Saturday, June 25, 2011

Oh No! Not the “S” Word…

SubmissionThe act of lowering or coming under; the condition of being submissive, humble or compliant; to yield to authority.

Is submission a “dirty” word in your eyes?   Do you cringe when you come across Scripture that references submission?  You shouldn’t...

Submission in Marriage

The Apostle Peter was not only a Jew, but was married.  He was well acquainted with Jewish customs and how the young church needed spiritual instruction. I Peter was written to Jewish believers.  His emphasis on submission was to appeal to the church to have an attitude of submission in a Christ-like way to promote harmony and true freedom.  It was also to be a witness to the world outside of the church.

In Chapter 3 Peter discusses submission in the marital relationship.  He says, “Likewise, you wives, be submissive to your own husbands, that even if some do not obey the word, they, without a word, may be won by the conduct of their wives, when they observe your chaste conduct accompanied by fear.”  [Paul also admonishes wives to submit to their own husbands as to the Lord in Ephesians 5:22]  This ordinance was meant for the wife to submit to the authority of her husband, not all mankind in general.  Ephesians 5:23-24 states, “For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body.  Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything.”  According to God’s command one would lead, and the other submit

In Genesis 3:16 God said to the woman, “Your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you.”  Eve had used her persuasive powers and lorded them over Adam in the garden.  She exerted influence that was misused and it harmed their standing with each other and with God.  Her “desire” was to lead their relationship, but now God was instructing her that Adam would take on that role and lead in their marriage.

Peter also writes, “For in this manner, in former times, the holy women who trusted in God also adorned themselves, being submissive to their own husbands, as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord, whose daughters you are if you do good and are not afraid with any terror.”  Sarah trusted the character of God.  She submitted to her husband and so gained favor in Pharaoh’s eyes (Genesis 12).

Submission in Society

I Peter 2:13-15 tells us to,submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake, whether to the king as supreme… For this is the will of God…”  Submissiveness is required in all aspects of society: the government, military, workplace, church and family.  Citizens submit to civil leaders, subordinates to military leadership, workers to employers, laypersons to clergy, wives to husbands, and children to parents.  I Peter 5:5 states, “Yes, all of you be submissive to one another, and be clothed with humility…”  The church should model submission in honor, reverence and love.

Submission in Christ

When we “humble ourselves under the mighty hand of God” we place ourselves under His Sovereignty.  We come under His umbrella of spiritual safety.  We have all seen the TV commercial with a large red umbrella that “covers” what is being insured.  Biblical submission brings us “under” His righteous hand of protection, provision and placement.  By way of submission we choose to place ourselves under His care.  As long as we remain under the umbrella of grace and submit, we gain His favor and blessing.

Submission in Everyday Life

“Therefore submit to God.  Resist the devil and he will flee from you” (James 4:7). Don’t give the devil a foothold. Submission involves our mind, will and emotions.  We are to take our thoughts captive and submit them to God.  Submit your imagination, words, actions, fears, insecurities, hopes, and plans to Him. 

Submission in itself is a good thing.  After all, Jesus submitted to His Heavenly Father intentionally.  As Paul wrote in Philippians 2, “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus…He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.”

Submit yourself to Scripture’s example and glorify God…

Deborah is the author of a Christian non-fiction book titled “Mission Possible”.  It is written for women who love the Lord Jesus, but their spouse doesn’t share their passion.  It will encourage and challenge the reader to embrace God’s promises for their spouse and future together. 



  1. Deborah, that is one of the best posts on Biblical submission I've seen in a long time!

    Re: Eph 5:22, it's encouraging to remember it's preceded by verse 21 (how's that for profound? LOL!)

    Eph 5:21 Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.

    So before the wife is instructed to submit to her husband as unto the Lord, the husband has also been included in a general sense as submitting (as a Christian) to the wife, which I think ties in with dwelling with her according to knowledge (1 Peter 3:7).

    Thanks for making it clear that the wife's submission to her husband is a choice. It's not for the man to lord it over her, but she will be blessed for her decision to obey God in this matter.

  2. What a sweetheart you are Laura! So glad you liked it! You are so right - I forgot to include Ephes.5:21 (Oops) Thanks for including that one. I got carried away flipping through the Scriptures!

    Mutual submission is key to harmony in the home - with the husband leading in love. Thanks for all your wonderful points.

    Bless you :)

  3. Excellent post. I think submitting to husbands is difficult, not only because of the current world we live in, but also because of Eve. I can't remember exactly in Genesis where it is; however, after the fall, God said something to Eve about desiring her husband, though her husband would rule over her. It's innate in woman (us) to want the 'power' of the household, yet it is God's will for us to submit.

    Happy Sunday! ☺

  4. Larri,

    Thanks so much for your comments and kind words. That Scripture about Eve is in Genesis 3:16 and is in my post above (3rd paragraph). And yes, we all still want to "steer" the wheel of our marriage.

    God bless...

  5. Awesome post, Deborah! I love how you tie this valuable truth all ther with it's Scriptural base. Sadly, what the world has twisted into something ugly is at the heart of knowing God's peace as we submit to Him and partnership as we submit to our spouse. It's the best place to be!

  6. Bless you Dineen - for you truly understand God's heart in instituting submission as a safeguard in marriage - not a hindrance. So sad that satan tries to high-jack a principle that is part of God's order in society.

  7. Deborah, Submission the way the Lord intended is absolutely the best and most rewarding way to live in marriage. This is, indeed a struggle when your husband doesn't believe but when we are able to submit to Christ we can see how our submission in our marriage is a precious, holy, and special gift we give our husband. Hugs.

  8. Great thoughts Lynn - thanks! As long as we keep in perspective that it's all about submitting to God - then we're okay! :)

  9. Well said! I'm glad I found your blog at Ruby for Women, and enjoyed reading this eloquent reminder of the central role of submission in our faith. Blessings!

  10. Thanks for visiting Judith - I appreciate your kind words! May we all joyfully submit to what God requires of us, Amen? (that's a reminder to myself)



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