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submission. grrr.

June 28, 2009

our church, table rock fellowship, has recently begun a new series called rooted. while on our journey of discovering who we are in Christ, it is important that we are rooted in what we believe and what we do. otherwise, without roots, we are easily shifted, shallow, w/out depth and grip. so, we’re learning to go, and grow, deeper.

this last weekend our pastor talked on that oh so wonderful subject of submission. can i get an amen?! no? okay. well, he spoke to women this week. and it was a goooood message. and next week, hes speaking to the fellas. HOLLA! and he warned them he was gonna be tough too. pastor tom holds nothing back!

i wanted to do something, and im hoping you all will be willing to join in. id like the ladies to listen to this weeks message on submission. ive provided the audio and the notes below. then…id like to discuss it through the week as you listen to it. simple as that. actually…men, you should listen to it too and join the discussion. yah, thats good. see, im thinking as i go here. then….next week, i’ll provide the message to the fellas, as well as the notes, and we can do the same thing then. we can all just discuss this submission thing together. all the uglies of it, the beauty of it, the frustration of it, anything we dont understand, discuss it all. cause if we’re being honest…i think its safe to say submission is a very touchy subject in our society.

well, i hope you choose to join in. if you dont have the time to listen or go through the notes, id still be curious as to what your thoughts are on women and submission.

listen here audio will open in a new window but you can still follow along with the notes below.


I Peter 3:1-6



-I Peter 3:1-2

Submit: This is about positional authority!


-I Peter 3:3

Cultivate true beauty!

External beauty is ephemeral! Internal beauty is eternal!

“A beautiful woman who lacks discretion is like a gold ring in a pig’s snout”

-Proverbs 11:22


-I Peter 3:5-6

Don’t laugh at God!

Submission Does Not Mean:

  • A husband is in ultimate authority
  • A wife does not have independent thought
  • A wife does not seek to influence her husband
  • A wife must obey her husband’s command to sin
  • A wife is less intelligent or competent than her husband

Submission Does Mean:

  • A husband and wife are equal with complimentary roles
  • Wives are to submit like Jesus did in Gethsemane
  • Husbands are to lovingly lead like Jesus does the church
  • A single woman should only marry a man she can follow
  • Christian marriage shows the Trinity and the Gospel
30 Comments leave one →
  1. June 29, 2009 6:20 am

    does it count if the only “person” I have submission issues with is my dog?

    • June 29, 2009 11:39 am

      sure! but, are you the one having trouble with submitting? 😉

  2. June 29, 2009 6:56 am

    i can’t help but think dg4g and i are going to be sitting in the back giggling and snickering over your first paragraph all through the next two weeks!

    And that’s even After i read under Admiration: “Don’t laugh at God”

    We’re not – Honest!

    We’re laughing WITH Him – aren’t we David?? 😉

    Rooted (snicker), go and grow deeper 😯 🙂

    This is gonna be hard for the Aussies! (guffaw!)

    You were saying Aunty Tam?


    • June 29, 2009 11:39 am

      i know. i know.

      we’re just a naughty ole bunch.


      • June 29, 2009 10:22 pm

        You can be as naughty as you like – or not – sorta like the ‘little children’.

        in this instance though, i rather think it’s the Aussies who may actually be the ones who are ‘corrupt’ 😉

        As to submission (and i’m holding back till i hear what Tom has to say to the menly folk on this) i think it ultimately comes down to a submission of our will – our human will.

        The INSTANT we start to live as if our will is in any way ‘superior’ to another human being’s is the second we know (or SHOULD realise) we have a problem – a serious problem and are not following God’s Will but are turning away from Him and paying more attention to our self.

        Be we male or female.

        Christ took the role of a servant; First to God and then to mankind and He is to be our example of how to live our lives. Christ showed that adopting a servant’s attitude does not prevent us from speaking honestly and truthfully with Authority given to us by God The Father.

        It, in short, does not make us a doormat, nor are we in any way to be treated as one when we live in submission to His Will over our own.


        • June 29, 2009 10:37 pm

          beautifully said!

          • June 30, 2009 5:12 am

            Indeed, and it means I managed to say nothing while still having everything I wanted to say (and more) being said.

            Thank God for Love 🙂

            • June 30, 2009 10:09 pm

              Tam, David – we are all as One when we are In Him Truly and we can all speak with one ‘voice’ – His and not mine 😉

              Thank you both for your words/feelings.

              and David – by all means take the next ‘turn’ to speak ‘for’ me 🙂 – if there is some free time in your life you are living for Him 😉


  3. June 29, 2009 7:40 am

    I had trouble with this idea before I was a believer and early in my christian life, but I was lucky to have a few good sermons to clear things up just as Tom has done.
    I love that we are equal in value in God’s eyes. No one is better. We often think whoever is the leader is the best, but in everything everyone is needed. No one part is more important than the other.
    I also like that submission doesn’t mean you can’t have an opinion. And that my husband must be selfless laying down his life for me. Those are the things that make it much easier to submit.

    • June 29, 2009 11:42 am

      i agree, samantha. i think there are men who abuse the submission definition by not allowing their wives to not only not have an opinion, but even a “say” in anything at all. its very sad.

      i will say this…when the man is a godly man who is leading with respect and with reverence to his Authority – it makes it easier for the woman to submit.

  4. June 29, 2009 9:55 am

    I have never been married and I am not a member of a church. I have nothing to contribute from either of these perspectives.

    I do agree that the willingness to submit is an important part of sustaining any relationship. Which of course explains why I have never been married. 🙂

    I believe all relationships need be two sided, marriage, social groups, societies of any kind. Sometimes decisions are what we want and sometimes we submit to what some else wants. Which is of course why I don’t belong to any clubs. 🙂

    I do have friends, and have joined different communities, the local seniors center, this blogging community. In each case I do submit to the social rules of each group. As a citizen of the US. I submit to the laws of my country, state and city.

    Another point is that always fighting to get your way is very exhausting. One of the benefits of a relationship is letting the other party share in the burden of decision making. This a benefit I have rarely enjoyed, and once again explains why I have never been married. 🙂

    • June 29, 2009 11:43 am

      ed – i have a sneaking suspicion…youd make an amazing husband.

      yah. im pretty sure im right.

  5. June 29, 2009 11:57 am

    Hey wait a minute…is this the same TRF that David Choate designs for?

    If so, WOW!! You’ve got a great designer in him…

    Now on to the topic at hand.

    I would like to submit (groan) that the issue of submission in this case is definitely a 2 way street. But it’s not a this for this. It’s a this for that.

    Husbands should LOVE their wives. Wives should respect (submit) their husbands.

    This is a huge generalization, but I believe that the greatest need in a relationship for a man is to be respected for who he is and what he does. Where as a woman’s greatest need is to be loved for who she is and what she does.

    Of course, we ALL need love and respect, but each gender has their own primary needs. This doesn’t mean that a husband ONLY shows love and no respect, or that a wife only shows respect and no love, because honestly can you have true love and/or repsect without the other?

    To me submission DOES NOT READ, slavery or absolute deference. I think it means healthy respect.

    • June 29, 2009 12:00 pm

      P.S. I’m mezmerized by David’s designs over on the Church Marketing Sucks flickr lab. He’s an inspiration.

    • June 29, 2009 12:05 pm

      yup. choate is our guy. he is truly an amazing talent. and humble! one of the comments above is from samantha, his wife 🙂 we are truly fortunate to have him/them. david actually started out as our high school pastor.

      and can i just say that this….

      “To me submission DOES NOT READ, slavery or absolute deference. I think it means healthy respect.”

      pretty much sums it up 😉

      • June 29, 2009 7:06 pm

        I am a big fan of that David guy too. Not only is he a good designer but he is hot! Yes, I can say that he is my hubby.

  6. June 29, 2009 2:03 pm

    If men lead as Christ did by serving, then men make it easy for women to submit to their leadership.

    If I show my wife enough of Christ she will willfully follow me to Christ.

    I have to submit first to Christ though in servanthood, before I have the right to be submitted to.

    Plus Eph 5:20 says to Submit to each other…..

    Peace and love.

    • June 29, 2009 10:38 pm

      “I have to submit first to Christ though in servanthood, before I have the right to be submitted to.”

      carl – that is quite a statement. wow. great stuff, friend.

  7. June 29, 2009 2:25 pm

    Only a hot topic if its done badly. 😉
    sounds like he gets it…

    This is an area that I had to learn (unfortunately). I must say that Elizabeth George’s book “Beautiful in God’s Eyes” really taught me a lot. That and just studying Prov. 31 – when we begin to understand what we are called to do (and when the guys do that too) it gets so much easier.

    As was mentioned before, the husband-wife relationship is supposed to be modeled after the Jesus-Church relationship. If our husbands treat us like Jesus treats the church, they are getting it right. If we submit to our husbands like the Church is supposed to submit to Jesus, we are getting it right.

    It’s a relationship of equality, of mutual love and respect, and of bearing up one another. He is to protect her, she is to support him.

    As I tell our girls – Daddy has to answer to God, I have to answer to Daddy (and they have to answer to me!) He is the head of our household, and I am glad to pass on that position!

    Praise God that I am blessed that I have a husband that makes it easy – thanks Eric!

    • June 29, 2009 10:40 pm

      youre so smart. i think i like you.

      i love your 2nd full paragraph. its right on. makes so much sense. truly is easy…yet, so many of us mess it up. i think that has to do a lot with what Love said above – our own stubborn/selfish will.

  8. June 29, 2009 2:27 pm

    My stance on submission is this:

    I fully submit myself to God just as Jesus submits himself to the Father just as wives should submit to their husbands.


    God has always loved me and will always love me. His love is constant when I was a sinner and He didn’t give me more love because I now trust in Him. His love stayed the same.

    Therefore, I will love my wife with the love of Christ even if she does or does not submit to me. Just as the love, mercy and compassion of God is never dependent on what we do or who we are but it is dependent solely on the name and glory of God alone, so too that my love for my wife can never be dependent on who she is, what she has done or how she feels.

    I love her no matter what. Period. How can I declare this? I can do so because this love doesn’t come from my own power but from the love and infinite strength of God. When I love, I fail. When He loves, He never fails.

    • June 29, 2009 10:41 pm

      joseph, you will make a great husband some day 🙂

  9. June 29, 2009 5:38 pm

    I think Joseph already covered it better than I could. But I’ll add my own thoughts.

    My Pastor said that submission is not about “equality.” He said men and women can certainly be equal. But ‘equality’ does not mean ‘sameness’. People (and this includes Christian men and women) often mistake what it means to submit. They think of it in authoritarian terms. “Speak only when spoken to” and “Go fix me a turkey pot pie!”

    Of course, that’s not what it is about at all. It merely means submission in a manner of order. The Father, Jesus and the Spirit are all equal. They are all God. But the Spirit submits to Jesus and Jesus submits to the Father. There’s an order there. The man in the family, is designated as the spiritual leader of the family and the wife should respect that and submit in that regard.

    That respect however, comes with the man doing what he is to do and that is to love his wife as Christ loved the church. That means unconditionally. We are to love and cherish our wives as one of God’s daughters. If we are doing as we’re supposed to do and that is submitting ourselves to God’s moral will for our lives, then such submission on the part of the wife becomes that much easier and natural.

    • June 29, 2009 10:43 pm

      “We are to love and cherish our wives as one of God’s daughters.”

      that statement really stuck out to me. certainly changes the way one might treat another.

      that ones gonna stick with me.

      and thanks, jay, for stopping by. i appreciate your input and insight 😉

  10. July 6, 2009 12:17 pm

    So what exactly does one do when one’s husband believes list #1 is what submission is? That is the question I want to know the answer to.

    • July 8, 2009 9:22 am

      you know what….im gonna forward to your question to one of my pastors.

      love you, annie…

      • July 10, 2009 2:59 pm

        Aw, thanks Tam. I believe God is breaking through right now. But … I have always wanted to know this. I have thought, whenever I found the secret, to write a book titled something like, “How to Love Your Husband When He Doesn’t Deserve it.” Catchy title huh? Well, it was something like that. The ‘ideal’ is always a partnership where each is growing and progressing, and there is open communication, etc. But this is ideal, and certainly not the reality in many homes. Many women face the challenge of learning godly submission only from God Himself, as their husbands don’t have the slightest clue what God requires of their wife, and try to ‘lead’ her with demands all out of his own imagination. Or past or ego or selfishness, or what have you. Being reactionary is all too easy, and learning how to divide the line between God and husband … is a very tough thing to do. Seemingly impossible at times. So if I could carry anything out of my experience as a wife, this is what I would want to know. This kind of wisdom to offer to other wives who face ‘tough nuts to crack.’

        Thanks, Tam.

  11. July 7, 2009 7:11 pm

    Omgoodness…That was a lot to take it Tam!:)
    BUT…it was a great message!

    I loved the quote by Ruth Graham I think it went ” It isn’t my job to make Billy great, its my job to love him.”
    That is so profound!

    I have decided that I can not afford in my walk to ever be with someone who isn’t a Christian, let me rephrase, a STRONG Christian;
    I’ve learned a lot about myself, who’d I be without God’s leadership, and its a place I’ll never want to be ever again.

    I want to have the character God wants me to, and I want to have the heart to love someone the way I should love them.

    I actually want to marry a Pastor, or someone who connects well with me when it comes to God.

    I am wearing a purple stone gold heart ring on my left hand ring finger.
    I bought it to symbolize not just purity before God, but loyalty.

    In order to submit to anyone, first and foremost we submit to God.

    I love the movie ” Fireproof” and the concept of the book, because it is a story that is not just about a marriage between a husband and wife, but between them and their God.

    Oh I could go on Tam, but these are some thoughts that I have at the moment…and also what it said about Sarah, she wasn’t the example of perfection but progression…


    • July 8, 2009 9:17 am

      well said. and i completely support you in your search, and waiting, for a strong God fearing man. if our husbands are to love us as they God loves the church – then they have a lot to live up to. and its worth holding out for, ang. good for you. im proud of you!


  1. Submission, Men, Women and the Bible - Just Living The Life – Living Life, Walking With God

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