The Gift of Submission

Fearlessness is a celebrated quality, particularly in America. It denotes a toughness and determination that overthrows seemingly outdated ideas of submission and meekness. 

Topics: Missional Living | Gender | Identity

Fearlessness is a celebrated quality, particularly in America. It denotes a toughness and determination that overthrows seemingly outdated ideas of submission and meekness. As a Christian woman, I sometimes feel discouraged by the opposing views of biblical and modern womanhood. The Bible teaches me to be submissive (Eph. 5:22) and quiet in spirit (1 Pet. 3:4), but these ideas directly oppose the cultural expectations of complete independence and fearlessness.

Many in our culture quickly dismiss submission as an outdated concept. The idea of submission to a man or any other authority seems preposterous to most modern-day women. Because I was raised to be strong and decisive, I spent many years fighting the idea that God would call me to be submissive to authority, to a husband or even to Him. But here is one thing I’ve discovered about the command of submission: The Lord created submission as a protective shield for women. Because we are precious in God’s eyes, He set up a system that would guard our lives against the world, our flesh and the Devil.

When I step outside the bounds of submission to God, my husband or authority, I am opening myself to all kinds of temptation and trouble. I think of it like standing under an umbrella in a hailstorm. Why in the world would I choose to be pelted with hail when I can stand under a protective barrier?

The issue of submission is not limited to women. Men also struggle to submit to God and the authorities put in place by Him. Human beings are proud. We believe our plans will be more successful if no one else is directing our steps. We do not fear the Lord and trust His plans for us. Yet God makes it very clear that we can only find joy and freedom under the umbrella of submission: “Therefore it says, ‘God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.’ Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you” (James 4:6b-8a).

We tend to rail against life’s difficulties and vow to make things better by our sheer effort of will. However, our God calls us to draw near to Him and allow His power to work good in all things. This drawing near requires that I submit myself to Him and to the authority placed over me. It requires that I lay down my fearless pride and fear Him alone. “The fear of the Lord leads to life, and whoever has it rests satisfied; he will not be visited by harm” (Prov. 19:23).

While I am grateful for the freedom of equality, I am most grateful for the freedom I receive when I submit to God and recognize my position as a precious daughter of the King. Let us examine our hearts and throw off the pride that keeps us from drawing near to our Father.