Learning Submission: Tips for Walking Out a Submissive Life

Learning submission never came easy to me. Reading through my baby book recently, I saw where my mom wrote about the toddler me being “obstinate and stubborn.” I was head-strong, determined, and prone to challenge authority.

Marriage offered little in the way of toning down my attitude. I figured God knew what He was doing when He formed me and being determined was just one of the many ingredients He poured into the uniqueness of me.

The more I dug into Scripture, the more I began to question it – not just my determination to go my way, but my understanding of submission.

Putting Submission to Practice

The other night, my husband was late. He didn’t call me. He didn’t send an email. He didn’t write anything on the calendar to let me know about his schedule. I had counted on him being in at a certain time and I was in a near panic. 

I started making calls, and when I finally tracked him down it was nothing. It was a whim that took him to someone’s house for a bit. 

I was hurt because things hadn’t gone my way. I was annoyed because he hadn’t aligned with my plans. I was angry because I wanted what I wanted instead of leaving him to what he needed (or thought he needed. 

I wanted to pout – even though I knew I needed to clean the kitchen (and really, does one need a reason to put off that task?).

I wanted to mope around and wallow in my frustrations, even though I knew the children needed to be bathed and put to bed.

I wanted to do what I wanted to do because he was getting to do what he wanted to do.

Instead, I turned to the Word.

I had been pushing myself to invest time in the Word. That focus had been encouraging me to look to God as my source for inspiration, for the energy to get done what needed to be done, for a heart-led by compassion. 

God never let me down so why would a night when my husband stopped instead of coming home like I HAD PLANNED be an exception to God’s abilities? 

By the time my husband drove up the driveway, I had the children in their pajamas, the kitchen clean, and a changed attitude.

The Truth About Submission

Submission is not unto a man – even unto a husband. Instead, it is about an act of obedience to God. It shows that I’m trusting Him all the way and I’m trusting Him for the way. 

When I embrace the Truth, it changes my ability and even my desire for learning submission.

Learning Submission to God

The morning after the little near breakdown, I noticed my husband had taken time to write down all his afterschool activities on the family calendar. He used a colored pen to designate his activities from the different children. Had I chosen to act in my frustration and to speak out of anger, God would never have been able to put that action in his heart (or I would have at least made it more challenging).

I can’t change my husband, and I’m not supposed to. Even in those days and moments when I really, really want to, it’s not about me. But I can, in my choice to be submissive to God, become less of a hindrance in the ways God is changing my husband. 

Learning submission to God makes me a better wife, a better mother, and a better me.

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