Submitting to One Another
In my last post, I defined submission as: Voluntarily giving in to one another. When we give ourselves to one another, we will know a peace, a harmony, and a unity that the world just doesn’t understand.
Unfortunately, submission isn’t something that we can just make happen. It’s not going to work in five minutes or five easy lessons. It takes an act of the Spirit of God in our hearts to cut through the self-centeredness that we naturally have.
Paul gives us the key in Ephesians 5:18—be filled with the Spirit. It is foundational for us if we’re going to submit to one another.
So, who do we submit to? The answer is, “All of us.”
We need to submit to one another in every relationship. It starts with Ephesians 5:21.
- One Another. This is another foundational statement from Paul as it sets up the rest of Ephesians 5 and then onto 6. We have to get this idea first. We are to submit to one another.
- Wives to Husbands. Ephesians 5:22–24, 33. This is the God-given order of what married life looks like. The husband is the head of the wife. I know it’s not politically correct, but it’s what the Bible says. Wives are called to submit to their husbands as a part of God’s order. Verse 33 also says to respect your husband. You are to respect the head of your house. Let me tell you something, especially if you are a wife and struggles with this—your husband is never going to be the man God called him to be as long as you’re wearing the pants in the family. Let him take control, respect him and recognize God’s order.
- Husbands to Wives. Ephesians 5:25-29. Husbands need to submit as well. If husbands are to love their wives as Christ loves the Church, they have to love them unconditionally. You have to love her sacrificially, eternally, purposefully and tenderly. Just as Jesus loves us, we need to reach out to our wives and love them. No questions, no regrets, just do it. Husbands, use your headship for leadership, not lordship. Love her as Christ loves the Church. Period.
- Children to Parents. Ephesians 6:1-3. Children are to obey their parents. This is the order of the family. This is how things work. This is a wise thing for kids to do. It’s a commandment (Exodus 20:12) with a promise—honor your parents and you will be blessed.
- Fathers to Children. Ephesians 6:4. Dads, don’t frustrate your kids. Instead, train them up (Proverbs 22:6). Take the energy of your frustration and use it to teach and encourage your kids. They do things right many times, yet we pick on the negative. That’s not right, it just provokes them. Instead, serve them, Dads, and create a hunger in them for Jesus Christ.
- Employees to Bosses. Ephesians 6:5-8. Paul calls us to submit by being respectful. Don’t just sit and complain. Don’t blow your testimony for Jesus by not respecting your boss. Work as unto God, not man (or woman). Do all you do for the glory of God and respect with all sincerity the boss you have.
- Bosses to Employees. Ephesians 6:9. Yes, it works both ways. Bosses need to respect their employees. They need to respond out of sincerity and bring an attitude working together, for the Lord. It’s mutually submitting to one another.
- Citizens to Government. Romans 13:1-3. Christians need to be people who submit to the government. We need to obey the laws of our government. Yes, I agree we should not be asked to be unethical or illegal. But, we need to submit and serve. Let’s not lose our testimony for Jesus Christ by not submitting.
Submission is voluntarily giving in to one another with humble, family affection and brotherly love, in honor, giving preference to one another.
Understanding this and doing it with everyone around you will strengthen your life. It will strengthen your marriage. It will strengthen your relationships as God touches your relationships with peace and unity.