Can I clarify a point of scripture? There are three main areas of submission to human authority laid out for the church, and in each case submission is described as a duty: women are to submit to their husbands, children are to submit to their parents, church members are to submit to pastors and leaders. Submission is not voluntary in these cases: God expects us to be submissive and will not accept our excuses for rebelliousness.

However, the counsel of God to husbands, parents, and pastors is that they can compel submission if they exhibit self-sacrificing love and are nurturing to their charges. Delinquent husbands, domineering fathers and unloving pastors are still due respect and submission for the sake of their "offices"—but they will only receive it as the Holy Spirit ministers forbearance and grace to their neglected wives,
frustrated children and abused congregations. On the contrary, any husband, father, or pastor who takes the initiative to love as Christ loved will draw submission out of his charges naturally and responsively. This is the biblical model.

That is why I would never be worried, brothers, that single women these days SEEM to be so independent. Fact of the matter is the times are hard, and everybody is a little more guarded and defensive. It is unwise for sisters today to be as demure and deferential as previous generations, given that brothers are generally so much more predatory than before.

Nonetheless, the scriptural principle will hold up: if you sow into your mate (or child, or congregation) the good seed of love, you will reap the harvest of submission. All that affected toughness and willfulness will quickly dissipate… your wife (or child, or congregation) will humbly follow the man that has demonstrated his care and selflessness.

To borrow from T.D.: "Are you a MAN? Then you ought to have a SEED!"

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