• God calls us to submit to Him, to yield willingly our lives to Him. And it is in Christ that we learn how to flourish in relationships with others.
Our position before God defines our submission before others
What is submission?
• To submit means to make oneself open to the influence of another.
Mutual Submission is no problem when there is trust
• Submission works under two fronts:
• Our culture does not tolerate any talk of mutual submission because it does not tolerate any discussion where the self, yourself is not in the center and the primary authority.
• The problem is and I’ve said this before, that no relationship can survive long term if both people are trying to be central.
• We have misrepresented mutual submission to the detriment of relationships.
Mutual submission starts closest to home
• The household
• This is unbelievable liberating to Paul’s contemporary audience.
– There is order in the oikos. In a culture where when and people were property and less than, the Scriptures actually lift people out and prioritizes relationships. It upholds the household as a place of honor and recognition. This structure protects members of the family within a corrupt culture in Ancient Rome.
Ephesians 5:22–23 ESV
Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior.
• If you want to honor your husband.
Ephesians 5:25–27 ESV
Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish.
• If you want to honor your wife
Ephesians 6:1–3 ESV
Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. “Honor your father and mother” (this is the first commandment with a promise), “that it may go well with you and that you may live long in the land.”
• If you want to honor your parents
Ephesians 6:4 ESV
Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.
• If you want to honor your kids
• don’t provoke to anger but instruct and discipline.
• The focus is not on what you want others to do, it’s on what you are to do. There is agency in submission to others.
• What we see is an intentional relationship that offers vulnerability through trust.
Mutual submission begins with adjusting your identity.
• and because we don’t trust we refuse to budge on our identity. We stand on the top of the hill and refuse to move.
• Our call as Christians is to learn how to embrace the other as Christ has embraced us. But in our culture that is hard to do. And instead of being counter-cultural as Christians should be we simply throw up our hands and think that if no one else won’t then we won’t
Realize that Christ adjusted His identity for us.
Philippians 2:3–11 ESV
Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
• To embrace another means to be able to adjust your identity. It means being able to submit parts of yourself in order to love another. But we often have difficult times doing that. .
– “the will to give ourselves to others and “welcome” them, to readjust our identities to make space for them, is prior to any judgment about others, except that of identifying them in their humanity. Exclusion and Embrace
• We easily make the mistake to think that if they just saw it our way we would love to embrace them
Romans 12:10 ESV
Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor.
• If we always waited for the other person to go first, we would not get anywhere.
Romans 5:8 ESV
but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
• If Christ went first then we should be running to submit
• And our response is always to His first move.
• We can’t wait for someone else to move for our relationships to get better. Because as long as they are on prideful foundations, there is always a fissure in the system.
• Our role in our relationships as Christians, especially in the household, is to submit to one another. Show preference to one another. Adjust your identity to make room for others.