Submission Is a Mark of Maturity

We had been married just over a year when our first big clash of wills happened. My husband was working as an intern at a large church, but we were planning to move to seminary soon. I was teaching in a public school, hoping that once my husband was through seminary and on staff at a church, I would be able to quit my job and we could start a family. But a wrench was thrown into our perfect plan. The church we were at offered my husband a full-time ministry position. The problem was that my husband also had aspirations for a doctoral degree, and we had planned to move to Kentucky for schooling.

Suddenly this new offer was on the table, and my husband was inclined to take it. All I could think of was that he would eventually still want to go to seminary and I could be teaching forever before he was finally done and I could be a full-time momma. So our first major marital argument began.

I knew full-well that my call as a wife was to submit to my husband. That had never been a problem. That is, until he no longer wanted what I wanted. I knew what the Bible said. And that’s what brought me so much fear and anxiety. Sadly, I dealt with my misplaced feelings through a lot of tears and whining. The amount of time we were not on the same page was probably only a couple weeks, but the intensity of the decision made it feel like an eternity.

"Have It Your Way" Culture

In our own sinful, independent spirit we think we know better. We are a society that claims rights. As Burger King coined it so well, we like people to tell us “have it your way.” So the idea of acquiescing to someone else rubs most of us the wrong way. Without a Godward focus and remembering the commands of his word, we can easily be swept into the world’s way of claiming our rights and insisting on our own way, no matter what the cost.

Yet the Bible gives us clear guidelines on the structure of authority in our lives. All of us are under the authority of someone else — whether it be a boss at work, government officials, church elders, parents, or your husband. And God has made it very clear what we are to do: “Be subject for the Lord’s sake to every human institution . . .” (1 Peter 2:13), unless the authority is asking you to sin. God has set up a structure of authority for our own good and protection. And even when our authorities don’t seem to be making the best decision in our eyes, the call to submit is still the same.

This is not to say we can't respectfully disagree.

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