In contrast to distorted teachings on submission Richard Foster said, “The biblical teaching on submission focuses primarily on the spirit with which we view other people. Scripture does not attempt to set forth a series of hierarchical relationships but to communicate to us an inner attitude of mutual subordination.” [1]

Misread scriptures are sometimes used to try and corner people into relationships that empower domination or abuse. You should submit to me because the Bible says so! In response, people try to give examples of when not to submit.

Sometimes the limits of submission are easy to determine. A wife is asked to punish her child unreasonably. A child is asked to aid an adult in an unlawful practice. A citizen is asked to violate the dictates of Scripture and conscience for the sake of the State. In each case the disciple refuses, not arrogantly, but in a spirit of meekness and submission. [2]

However, we need to realize that submission is never a guarantee that you will not suffer or be mistreated. The Christian looks to Jesus as the supreme example of allowing personal suffering to take place. As we consider Jesus and the witness of others that have suffered for doing the right thing, we find a deep motivation to live a surrendered life.

Hebrews 12:
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.

What a remarkable truth that Jesus is the pioneer of a life surrendered to God. This founder is developing the same attitude in you!

He submitted to suffering to the Cross-life and Cross-death because of futuristic joy. He did not enjoy suffering, but allowed for endurance. It is this kind of patient endurance that precedes joy in our lives.

Submission is our secret weapon against the damaging effects of opposition, persecution and earthly sorrow. We start our journey by submitting this life to God. We continue and we end our earthly life in the same attitude of surrender.

[1] Richard Foster, Celebration Of Discipline, Harper Collins Publishers, p.112
[2] Richard Foster, Celebration Of Discipline, Harper Collins Publishers, p.121