Submission in Nigeria

By Katherine Kehler

 “Honor Christ by submitting to each other� (Ephesians 5:21)

Our Bible Study group was discussing Scripture that addressed the subject of the roles and attitudes of a husband and wife toward each other: submissive and loving.

For some reason during this discussion, I thought of an experience I had in Nigeria several years ago. Campus Crusade for Christ had completed translating the JESUS film into one of the Nigerian languages and we were leading a delegation of business and political leaders who would be part of the premier showings to the Nigerian people. One of the couples with us had funded the translation of the film.

Our national staff hosted us and graciously toured our group to some interesting places. We met a lot of remarkable leaders, including a tribal chief. When our bus stopped at their village, the people greeted us with cheering. Rarely have I experienced such a warm welcome.

While our staff director went through the formalities of presenting the Chief with his own copy of the JESUS film in his language, we women were standing around chatting.
Tim, our Nigerian director, approached me and said, “Among these people, women are not allowed to look at a man’s face. They must keep their eyes lowered when they talk to a man.â€?

Well, needless to say, I was shocked – everything inside me wanted to shout, “No way! Why should I have to lower my eyes?â€?

But God was merciful – I came to my senses – He changed my attitude. I realized we were guests in their country and for the sake of Tim and the customs of Nigeria, I had better submit. That meant I would have to lower my eyes when I spoke with the men in that country. And I did.

Submitting or being in control? That is the question. It seems that every day we have choices to make, not only in a husband and wife relationship, but also in many other relationships. The only way I can do it with a good attitude is when Christ is in control of my life. How about you?

Father, all of us have problems with wanting control. Thank You for Jesus’ example. He was totally obedient to Your will. We plead for Your mercy and grace to empower us to yield to You and Your will. Amen.

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Katherine J. Kehler, an innovator, entrepreneur and writer has launched and developed many successful ministries and websites.
Together with her husband, Marvin, Katherine directs Thoughts About God

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