“I WANT YOU TO SUBMIT!” These words give me a mental picture of Uncle Sam with his beady eyes staring at me and pointing his gnarled finger in my face. The word “submit” or “submission” is a loaded word that brings a sigh or maybe even a shudder to women in the Western world. For some women submission is all they know. Submission is a topic that cannot be simplified into a short blog post. But I want to write out some ideas and ask questions for you to respond to. I would love for you to actually email me your thoughts and answers. I will be able to put together all of our thoughts in a later blog.
I looked up the word “submit” in the dictionary.
Submit: verb, accept or yield to a superior force or to the authority or will of another person.
The word “submit” is a verb which signifies an action. No one can make you submit to their will. God gave us a free will to have the opportunity to voluntarily submit. God does not force us to obey or to love Him. If someone forces you to do what they want, it is something other than submission. Submission is always voluntary.
After I learned the definition of submit I then went to the Bible to see what it says concerning submission. Oh boy. Here we go (emphasis added is mine…the translation I used is NLT for the Scripture references below).
Job 22:21 “Submit to God, and you will have peace; then things will go well for you.”
Romans 13:1 “Everyone must submit to governing authorities. For all authority comes from God, and those in positions of authority have been placed there by God.”
Also, 1Peter 2:13 “For the Lord’s sake, submit to all human authority – whether the king as head of state, or the officials he has appointed…”
Ephesians 5:21-22 “Instructions for Christian Households: Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. For wives, this means submit to your husbands as to the Lord.”
1Peter 2:18-19 “You who are slaves must submit to your masters with all respect. Do what they tell you – not only if they are kind and reasonable, but even if they are cruel. For God is pleased when, conscious of his will, you patiently endure unjust treatment.”
These are a few of the verses that stuck out to me. The Scriptures are telling us to submit to God, the government, husbands and wives to each other, wives to their husbands as their authority, and to our “masters” aka our bosses. Even if the person in authority is unjust we are supposed to submit. That is really unfair. That makes me mad. We should be able to buck the system if it does not line up with what we believe in and what we think is right. I can totally relate to the frustration that these scriptures create. But what is God getting at with His instruction for submission?
Do you want to know the epitome of submission? Look at the life of our Savior, Jesus. He knew He would be tortured to death. For something He did not do. How UNJUST is that?! How unfair and cruel? In Matthew 26:39 (NLT) it says, “He went on a little farther and bowed his face to the ground praying, “My Father! If it is possible, let this cup of suffering be taken away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.” And it says in Hebrews 5:7-9 (NIV) “During the days of Jesus’ life on earth, he offered up prayers and petitions with fervent cries and tears to the one who could save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission. Son though he was, he learned obedience from what he suffered and, once made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him.”
Jesus submitted to a temporary suffering for an eternal purpose. What more can I say on the subject?
I would appreciate if you would email me your thoughts on any of the following questions:
- What was a time you chose to submit to your authority even though you thought it was unfair and wrong? What was the outcome?
- Where do we draw the line in submission? When is it okay not to submit?
- To whom is it hard for you to submit to?
SUBMIT your thoughts on SUBMISSION to firstname.lastname@example.org by 7/1/17.
I cannot wait to hear from you!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jamie Humphrey has been married to Eli for almost 10 years, and together they have two children, Serenity (8) and Justice (6). Every single day Jamie is trying to grow in her relationship with God and with her husband and kids. It is not easy but it is worth it.