Mission: Submission

Ephesians 5:21

Wives (and husbands), be ready to submit.

There aren’t that many passages in scripture that can start a fight as readily as the idea of wives submitting to husbands. Biblical teachers can take great pains to explain precisely what they mean and to emphasize that command to mutual submission, but they still get people all wound up and convinced that traditional Christianity wants to keep women illiterate, barefoot, and pregnant.

In reality, submission isn’t something that our current culture thinks very highly of in any setting. When we look at some of the ugly encounters between the police and civilians in recent years–and I’d emphasize some here–we have to admit that the police could have backed off a little and the civilian could have brought a little less attitude, and maybe tragedy could have been averted.

Too often we think that if we give in, if we submit, then we’re losing something. Instead, we determine, “like a tree planted by the water, we will not be moved”! But does that produce what we want and value?

When I think of the submission of Jesus, giving up for years his position in heaven, allowing sinful people to murder him, and providing himself as a dumping ground for every sin in human history, any submission that I make to my wife or anyone else seems rather trivial.

Let’s try to outdo each other in submission. In doing that, we’ll find that rather than losing ground, we have gained it.

  • In what situations do you find it hardest to submit?
  • How easily do you fit into the biblical ideals of marriage roles?
  • Pray that God will show you the places and situations where you need to submit your will to someone else’s.