"Obey your spiritual leaders and submit to them [continually recognizing their authority over you], for they are constantly keeping watch over your souls and guarding your spiritual welfare, as men who will have to render an account [of their trust]. [Do your part to] let them do this with gladness and not with sighing and groaning, for that would not be profitable to you [either]."
(Hebrews 13:17, AMP)
Many Christians today "cringe" at the sound of the word "submit," especially women. Unfortunately, the word has gained a bad rep as many people in authority have misused and abused scripture in order to gain power and manipulate and control their subordinates.
To "submit" doesn't mean you must be subservient to a spirit of tyranny (which is what the abuser becomes). Tyranny gains power through constant disapproval and abuse of its subjects. Those under its power labor tirelessly under the false hope that one day they will please their master and be rewarded. Hoping that FINALLY they can feel whole, happy, free, and loved. But the taskmaster is never pleased; he refuses to be because in doing so, he must give up power. Therefore, those in submission under it, will continue to strive for an acceptance they will never receive. Does that sound like the kind of submission the Lord intended? I think not.
In fact, in regards to a marriage, Ephesians 5:25-28 commands that husbands love their wives like Christ loved the church. Did Christ love the church with manipulation and control? Absolutely not. Scripture gives us specific instructions on how we must act during our prospective roles in order that there may be a supreme cohesiveness ... powerful! It is difficult for this to work well when one refuses to lead as God intended or when one refuses to submit as God instructed.
To submit doesn't mean you can't have an opinion or a brain. It doesn't mean that you are a doormat. It simply means that you withdraw, avoiding a "fight," trusting in God, and giving those in authority permission to lead. Stepping aside, submitting our flesh, and letting others lead is such a powerful gesture. God can do the miraculous through a submitted heart. Therein which, His power and glory may be revealed through you.
Proper roles of authority and submission isn't merely limited to roles between a husband and wife, it also pertains to our proper roles in the church, in the workplace, and within the community. Together we are all on a mission (ie subMISSION).
Christina is the founder of Relentless Love Ministries and lives in Linton. She is an active speaker, guest lecturer, and published author. For more information, questions, or comments, email firstname.lastname@example.org .