For our last Bright Lights meeting of the year, we finished up Set 6 of the Bright Lights curriculum by studying the topic of submission. When discussing this topic, it is important to understand the difference between submission and obedience. Submission is more than just obedience. It is an attitude from our heart; it is joyfully putting ourselves under someone else’s authority and giving up our way. It is possible be obedient without being submissive. We can obey and be rebellious at the same time. We can be forced to obey, but not to submit. Submission is the inner attitude; obedience is the outward action. While we might have the outward appearance of being obedient, the Lord looks on the heart and sees whether or not our attitude is truly submissive.
- obeying with a humble attitude.
- complying not only with the commands, but also to the wishes of those who are in authority over us.
- lowering ourselves and joyfully putting ourselves under another.
- voluntarily giving up our way and trusting God to work out His plan through the authorities He has set in place over us.
- delighting to honor our authorities not only in our actions, but also in our attitudes.
Jesus is our perfect example of submission: He is Lord of all, Creator of the universe, yet He was willing to demonstrate submission, both to His earthly parents (Luke 2:51) – who weren’t perfect – and to His Heavenly Father. Jesus came to earth, not to do His will, but the will of His Father (John 6:38). Jesus submitted His will to the will of His Father, even when it was most difficult (Luke 22:42). If Jesus hadn’t been willing to submit Himself, He wouldn’t have gone to the cross and we would have no way to be saved! Submission requires a humble spirit, and in Philippians 2:5-11 we are called to follow the example of Christ’s humility.
Submission is one of the very hardest things to do. Everyone naturally wants to make their own decisions and be in charge of their own lives. We don’t like others telling us what to do. We think we know more. We think our plan will work better. Our pride often gets in the way and causes to do things our own way instead of submitting to others. The world often considers submission to be degrading and negative; the world says to be independent and that you don’t need to do what others tell you to do. God’s way is opposite:
Likewise you younger people, submit yourselves to your elders. Yes, all of you be submissive to one another, and be clothed with humility, for “God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time. –1 Peter 5:5-6
Submission is lowering ourselves. Few people realize that when they lower themselves, God promises to exalt them in His time. God tells us to submit because He know that it is for our protection and good. The challenge is hard, but God’s rewards are always greater. God ultimately wants us to learn submission to authorities so that we will submit to the Jesus as Lord of our lives.
God has commanded wives to submit to their husbands (Ephesians 5:22-24); this is an example and testimony to the world. It is also a picture of how we as Christians, the Bride of Christ, should be submitted to our Bridegroom, the Lord Jesus Christ. If we as young ladies can learn to submit to our parents, we will have a head start in learning to submit to our husbands (Lord willing) and to others for the rest of our lives. Submitting to human authorities will help us learn to submit to God.
Each of the topics that we have covered in Set 6 (Preparing to Be Wives and Mothers) are things that we should be cultivating in our lives, whether or not the Lord has marriage in store for our future. Our ultimate goal in life isn’t to get married; rather, it is to please the Lord and glorify Him with our life. We can only do this as we learn to submit to God’s will for our life.
For our activity time, we enjoyed doing small group skits (a favorite activity in our Bemidji BL group!). Each group was given a verse and had to come up with a skirt relating that verse to the topic of submission.
Since this was our last Bright Lights meeting for the year, we finished off the evening with an ice cream sundae party!
We have had such a blessed year of meetings and we are sad to come to a close. I’ll miss you girls, and am looking forward to seeing what the Lord has in store for our Bemidji Bright Lights group. May each one of you girls continue to seek and serve our Savior throughout the summer and shine as bright lights for Him!