"submitting to one another in the fear of God." (Ephesians 5:21, NKJV)
The word submission is one of those words that stir up many emotions in so many of us. The next verse in this chapter is the one that is quoted most often, "Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord." Many, when they hear this verse quoted, their hair stands up on their heads and the atmosphere instantly becomes charged. Yet, too many of us do not understand the concept of submission. Too often the verse telling wives to "submit" to their husbands is used as a means control, or to "keep the woman in her place." Yet, we forget or fail to acknowledge verse twenty-one of Ephesians five, which says we all should be "submitting to one another in the fear of God."
What Paul actually teaches is that both men and women are called to submit. Submission is simply "yielding to those who have authority over or responsibility for you." Submission means "yielding your will and your way to those who are responsible for your safety, security and welfare." When a husband is sick and does not want to go to the hospital, but his wife encourages him to go anyway, and he yields to her request, he is submitting his will to hers. She is responsible for him as he is responsible for her.
Many times we either do not know what is best for us or we do not want to hear what is best for us. At these times we need to hear the words of Paul and submit to the wisdom of those who know and are looking out for our good. Submission does not make you weak. Submission makes you wise.
Again, Paul speaks these words to every one of us, men and women alike. Submission is not about gender, it is about wisdom. No matter who you are, what your station in life or what title or position you may hold, there are times when, we all must, SUBMIT TO ONE ANOTHER.