Opening yet another can of worms

August 26, 2008

When one considers the fall of man and the whole eating the apple story; it is hard not to get caught up in the curse of Eve. (“Your desire will be for your husband and he will rule over you” Gen 3:16b).  Yes this verse has caught the ire of feminists everywhere and been source of every Biblical offense against women.  But, as I have noted in my other posts, the Bible does not condone misogyny.

However, we also cannot blame God for every offense committed in his name or how twisted men use scripture to justify twisted deeds.  I want to use this post to talk a little about true submission.  But first let’s look at something else, shall we.  We all know that Eve took the apple first and brought it to her husband right?  But check this out.  Scripture says: “For just as through the disobedience of one man, many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the  one man, the many will be made righteous”.  (Romans 5:19)  Did you cath that the disobedience of one man.  But who took of the fruit first?  So why then is it through the man that sin comes into the world?  What was Adam’s sin?  It was this.  He failed to look after what was given to him.  When God gave Adam dominion over the garden, it wasn’t to kick back and prop his feet up.  No, God made man to work in the garden (Gen 2:5).  But that’s not all.  When God gave Adam dominion,  He was saying “I’m holding you responsible for whatever happens in here”.  And I believe he still says that to men today.

Adam didn’t have to take the fruit.  He could have chased the serpent out of the garden.  He could have told Eve not to do it (And yes, she still could have).  He could have called on the name of the God who walked with him in the cool of the day.  But he chose to do none of this and therein lays Adam’s sin. 

So, what does all of this have to do with submission?  Because when we are in charge, sometimes we have to do the hard thing and to put the good of others ahead of our own desires.  But moreover I wanted to touch on some other scripture teaching on submission. 

First I believe that submission is a unique little word with not one but two opposites.  On one end is subjugation. (don’t bother looking this up in a dictionary) The Bible may say wives submit to your husbands.  But no where does it say husbands subjugate your wives.  If you try to subjugate someone else to your will, you will only succeed in making them and eventually yourself miserable. 

The other opposite of submission is selfishness.  Christ gave himself to us in perfect submission not only to the Father’s will but also to our good.  He could have refused to go to Calvary (and who would blame him).  But he sought our good first.  Which is the heart of submission.

So let’s look at Godly submission

Mark 10:42-43

Jesus called them together and said, “You know that those who are regarded as rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them.  Not so with you.  Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant”.

Look at Phillippians 2:3-4

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility, consider others better than yourselves.  Each of you should look not only to your own interests but also to the interests of others.

And also 1 Peter 5:2-3

“. . . serving as overseers–not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not greedy for money, but eager to serve; not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock”.

So, submission is not just a “woman thing” or the “wife’s job”.  As Christians we are called to submit to one another and to minister unto one another.  If we did this I believe that our marriages would be blissful, our neighbors would hold us in high esteem and the church houses would be packed to overflowing from Sunday to Sunday.

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