I am surprised that this chapter of Hughes’ book is as short as it is. When it comes to submission, girls like myself need more help than a point in the right direction. I need gargantuan neon signs with flashing yellow lights. I was so completely lost and headed in the wrong direction, that simply telling me to turn around does not help…much.
My mother did her best to raise me to be an independent, self-sufficient, man-abusing feminist. I was well on my way, too. When I daydreamed about my future I considered neither a husband, children, nor a home. I thought I would finish my studies and land a career making big bucks, live on my own, travel the globe, etc. No attachments to keep me down. In fact, I was told repeatedly that I should not marry unless the guy made “big money.” Those were my plans in a nutshell: make big money, marry big money, live for myself. What I did not understand at the time was that a life of no submission is an illusion. I would be submitting to money or my flesh or worse (if there is anything else worse) were it not for grace. I am so thankful that no one thwarts the plans and purposes of the Lord.
It has taken years for God to renew my mind (Romans 12). For me to be able to think His thoughts about anything is a miracle. Lest you think I have arrived, let me assure you, He is not finished. One area that needs the careful shaping of the Potter’s hand is my posture. Yes, I have a terrible tendency to stand up too tall when I ought to bow down. (Conversely, many times I bow down when I ought to take a stand). Hughes says on page 34 that “submission is the path to blessing.” She means so much more than the narrow application of submitting to my husband or to the elder at church. She is writing in chapter 3 about submitting to the Lord Jesus Christ. “Bringing our lives into submission to His will in everything is the key to being a godly woman. It is also the path to joy” (pg.35).
My instinct is to please myself. But Jesus is the example I am to follow if I would be a godly woman. What did Jesus do? He prayed. “First, even the sinless Son of God had to pray in order to obey…second, the Father heard His prayer because of His reverent submission” (pg.39)! He gives me daily opportunities to learn the lesson of submitting to His loving rule and order. I find myself struggling the most when I’ve put in a full day of hard work as a wife and mother and I feel like I deserve a break. I think what I’m really wanting is for me to be lord for a while. I feel a terrible conviction when Hubby drives up and my first thought is, “Good, now he can _________ so I can be lazy.” I recognize my need to say no to myself and bow to God’s authority.
Jesus is Lord and I am learning that I must submit to His authority whether I am exhausted and crabby or energetic and bubbling with joy. Lessons like this are hard and I pray that I learn to do it so that my Father will be pleased. I know it will take discipline, fervent prayer, and a heap of grace.
At the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord.