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, but all relationships have a powerful and relating element. 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 mutually submit one to another in 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.