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"Show me your ways, O Lord, teach me your paths,
guide me in your truth and teach me,
for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long."
~ Psalms 25:4,5

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Sunday, September 30, 2012

Submission-An Unexpected Reversal

"Submission" - that word that seems synonymous with "doormat" in many minds.

Although it conflicts with the sinful aspect of independence that I inherited from Mother Eve, I have come to believe that what God explains in Ephesians 5:17-33 is truly that way that God designed His world to work best.  But, unfortunately, we live in a broken world that often doesn't look like that model and thus the conclusion has become that "submission" is the problem.  I would argue that it isn't God's way that it is the problem, but those not following God's way that cause the model not to work properly.

As an opinionated, independent woman the quiet and gentle spirit of the godly submissive woman in 1 Peter has been a struggle for me.  However, I saw an unexpected blessing of me having a submissive heart recently...

DH's Dad offered to buy DS4 a specific gift last week.  My initial response was a rash, "What would we do that for?" To me, it seemed ridiculous to buy a 4 year old this present.  So, it came back up and DH and I were discussing the progress Grandpa had made in shopping for this said gift.  At that time I respectfully shared my concerns...though I hadn't thought through an articulate explanation, I rambled enough that he caught the idea that I thought this gift might be a little "too cool" for our four year old who already struggled with having to be the best and the fastest and similar pride issues.  I was concerned that this gift would perpetuate those feelings, but that he wasn't at the emotional maturity level that we could just take it away if those issues did indeed arise.  

The decision wasn't a matter of one choice was sin and the other wasn't.  It also wasn't an issue in my heart of me just wanting it to go according to what "I think" is appropriate and thus me being an over-protective controlling mom.  I had legitimate concerns, DH heard them and assessed.  At one point he said, "I understand where you're coming from, but I still think it's OK."  

On the one hand I wanted to put on my attorney's suit and defend my case, getting him also to not just understand my position, but to "feel" the same way I did.  But, looking back, my heart was at peace...I was willing to submit to him giving his dad permission to move forward with the purchase, even though I could foresee problems, which I would prefer to avoid.  In the end, he told his dad to hold off...not a "no", but a wait. 

Ephesians 5:21 - "submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ."

I felt very loved and respected that though he thought it was an OK gift, he saw wisdom in the wait and was willing to articulate that to his dad.  And I am thankful that Grandpa was willing to "submit" to our decision as parents - he was open to our input from the beginning & respected it (even though maybe he thought it unnecessary precautions).

So, "submission" could have looked like me just letting them go ahead with the gift without saying anything.  But the consequences of that could have been me getting bitter if there were issues I foresaw or the issues arise and they become a big problem that could have been avoided if I had used wisdom in sharing what I saw as "God honoring wisdom" (not putting an unnecessary potential temptation in front of our young son).  

That was a good practical lesson for me - submission does not have to mean not saying anything, but it does mean if you do say something it must be with a quiet, gentle, and respectful spirit, willing to relinquish my desire should the decision sway against my preference.

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