Submission – a word so often misunderstood; feared by women and abused by men. So many people under leaders and bosses fear the word “submit” because of how much damage and pain is involved with submitting. But I do believe it is because of a lack of knowledge and understanding that submission has become a word despised amongst people of all cultures.
So, let us tackle the lack of knowledge on submission / submit, and have a look at how the dictionary defines the word before perusing through scripture:
New Choice English Dictionary:
to surrender to another person, to offer an opinion or suggestion, to refer to another for consideration or judgement.
Chambers Twentieth Century Dictionary:
to refer for decision or consideration; to surrender, resign or consent; a confession or agreement to refer
To place under the control of another; to surrender and leave to the discretion and judgement of another person; to refer; to yield one’s opinion to another’s judgement; to yield without murmuring (complaining)
I find that just through these definitions, it creates an entirely different picture of what submission really is. To submit, in short, basically means that you are allowed to have your own thoughts, ideas, will, dreams and desires, but you take them to someone for advice (judgement and consideration), give it as a suggestion, to allow the other person to look at it from a different angle and perspective.
Submission is designed to cover and protect you, and it is also meant to cover and protect the other person. Submission is designed to help bring you and the other person into unity and make a final decision.
Submission is very similar to accountability. Accountability is submission’s best friend. What does the dictionary have to say about being accountable / accountability:
New Choice English Dictionary:
to consider; to be responsible, to give reasons for
Chamber’s Twentieth Century Dictionary:
to reckon; to judge and evaluate; to answer as one responsible; to give a reason or explanation; to narrate or give a statement; to demand / ask an explanation or justification of what has been done by someone; to hold someone responsible; to take into consideration
responsible for trust; answerable to someone in a superior position; an explanatory statement of particular, facts or events; a description, narrative or reason for events; to deem, judge, think or hold an opinion of something
Do you see the similarities?
To submit, to be accountable is very similar, but it requires from both person:
Let’s have a look at what scripture says concerning submission:
“Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” James 4:7
This is an incredibly important verse for both single and married people, both the employer and the employee. In all circumstances, in every area of your life, take your thoughts, dreams, ideas, feelings, hopes and plans and give it to God. Do not allow the devil to sway you and take your attention away. Follow God’s instructions and advice. And the devil will realise he has no hold or grip on you, and this will make the devil run away.
“Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.” Ephesians 5:21
“Wives, submit to your own husbands, as is fitting to the Lord. Now, as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands.” Ephesians 5:22, 24
Take note in verse 22: submit to your OWN husbands. Don’t go to another women’s husband and submit your ideas and thoughts and feelings. Submit them only to your OWN husband.
“But let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious. For this is how the holy women who hoped in God used to adorn themselves, by submitting to their OWN husbands.” 1 Peter 3:4-5
“Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your souls, as those who will have to give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with groaning, for that would be of no advantage to you.” Hebrews 13:17
Note how beautifully the first portion of the verse defines submit and the person to whom you submit: “for they are keeping watch over your souls”. When you are responsible for someone, whether it be your husband, wife, employee, etc. the responsibility is great, because when those people come to you to submit their ideas, thoughts, advice, etc., you become responsible for much more than what they are giving to you – you become responsible for their souls and you have to watch over them and make sure that you guide them in the right direction for their own good.
Use wisdom as to WHOM you submit to:
“Yet, because of false brothers secretly brought – who slipped in to spy out our freedom that we have in Christ Jesus, so that they might bring us into slavery – to them we did not yield in submission even for a moment, so that the truth of the gospel might be preserved for you.” Galatians 2:4-5
Now let us look as scripture on accountability:
“It pleased Darius to set over the kingdom 120 satraps, to be throughout the whole kingdom; and over them three presidents, of whom Daniel was one, to whom these satraps must give an account, so that the king might SUFFER NO LOSS.” Daniel 6:1-2
“I would give him an account of all my steps; like a prince I would approach him.” Job 31:37
“So then each of us will gave an account of himself to God.” Romans 14:12
“But if all prophesy, and an unbeliever or outsider enters, he is convicted by all, he is called to account by all.” 1 Corinthians 14:24
“And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give an account.” Hebrews 4:13
“I tell you, on the day of judgement, people will give account for every careless word they speak.” Matthew 12:36
While you are preparing for your future spouse and if you are already dating and engaged, while you are preparing for marriage, learn now how to submit to someone and be accountable to that person. Find a pastor, counsellor, cell group leader who will be willing to hold you accountable.
Submission and accountability was never designed to practice dominance, control and misery. It was designed to help a person learn from their mistakes and find a better way to do and say things the Biblical way. Submission and accountability is designed to help you grow spiritually and mentally.
Domination and control is witchcraft, and unfortunately many churches preach domination and control under the title of submission. That is why so many relationships and marriages fall apart. Submission and accountability involves respect from the person giving the account (submitting) and respect from the person getting the account (receiving submission).
For the person who is responsible for someone who submit to them, remember to consider their account with love and patience and understanding. This person is trusting you with their most vulnerable self – do not betray that trust. But, do not be afraid to speak the truth and admonish them with love.
“Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him – a three-fold cord is not quickly broken.” Ecclesiastes 4:9-10, 12