Incorruptible beauty is not about the exterior; it is about the interior. That beauty is tied to a word that most women never want to hear.
Left to your sin nature, you will constantly want to control or be in charge. It is not about submission; it is about telling people what to do.
Obviously, that is not how submission works. Submission is one of the things that truly help you pursue the best for others. It is the component on which you want to serve others.
But in order to understand why that is true, you need a good definition of submission. When you look at the Greek word that is translated as submit (hupotássō), it means…
- to place in order
- to place under in an orderly fashion
When used in Ephesians 5:22, it is hupotássomai which further means…
- to subject oneself
- place oneself in submission
It is about a willing personal subjection to another person. The military provides a clear picture of what the word means. There are officers and those UNDER the officers. Or there are commanders and the people under the commanders. And the officers or commanders are under the ultimate leader.
The non-military use is similar. You yield yourself to the authority or will of another.
So, submission means to line up underneath. Why? For order or to create order.
That means when you are in a relationship and following this idea of submission, you are willing to line yourself up underneath another person as a means of supporting them and maintaining order. That is not all of submission, as you will see later, but that is a critical use of submission.
Notice how this works with love. When you pursue the best for someone – patiently, kindly, sacrificially, and unconditionally – you willingly line up underneath them. All of God’s Word fits together; this is just one piece that makes relationships work best.
And please keep this in mind; submission is for everyone, not just for women! Remember Ephesians 5:21 states, “Submitting yourselves one to another.”
So, men, please, never talk about submission to your wife if you do not understand it yourself. Until you learn how to submit to your boss the way God wants you to and submit to authorities the way God wants you to, then please do not try to get anyone to submit to you, much less your wife.
So, before more is said, it is time to define submission. A simple, usable definition is:
An internal, voluntary act of the will to yield to another.
That definition is important, so keep it in your mind as we discuss submission further. That means you choose to submit. No one can make you submit.
Let me give you four verses that give the practical application of submission in your daily life.
1 Corinthians 16:16 (NKJV) – …that you also submit to such, and to everyone who works and labors with us.
1 Peter 2:13‐14 (NKJV) – Therefore submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake, whether to the king as supreme, 14 or to governors, as to those who are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers and for the praise of those who do good.
1 Peter 5:5 (NKJV) – Likewise you younger people, submit yourselves to your elders. Yes, all of you be submissive to one another, and be clothed with humility, for “God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.
Hebrews 13:17 (NKJV) – Obey those who rule over you, and be submissive, for they watch out for your souls, as those who must give account. Let them do so with joy and not with grief, for that would be unprofitable for you.
There are many others that are just as clear and practical that impact your daily living. God’s Word clearly wants you to submit. Why? Because that is the way the body of Christ works best. God wants each member of the body to serve others, thinking of others as more important than themselves rather than their “ME” flashing all the time.
God wants you to submit to others in the fear of God because that makes the body healthy.
Submission Displays God’s Image
Better yet, submission is actually displayed between the Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit. More on that soon, but first, I would love to talk about another significant component of submission– the image of God.
People say to me, “Hermann, you think of the image of God as a hammer, so everything in life looks like a nail to you.” Well, that is true. What is a more important issue to talk about than the image of God?
When you apply the image of God to what you study in the Bible, you gain new insight into that area of study. That is what I have seen. Okay then, can submission be understood using the terms Powerful and Relational?
As you study submission, two approaches tend to show up. One is authority and submission, and the other is mutual submission. Think about this. Authority and submission—what is that? That might be obvious – it is the Powerful element of the image of God.
Then mutual submission is the relational aspect of the image of God.
Submission is a word about how people relate to each other, but there is a power element and a relating element in all relationships. For submission, the authority and submission approach is about ORDER in the relationship. On the other hand, the mutual submission approach provides the HARMONY in the relationship.
You reduce chaos in the relationship when you have order, and you reduce the flashing “me” in a relationship when you have harmony. Order is an impersonal structure, and harmony is a personal structure.
The problem with discussing submission is people only want to talk about one side or the other. Mostly, people want to talk about mutual submission. They only want to talk about how we are supposed to be mutually submitting one to another in the fear of God.I am definitely for that. But do not ignore the power, order, or authority and submission issue. That is equally important. Both need to be considered because Christians are to voluntarily put themselves under authority and carry the burdens for others. When you do it that way, with order and harmony, you practice submission in a way that fits the image of God.