Submission gets such a bad wrap but it is quite beneficial for character growth. Hear me out. In its simplest form, to submit means to allow someone else to speak into your life. Many women have been burdened by the idea that submission means they must be subject to a man who will have total control over their lives. However, to believe that is to miss the point entirely. Likewise, for anyone who struggles with submission to authority, they likely face unnecessary difficulties in life.
Fools think their own way is right, but the wise listen to others.Proverbs 12:15 NLT
Allowing certain people to speak into your life can be the difference between you making an informed decision or a mistake that costs you time you could otherwise spend improving some other part of your life. It often appears that the response to invitations of submission is apprehension, and in greater extreme, rebellion. This response is natural to our human nature. As children are taught discipline, there are many times of rebellious behavior (think of “terrible twos” and the struggle of just about every caretaker parenting an adolescent child). This tug-of-war experience shapes us to want to pull away from wisdom. I believe one of the most jarring experiences of adulthood is when the reality of life collides with the truth behind the wise words we disobeyed during our early development.
“Adulting” brings us face to face with the pressing need to surround ourselves with wise counsel. We need people in our lives who are able to speak life over our situations. Many already know the benefit of applying the wisdom of our life experiences so as not to repeat the same mistakes. In the same way, allowing wisdom to be spoken into your life (and actively receiving and applying it) improves our quality of life. No one wants to be that rebellious person who lives life their own way, in spite of wise counsel they refuse to heed, only to peak early in life and live the remainder of their days in regret (it sounds dramatic, but I’m sure you can think of one person who it applies to).
Similarly, learning how to submit to authority produces humility. A humble person is able to experience life in a fruitful way because they get to make their own decisions but also learn from the life experience of others. In your daily life, you have many opportunities to be humble and submit yourself to authority. Whether it is to your parents, your boss, your spouse, or God, submitting in these relationships should not detract from your own voice, thoughts, or emotional experience (if done correctly). Instead, they should encourage you to receive wisdom that will enrich your existence.
Last, but certainly not least, when you submit to wise counsel, you gain wisdom for yourself. It would be no surprise that the wisest person you can think of in your life or in history is someone who, at some point in their life, heeded a nugget or two of wisdom and applied it to their own lives.
Submission is a beautiful thing. Embrace it.
Photo courtesy of Jeremy Yap via Unsplash