In my work, I talk on the telephone with a lot of people in various places. At one point, I was speaking with a lady who was in financial straits.
"I am preacher's daughter, and I know we're in this financial trouble because my husband won't tithe. And I can't speak to him about it."
"Why can't you speak to him?" I asked.
"Well, you know I'm supposed to be a submissive wife."
"Oh, my dear, you've been taught wrong about submission." And I went on to explain.
Submission is not biting your tongue and knuckling under. True submission to a husband is letting him see all of who you are. You tell him what you think and believe. You elaborate as to why you think and believe that way. Then you leave the decision in his hands.
In his letter to the Ephesians, Paul says that we are all to submit to one another. This mutual submission doesn't work if your definition is biting your tongue and knuckling under.
Imagine four people going out to dinner. They get into the car, and the driver says "where do we want to eat?"
"Wherever you'd like."
"Any place is fine with me."
"What do you think?"
And the conversation would circle like that until finally someone says "There's the Chinese place, or Bill's Barbecue, or if we'd like a buffet, we could go to the Groaning Board."
At that point, people begin to express opinions. Then a joint decision can be made.
True submission is letting people see exactly who you are - warts and all. Then as Christian brothers and sisters, we can hold one another up in prayer. We can help one another overcome faults and difficulties. We can give one another the benefit of a different perspective on what's going on.
This mutual submission is the pattern for the church. As the body of Christ we can work in harmony only when we submit one to another.
Grant us the grace to be mutually submissive. Give us the generosity of spirit that allows for diverse opinions without causing strife and division. Knit us together as a body of various parts that work together as one for Your kingdom.
In Jesus' most precious name.