As a Christian woman, mother and a future second wife, I’ve heard a lot of teaching on the topic of submission over the years. I assume that most women who attend good churches have, too. I’ve also had disturbing conversations with egalitarian women who think that submission is mutual in marriage: husbands and wives equally submitting to one another. Gallons (drums?) of ink have been spilled over the roles of men and women in the home and the true definition of what it means for a wife to submit to her husband. Yes, submission has been a hot topic in Christian circles for years.


But there’s one form of submission that Paul speaks of that I’ve never heard anyone discuss—at least not in those terms. Here’s Romans 10:1-4:

Brothers, my heart's desire and prayer to God for them is that they may be saved. I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge. For, being ignorant of the righteousness that comes from God, and seeking to establish their own, they did not submit to God's righteousness. For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.

In this passage, Paul is expressing his deep longing for the salvation of his Jewish brothers. He recognizes that they have a zeal for God, a desire to stand righteous before Him, but in their zeal to serve and please God they are gravely mistaken. They are ignorant of the way of salvation—of the righteousness that comes from God. Is this ignorance just a lack of education or is there a moral component to it? It’s not simply that they are innocent, misguided seekers. No, in fact, their ignorance is willful. They are culpable because they have a desire for something other than the righteousness that comes from the God Whom they say they’re seeking to please. They desire to glory in their own righteousness so they aren’t willing to “submit” to His.

Isn’t that the difficulty with true Christianity? It forces us all, women and men, to subordinate ourselves— to bow low beneath the truth that if we want to be righteous we must give up all our efforts at righteousness and submit to His.

I ought to rejoice that “Christ is the end of the law for righteousness,” but I’m not sure that I always do. Yes, of course, when I’m in my right mind, I exult in the truth embodied in those words. But there are other times, and far too frequently, when I find myself relying on my obedience to the law so that I can assure my own heart and beg to squirm out from under the total submission He’s demanded of me. You mean I can’t rely on myself at all? Really? Can’t I just craft a little something to hang on to when I start to doubt whether grace is enough? This feeling of free-falling into someone else’s mercy and righteousness is really quite unnerving. Sometimes grace gives me the shivers.

I’ll admit that wifely submission is difficult. But this kind of submission, submission to an alien righteousness, a righteousness that I do not deserve and don’t really even always want, is utterly impossible. I will never, and I mean never, give up the moral high ground on my own. God must humble me and change my heart by His Spirit, compelling me to bow the knee at Calvary or I will always remain a proud Pharisee. Here’s the truth: sometimes I make efforts at submitting to my future husband so that I don’t have to submit in this other way. Sometimes I make nice dinners and say, “Yes, dear, of course,” just so that I can assure my own heart that I’ve got a little righteousness of my own.


It’s actually a nice distraction from the humiliating reality of an alien righteousness to spend time talking about being a godly wife—although that’s not a bad thing—it’s just that in my self-sufficient heart I’d really rather talk about anything other than that submission. That humiliation? That righteousness? That weakness? Really?


Let’s pray today that the Lord may grant us all, women and men, the grace to submit ourselves to His righteousness and stop seeking to establish our own . . . no matter what form that might take.

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Replies to This Discussion

Amen...My Sister....I smile when I read your writings and I say bless you when I read your prayers and say them with you.  I bless God for His power to draw one near.  When I read your writings, I see and hear the Holy Spirit guiding you to Gods truths and allowing yourself to be humble enough and your intelligence to expound on the journey of your guidance from Him.  Continue to be humble and keen to the spirit...I pray your strength as you go through, because that is what is happening...go through to the next level of His annointing on your life.  I pray you continue to allow God to use you and allowing you to voice your testimonies...that will bless other. 


I stand in aggreement with you my sister and bless your new marriage in the Name of Jesus.  It is sooooooooooooo easy to follow Gods Word, flesh just make it seem hard...know flesh is the deceiver.


In Love Sister Denise

God bless you and thanks so much for taking the time to read my prayers and blogs.. I really appreciate your thoughts and prayers too.. I've come a long way and with my relationship with God has drawn me nearer to write more and more of how I overcome daily situations with his teachings and I love sharing it with others as well..


and so do I.. Have a blessed day and weekend.. Love you sister in Christ.


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