Welcome to the blog of author Marlo Schalesky!

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

The Truth about Biblical Submission

Hi Friends,

Women of the Bible Speak Out releases in less than 3 weeks (pre-order now!)! This one may be a little controversial since I am looking beyond our cultural Christianity to search out what the Bible really says to women. One of those controversial topics is biblical submission.

Here's just a bit of what Abigail's story from 1 Samuel 25 tells us about what submission truly is:

The Truth About Submission
            So what’s the truth about submission? Does it mean going along with whatever the man says? Submitting to foolishness and folly? Clearly, that is not the definition supported by scripture. But neither is confrontation and control. 
            Wisdom and righteousness are the basis of the kind of submission laid out by scripture. Our lives are not to be a jockeying for position, to be above, or to be below. Rather, as Ephesians says, we, are to “Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.” We listen, we heed, we value the other person. We consider his needs as well as our own. 
            But when his decisions are those of danger and folly, then we cannot and should not follow. Submitting means submitting to wisdom, submitting to what’s right, submitting to God.
            And yet, the truth often is that we don’t do what’s right because we’re afraid. We use submission as an excuse to capitulate to sin. It’s a risk to stand up and do the right thing. But if we are to follow God we have to dare to submit, and that means to do what is right even when it’s different from what our husband commands. It means to do right when it’s scary, when it’s risky, when we’re afraid. 
Submission looks like Abigail. It looks like the fruit of the spirit (Galatians 5:22-23):
Love: Putting the needs and well-being of others first, in hope and faith.
Joy: For the joy set before us, we endure, looking to Jesus.
Peace: Focusing not on his flaws and foolishness, but on God and trusting him as you follow what he is calling you to do.
Patience: Letting God take the lead. You don’t need to fix your husband, your boss, your father, or any other man in your life. Watch and wait as God moves. Cooperative with God.
Kindness: Choose to be kind. Being mean to a mean person isn’t God’s way. We don’t have to give in to foolishness, but we don’t have to be nasty back either. Submission is being kind while we pursue the righteousness of God to the benefit of not only ourselves but the very one who is being unkind.
Goodness: Do right no matter what, even when it’s scary. Even when it’s risky. Don’t use another’s sin and stupidity to excuse your actions, your “going along with it” when you know something’s wrong. Be good. Do right.
Faithfulness: Let no one cause you to sin. Submission means a commitment to faithfully living your life in accordance with God’s will. A man may be terrible, abusive, “Harsh and badly behaved,” but don’t also give him the power to destroy you by pushing you into sin! Be faithful. Hold fast to your integrity. You submit by clinging with white-knuckled fists to faithfulness, no matter your situation. This is the power of true submission, even, especially to a harsh, foolish man – you do not let him destroy your faith and integrity … and if he already has, repent. Faithfulness can start today. Right now. It’s worth it!
Gentleness: Gentleness is not the same as spinelessness. Rather, it is the quiet commitment to walk in the ways of God, to love, to have mercy, especially when everything in you wants to yell back, accuse, condemn, sneer and spew in words of hate. spit and take revenge with words. 
Self-Control: The key to submission is self-control – the control needed to do right instead of getting back at him, or cringing away in fear. Self-control allows us to seek God, and to remember who we are. Remember who you are. You are a daughter of the King, you are the bride of Christ. You are precious. You are loved. You are confident. You are faithful and gentle and good and kind. You belong to the God of all the universe, your Creator, and he loves you.