{November 5, 2017}


November 5 – 11, 2017


LOVE(MATH): Submission

By Katrina Kanary

Submission. That can be a tough word to embrace. For the greater part of my life the word submit raised my hackles. I was raised primarily by a strong, single mother. She was taught strength and independence by her family (both by example and in defiance of their dynamic) and time spent in the Army. She was further shaped by a divorce that left her to raise two small children alone. She instilled that same strength and independence in me, nuanced by her divorce and subsequent years of single parenting. She prepared me to take care of myself and protect myself. The concept of being submissive to a spouse was baffling to me – I was just as good as any man, right? I needed to look out for myself and my needs, even when married. I should always be equipped to walk away if I needed to. Even more pervasive is our cultural view of submission. Submission = weakness in our society.

I saw a grandmother sometimes cowed by an authoritative husband and a mother who struck out on her own to live life and raise 2 kids on her terms. I read verses like Ephesians 5:21-24, but I heard only verse 24, “wives should submit to their husbands in everything,” and inwardly cringed and rolled my eyes. If I am honest, it tested my faith. When many people use the Bible to prescribe a woman’s role in marriage, and often in other spheres, the focus is on her submission to her husband in weakness rather than a comprehensive view of the relationship God intends.

In fact, twice as many verses are dedicated to God’s call for the husband and how it relates to Christ’s love for the church. I read Ephesians 5:25-32 and I didn’t hear or appreciate the emphasis put on the man’s role in a marriage. I didn’t read Ephesians 5:21 through the lens of the remaining verses, “submit to ONE ANOTHER out of reverence for Christ.” Love your wives as Christ loved the church. Love your wives as you love your own bodies, providing for and caring for them as you would yourselves. Do this as a reflection of Christ’s love for the body of the church. Marriage joins husbands and wives, making them one as Christ is one with the church.

Verse 33 brings it all together, “each man must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.” This speaks to the fundamental desires of our hearts. My deepest need is to be seen, known, and loved by my husband. One of his core desires is to be respected, loved, and found worthy. Submission through this lens does not place me at a disadvantage or in a subservient role. Submission in this context is about two partners becoming vulnerable enough to meet each others needs on a fundamental level. Only Christ can fill the holes in each of us, but he can use our relationships to sustain us. 

My husband and I learned the depth of the relationship God intended for us, and bared ourselves to one another, becoming truly vulnerable within the protection of our marriage. As the walls around us as individuals and the preconceived notions about marriage and submission crumbled, we have become more attuned to each others needs. It has become more instinctive for me to speak into my husband’s needs and build him up. He has become more adept at recognizing opportunities to love me, care for me, and fight for me. We are touching on the partnership that God established in the garden. It isn’t easy. It is a daily exercise of dying to self and putting the other first.

{sunday 11.5.17}

Read Ephesians 5:21-33

Observe, Reflect, Apply: As you read these verses, rewrite them in your own words. How would you describe a relationship of mutual submission to a friend? How are you practicing the mutual submission we are called to engage in?


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{personal reflection and bible reading plan}

As you read the verses each day, make notes of questions you have about what you’re reading as well as answering the reflection questions below. Grab a friend or two to discuss what you are learning and what God is doing in your lives.

CLICK HERE to watch a new episode of The Journey Continues: 2 Peter, from our own Seth Davidson.

{monday 11.6.17}

Read 2 Peter 2:11-22

Observe, Reflect, Apply:"They are destroyed by their own self destructive tendencies." This particular line in the scripture stood out to me. It stood it out because it really seemed to sum up everything that was being said. I know from my own experience that if I really solely on my own natural tendencies then everything seems to go haywire. What line or lines in this scripture stand out to you? Why do they stand out to you? How does it relate to you and yourself?

{tuesday 11.7.17}

Read 2 Peter 3:1-13

Observe, Reflect, Apply: At first glance this piece of scripture is very ominous. You get the feeling that the whole earth is going to burn at any moment. Looking a bit past the fiery imagery we see a passage about a promising future. A future where a new heaven and earth will be in place and people are with God. What are your personal thoughts about heaven? Is it real? Does it impact how you live your life now?

{wednesday 11.8.17}

Read 2 Peter 3:14 – 1 John 1:4

Observe, Reflect, Apply: "Untaught and unstable people twist his words to their own destruction, as they do with the other scriptures." Years before I started following Jesus I thought I knew what the Bible said. I knew a few pieces of scripture that I really had no knowledge of but used to discredit the idea of God and Jesus. I was definitely untaught. I had never read the Bible. I didn’t even own one. This happens a lot in today’s culture. Verses get cherry picked and used to justify whatever someone wants. Assess yourself and your experience with scripture. Where do you think you stand in knowledge about the Bible? Where are areas that you can improve your knowledge? What is your plan to learn more about the Bible?

{thursday 11.9.17}

Read 1 John 1:5-2:11

Observe, Reflect, Apply: Confession is a tricky thing. Naturally we shy away from it to hide our mistakes. We know it can be like lifting a ton of bricks off of our chest when we do, yet we hold out. What prevents you from confessing your mistakes? What would make you more comfortable to be able to make a confession of your mistakes? Is there someone you know that you feel comfortable sharing your confessions with? If not, pray God provides you someone you feel comfortable with to share your confessions with.

{friday 11.10.17}

Read 1 John 2:12-17

Observe, Reflect, Apply: It’s a greedy world, thats nothing new and not a surprise to hear. We take greed and honor it as though it was God. I know I easily get consumed with greed myself. For me greed starts to show up in small ways at first. Like finding reasons to replace something I have with the newest version even though what I have is fine. Where does greed first appear in your life? What are those things you want but don’t really need that you make exscuses to get?

{saturday 11.11.17}

Read 1 John 2:18-29

Observe, Reflect, Apply: In th past 2,000 plus years there have been plenty of people who could easily be described as the antimessiah. It appears that from the beginning there have been people trying to take the story of Jesus and put their own spin on it. No wonder there is so much confusion about Jesus and what he stood for. How do you know when a claim about Jesus is made if it is true or not?


{community discussion questions}

We weren’t meant to experience the life of Jesus alone, so we encourage you to rally a few others to discuss what you are hearing, reading, and reflecting on together. Whether you are meeting as a Journey Community group, talking with a few friends throughout the week, or bringing up spiritual conversations around your table at home, feel free to use some of these questions as conversation starters on your journey.

  • Can you name a takeaway or challenge from the Sunday message?
  • How has that been relevant, challenging, or meaningful to your life this week?
  • What have you observed about God, Jesus, yourself, others, or God’s plan for you from these readings?
  • Where do you need a breakthrough from God this week?
  • Who do you need to share what you’re learning about God with?


{extra journey resources}

CLICK HERE for more on how to use the observe-reflect-apply approach to getting the most out of your Bible reading.

The Bible App Get a free Bible for your phone, tablet, and computer. Experience the Bible anywhere, with options to highlight, save notes, and share what you are reading with others.

Bible Gateway Provides advanced Bible searching capabilities, which allow readers to find passages in scripture based on keywords, phrases, or scripture reference.


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© 2017 Heartland Community Church 12175 S. Strang Line Road, Olathe, KS 66062 (913) 341-5820.

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