Jason, my husband of nearly twenty-four years, has always kept marriage fun. I'm pretty nice, but also kind of mouthy. When he brings up a subject and sees my jaw drop open with a prepared message of objection he cuts me off,
He's also reminded me several dozen times that Sarah called her husband Abraham, lord.
Before I paint Jason with a wide brushstroke let me mention (for those who don't know him), that his lifestyle is one of constant sacrifice. He puts his families' needs before his own. He just seasons his speech with a bit of humor.
He's honestly so good to me that all I can logically do when he demands my submission is give him an exaggerated eye roll, and then I push up my sleeves so that we can figure out how he and I can work with each other, and for each other.
Submit has become quite the ugly word. Culture promotes the idea of "you do you". Climb the ladder. Concentrate on what makes you happy/successful. You do what you (alone) think is right. Just keep running your own hamster wheel, surely you'll get to your desired destination all...by...yourself.
We're taught to fiercely protect our own best interests as if God hadn't designed life to be lived in relationship. I know what's good for me. I'll choose my own path.
Scripture says otherwise.
God's word tells us,
There is a way that seems right to a man,
but its end is the way to death.
The Bible is full of instructions on how to live. We're to live according to what the Bible says is good. We're also subject to showing others what God says is good, and doing for others what scripture says we're to do.
We know wives are supposed to live in submission. Husbands? Yes, them too.
Are we to live in submission to others outside our household? Yes. Yes. Yes. Scripture tells us we're to submit to our elders, to leaders (including governing authorities) and to every human institution.
Sounds a little confining...if we don't truly know what it means to submit.
The Greek lexicon tells us that the word submission has both a military and and non military definition. Non-military submission is defined as a voluntary attitude of
- assuming responsibility
- carrying a burden
A commentary on Ephesians chapter 5 described submission as living in humility; giving others what Christ says we owe them.
Submission is commanded for those at the top and bottom of the food chain and totem pole/household/faculty etc. What we're giving up in submission is our own way and the notion that we're self sufficient.
- In submission one speaks truth to another because Christ says we owe others the truth.
- In submission, one listens.
- Being subject to another, one learns and then gives biblically based direction. The other accepts that guidance.
- In submission one selflessly offers a helping hand. And it's in submission that one takes it.
We have to stop despising leadership and those in governing authority. True submission is a seesaw. We are subject to one another. In Christ's way, no one stays hovered over the other. We owe one another not what they demand, but what Christ shows us we owe them.
No one's off the hook...thankfully. Because it's through submission that we each honor Christ and appropriately participate in changing our own life for the better. Submission improves the condition of our families' and makes an eternal impact on the world around us.