How are you when it comes to submission? What do you feel about submission? Not a very popular word in our culture, is it? It’s a word that you might find more frequently used in a Middle Eastern society or a suppressive environment. Yet it is a word that appears at different times in the Bible. On one occasion the New Testament writer of Peter says, “Wives…be submissive to your husbands.” (1 Peter 3:1) Now husbands don’t jump on that one too quickly because at another place the Bible says, “Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.” (Ephesians 5:21) Submission seems to be a two way street, to say the least.
Are you irritated with this submission idea yet? When you hear that word is your first feeling a positive feeling or a negative feeling? It’s a little negative isn’t it? In fact, submission is not a very 21st century kind of word. It’s one of those words where, if we think the Bible in any place may be a little out of date, we feel it when we hear that word.
I thought I’d take a look at some of the positive meanings that are used today behind submission. I wanted to identify a few positive concepts for you. It’s so easy to do that with the internet. I knew I was in trouble when I began looking down the description list. I saw words like “submission: back down, bend to another person’s will; comply; cower; crawl; cringe; give in; live a dog’s life.” Not one positive phrase.
This word submission suffers from an image problem. A word that used to have a more positive slant to it when the New Testament was written, today it has taken on an almost entirely negative slant.
So let me share a definition of SUBMISSION, whenever you see this word in the Bible it means: having the courage to give up my rights to meet another person’s needs. If you are looking for a more 21st century word it would be UNSELFISHNESS. How are you when it comes to UNSELFISHNESS? (To get the rest of the story on unselfishness click on this link: http://relaxedchurch.com/wmspage.cfm?parm1=57. You will find it under “Our Most Important Relationship Quality.”