Submission. It is the new “S-word” to many. 🙂 It has become an ugly word – one to avoid.
Recently I read an excellent blog by a wife whose marriage was on the brink of destruction before she realized her disobedience to God’s word in the area of submission. She writes ““I have walked the road of being an in-charge woman who controls and manipulates people for my benefit. Let me tell you that joy is not there. But by being a woman who loves the Lord and desires to serve Him, through submission, I have found more joy, more laughter, more grace and love than ever before. Repentance is hard but it is the only way to Christ. And it is Christ alone who can make my life worth while.”
There are a lot of misconceptions about biblical submission. Personally, I believe that biblical submission does not indicate, or even imply, “timidity or servility”. If practiced in its God-given way, it will not be degrading, nor is it a sign of weakness.
Submission is a sign of strength. It requires a greater degree of strength of personal character to submit than to demand your own way.
Submission is not meant to be oppression. I found only one reference in God’s word where submission is ever enforced “upon” a person. That is in the relationship between parent/child (1 Tim 3:4). Submission is to come willingly from the submitter. In fact, submission is a gift that one person gives to another. In my learning through the years, I have discovered that submission in the Christian faith is to happen at various times.
First and foremost, there is submission by all believers to our God (Heb 12:9, James 4:7).
After that, the commands by God are that submission is to come:
as children to parents, (Eph 6, 1 Tim 3)
as wives to husbands, (1 Cor 11, Eph 5)
as slaves to masters or employees to employers (Eph 6, 1 Pet 2)
as Christians to the ruling authorities and leaders/elders – in government and the church, (Rom 13, Heb. 13, 1 Pet 2 and 5)
and as Christians to one another (Eph 5).
I believe that anything other than submission in these areas is disobedience to God. As Beth Moore once put it: Submission is ducking (bowing) so that God can hit your husband. 😉 It really is about a humbling spirit and a trusting heart toward God. I am sometimes thankful that I must submit rather than make the final decision, because it is a grave responsibility before the LORD to be the leader.
Unless something is clearly immoral or unscriptural, I pray that God will give me an attitude of submission, as to not quench His spirit working in my church, my home, or my heart!