The true meaning of submission in love

“Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.” (Ephesians 5:21)

We generally don’t like the word “submit”. We assume it implies relinquishing our will to the control of someone or something unpleasant: submitting to a series of medical tests, submitting to the requirements of the boss who gives us work we don’t enjoy, submitting to a spouse whose demands are not in our own best interests.

That’s not biblical submission. It’s subjugation. A slave is subjugated. A slave obeys out of fear or duty.

Submission to Love - submit to one anotherLove, on the other hand, submits to love. God commands that we submit to his will, not in order to subjugate and control us but because he cares about us and wants the best for us. We submit ourselves to God’s will, not out of fear or duty but because we love him and we trust his love for us.

A holy marriage is like that: Spouses submit to the requests of their beloveds, because they care. Spouses don’t make commands — they make collaborative decisions that are based on God’s commands. The Vocation of Marriage is helping each other submit to God’s commands through a process of praying, learning, gaining deeper understanding, and discovery. And thus love grows stronger and purer.

Reflection Questions:

  1. Am I rebelling against any of God’s commands, directions, or will for my life (deliberately, or perhaps accidentally through misunderstanding his will)?
  2. Do I feel my sweetheart’s love when I submit to his/her requests?

Strengthen your relationship:
Discuss how and why surrendering our will to God’s will is a good thing. Then pray together, each making a promise to God for surrendering your life more fully to his love.

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© 2017 by Terry Modica of Good News Ministries

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