Submission carries negative baggage today.
But submission is at the heart of every successful relationship.
What do we mean by submission?
Here is just a taste of what the Bible says:
Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.
…and be subject to one another in the fear of Christ.
Place yourselves under each other’s authority out of respect for Christ. Ephesians 5:21
You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love. Galatians 5:13
Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves. Philippians 2:3
How do we identify a successful relationship?
Not all relationships which endure are successful. There are unhealthy, co-enabling relationships which last because the two people have a death-grip on each other. So what is meant by “success”?
The two questions have the same answer.
Submission to one another is how any type of relationship survives, and remains beneficial to both people, for any length of time. In order to have a good, healthy, loving relationship, each must be continually submitting to the other…giving some turf, respecting, letting the other choose, giving little rights-of-way to the other…putting your interests before mine.
This is normal, standard operating procedure within relationships to any but the truly controlling. We take it as a matter of course that this behavior is ideal, even if we don’t always achieve it.
So why do we object so loudly when it is suggested that there ought to be submission within marriage?
Submission– putting the other before oneself –is basic equipment for conducting a marriage. How can we expect to happily coexist with another human being without submitting to one another in the most intimate and intense relationship in our lives?
Submission is what both of you sign up for in front of witnesses when you get married.