SOWING SEED IN GOOD SOIL
The words “submit” and “submission” seem very hard
to swallow when it comes to wifely submission, and rightly so. If only married couples understood that “submission”
is a duty of both husband and wife, there would possibly be more peace in Christian homes. I say “possibly” for
it is wise to also take into account the disposition of both partners, as well as what external information has been implanted
over the years.
I don’t believe that understanding true submission will solve all of
the problems that married couples face today. But practicing biblical submission would certainly ease much of the unnecessary
strife and tension. We also have to take into account the fact that living life itself is hard. Just dealing with the day-to-day
can wear on the kindest soul, and cause a shift in their overall attitudes about anything.
When two people join in holy matrimony, it is a package deal. Whatever “stuff”
each partner brings to the table becomes the other partners “stuff” by default. Marriage doesn’t necessarily
make an insecure person become more secure within themselves. Whatever circumstances that produced their insecurities before
marriage, unresolved, the insecurities will carry over into the marriage. Therefore, the correct understanding
of biblical submission is only a part of what makes for a good match, and a solid marriage.
A person with a selfish spirit may agree to be submissive if it suits them. But after they have gained what their selfish
hearts are seeking, they will go right back to being who they really are, a selfish person. If a husband has a problem with
an angry spirit, he will not be willing to do his part in submitting to Christ. His anger must first be acknowledged, confessed,
and repented of in order for him to develop a humble spirit of submission to our Lord.
Otherwise, he won’t see that submission is a mutual obligation within the marriage. His angry tirades will only increase
over time, and eventually he will act out his anger through violence. A wife that has an independent spirit will also have
a problem with submitting to Christ, and her husband. In this particular example, both the husband and wife will start keeping
tabs on one another, and both will dish out brownie points and judgment, forfeiting what they both desire most-love and respect.
I mention the above points, for too many people think that practicing certain virtues will fix problems within relationships.
You can be as sweet, loving, and kind as you want to be, but if your spouse is determined to act like a devil, your efforts
may be in vain. I realize that the bible says that unbelieving husbands can be won by the spiritual characteristics that their
wives display. I believe this. But I also believe that the husband to be won must already possess a heart that is willing
to be spiritually massaged.
There are people that are not Christians, who treat people the way that Christ says that we should treat one another. They
live good lives, and strive to be at peace with all mankind. No one says anything bad about their character, and overall,
they are viewed as pretty decent people. I would say these are the people who possess hearts that can be characterized as
“good soil.” Matthew 13:23 describes their hearts this way:
"And the one on whom seed was sown on the good soil, this is the man who hears the word and understands it; who indeed
bears fruit and brings forth, some a hundredfold, some sixty, and some thirty."
This is a man who can be won by the Christ-like example of his believing wife. Not every Christian whether male
or female is married to “good soil.” Matthew 13:18-23 explains the parable of the Sower. Your mate may be one
that does not understand teaching on submission or the Word in general. Satan will then come and “snatch away what has
been sown in his heart.” What happened to the seeds that were planted in this case, they were “sown beside the
He has “no firm root in himself.” When hard times and persecution come because of the Word, your man will fall
away for the seed was sown on the “rocky places” of his heart. Still yet, your mate may be one that is so engrossed
in pursuing wealth and the “deceitfulness” of it, that the seeds are sown “among the thorns.” Many
people are so determined to obtain a “piece of the pie;” live the “America Dream” to the point that
nothing else really matters. Thus, whatever he hears on Sunday morning, will be choked by the cares of the world, and become
Unless a person possesses “good soil,” fertile soil that allows for humility and growth, even the most
elegant sermon on submission will be wasted. You can’t see the invisible fingers plugging up un-teachable ears on Sunday
morning, but they are there.
WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO “SUBMIT?”
Sometimes the best way to drive home a point is by illustration. I have chosen
a Yield sign to demonstrate visually the definition of the word “submit.” Contrary to popular and misinformed
opinions, submission isn’t about giving up ones soul to another. Let us first examine several definitions before we
Submit - the Easton Bible Dictionary definition of “submit” includes
words such as, yield, reign, surrender, and the following:
4. (v. t.) To leave or commit to the discretion or judgment of another
7. (v. i.) To be submissive or resigned; to yield without murmuring.
For those of you who drive a vehicle, or have studied a driver’s manual, you understand that a Yield sign means “Right-of-Way.”
A "Yield" sign does not necessarily mean stop. These signs are to alert drivers of hazards, or road conditions they may not
be aware of. They call for the driver to slow down, and to defer to oncoming traffic, or traffic at an intersection. It may
be necessary to stop and then proceed when safe. Best practice is to always remain aware of oncoming vehicles.
Also in the above definitions, in line number-4 we see the word “discretion.” When we leave a decision, or
commit a decision to the “discretion” of another, we are trusting for a favorable outcome. The synonyms
for “discretion” are:
“caution, prudence, tact, diplomacy, foresight, mature judgment, circumspection, carefulness, restraint, maturity,
discernment, responsibility, wisdom, presence of mind, reserve, concern, consideration,” etc. We may also add, “cautious
or prudent conduct.”
If one is conducting him or herself in just the opposite manner, they are acting out “carelessness, thoughtlessness,