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Today the idea of a submissive wife is a sensitive subject and misunderstood. While books have been written and much said, yet modern thought ridicules the idea. One popular misconception is that a submissive person is weak, incapable of making decisions, or some how inferior. And they are forced to obey, so their lives must be sad and depressed. But the Biblical description of submissiveness is nothing like that. What does submissiveness mean according to the Bible? The NT calls Christians to submit [for their own good] “to the governing authorities”, that is, “every authority instituted among men” [Rom.13:1. 1 Pe.2:13]. And to “one another out of reverence for Christ” [Eph5.21]. And all of this is a voluntary submission made by free choice. A Christian by choice and willingness intends to do what’s right unto God, others and for self.

And so Christian submission is a willingness to yield to one another out of love. It’s a mutual concern to surrender one’s own interests to those of others [Rom.12.10 Phi.2.3-4]. Jesus said, they who would be the greatest must humble themselves [Mt.18.1-4]. And indeed, the Greatest this world has known was characterised by perfect submission and humility. He demonstrated greater excellence by submitting to the will of His Father. Personal significance to Him, did not depend on self.

This ‘submission’ does not mean ‘inferiority’. The first use of the NT word describes how Jesus as a child was ‘obedient’ and subject to His parents [Lk.2.51]. God in Christ , willingly chose to submit to a parental authority that was appropriate to His condition as a child. Did submission make Him inferior to them? No! He always remained who He was.

The Biblical concept of submission then is contrary to popular thought today. Although the critics label it ‘unworkable’ yet my own Mother has demonstrated Christian submission does work. And her submissiveness has been an example to all our family. As a young child it was apparent to me that her submissiveness originated from her love for the Lord and dad. Year after year it became obvious to me that the value of such a wife is “above Rubies” [Pro.31.10].

Dad was a truly remarkable man. He was capable and respected by many. He built a business, a house and a yacht from nothing. And people were drawn to him because of his warmth of character and godly wisdom. Sadly he developed a dangerous form of Melanoma. The years that followed required a series of medical operations, as the illness progressed. He suffered a debilitating stroke and lost the use of one side of his body. This was an enormous strain on both our parents yet their faith never wavered. As time went on the family watched as mum (Lorraine) rose up to the task and took on more responsibilities, as he became less able.

Although the family rallied-around there were times we were not able to help and the hospital did not provide a care-giver. So mum often single handily struggled, lifted, washed, fed, and tended this fully grown man month after month. Often she became exhausted, it was a work that demanded every ounce of strength all hours of the day. The only complain was she couldn’t do more. The Lord finally called dad home. Mum went through all this uncertainty, pain and tears with a faith in God proven by word and deed. We would hear her say, ‘I’m trusting the Lord’. In love she submitted her self to her husband as unto the Lord [Eph.5.22]. No one can tell me this woman was weak, incapable of making decisions, or submissiveness made her miserable. Rather, to be submissive takes courage and strength of character yet its benefits flow out for all. Her self-sacrifice for her family and husband is a noble and honourable testimony to her character.

God regards our faith as more precious than gold [1 Peter 1:7]. And when angels look down from heaven, they learn from God’s people [1 Peter 1:12. 1 Cor.4:9 11:10]. As we go through life and are faced with contradictions, complexities, turmoil, heartbreak and everything else life throws at us. When prayer seems unanswered and yet we continue to trust God, there’s rejoicing in heaven. All heaven watches with expectation anticipating the Day of reward. When we live within the Biblical framework of submission and trusting God through it all, the results will be a reward that does not pass away. A reward beyond earthly comprehension.

Timeline for Lorraine’s Life

Born in Otahuhu, 1931 one of six children to Walter and Florence McConnell.
Moved to Lincoln Road Henderson in her early years. Worked for Pennells Nursery Avondale and then Palmers Nursery.

Her older sister Violet was asked along to New Lynn Gospel Hall and took Lorraine and her other siblings along as well. She was born again 3/4/1945 aged 13 years and baptized in 1946. Her parents also were drawn into this fellowship as the result of the minister at the time visiting her parents when Lorraine’s brother died a very young age. Lorraine met her husband Ken through her sister Margaret who was dating Ken’s brother and Ken & Lorraine were married at New Lynn Elim Hall in 1952. Ken and Lorraine bought land in Massey in the late 50’s and developed this into market gardens where they grew strawberries and gradually built glasshouses where they grew tomatoes up until the mid 1990s.

Throughout her life Lorraine worked alongside her husband both on this property and at church. They were founding members of Third Avenue Gospel Hall which eventually moved to Lincoln Road to what it is today Lincoln Road Bible Chapel, LRBC.

Throughout her married life she worked alongside Ken supporting him as the superintendent of the Massey Sunday School, assisting with church camps, and young work at LRBC.

Lorraine’s ministry encompassed working with a young peoples choir that visited aged facilities in the area. She would pick up folk for church on Sunday who could not otherwise get to church. In later years worked on the Pastoral Team and also spent many hours in the kitchen serving this fellowship providing food, cuppa teas a ministry she did as unto the Lord.

In 1996 Ken’s health deteriorated and Lorraine cared for him at home until he passed away in 1997. In 2005 due to ill health, Lorraine moved to be near her daughter at Finlay Park Christian Camp and even there endeavoured to assist in any way she could, especially helping out in the kitchen. Eventually due to failing health, she became more dependent until she required full time care in a rest home. She went home to be with Ken, and her Lord on the 7/5/2012.

Lorraine is survived by her five children, 10 grand-children, and 5 great grandchildren.

(( I was Converted (Born again) aged 6 years (22/10/1961) after responding to the gospel. A Sunday evening at about 8.30-9.00 O'clock while at home - 90 Colwill Rd, Massey. And Baptized 31/4/1972 a Sunday evening at Lincoln Bible Chapel))