5.25.2015

Obstacles to Submission

Submission
One of my favorite things to do while I run is listen to podcasts. I especially enjoy listening to sermons during my long runs. Two of my favorites are Redemption's Hill Church and The Village Church. Matt Chandler, the head pastor of The Village Church, has this way of delivering the gospel that just completely penetrates my heart and makes me think long and hard about the message.

Most recently, in a sermon about how men and women in different life stages can come together for the gospel, Matt Chandler said something that hit me HARD. Something that brought wisdom to a struggle I have been dealing with essentially my entire life. When speaking about the series this sermon is a part of, which is aimed towards women, Matt said:

"...I felt, as I was writing this, this thing in my gut. I felt this kind of tension in my gut, because although we have clearly shown that to be a helpmate is not inherently inferior because we see that God himself is our help, most often throughout the Old Testament, there is and will always be an aspect of submission to who holds the primary responsibility for the one that is to help with that responsibility. And so, as I was writing, here's what I felt in my gut: Lord, how are women who have known nothing but men who abuse and belittle and take advantage of and use them as commodities, as recreational devices, how will a woman who has been nothing but harmed by men POSSIBLY going to hear this [i.e., submission] and understand it as beautiful? It's hard to be called to submission in a world full of little boys. It's hard. It's hard to walk in submission when you're surrounded by a herd of morons."  (You can hear the whole sermon here if you're interested. This excerpt starts around minute 15.)

WOAH. Am I the only one that found this powerful? I literally had to stop in the middle of my run to go back to the beginning of this and listen to it over again in order to feel the full weight of his words. In those moments, I think I came to the realization that maybe my inability to be submissive, or rather my lack of desire to be submissive, in my role as a wife comes down to my past experience with men (and obviously my sinful nature as well... but we will save that for another day). The way that I have been belittled, disrespected, and emotionally abused has prevented me from appreciating submission as beautiful. All of a sudden, it became so clear. My past experiences have caused me not to fully trust my husband, even though I know he is a FEARLESS leader who serves God faithfully.

I KNOW deep down the beauty of submission, but to be totally honest, it TERRIFIES me. I'm absolutely terrified to let go of control and let someone else lead me while also trusting that they won't harm me. It's always in the back of my mind that I could be hurt again at any moment, even though I know there's truth in God's promises.

I have been wondering how my life would be different if I were able to truly forgive and move past my experiences with the "little boys" of the world and accept the SOLID TRUTH that God has blessed me with a MAN. A man that won't hurt me like I have been hurt before, a man that will respect me, and love me, and pray for me, even when I don't deserve it. I'm praying that I will learn that truth. That I will internalize it so deeply that submission will stop terrifying me and that I will begin to live my life more submissively.

Have you struggled with submission in your role as a wife, student, friend, employee, etc?
 
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23 comments :

  1. Powerful! It is not easy to be submissive regardless of any situation but even more so after experiencing certain things. i pray for all women regardless of their situations, past and present, can b submissive to the Lord and let Him take control because when we let Him lead only great things will happen. I need to listen to this podcast.

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  2. yes, yes, yes!! Submission is a hard thing for my heart as well...it's the whole "I trust you" thing. But that was a fantastic sermon from Matt (I love his podcasts, too!). Thank you for sharing this! I think I'll go back and re-listen to this sermon!

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  3. YES! I am praying a similar prayer! Definitely give it a listen. All of his are great!

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  4. He has really great sermons. I can definitely relate to the struggle.

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  5. I need to take lessons from you! Let me know what you think of the podcast!

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  6. This is wonderful, Cassie! I actually have a post scheduled for Thursday about what submission isn't and this gives me a lot more to think about regarding submission. You're so right that we don't get to view submission in the wonderful way God intended it because we fallen human beings have screwed it up.

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  7. "It's hard to be called to submission in a world full of little boys. It's hard. It's hard to walk in submission when you're surrounded by a herd of morons." -- This is so good!

    Submission is not particularly hard for me, but I recognize that is because I came from a healthy family. My parents modeled not a perfect marriage but a marriage that had Jesus at the center of it. They really were a team. Jordan had the same kind of example. When I got married it was really natural to view Jordan as the "leader" (not that I don't lead or state my opinion because I do!) because I knew he was serving Jesus first. That really is the key.

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  8. Thanks, Susannah. I'll keep my eyes out for your post on the topic! I think it's so important to talk about what submission is and isn't because our culture has it so wrong.

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  9. It's really great that you both grew up around such great examples. I need to learn more from you! :)

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  10. I totally agree. I just put finishing touches on the post and I linked back to this one. :-)

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  11. You're awesome- thanks so much!

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  12. I don't struggle with the idea of submission as much as some people do, but I think that's because I grew up in the church and have not had a lot of negative experiences with men (thankfully!). I do think the word submission is seen as a negative thing, especially to those outside the church, when it is beautiful and important and is one thing that sets the church apart from the world. I LOVE Matt Chandler sermons and love listening to them on my long runs. He did a fantastic one on abortion a few years ago that I always recommend to people. You could probably look it up if you were interested. My parents go to The Village, and that's the church I visit when I'm with them. It's fun to watch him preach in person after being so used to listening to him on audio!

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  13. How cool. Yeah, he's a great leader. I also listen to his podcasts while I run! I definitely think submission has a negative connotation in our culture which is sad!

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  14. I realize that submission can look really different in different settings. That sometimes it's quietness, sometimes it's a slowing of the spirit, and sometimes it's realizing that in submitting to God, you're not going to submit to someone else. I know, thickness.


    Also, this excerpt from Matt is really interesting to read in light of all the Acts 29 Network and Village Church controversy... Like the applicability of it to the issues at hand there is undeniable and yet it's, well, just interesting. :)

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  15. I love Matt chandler so much and jeez that quote. I will be listening to that sermon.

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  16. Whoa. That quote is just incredible. I think I'm a lot like you in holding on to my past and that's keeping me from really accepting the fact that Josh is taking care of the whole house. This is definitely something in struggling with

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  17. Wow... (I literally just sat here for two straight minutes letting all this sink in). What a light bulb. I struggle with submission and have for a long time. My mother taught me to be strong and take care of myself, to not be dependent on another person for anything at all. And I took her advice and ran with it, especially after my ex left me with nothing. I wonder if this is part of what's keeping my Husband from communicating his feelings with me more. I wonder if I let him take control of the reigns he will feel like more of the leader in our marriage. I wonder...

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  18. Yeah, it definitely can look different. I agree. I think culture's connotation is really different from the church's. Are you referring to the Mark Driscoll controversy?

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  19. Isn't it so good? It was one of those sermons I felt was written for me haha

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  20. YES! it's so hard to accept that and rest in the truth that God is in control

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  21. I can definitely relate. I processed it for some time myself. My mom taught me the same thing and I think it was incredibly valuable for a while but now I have to adjust that for the sake of my marriage. Have you read "Love and Respect"? It might be helpful for you!

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  22. I have not read that. I'm looking it up now. Thanks lady!

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  23. I found it really eye opening!

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