The Gift of Submission

Whenever we hear the word "submission," we automatically go on the defensive. Why should we turn ourselves into a doormat for someone else? We're grown women making adult decisions, so where is the need to submit to anyone?

First and foremost - the Bible definition of submission is not allowing people to walk all over you. To submit means to obey, to reverence and to honor. We get this picture in our heads of letting someone lord over us, but submission is really about giving credit, respect and authority where they are due.

So when and where is submission most needed in a victorious Christian woman's life?

1. Submission to God's authority. Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. (James 4:7) We don't know the future, we don't know what's happening in other people's lives and we don't know the plan for our own lives. There is one God Who does, and He requires our humility, our respect and our submission. God's grace and mercy sustain us, bless us and keep us, and when we yield to His authority, He can have free reign of all that we are. We cannot hold back anything out of pride or indifference, because He expects complete submission from His children.

2. Submission to our husband. Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. (Ephesians 5:22) In a proper, functional marriage, the Bible says the husband is to be head of the household. As long as we are not asked to do anything that goes against God's Word, we are to follow the instruction of our husband with high esteem and value. They will not always be right, but neither will we. Submission means allowing each half of the marriage to fulfill the roles they were instructed to by God.

3. Submission to other believers. I beseech you, brethren, (ye know the house of Stephanas, that it is the firstfruits of Achaia, and that they have addicted themselves to the ministry of the saints,) That ye submit yourselves unto such and to every one that helpeth with us, and laboureth. (1 Corinthians 16:15-16) We are to show respect and honor to anyone who is devoting their lives to Christ. There are many senior saints in our midst that deserve our submission for their labor for the Lord. They've been in this walk so much longer than we have, and Scripture says it is only proper that we regard them with the honor befitting a Titus older woman.

4. Submission to earthly authority. Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord's sake: whether it be to the king, as supreme; Or unto governors, as unto them that are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers, and for the praise of them that do well. For so is the will of God, that with well doing ye may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men. (1 Peter 2:13-15) Sometimes the government doesn't make Godly choices. Sometimes law enforcement officials don't make Godly choices. Sometimes our bosses and superiors at work don't make Godly choices. Sometimes we wonder why we even bother paying attention at all. We do because the Bible says it is God's will that we obey, as long as we aren't going against His Word. Knowing the motives and rationale of some leaders makes this difficult, but there must still be respect for the position of authority.

When we choose to respect and honor those with influence over our lives, we can be at peace with them and have a closer walk with God. Submission is not throwing away your independence or giving anything up - it's about growing in God's grace and allowing relationships to flourish because we yield to authority, laying our pride aside.

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