Do you hate that word – submission? Does it just make your neck go stiff, your teeth clench and your body cringe? Well that’s how I used to feel about it. Throughout my early years of marriage the one word mantra my mother would say to me was submit, submit, submit. As a women who had grown in strength and indepence submission was very challenging.
Today we feel that submitting without question is a sign of feebleness, lack of will and an oppressed mindset. We feel the need to always question authority, to make sure we completely understand and are understood before taking action. This is absolutely NOT what God asks of us. For men and women! We are told to obey God and to follow him without hesitation or question. When Jesus asked people to follow him those who hesitated were left behind*. That is what happens when we chose to question or pause and reflect on what we’ve been asked by God. Now lets take that submission and apply it to what we’re called to do as wives – submit to our husbands**.
As a teenager I developed a sports injury called planter fasciitis in my feet (chronic tightness of the feet muscles causing them to tear away from the bone) – very painful. I had surgery at 14 to cut the muscles to relieve the tension. This did not help and I ended up in electro-shock therapy for months and on crutches for 6 months. By the time I was married, living in London and constantly walking my feet were in agony. I eventually went to a podiatrist who prescribed me absolutely enormous iron-man style boots to wear to bed every night for the rest of my life after about £500 worth of treatment . They held my feet in a flexed position to help the muscles stretch out gently overnight so that I wouldn’t be in so much pain throughout the day. Well let me tell you, they were not sexy – in any way. They were hard plastic with loads of velcro that made my feet hot and my husbands legs bruised.
After I had my first baby I was sitting with my mum and husband and I felt God tell me to have them pray for healing for my feet. I shared this with them and they began to pray. That night I knew God was healing me, but I still put my boots on before bed. The next night as I was strapping up my boots my husband said to me “Jenny by wearing those boots your not allowing God to heal you. You need to throw those boots away.” Are you kidding me??? Do you have any idea how much these cost?? We can’t afford to replace them and do you have any idea how much pain I’ll be in without them????
I didn’t say any of that out loud to him. Instead I sat there staring at my £300 orthotic boots and agreed to throw them out. He took them outside and dumped them in the bin. The next day I woke completely pain free and have been living pain free in my feet ever since. That is the power of submission. It’s an act of faith, a right heart attitude and unity of spirit between husband and wife.
* Luke 9:57-62
** Ephesians 5:24