Sunday, August 20, 2006

A Dirty Word?

Submission just sounds like a dirty word, doesn't it? For some reason it seems to leave a bad taste in my mouth. You can almost hear the snarl in the way people say it, "submissssssion". Why is it that I have come to loathe this biblical concept?

I don't think I have only a problem submitting to my husband, in reality I just don't want anyone telling me what to do! But it always comes to a head in my marriage. There are the big issues like having more kids, schooling and discipline. Then there are the minor ones like buying a new back pack, monitoring T.V. time and involvement in "activities". Either way I find it exhausting and frustrating. Why does he get to make all the final decisions? Who made him the king of the universe?

Well, the true King of the Universe put him in charge! If I am unwilling to submit to my husband then I am ultimately spitting in the face of God and walking away. I don't want to disobey God and be distanced from his grace and mercy. He has called me to submission and I think one of his reasons might be that it will help make me more like Jesus.

When Mike and I are butting heads over a certain issue -- certainly we should discuss it, but ultimately I have to give it over to God. The result is not bondage (as I think it will be), the result is FREEDOM! I need to get to the point where I can say, this is how I feel and what I think, now that ball is in your court. Then my job is to pray and commit it to God. THEN LET GO! I have a pretty tight grip sometimes so that is really hard!

It's never pleasant to go against Mike, our marriage suffers, our family suffers and our relationship with Christ suffers. Here's an example from a few years back. We had 2 little kids. There were a lot of things that were difficult in our life at the time, one of the big ones was our finances (or lack of). The more I spent, the more Mike tried to control. The more control he yielded, the more I wanted to spend. So, one day the kids and I trotted off to the mall. (I can remember that I liked to go there and look at all the things I couldn't afford and pity myself.) I decided that we should go out to lunch. I went to the cash machine and took out $40 - a lot of money! I was doing it out of spite, I knew he would find out but there would be nothing he could do about it.

I can remember it so clearly, I was pushing the double stroller and somewhere along the way I dropped the cash. My heart sank! The humility of dropping it for some reason convicted me. I honestly wasn't worried about the money, I just realized how wrong I was and that I didn't want to keep going in the direction I was headed. Well, a gracious woman behind me chased me down and gave it back to me. I did not spend a penny of that money and took it straight home. That was the beginning of being able to let go for me. I realized that my problem wasn't with Mike, but it was my heart - selfishness, pride and more were at the source of this hiddeous teenage-like behavior.

I had this paper from college. I don't know who wrote it, but it was life changing for me in the way I looked at submission. So here it is:

A Summary of the Special Biblical Secret:

-I Submit to God. I'll ask Him, and wait for Him to meet all my needs. (Psalm 62:1, Phillipians 4:6-7,19)

-I realize how valuable I am to Christ because he gave his life for me. (John 3:16)

-While waiting for my needs to be met through Christ, I'll attend to the needs of those around me. I'll forget about my needs because God is taking care of them (Ephesians 3:19-20), and I'll focus on what I can do for others. (John 15:11-12)

Wow! It doesn't seem like such a bad tasting word to me now! And I'm learning that I can submit and serve with Joy, not duty (ok sometimes it's duty). There were times in my life when I refused to submit to God and Mike. I thought I knew what I wanted and needed. The things I was seeking were and could have been devastating and disastrous. God knows our needs and how to meet them. How foolish I am not to trust that!

We choose submission out of reverance for Christ, we don't have do it because we are less. Jesus was a humble servant and submitted to the will of his Father. Is there anything better than to be like than Jesus? I've got a long way to go in this area!

Don't tell me you didn't figure these verses were coming:

Ephesians 5:21-24
"Submit to one another out of reverance for Christ. Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything."

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