Submission Is for Everyone

Couple kissing on the beach. stock photo

“Submission is the ability to lay down the terrible burden of always needing to get our own way.” –Richard Foster, Celebration of Discipline

The word submit conjures up images of doormats, of being run over, of second class citizens, and of being subordinate to a person in authority. We don’t like it. Submission is often thought of as only the role and responsibility of the wife. Men are quick to quote Ephesians 5:22, “Wives, submit to your own husbands” (Ephesians 5:22), while ignoring the verse before it. “Submitting to one another in the fear of Christ” (Ephesians 5:21). Paul gave the word a distinctly Christian element. He defined submission in the sense of voluntary yielding in love. He did not mean the military use of the term: submission to authority is expected and can be commanded with the threat of punishment if obedience is not given.

This voluntary submissiveness was demonstrated by Jesus. In my regular Bible Reading a couple of weeks ago I came across a verse that I surely had read before, but somehow missed that daunting word—submission. “And he [Jesus] went down with them [Mary and Joseph] and came to Nazareth and was submissive to them [Mary and Joseph]” (Luke 2:51 ESV). That summary statement was made right after Jesus was left by his parents in Jerusalem when he was twelve years old. The way I understand that verse is that Jesus had been submissive to his parents up until this time and would continue to be submissive to his parents. He set the bar, established the standard, and provided the model for us to follow.

Mutual submission is not just for a wife to a husband, but a matter for everyone in the family. A family where mutual submission is valued and practiced is where everyone seeks the best for one another. Mutual submission to one another takes practice. Compromise happens. Everyone is willing to change.

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About Rick Ezell

I am a husband, father, pastor, and writer. This blog is about shaping character, transforming church, and impacting culture. I believe that if one defines their moments then their moments will determine their character and their character will influence their world. I write on personal development, church leadership, and our changing culture. I also write about the resources I am developing and the books I am writing. My goal is to create challenging, relevant, and inspiring content that will help you be a better person, the church be a better parish, and the world a better place. If you are interested in those things, this blog is for you. I have served the church my entire career as a student minister and senior pastor. I studied at Samford University, Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, and Northern Baptist Theological Seminary (eventually I will get it). I have written eight books. My most recent ones are Chapter 13: The Excellence of Love and Soul Therapy: The Healing Words of Psalm 23. Both are available as eBooks. I have written over 1000 articles for various local, regional, and national publications. I have been married to Cindy for thirty-three years. We have one wonderful daughter. We live in Greenville, SC. In my free time, I enjoy writing, reading, running, tennis, and golf. You can contact me via email or follow me on Twitter or Facebook. This is my personal blog. The opinions I express here do not necessarily represent those of my employer. The information I provide is on an as-is basis. I make no representations as to accuracy, completeness, correctness, suitability, or validity of any information on this blog and will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information or any losses, injuries, or damages arising from its use.
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