Oh yes, that dirty little word, SUBMISSION. It does stir up a lot of emotions, especially for women. It seems like it has been an easy choice for many to just avoid the discussion and proceed in our relationships, in our churches, and in our marriages in the manner we see fit—what we don’t know won’t hurt us. Wait a minute—stop to consider how Jesus handled the last teaching moment with his disciples. His final lesson was what? He washed the disciples feet and told them,
Do you understand what I have done for you? You call me “Teacher and Lord’, and rightly so, for that is what I am. Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet you also should wash one another’s feet. Very truly I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them. (John 13:12-17)
With this act of foot washing Jesus was not only demonstrating the spiritual need the disciples had for being washed clean, he was demonstrating the attitude they would need to assume as his witnesses and messengers of His resurrection. In Walvoord and Zuck’s commentary on this passage they note:
Foot-washing was needed in Palestine. The streets were dusty and people wore sandals without socks or stockings. It was a mark of honor for a host to provide a servant to wash a guest’s feet… Wives often washed their husbands; feet and children washed their parent’s feet. Most people, of course, had to wash their own feet.
To truly understand the life Jesus has called us to we must understand what it means to be a servant to one another (Galatians 5:13 ) or to submit to one another (Ephesians 5:21).
It is true that Ephesians 5:21 says to submit TO ONE ANOTHER., but has that been our pass to avoid getting on the submission train, because others in our life have not boarded the train before us. Perhaps the reason we hesitate to board is the fact that submission seems to be discussed only when studying Ephesians, Colossians or 1 Peter when the passages for women or wives to submit to their husbands are covered. Why does it seem submission is only discussed as a position for women to assume when putting others before yourself is a common theme in the New Testament? Or it is because the word submission carries with it the idea of a hierarchy or vertical ranking, and for the one called to submit the position in the hierarchy is an inferior or lower one.
Please consider joining to our two week salon on Submission and or download the PDF and follow along with us via blog and Facebook. It is possible that there is another submission train one where unity, love and horizontal mutuality is the goal – for all of us (married or single). – (Blog written by Linda Wells, a friend and author of the Submission Salon)