Is “submission” necessary for love?

SUBMISSION. Is it politically correct?

To submit means:

  • to present or propose to another for review, consideration, or decision
  • to yield oneself to the authority or will of another
  • to defer to or consent to abide by the opinion or authority of another

“Submit” is not a key word I’d want to use to draw attention to a website, unless hate mail is the purpose. We’re consumed with our rights, our space, our territory, our things and who’s out there trying to take them from us.

  • We protest against actions, statues, government, and laws.
  • We protest against presidents, congress, police, and teachers.
  • We protest against bosses, parents, and discipline.

We challenge and bemoan  authorities who limit our freedom, and we don’t stop to think that without submission we would have anarchy and chaos.

  • We submit to laws, while working to change and correct those that hurt or demean.
  • We submit to teacher’s authority in the classroom so learning can take place.
  • We submit to traffic laws for safety of all.

We are so focused on ourselves, that “submission” has become a bad word—one that represents something being taken away from us.


But I would like to return to idea of “submission” as a gift to another. This is more than submitting to the laws and authority of government and authorities in my daily life: teachers, bosses, police, stop lights, fences, trash cans, and more.

Submitting to each other is a big part of loving each other. Genesis 1:24 tells us that we leave our parents and “become as one.” How can we do that without submitting to each other: respecting the other’s feelings and opinions, and seriously listening and considering what the other is saying? We need to “get over ourselves” and love our spouse as much as we love ourselves. That’s what submission is all about.

Watching Season 3 of Poldark last night, I shook my head as once again Ross was unable consider anyone else’s opinion beyond his own. He was so worried about himself, that he refused an political appointment that could bring relief and rights for the poor because he would find it difficult to submit to another. This attitude extended beyond the political arena. He also couldn’t submit to his wife when she asked why he refused to listen to her ideas. Ross’ response was, “If you want a pet, you will have to look elsewhere.”

Don’t be Ross. Get over yourselves. Grow up. Relearn the definition of the word “submission,” and see that true love requires it from both parties.

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