I am sure several “S” words ran across your mind upon reading the title of this blog. But, I highly doubt the word SUBMISSION was on the list. Submission isn’t four letters, but sometimes we like to classify it in the “4-letter” curse word category.
When I was in the 3rd grade, my teacher, Mrs. Dark assigned us to do a poster project for the Presidential Campaign that was taking place that year. The campaign was between Republican Candidate George Bush and Democratic Candidate Michael Dukakis. Interestingly, in my younger years I was pretty active in the political arena. I was chairman of the college republicans, worked with a couple campaigns, and spent a summer interning for Congressman Watkins in Washington, D.C. This love for politics began as early as 3rd grade. So, when Mrs. Dark split the two rooms in half and I ended up on the Dukakis side, I knew trouble was in store because he was not the candidate I was supporting that year.
I remember going home that day and immediately telling my mom. I asked her to call Mrs. Dark and demand that I get switched to the other side of the room. Even at the age of 8, I had a strong opinion and did not want to sumbit to this project assignment. My mom called her, but the conversation went no where. Mrs. Dark refused to allow me to switch. She said that it was just an assingment and it didn’t matter in the long run because we were 3rd graders who couldn’t sway public opinion anyway, right? Didn’t matter? EVERYTHING MATTERS, right?
Because the hate for failure was greater than the political affiliation, I made the poster. But, I can promise you it didn’t win the class poster project prize. I am sure I approached it with a bad attitude, little respect, and little effort.
This life experience flooded my mind last night during our “Blessed Woman” Bible study group. We were discussing Debbie Morris’ chapter on submission when I remembered the Lord convicting me about this very topic in college. My strong opinions about politics and people in certain positions in office didn’t end in the 3rd grade, but rather grew the older I got. In college, the Lord kindly reprimanded me for some of the strong opinions I voiced against people in authority. Submission does not mean that I agree with them, but it does mean that I respect their position and I honor them with my words and actions. I also learned that submission isn’t a blessing that I give to others, but rather when I submit to authority it is a blessing I give to myself! Submission is like forgiveness. It isn’t for the benefit of the other person, it is for my benefit!
I have learned that we SIN against God when we don’t SUBMIT to the authority that He has placed in our lives. Whether we like the person or not, God is a God of order and authority. In The Blessed Woman, Debbie Morris writes, “When we step out from under our delegated authority, our faith is weakened, our own authority is undermined, and we become open prey for the enemy. Therefore, if we want to live in victory, we must learn to submit to the authority structure of God.”
Jesus himself submitted to authority. Not only to His Heavenly Father, but also to earthly authority. He submitted to His earthly parents (Luke 2:51), He submitted to water baptism by John (Matthew 3:15), He submitted to the religious rulers and paid the Temple tax (Matthew 17:27), and He told the disciples to submit to the Scribes and Pharisees (Matthew 23:2). There are other examples in the Gospels, but what I notice about the four examples listed is that Jesus submitted to both those He trusted and had a relationship with, like John the Baptist, but also submited to those who didn’t care for Him, like the Scribes and Pharisees.
I think submission is easy when you are submitting to a person you like. But, it isn’t so easy when you have to submit to someone you don’t agree with, don’t trust, or don’t relate.
In my home, I submit to the loving leadership of Gary. God placed Him as the Head of our home and I honor and respect his position. I have found that the more I submit and support him in decisions, the more I build him up as a man. We experience great peace and unity in our home because of the act of submission. By no means does Gary rule over me. Our wills are so united that submission has never really been a topic for us to address. We have a mutual understanding that we move together as one, like in a dance. He leads and I follow. Thankfully, Gary always wants my opinion on matters. He always wants me involved in the decision making process. Submission thrives in our relationship because Gary sets an atmosphere of love and freedom.
(Even though I am a fan of submission and believe in its benefits, one DOES NOT have to submit to an environment of abuse, neglect, or sin!)
Submission doesn’t have to be an ugly S word that traps you and holds you back, but rather can bring great freedom in your life.
My 28 Thanks:
1. I have learned a lot about submission.
2. I got to go to 30 minutes of the women’s Bible study.
3. God showed me something about submission during that class.
4. Jesus submitted to both those who loved Him and hated Him.
5. Submissions brings unity in my home and in my relationship with Gary.
6. A young, 6th grade girl asked me to lead her in a rededication pray before kids service started this morning!
7. Even though we had several technical difficulties, KidMotion rocked today!
8. As I think about all the leaders who serve with me, from check-in to nursery to preschool to kidmotion, I am overwhelmed with appreciation. Our kids are so blessed with leadership from the finest of men and women.
9. Several of my teammates are really growing in stage presentation.
10. Judah and I had a great, restful afternoon.
11. Judah was so helpful today…he helped me before church, during church, and after church.
12. Mr. Jerald lets Judah have a donut every Sunday morning even though they are reserved for the boys in the 5th and 6th grade class. Mr. Jerald told me that he is bringing Judah a Strawberry, sprinkled donut next week.
13. Judah is using his manners more and more when communicating with adults.
14. Kids with manners.
15. Mrs. Debbie and the kidcrew are ready to perform Shine Your Light. They have worked hard and it looks good.
16. We have come so far in kidz ministry over the last 6.5 years.
17. Danielle told me how encouraging my after service text messages are to the team.
18. Laura let Judah come over and play with Morgan and Abby tonight.
19. I had a meeting after church and I didn’t have to keep up with Judah and his restlessness. I actually got to sit through the entire team leader’s meeting.
20. Judah had a blast at his Aunt Laura’s house.
21. Laura gave Judah a bath tonight.
22. Gary has had a great day at the fire station.
23. Jameson, my newest co-worker, told me that he thought about Gary and I yesterday and prayed for us.
24. Olivia, the new youth pastor’s daughter, sat by me tonight. She is my new little friend. Such a sweet girl.
25. Paul Days, a Faithful volunteer at the church, received Volunteer of the Month tonight.
26. Pastor Marcia spent hours on her statistics presentation. The results were awesome. I love her attention to detail.
27. Judah was super excited to come home with me when I picked him up from Laura’s house.
28. Gary and I always say goodnight, whether in person or over the phone.