So there's this word. It seems to arouse deep emotion mostly of resentment, bitterness or anger. Honestly I was afraid to use it... haha. Ready for it? Submission. See what I mean?
There was a season in our marriage where Austin thought I was spending too much time doing ministry outside the home (we had a handful of rowdy, strong willed kids and the house was chaotic and if you have kids you probably get it- nothing ever seemed to get done or if it did it didn't last). But ministry was my outlet and it was only 8 hours a week. It felt like my lifeline. I love my kids and they are my number one ministry but my introverted soul needed even just a little time away to do something that refreshed and revived me. For me that was teaching God's Word and organizing ministry stuff. I clung to those 8 hours like they were my last breath. I fought him tooth and nail. I was consumed with thoughts of, "How dare he!" "He doesn't care about me." (Which was absolutely not true) "Get em God. He's going to have to give an account to You for not letting me use my strengths and instead make me function out of my weakness all the time." When I look back at that time, I don't look back and see that I trusted God. I don't look back grateful at all the Lord did in my heart through my willingness. I see ugly. I see are hard, resistant heart. Believing lies caused them to grow. Our marriage was rocky to say the least.
He helped me get to the point that I was willing to let go of the fear and even those 8 hours. He helped me see submitting really wasn't about Austin, it was about God. My issue was a lack of trusting God. I was afraid Austin would keep me from God's plan for my life. I was afraid Austin would thwart God's plans for me. God opened my eyes and helped me recognize those as lies. He helped me see that it was really all about Him and that I was called to yield by the power of His strength and leave the results up to Him. I did. I loosened my grip of those 8 hours. And God brought beauty from ashes. I'm not exactly sure how He did it, but now looking back I'm different. I'm not afraid to let go. I'm not afraid to submit because God brought good. Somehow He used that season to grow me in wisdom and recognizing how much I need others. It's almost like I was wild horse that submit to the trainer and became ride-able.
Submission is for more than just marriage. We are called to submit to many people in our life. A boss, a teacher, the government, pastors etc. I used to have a one up one down mentality which led to me thinking only people who knew more than me or had more experience than me should lead me. But somehow God changed that. After all, God can use a donkey.
We can submit to even people who are brand new or not great at this or that or ____________. And God will use it. God will bring good. Because it's not about that person and if they are worthy. It's about doing what pleases the Lord. And submitting to authority pleases Him.
It doesn't matter if they have more experience than us or not. It doesn't matter if they have more answers than us or not. It doesn't matter about them, submission from our heart is a way to be a fragrant aroma to the Lord.
I saw this movie one time (I so wish I could remember what it was) where the General made a poor decision but his right hand man submit to his authority anyway. It struck me. It was beautiful. God doesn't call us to submit to our authorities when we feel like it or if we agree or if they are "better" than us. It's not about us and its not about them. It's all about trusting God and His ability to lead, provide and execute His unthwartable plan. It's putting down the finger that wants to point out their faults to justify why we don't want to submit to that person. It's stopping the accusations and humbling ourselves and entrusting ourselves to our Faithful Father.
I pray my kids learn to submit quickly to my choices in their life because I believe if they are quick to yield to me, I believe they will be quick to yield to the Lord and not fight Him tooth and nail. I want God to bless them and I want them to learn submission, not because they are less important or valuable, but because I want God's blessing for their life and I know it will only come if they yield to His way and let go of thiers.
The same is true with us. God has way more in mind in regards to our submitting to authority. He is doing things in our hearts and molding us to be more receptive to His good, His blessing in our lives.
I don't want to leave you wondering about Austin and our marriage. He has made a way for me to have ministry hours-even at the sacrifice of himself. He values those hours now more than ever and we even get to have many hours a week doing ministry side by side being on a leadership team together. That season of letting go was not wasted. It pleased the Lord but it also brought about good not only in me but also in Austin and strengthened our marriage.
* I'm assuming the person in authority is not telling you to do something against Scripture.
Laura, the creator and host of Missional Women is married and has six kids, two of whom are adopted. Laura and her husband have been missionaries since 2002 serving with Master Plan Ministries. Laura is the Staff Women's Development Coordinator and has discipled over 150 women, led over 30 Bible studies and speaks many times a year. Laura is an author and creator of ministry tools and resources. You can find her books and resources at the Missional Women store and connect with her on facebook,twitter, pinterest, youtube, instagram and her author site.
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