Saturday, November 8, 2014

In relationships, submission does not equal weakness. When I think of the word submission, I think of a guy in a choke hold being forced to cry uncle, but that is not what submission looks like in a Biblical relationship. True submission does not force somebody beneath you because it is a two way street; it is done willfully, mutually and out of love and respect. Husbands and wives are both called to submit, first to the lordship of Christ, then to one another out of reverence for God and a mutual love for each other. Jesus willfully humbled Himself and served, and so too are we.

There is a lot of confusion surrounding the concept of submission and it is often misconstrued. It sickens me to see Christian men who treat their wives poorly and use scripture to validate their conduct. One characteristics of love is that it builds up, and a domineering and condescending attitude will not accomplish that result. Think of boot camp - they scream at you, they belittle you, they holler demands and orders at you that you must obey. The goal is to break you down and mold you into a perfect soldier fit for battle. By the end of camp, soldiers have been  reconditioned to think only when orders are given. That dynamic might work well in the military, but it is toxic in marriage. Chauvinism is the  opposite of God's ideals for submission and there is no room for it in a relationship that seeks to put Christ first and honor Him. In Galatians 3:28 Paul reminds us that because of Christ we are all equals.  Paul says, "There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave no free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus."

Submission is so powerful, that if done properly, it can reflect God's character so much that God can use it to win over an unbelieving husband (1 Peter 3:1-4).

Debra White Smith describes the wonders of submission
      "Submission is unconditional love in action. A wife who experiences this kind of love for her
       husband is eager to meet his needs. Most men who see their wives striving to meet their needs
      and pouring energy into the romance of a marriage will respond by extending their hearts and
      enveloping their wives in love and submission to their needs. At this point, a marriage will
      sparkle with a God-ordained romance that outshines the glitter of jewels....[Submission] is not an
      act off weakness- it is an act of strength that will revolutionize a marriage. Submissions offers
      husbands the security they need to completely release their hearts to their wives. Few men love
     with abandon until they know their wives are loyal. Submission speaks loyalty to a man."

Just like the act of loving takes lots of practicing, so too does the act of submitting. Mistakes will be made on both ends. Show grace, but don't stop trying.

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