Submission is a dirty word today. Many associate it with being subservient and “less than.” In a culture which values self-assertion, submission can feel like you are short-changing yourself by failing to fulfill your dreams and your potential.
The dictionary defines submission as a submitting or surrendering, obedience, or resignation. And for the word submit, it offers this: “… to yield to the control or power of another” (Webster’s New World Dictionary Fifth Edition, 2016).
Practically, submission looks like obedience or regard for someone other than ourselves and our way of doing things. It may be allegiance or even loyalty. We submit to those things we are loyal to with our time and decisions.
Submission is not an optional add-on to our lives, as some may suggest. We all submit, to one thing or another. So the question becomes: what are we submitting to? Is it grounded in God’s truth or the world’s influence? What does the Bible have to say about submission? We’ll explore these questions together.
What are you submitting to?
We may not realize it, but because we all hold to a belief system, we all submit to something.
If we believe only a certain resource will supply what we need, we will serve at the altar which is holding hostage our true fulfillment. We may believe we need a specific job to validate and use our skills, or we can only live a specific neighbourhood to raise our children, or the only way to be a godly woman is to marry and conceive. We will submit to this belief and become subservient to it with our time, mind, life choices, and resources.
Do we believe that beauty is defined by the age on your ID or the number that shows on the scale? We will make very specific choices to reach the beauty we’re not seeing in those numbers. We will serve these choices with our calendar, energy, and finances.
Perhaps we believe that success can only be equated with a specific paycheck, job title, or lifestyle. If we’re not able to secure those things, our life is a failure. Or our narrative says that only a spouse and children can bring true fulfillment.
Maybe we only feel valuable when certain goals are completed with the accompanying praises from others. If things are not aligned and achieved in a certain way, or no one takes notice, we and our labour feel worthless.
Truly, what we believe, we end up serving.
What narrative are we serving?
It’s not wrong to want to feel good about yourself, to want positive feedback for your efforts, or to desire a good job, a husband, or a child. But thinking that fulfillment can only come from these is a deception as old as the Garden of Eden. Many women – even those who are at a healthy weight, or who are married with children – still struggle with feelings of dissatisfaction.
From the beginning, the enemy has not used bad things to allure and deceive, but rather, he’s distorted God’s good creation and twisted our thinking.With “Did God really say…?” the serpent took God’s words and put them into question, making Eve wonder if indeed God had been holding out on them. She then decided to decipher what’s best for her. Her choice proved detrimental to her and to all creation. She believed something – that God did not know best – and acted according to it, submitting her actions to that belief.
What do you believe about your life, your identity, your loved ones, that is not in sync with God’s Truth? Do your choices reveal submission to narratives that view God as a stingy figure, a