The word ‘submit’ can feel parental – especially in the context of a wife submitting to her husband (though submitting can be a tough idea for everyone!). But regardless of your theological beliefs around this, Ephesians 5:25 encourages us to submit one another.
Afton: This word was a tough one for me before I got married, but after marriage something surprising happened for me – I saw the ways it mattered for us both to submit to each other. And when I say ‘submit,’ I mean that I see Hudson put me first every day and I want to put him first, too.
CJ: This brings up a great question – when we say ‘submit’ what does that even mean?
Ted: As believers, we are called to this crazy idea of putting our spouse ahead of ourselves. And we do this because of what Christ did for us. Marriages that work are ones where the couples are ‘racing to the back of the line’ – putting the other first.
The Tension: We don’t want to submit.
As human beings, it’s not our natural inclination to put ourselves last. But this is a great example of us choosing to die to ourselves in our marriage and put the other first – even when we may not want to.
Truth: God calls us to submit to our spouse.
So what’s at stake here? From a big picture, our level of intimacy with God is at stake. This is our visible way of thanking an invisible God for what He has done. On a more personal level, what’s at stake is the quality of our relationship.
Afton: So what does this look like practically in a relationship? The things that are popping into my head are when I let him pick the flavor of ice cream – but is that the level of things we’re talking about? What does it actually look like?
Ted: It is the little moments – as an introvert, it’s going with your extroverted spouse to a party because you know what it means to them. But it’s also doing it with the attitude of wanting to make their life better.
Your one simple thing for this week: Declare one day this week as a ‘race to the back of the line day’ and work hard to win the race.
Ask God to show you ways to do this, and watch what it means to your spouse. Especially when you do it out of reverence for Christ, and not to get a positive reaction out of them.
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