Saturday, November 28, 2009

On Defining Submission

Too often submission is defined as "complete obedience to the control of another".  But that's only one way of defining the word.

Google gives a bunch of definitions for "submit":

  • refer for judgment or consideration; "The lawyers submitted the material to the court"
  • put before; "I submit to you that the accused is guilty"
  • yield to the control of another
  • present: hand over formally
  • relegate: refer to another person for decision or judgment; "She likes to relegate difficult questions to her colleagues"
  • yield to another's wish or opinion; "The government bowed to the military pressure"
  • take: accept or undergo, often unwillingly; "We took a pay cut"
  • put in: make an application as for a job or funding; "We put in a grant to the NSF"
  • render: make over as a return; "They had to render the estate"
  • resign: accept as inevitable; "He resigned himself to his fate"
  • Submit is an album by the British band Pitch Shifter, released in 1992. Fitting somewhere between an EP and a full-length album, it was the last album to feature Stuart Toolin in the band. The original CD release (in 1992) did not have the two live tracks and Silo was a hidden track. ...
  • To yield or give way to another; or (intransitive) To enter or put forward for approval, consideration, marking etc
  • submission - something (manuscripts or architectural plans and models or estimates or works of art of all genres etc. ...
  • submission - the act of submitting; usually surrendering power to another
  • submission - the condition of having submitted to control by someone or something else; "the union was brought into submission"; "his submission to the will of God"

The definition I find most helpful is that submit also means we should ask our husbands his opinion about decisions that we make and to consider his preferences when making decisions, and to be respectful.  Aren't our husbands worth that?

How do you define submission?



  1. Respect. Submission isn't making one person unequal to the other. This is where submission as a wife gets confusing.
    Right before Paul tells wives to submit to their husbands, he says,
    "Submit to one another out of reverance for Christ." Paul is difficult to understand, but if he commands everyone to submit, and then commands a specific group to do what he just commanded of everyone, he was probably addressing a specific issue. Here, it was probably the women who came out of a pagan cult that worshipped the goddess of love, in which they dominated the men in the religion. He was commanding a change of lifestyle to match the change of heart and spirit that occurred when they became believers.
    But nonetheless, equal submission and respect are essential from both spouses in a loving and healthy marriage. Sometimes that demands we compromise with our husband. Sometimes it means he compromises for us.
    But God knows our men, and He knows that respect is the most precious gift we can give our husbands, and love is the most precious gift they can give us. So, he reiterates that in Paul's letter, to remind us to give each other what we need.
    I enjoyed reading the definitions! Thanks!

  2. I heard a good one recently during a study of Ephesians - submission, literally means under the same mission. As a wife, I am under the same mission as my husband! I liked that one. :)

  3. wow! good input, gals!

    I definitely like that definition of being under the same mission as our husbands. It helps put into perspective that we need to make sure we are working to help our husbands rather than pit ourselves against him. :)

    Thanks for your thoughts.


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