Submission: Placing one’s personal mission under the mission of another; to voluntarily give up personal rights for the rights of others; to rank under another, as a soldier ranking under an officer.
Ahhh, the start of a new year. It brings new resolutions and always new challenges to those resolutions. I already find myself renegotiating one of my own goals: to be more gracious to my husband when he messes up so that I am more submissive. My husband doesn’t see this as a needed goal because typically I extend grace and submit. He thinks I do well, and I do most times because my husband is a sweetheart, constantly doting and thinking of and doing what will make my life better. So I’ve considered chucking the gracious goal. If he’s satisfied, then I’m satisfied, I reason. But I remember why I set the goal in the first place: For those times when my husband doesn’t think as fast as I think he should or plan like I think he should and I’m at war with him in my mind. I have to fight hard not to kill him in there, but I injure him many times; in my mind his ego is bruised, his feelings are hurt and he becomes senile: “Who is this woman I married?”
I don’t really want to bruise his ego, hurt his feelings or make him wonder why he married me so I have to take control of my thoughts that come from an impure heart that will eventually reach out to dishonor my husband with words and cause me not submit to his way of processing, his way of coming to a solution. Submission is important for my personal growth, my husband’s well being, our marriage’s health, the stability of the children and the growth of God’s kingdom. The growth of God’s kingdom is the key reason for submission and all the other reasons help to craft the key.
“Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so [let] the wives [be] to their own husbands in everything” (Ephesians 5:22-24).
After giving the wives instructions, the Apostle Paul tells husbands how they are to treat their wives, always comparing the husband to Jesus Christ. And then toward the end of the passage it says, “This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church” (v. 32). So Paul tells us that the great mystery of marriage is that the union is akin to Christ’s relationship to the church. Because I am the church, I am a subject of Christ in the kingdom of God. As a wife, I am a subject of my husband in our home. So in essence, what I speak to my husband, I speak to Christ. How I speak to my husband is how I speak to Christ. What I do to my husband, I do to Christ. What I speak about my husband, I speak about Christ. What I think about my husband, I think about Christ. Oh the tangled web we wives weave when we don’t think of our Savior but only think that submission sucks. We don’t want to submit because we’d rather that our husbands submit to our ideas, submit to our plans, submit to our way of doing and thinking, submit to us. But I propose that we think of submission sucking a different way.
Submission can suck the life out of your flesh yet give breath to your spirit. Submission can suck your toxins from your husband and kiss him with peace and joy. Submission can suck laziness and disobedience from your children and energize them with a desire to work and please. Submission can suck the parasites from the pews and infuse new blood to the church. Yes, submission sucks to get out the bad and to give life the way God intends for life to be.
Copyright 2010 by Rhonda J. Smith