Ever since the human race fell into sin, there has been a rebellion to the idea of obedience and submission. In some ways, however, the hostility to this concept may be more intense today, than it has been for many years - perhaps for centuries. Today, just mention the word "submission," in some circles, and you open yourself to instant opposition, verbal attack and scorn. You might as well stick your head inside a hornet nest... the hornets will be friendlier! [Please don't try it!]
We live in a society in which these words are normally given evil connotations. So quite often, it becomes almost impossible to use the words the way the Bible uses them, without being misunderstood. To many people, for instance, the idea of "submission" implies weakness and cowardice. A person who demands someone else to "submit" is considered a person who delights in abusing others. (Those who make such accusations are rarely concerned about whether or not Scripture gives the person the authority to make such a demand.) To many people, a person who endorses "submitting" is considered a person who loves to beat others on the head with a baseball bat.
It is true that many people do abuse the concept. Sin affects not only those who are supposed to submit, but also those who are supposed to be submitted to. Yet the fact the people on both sides distort the concept does not nullify what God has told us. Even if the entire world twists and distorts the concept of "submission," God's Word remains true. And the day will come in which God's words will prove right: It is the human race that will be shown to be speaking the lie. (Compare with Romans 3:4.)
Both leadership and submission - when done the way the Bible instructs - are expressions of strength. And if done in ways contrary to the Word, both are an expression of weakness. In God's eyes, the person who submits in the way the Bible's instructs us is stronger than the leader, who refuses to follow God's Word and who mistreats those under his authority.
Dennis Hinks © 1990, 1999
Obedience/Submission Title Page