When she’s more gifted
It was awkward.
I love my role in vocals in the band at our church; it fills me in a way I can’t describe. But that Sunday, the worship pastor was absent. Unfortunately, the guy left to lead wasn’t always stellar at carrying a tune.
I’d led music for women. I knew I was able. Which made the embarrassment more acute as the leader started the song sharp, or in a different key than the band was playing. My job was to slide in as vocal backup and help him lead well. Sometimes his melody made it sound like my harmony was off. My stress was real.
The analogy for submission wasn’t lost on me. At times, a woman may be more gifted in a particular area. (And sometimes, in areas of gifting, delegation of tasks may be ideal.)
But as I reflected on my attitude, I realized my job, in a sense, was grace: to support someone else in a weakness, and help others overlook for the purpose of all of us honoring God. This is just one of the grander purposes of submission to authority.
That week, I realized God’s agenda doesn’t always match mine—of the more gifted person taking point. Of excellence being the highest priority. Perhaps it was more important that the leader and I function as a body. And God seemed to be creating humility in me—a desire to exalt others rather than myself.
Submission in Scripture is not grounded in a leader’s ability. It proceeds from respect for God’s order and trust in His ultimate advocacy, even in our leaders’ weakness.
It’s impossible for our leaders and husbands to be flawless or more superior in every way. (And I’m not sure that would be that fun.) The Greek word for submission—hupotasso—is about willingly “placing oneself beneath.” And isn’t that the ultimate way to imitate Christ anyway?
Note: God’s call for wives to submit to their husbands should never be used to justify physical abuse or demeaning behavior. A wife’s primary role as her husband’s helper would require her to expose such sin to the light in order to get him the crucial help he needs. If you find yourself in an abusive relationship, please read "Responding to Physical Abuse."
Want more on this? Read Courtney Reissig’s “Do We Have to Talk about Submission?”
THE GOOD STUFF: 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. (Ephesians 5:22-24)
ACTION POINTS: Take time to get honest about the reasons you struggle to submit to your husband’s authority (or, husbands, to a boss or other authority figure). In what ways do you need to set aside your own agenda and trust God? In what ways do you need to gently, constructively discuss your reasons for your lack of trust with your husband (or authority figure)?
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