Thursday, September 13, 2012

Noble Submission


…live in harmony with one another; be sympathetic, love as brothers, be compassionate and humble. – 1 Peter 3:8

It’s impossible to find a discussion of submission today without a carefully worded preface explaining what Biblical submission isn’t. The term sets off a lightning-fast reaction, triggering images of brow-beaten wives and selfish, domineering husbands. (We forget that many men endure doormat treatment, too.) Since you’ve probably heard it, I’ll shorten the preface: Biblical submission is not about being a doormat.

What Biblical submission is matters greatly to moms who attempt to model Christ-likeness to their children.
Submission is simply the humble, gracious meeting of my children’s needs, often at my expense, as they grow into their God-created identity.

Ephesians 5:21 instructs us to “submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.” We submit because we reverence the One who submitted himself to our need for salvation.

For a mom, the call to submission is usually loudest in the context of marriage and parenting. We model Biblical submission for our children when we respect them as God’s handiwork, made in his image and belonging to him. Recognizing the importance of our commission to raise them, we submit our agenda to their needs – needs that are as valid and important as our own. Good boundaries are implicit to our submission; I can’t freely choose my “yes” unless I can also freely deny my “no.”

I hear that my grandmother, who died before I was born, endured food shortages in Great Britain during World War II. While her husband was away at war, she had three mouths to feed, but only enough food for two. She chose, of course, to feed my dad and his sister; and the toll on her health ultimately shortened her life. Far from being a doormat, she demonstrated that true submission is a very noble choice.

What’s your take on submission? Do you have a great example to share?



11 comments:

  1. Wow. That last story is incredible and I think as mother's most of us would do the same if faced with that choice. It definitely shows her strength of character.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, it is inspiring. I wish I could have met her. Thanks for stopping by!

      Delete
  2. I agree with Susan's reply to your post, and I enjoyed your article immensely.

    ReplyDelete
  3. wow that is an incredible story. there are so many people who wouldn't do that for another. Submission can be a very good thing but I think there is a negative connotation with the word in this day and age. We have been submissive to our faith and endure through hard times just based on faith alone. good things come from submitting to the word of the the lord

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, so true. Submission has gotten a really bad rap. Ultimately, when we serve as God asks us, we are submitting to him.

      Delete
  4. Great story. For me, submission has meant yielding my wants, needs, comforts so that my children have what they need and not necessarily what they want. I demonstrated this with my daughter who has a major medical emergency four years ago when I had to make decisions with unanticipated consequences like losing most of my relatives because they don't understand mental illness. Currently, I'm living with one ugly consequence related to my daughter: I'm losing my home. Not what I ever anticipated but she is worth it. Now I hope to honor my son by finding an apartment within our school district so my son can graduate 8th grade with friends he's known since kindergarten. The challenge is I'm competing with 15-20 overqualified families. I believe God will honor my son and I with our supplication.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wow, Reina. I pray you are blessed with the resources you need for your children. You are an inspiration. Hang in there through this difficult situation. In the end, God will reward you.

      Delete
  5. Can I use the word humble? I have been trying to think about that more lately. Trying to remember His hand in all things and that I am very blessed. Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
  6. what a lovely story. than goodness i am not in any position such as your grandmother was. i agree with ally that the word submission has a neg connotation - especially to me being a former domestic and sexual violence advocate. i like the word humble too. everyday i am humbled!

    ReplyDelete
  7. What an inspiring story! Thank-you for sharing that with us.

    ReplyDelete