The Posture of Godliness


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.

Philippian 2:10-11

4 Comments on “The Posture of Godliness

  1. It’s so fascinating to learn a little about your background. I love what you said about a life of no submission being an illusion. That is so true!My husband and I both struggled in this area when we were first married – what submission and authority should look like in marriage. It’s so easy to fall into either just ignoring it, or being way to harsh. It can be hard to walk the middle road of balance. We’re not perfect of course, but things are running pretty smoothly now.The biggest struggle for me has been learning to trust in his final decision. Of course, before that decision is made we talk, and talk, and talk….

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  2. When I finally “allowed” my husband to have the final word I found it wonderfully freeing! I was brought up to “pull my own weight”. I was the first child from a working class family to have a university education and I was told, from an early age, that I too must earn “big money”. That earning a lot of money was the key to a happy life. However, I had different inclinations and my ambitions lay only in finding a nice husband, having children and baking!!I struggled in the workplace for years, earning the equivalent of my husband’s salary, “pulling my weight”, trying to make my parent’s proud and I suddenly realised that this what not my true self. When I finally gave up work I felt guilty and lazy and gave my husband a hard time! It took over a year of thought and prayer to just let it all go. Knowing my life is in God’s hands is freeing and knowing that it is my husband’s responsibility to make big decisions on behalf of the family is comforting. God has provided for us and I lead a blessed and happy life. It was a certain amount of submission that got me where I am today. The thing is, to submit you have to trust – in the Creator and our husbands. How many of us are bought up to trust in God or our men? No wonder it’s an issue many Christian women struggle with!This post touched my heart. Well done Leslie for discussing such a thorny issue.

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  3. This is an area in my life where God is working – and there is SO much work to be done. Thanks for sharing and challenging!

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  4. Although it is difficult sometimes, I am so thankful He is at work, helping us to fulfill His commands.

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