I wanted to share some really great words from Elizabeth Eliot today. I have been making it a habit to read an excerpt from her book "Keep a Quiet Heart" each day and like usual I am challenged, inspired, or motivated to work through the various issues that are addressed. I often get asked by women about the word "submission" and how as a wife and such a strong willed women I am ok with the idea of submission. I often wish I could have the right words to explain the things I have learned over the years about how I have come to no longer think of the word "submission" as a degrading word but rather how I have come to embrace and love the idea of submission. However, don't get me wrong, submission is something I still struggle to do and is not always easy for me to embrace as it does often go against my own selfish desires. Therefore, I really think Elizabeth puts it simply, and I thought I would share this excerpt with you. I challenge you ladies to keep working through your struggle with the idea of submission, pray about it, truly seek God on it. Remembering the promises of Jeremiah 29:11 that God does have your best interests in mind, as He loves you so dearly.
What Do You Mean By Submission?
People are always asking me this. What is this business of "submission" you're always talking about? We're not really very comfortable with this. Seems kinds of negative. Sounds as though women are not worth as much as men. Aren't women supposed to exercise their gifts? Can't they ever open their mouths?
I wouldn't be very comfortable with that kind of submission either. As a matter of fact, I'm not particularly comfortable with any kind, but since it was God's idea and not mine, I had better come to terms with what the Bible says about it and stop rejecting the whole thing just because it is so often misunderstood and wrongly defined. I came across a lucid example of what it means in 1 Chronicles 11:10, NEB: "Of David's heroes these were the chief, men who lent their full strength to his government and, with all Israel, joined in making him king." There it is. The recognition, first of all, of God-given authority. Recognizing it, accepting it, they then lent their full strength to it, and did everything in their power to make him--not them--king.
Christians--both men and women--recognize first the authority of Christ. They pray "Thy will be done." They set about making an honest effort to cooperate with what He is doing, straightening out the kinks in their own lives according to His wishes. A Christian woman, then, in submission to God, recognizes the divinely assigned authority of her husband (he didn't earn it, remember, he received it by appointment!. She then sets about lending her full strength to helping him do what he's supposed to do, be what he's supposed to be--her head. She's not always trying to get her own way. She's trying to make it easier for him to do his job. She seeks to contribute to his purpose, not to scheme how to accomplish her own.
If this sounds suspiciously like some worn-out traditionalist view, or (worse) like a typical Elisabeth Elliot opinion, test it with the straightedge of Scripture. What does submission to Christ mean? "Wives, submit yourself to your husbands, as to the Lord." Compare and connect. ~Elizabeth Eliot; "Keep a Quiet Heart"
What has God been teaching you about the word "submission?" What encourages you as you work on this character quality in your life?