That’s Not Submission

I’m reading a great Christmas story, My True Love Game to Me . . . by Christine Lynxwiler. In it the protagonist, Penny, is taken by surprise when her normally very compliant husband, Phillip, announces on Thanksgiving Day that he has borrowed a friend’s RV and has planned a month-long trip for the family. She agrees to go along with this, remembering the Bible study she’d recently led on submission.

Here’s the problem. She isn’t really living in submission. She makes it clear to their homeschooled tween son and teen daughter that this is Dad’s thing. She grudgingly packs and settles into the RV, refusing to hear her husband’s plans. “Surprise me,” she says.

The story is great, and I enjoy seeing the family grow closer to one another and to God. It did get me thinking about submission. First, I want to remind you that the Bible is clear that husbands and wives are to submit to one another and to God. Submission isn’t a one-way, wives-only thing. What it is, though, is all about attitude.

I recently heard someone say that if you agree it’s not submission. And, that’s true. If it’s something that I’d think of or plan for myself, it doesn’t require anything extra of me. We’re talking about something that I wouldn’t choose on my own to do. If I agree to do something my husband wants us to do but spend my time dragging my feet, complaining (even if it’s just in my tone), and reminding him that this was his bright idea, I’m not in submission.

By the way, that story is part of the book, All Jingled Out that also includes a story by Pamela Dowd about a woman who gets fed up with making Christmas happen for her family all by herself.

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