Technically, submission has 10 letters. But for a long time, in my book, it has been categorized as a 4-letter curse word. I’m not unlike many independent, black females of the 21stcentury. You mention the word submission and immediately my eyes will initiate a roll. And, don’t get me to talking about it. Because surely you will start to see my neck begin to roll as I share my 2 cents on the subject. Honestly, I’m not quite that bad anymore but the cultivation of a lifestyle of submission is a work-in-progress.
In the most simplest terms, submission is yielding your will to that of another’s. It is agreeing to embark on the course that they’ve set and adopting their objectives and plans as your own. Pretty straightforward right? Oh, but did I neglect to mention, even when their will is different or contradictory to your own. Yikes! That’s when this thing starts getting real.
As outlined in the bible, we are called to submit in various relationships that we find ourselves in. First, we are commanded to submit to God. Living a life consistent with His commands, striving for holiness and purity and forsaking the longings of the flesh are ways that this is done. We are also called to submit to our leaders- government, religious and vocational. Obeying laws, guidelines, doctrines and directives that are consistent with the fundamental tenets of our faith is essential in achieving this. Submitting to our husbands is probably one of the most well-known examples of submission. It is actually pretty funny how many single women, like myself, have a problem with this (could this be part of the reason why we are STILL single?). And finally, we are told to submit to one another.
Obviously I get what submission is and to whom I should be submitted to. Where I struggle is how to actually do it. At times I have a spirit that yearns to do it. I am excited about the prospect of getting it right. But then, me being the cerebral person I am, I often reflect upon the reasons why I shouldn’t- “DC and PG cops are incompetent and don’t do their jobs anyway”, “Politicians are greedy, lying, cheats that are only looking out for their special interests”, “Obviously God is tripping right now. He doesn’t really want me to do that.”, “My dad (and in this case, my boss) is so old-school. This is the technology age. His way is antiquated.” And then, I do it my own way and refuse the opportunity to be submissive.
There are times when even after rationalizing why I am right, I concede to do things “their” way. I submit, but only after reassuring myself that (as usual) I am right and eventually I will prove it by doing it their way and watching it fail. I understand that although I may have yielded to the authority, it wasn’t done in the spirit of a submissive heart and really isn’t aligned with what God desires from me.
But I’m declaring today, this has got to stop. I am no use to God or anyone else when I think and act like I am always right and know best. So, what am I going to do about it? Glad you asked.
During this season of Lent I am doing a submission fast. It’s really something I just made up but think it will be a great way of growing in this area. It includes me engaging in a more complete study of submission- principles, scriptural references and practical application, then put them into action in my daily life. This should be interesting… I’ll keep you posted!