Sitting down to my morning read with a trusty cup of coffee, my Bible opened to 1Peter 2:11-25. The title over this section says: Christian Submission...just like that...simple. Right? And that got me to thinking. Why is that a knee jerk reaction in my spirit when I read those words?
The truth is, the word itself is hard. I know nobody who says, "Wow, I really like submission." Most people naturally would like to avoid the discussion and if I was very smart I probably wouldn't try to explain why it it is hard. But stuff happens in life, in our churches, in our homes, even in our country, and I think it is important for us to stop avoiding the pain of submission and look at what the Bible says about it.
First of all, submission to each other as Christians is going to be difficult as long as we are concerned with our "rights" as humans. And we just are. Two year old babies already have this sense of justice when a toy is taken from them. It goes against all of our being to be trampled over or overlooked by someone with more authority than ourselves.
Sadly, we run into problems because we have a sense of fairness. We know how others should be acting and what someone else could do to fix his/her situation but feel our own giving in would be "giving in" as if this is settling for something other than right. We are quick to be logical about such matters, above and beyond thinking about how Scripture says we should handle these things.
In church, if we lock horns on personal beliefs or opinions, we tend to spiritualize our position. Somehow this seems easier than giving up our pet thoughts on a situation. And we go even farther to call the other guy the weaker brother because he doesn't seem as spiritual as we think we are...Ouch!
In our homes, we are losing that important position of headship. It is now odd to talk of giving up my opinion for the betterment of my husbands leadership. After all, we women too have brains and our ideas and thoughts are equally as important as the men. The idea that I should give up my own personal ideas and plans to support my husband's goals and need for respect is looked at as just plain stupid.
And in our country, to hold the powers that be in respect and to remember to pray for them is often viewed as a lost cause, yet Christ asks us to do it. Again, we are being logical but not Biblically sound if we forget to pray for our leaders.
Back to submitting to each other in the church; what about this...Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? Let him show out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom...But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth...This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish... For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work...But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy...And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace...James 3:13-18 We all get to give in, the weak and the strong. That is the beauty of submission.
What works for the church also works for the home, but it feels a lot more personal when it just the two of you. Admittedly, submitting to your man isn't probably ever going to come naturally or easily, especially if you are honest about your heart condition. However, I found a verse that explained to me the end goal of submission and it brought comfort to my soul and helped in my journey toward submission... Here it is... Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls to Him in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator. 1 Peter 4:19.
I'm pretty sure that went over your head...so I'll break it down for you...I was going through a time when submitting felt like torture and great suffering...Drama Queen here, anyway reading this verse as if it was talking about my pain in submission made me see God's hand in it...If He, being my Creator, saw the need to make the headship of the home as He did (according to the will of God) I could commit myself to well doing and have the assurance that He was the keeping of my soul in the meantime. So through all my smash ups and through all my trying and failing, He, my Creator and the Creator of my will...would be faithful...He would see to it that I get back up again and continue.
And since Peter says it better than I can, I will end with a quote directly taken from his book. Honor all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the King.