Maybe it’s because of our American tradition of “freedom” and “liberty.” Maybe it’s because we are urged to be “independent” and to celebrate “individualism.” Maybe it’s because we said, “You’re not the boss of me!” too often when we were kids.
Regardless, it’s easy to bristle when someone talks of “submitting.” And relax, ladies; men have the same problem (and the same challenge). Regardless of the relationship (family, employment, government), a lot of us simply do not want to be told what to do.
Words mean things
Paul didn’t shy away from using the term “submissiveness” in I Timothy 2:11. While some will try to soften the definition, the word “submit” means to “yield” or “defer.” It means we don’t necessarily get our way. To borrow the words of Jesus, “not my will, but thine be done” (Luke 22:42).
And it’s good to start there: with Jesus. His earthly life and ministry were filled with examples of how he submitted to His Father’s will. We might paraphrase I Timothy 2:6 to say, “…who submitted himself as a ransom for all.”
Following the example
So, the biblical charge of “submissiveness” is not given in a vacuum. Anyone still have one of those WWJD (“What Would Jesus Do?”) bracelets? Maybe it would be better to ask “What did Jesus do?”
Over the next few days, we will consider that question. In the meantime, you can get a head start now:
1. How did Jesus “submit” to others’ authority?
2. What did His “submission” lead to in the end?
2. How can His example inspire us to do likewise?