I have been thinking a lot lately about submission. What does it mean? What should it look like? Why are we told to submit? Can’t we just “be” and have things work out fine that way?
I started out thinking about Eve. It seems, perhaps, that she has a tendency to be more easily deceived than Adam. Is that why Satan approached her first to turn on the charm? A friend realized something about the whole “Garden of Eden” drama recently. Her realization was also a new perspective for me, since I often tend to curse Eve for many of the difficult things we face as women. Realizing that this was the first time she was lied to really put a spin on my thoughts about her. Why would she not trust the words she heard? Every word she heard from her beginning to that point had been truth. However, even from the beginning, believing someone whose words defy God has devastating effects. No matter how “pretty” the words are to our ears…if they go against what our Lord has already told us…we should not listen!
Eve took initiative—Adam followed—mortality & sin entered the world of mankind. Now I wonder, was Adam too busy looking at Eve’s form to realize the full situation?
I am learning a different perspective to this whole “man as head” responsibility. This was never meant to be a “Woohoo! I have all the control!” assignment. Rather, if man fully realized his responsibility his response should be more like “Yikes! I am responsible for this family & God will hold me accountable for every decision I make.”
My only explanation to why there has to be someone in the lead position is that old adage “too many cooks spoil the stew” in that someone has to be given the role of leader. Just like in so many areas of our social structure (business world, political world, etc), someone has to not only be in charge, but also held to account.
Men are given this responsibility by God. Whether or not we agree, that’s how it is. Whether we accept it or not, they WILL be held accountable for the way they led their families. Unless they are asking us to do something immoral, they need us to submit in order for smoothness of relationship. * A dear friend pointed out to me (after my initial posting of this article) that submission is a choice we have. It is not to be forced upon us or used as a tool against us. It is not just wives, by the way, who are given the task of submission. As brothers & sisters in Christ we are told to submit to one another—the goal is peace—respect for one another—honoring one another as loved ones of God. When we love & honor one another, we bring honor to our Father's name. It does not mean that one is greater or more important than another—but that our love for each other might be a light in this world of chaos & darkness.
Men are expected to submit to the Lord. When that happens—there is safety and security for the family and all who know them. As individuals, we will each be held accountable for our own actions, what we did with the life that the Lord gave us. But I believe there is an extra accountability for men who were given families. Every man who was given a family will have to answer to God for the way he treated them, led them, loved them (or the ways he didn’t). There is no escape from that moment of accountability.
In a perfect world—all the cogs would “do their thing” and everything would run smoothly and be a fluid motion. However, sin did enter the world and threw off the timing of the mechanics in this relationship creation. Someday sin will be conquered and things will be made smooth and fluid as it was meant to be. Until that time—we have the challenge of learning and understanding & improving our methods of showing love. And what a challenge that is!
Submission is a way to show love and honor to another.
Men are to love their wives as Christ loved the church. Christ laid down his life—his power—his RIGHT to control—in order to redeem her. This is the greatest act of love anyone can do. And not to be taken lightly or set aside to allow foolish pride to meddle with the “cogs.” Mankind is certainly not greater than the One who was before the earth was even created.
In the smaller picture—submission seems huge—but in the grand scale of eternity—it’s such a small request from our Lord.