It’s a dirty word to some. It’s a holy word to others.
but can I tell you something…?
I have found new life in it. Let me explain.
“Wives, it should be no different with your husbands. Submit to them as you do to the Lord.”
– Ephesians 5
^^That word burns^^
It burns because it seems to go against every other thing I know about our freedom. Jesus is supposed to bring a new kind of life: A free life. A life of fullness and joy and grace and love. A life where there are no power struggles because all people are equal and valued. A life where sharing a meal with your enemy or allowing the lowest to have the highest honor, is THE WAY. This is the life I want to live.
“Submit” feels like control and loss of identity.
“Submit” feels like a foot on your neck and a gag in your mouth.
“Submit” feels like a kennel you whimper in while your owners go on vacation.
“Submit” is the exact opposite of freedom.
For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery. Gal 5:1
The key came to me just a couple weeks ago and it has blown wide open my relationship to God and to my husband.
As a writer, performer, actress, speaker I SUBMIT my work and my art to companies and publications that I admire.
I put my heart and soul into my presentation, proposal, or piece of writing and I SUBMIT it.
I am submitting to that website. I am submitting to that magazine. I am submitting to that church ministry… for a chance to be accepted and then presented in new, expanded, and exciting ways.
When I submit something, I am saying “Here. Here is a piece of me. What do you think? Will you accept it? Will you take this piece and make it grow – make it even better than it could have been if it stayed inside of me or locked in a drawer somewhere?”
Imagine a book you have written. Your blood, sweat, tears, hopes and dreams are all in that book. An author knows, that book is you in a lot of ways – at least a part of you. You send it off as a submission to an agent or a publisher. You say, “This is what I have to offer. I have been brave and I have worked hard. Will you take this and help it become something bigger and better than I ever dreamed it could be?”
This is the kind of submission I can believe in. Do you see it with God?
Submit to the Lord: I work hard. I am brave. I am honest and covered in terrified freedom, but I am presenting myself – all of me – to God. I say to God, “Here. Here is all of me. What do you think? Will you accept it? I am fearful but I will not hide myself anymore. This is what I have to give. Will you take it and help me grow – make me even better than I ever dreamed I could be?”
This is the kind of submission I can live in my marriage.
Wives submit to your husbands: I am submitting myself to my husband – all of me. I am brave and free. I work hard to be the best I can be everyday. Then, with a mixture of confidence and humility, hope and love, I submit myself to him. It is not a groveling. It is an offering. There will always be things I wish were different. Like any artist, I know the limits of my skills, but I am just me. I can only be me.
Submitting means being willing to stop hiding. You can write a book and never show anyone. You can be married and never really show your spouse your whole, true self; or you can put it all out there – all your words and body and skin and dreams.
This is as beautiful as I am.
This is as graceful as I am.
This is as brave as I am.
This is as broken as I am.
This is as scared as I am.
This is as complicated as I am.
Will you accept me and catapult me to a new level of freedom and success as a child of God?
^^^^That is a Godly marriage^^^^
Maybe Submission is Romance
To you I give … ME. I give my best, my worst, my ugly and my beautiful. To you, like sunlight on a tight flower, I open. To you I turn and face and unfurl until there is no fear left, only wide stretched petals of soul and body and spirit and breath. To you I show the center of me – the part where new life is born. To you I say, Here I am.
And you respond by receiving. You take me and instead of using me up, you expand me. I submit myself to you and I bloom because of your love.
God calls us to more. By submitting to God, we are offering to live brave, open, daring lives – where each day we show up and give our everything. By submitting to each other, we are called to more – more freedom, more confidence, more beauty, more strength, more vulnerability, more adventure.
In a loving marriage, we have someone to speak to us and touch us with the love of God, the kind that takes our submission not as a neck to stand on but as a beauty and power to expand.
“Yours is the light by which my spirit’s born: – you are my sun, my moon, and all my stars.”
― E.E. Cummings