Submission: It’s Not What You Think - Your Daily Forward Devotional


Submission: It’s Not What You Think

August 6

Ephesians 5:21-24 (ESV)

...submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ. Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, His body, and is Himself its Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands.



What other relationship is marriage symbolic of? Why then, should wives submit to their husbands?


Submission. It’s treated like a dirty word in our culture. People just do not like to hear that they have to submit to anyone. They don’t like the idea of anyone having any kind of authority over them. And yet, Paul is saying that out of reverence to Christ, we are to submit to one another. What does this mean?


First and foremost, it means that all Christians are to submit to Christ as the authority over all of us. We are to revere, or deeply respect, that God has placed Him as the head of His church. As members of His church, we humbly subject ourselves to the rule of Christ.


Second, we submit to each other. Notice that the foundation of submission is not that any one Christian is greater than another. We pattern this behavior after Jesus Christ Himself who is our Lord and yet, He humbly served others in His ministry. He is God and yet He became man. He even stooped to the lowly level of a foot washer. Ultimately, He humbled Himself to the point of dying for us on a Roman cross. He was mocked, scorned, and humiliated. All for our sake. He who was greater became less. Given this, we are called to defer to each other. In Philippians, Paul said, “Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.” (Philippians 2:3-4).


Third, knowing that we are all to submit to each other, Paul specifically mentions that women are to submit to the leadership of their husbands. Note that not all women are to submit to all men. But in a godly marriage, God has ordained men as the leaders of their households. The reason that Paul gives for this is that marriage is symbolic of the relationship between Christ and His church. In Scripture, the church is even called “the Bride of Christ.” But remember, even though wives are called to submit to their husband’s leadership, Paul first told all believers to submit to each other. So, a godly marriage is made up of a husband with a leadership role, yes. But husband and wife should first submit to Christ and then both should consider the other as more important than themselves.


Next week, we’ll look more closely at what it means for husbands to be the leader of their wives and households. Spoiler alert: Christ-like submission isn’t what the world thinks it is and Christ-like leadership isn’t either.



Jesus, thank You for showing us what it means to humbly submit to each other in love and service. Help me to count others as more important than myself. Just as You considered me to be worthy of the sacrifice You made on my behalf. Amen.


~ Pastor Nat Crawford


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10 days ago
Lord Jesus, take away my prideful behaviour and let me walk humbly in Your presence. Help me to submit to others just as You submitted to Your heavenly Father. Train me to be humble, I pray, Amen.
11 days ago
I do see an arrogance in the church and lack of humility from church members to submit to anyone in general. Even after so many lives were lost from COVID people are desperate to get back to business as usual with no respect or reverence for God or their leaders. There will be a great falling away because of pride. People only want a feel good message. They love entertainment in the church just like the world loves their entertainment. Some people forgot we are in the world but not of it and we need to be distinguished from the world. We are to put on Christ which is humility. Submit to our leaders who will have to give an account for us. We are to be Lovers of God. They will know we are Christ disciples by the love we have for one another. Do not forsake the gathering, the fellowship, because in a multitude of counselors there is safety. The “Lone Rangers” will get sifted like wheat, destroyed for lack of knowledge!
11 days ago
It's so arrogant for any Christian to not submit appropriately to fellow believers in Christ! This lesson may help clarify that only God need not submit to any person but is to be worshipped and obeyed in the submissive manner described by St. Paul, God's servant and apostle to the Gentiles. That may be difficult at times since the one(s) to whom we are directed to submit may be imperfect in our eyes and thus unworthy of our obedience, but I need to trust God for the outcome.
11 days ago
11 days ago
After making an amends with my mother at her grave, one year ago humbling my self all the anger towards her suddenly vanished! It was that simple all the abuse that I endured I was able to leave it at her grave and walk away and its because of JESUS! and now I have such a peace today. And it is all because of SUBMISSION! It is a simple matter. Pride is an awful thing when wrongly used. So be careful.
1 reply
11 days ago
Oh my many blessings for you as you soak in your newPeace❤️👌🙏
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