recognize our total dependence on God. It is that kindness, goodness, and forgiveness which motivates us to live lives for Him.
And so, my submission is not perfect. My natural self is not submissive, and Satan is at work to destroy God’s good gift of marriage. But it is when I respectfully and joyfully submit to Dave that I reflect Jesus (who joyfully submits to the Father) and our marriage reflects Christ and the church (Christ is the sacrificial head of his bride, the church).
Here’s one example. When Dave and I first met, we both wanted to be missionaries in Asia. Over the first year of getting to know each other, Dave started becoming more convicted to move back to Melbourne. I was shocked. Why stay in Australia when we could move overseas? Wasn’t the need far greater? Dave explained the need in Melbourne to me. He told me about the Chinese churches with no pastors… the churches bringing pastors to Australia from Asia… rather than sending missionaries out we were taking pastors away from Asia. He told me about the scarcity of people willing to consider full-time ministry and the divisions within the broader church.
I couldn’t understand it. How could this be the case in Australia? You can get a feel for the strength of the Sydney church in my response.
But in trust, I believed what Dave said; that his heart was for the gospel; and that he would look after me and care for me in a place that I didn’t want to move to, had no friends and was very cold!
And so, we moved to Melbourne instead of Asia. And in our first year in Melbourne, I finally understood what he’d been trying to tell me.
Now God has given me a heart and love for His church and kingdom here in Melbourne. Our hearts are joined in unity that comes from God. In this sinful world, this is not always the result; however, a wife’s submissive heart to her husband is honoring to God whatever the earthly outcome.
To submit is to be like Jesus, who submits to the Father and his plans
- Submission is not mindless, brainless, or becoming a “yes man”
- Jesus didn’t come to earth without caring or thinking or loving
- He was wholly on board with God’s plan
- For me, the process involved discussion and prayer with trust and respect, following David’s lead, joyfully and willingly
To submit is to reflect the dance of the gospel
- Submission, paired with sacrificial leadership, reflects Jesus and his church
- The Savior and the Bride
- Costly leadership and joyful submission
What a privilege.
Wife of Senior Pastor, Dave Huyhn