Note: This week, I will be sharing stories of my spiritual journey. Feel free to share yours in the comments or in an email. I would love to read them!
Yes, it’s a heart stopping word. How did you just react when you read it? Submission is perhaps one of the most controversial and misunderstood words in the Christian vocabulary.
I’m not going to go into the theological underpinnings of the word. You can check your Bible and talk to your pastor and read a few good authors for that information. I’m just going to tell you my story.
Submission started for me when I got saved. Before that, I had to submit to my parents, but it was rarely a voluntary thing. After I got saved, I realized that submission to God was important.
My teenage years were not without struggle. I loved God and my parents, but I didn’t always want to submit to what they required. I did so, praying for my attitudes along the way.
But submission to parents seems easy once one is faced with the Biblical injunction to submit to one’s husband. Submission to one man, even if he disagrees with you, even if he’s wrong, for life. (Of course, we are not to submit to a husband if he wants us to sin or we are being abused. We are first responsible to the Lord.)
The first time I had to submit to my husband’s decision was before we were married. I felt very strongly one way, and he felt very strongly another way. We prayed, and I asked the Lord to work. I asked him to change my husband’s mind or mine. The Lord miraculously worked, and we both came to agreement based on His clear guidance.
Another time of submission that stands out to me was early in our marriage as I was getting dressed for church. My husband looked at me and said, “I don’t want you to wear that shirt.” He had little to say about my wardrobe up to that point unless he was complimenting me, so I was taken aback. “Why?” I asked. He explained that it wasn’t entirely modest, and he didn’t want me to wear it. (I can feel your temper rising as you read. Just calm down. He’s my husband, not yours. 🙂 )
As embarrassing as it is to admit, I fought back on that one. His only intention was to protect me and make sure others respected me, and I argued because I liked that shirt. Thankfully, I finally submitted and I got rid of the shirt and a few articles of clothing since.
I came to a point about 9 months after we were married, when God spoke to me. He wanted me to submit my whole life to Him. All the good things, and all the bad things. Yes, I was a Christian. I was walking with Him in obedience, but sometimes my attitudes and motives did not line up with what was happening on the outside.
My husband went to work early in those days. One morning, I was up reading my Bible sometime around 4:00 after he had left. I read how God was a loving Father who wanted to give the best gifts to His children. I had already confessed to Him the wrong attitudes and motives inside. Like Isaiah, the prophet, I had caught a glimpse of the real me inside, and it wasn’t pretty. When I read about the gifts, I reached out to Him just as I would my own Daddy if I needed something. In that moment, He showed me clearly that He was now in complete control of my life. I gave the pen and the paper over to Him. My hands were completely off.
I have walked with Him in surrender since that day. There are still times when I strongly want my own way with God or in my marriage. But, I go back to that time when I pledged to submit all to God and to submit to the man He gave me as His representation on earth.
It is a beautiful life knowing that I am in the center of His will. He truly is the best Author of all.