[god in the yard] with: submission

Written by Amy Sondova

Amy Sondova specializes in media writing, including interviews and reviews, as well as blogging. Having interviewed over 30 of the top musicians, writers, and speakers in the Christian media, Amy has also written countless columns, reviews, and articles on various topics including mental illness, self-injury, working with teenagers, and Christianity. As well as holding a B.A. in communications, Amy holds a M.A. in biblical counseling, and has worked as a professional therapist. You can visit Amy’s online playground at BackseatWriter.com which offers a combination interviews, reviews, personal columns, and photography.

June 6, 2011

[serialposts]

I hate the word “submission.”   I do not want to submit to anyone, preferring to run full-force into the dark, rather than listen, rather than abide, rather than be controlled.  Perhaps this is why I have not yet married; I am afraid that submissive wife is akin to marital slave.

But in Chapter 11 of God in the Yard, L.L. Barkat offers a whole new definition of submission: “…true submission is the art of working with a person or situation.”  The art of working with.  I like the sound of that. But I cannot think of a single time in my life where I have experienced or even witnessed this type of submission.  The idea feels so fresh and so new, that I’m not sure it’s true.

Can it be that submission is an art–the art of working with?  It is really true that Scripture doesn’t call me to give up my identity and experience gender degradation to please a man or God?  Because that’s what is holding me back—I don’t want to lose who I am in God, my self-in-God, to cater to what someone else’s definition of who I should be as a Christian woman.

God doesn’t want submission to be burdensome, like a ball and chain around my heart.  He wants me to work with Him and others and life so that I know when to receive, to lead, and to follow.  God desires me to give of myself through the art of working with, but not to lose pieces of me in the process, which is why it is essential I keep my identity firmly rooted in who God says that I am.

See, my definition was all wrong.  Instead of working with others, I fought against them.  I feel like Peter, pulling out my sword in the Garden of Gethsemane.  Jesus tells Peter to put away his sword.  Jesus  looks me directly in the heart and tells me the same.  Confused, a little heart sick, I do it.   I’m used to fighting, but working with…it’s a new call on my life.

Admittedly, I feel a little lost without my sword, yet working with offers so much more freedom, so much more peace, and so much less blood loss—on both sides.  And I don’t hate the word submission nearly as much.  Well, I’m getting there.

6 Comments

  1. Leslie Rowe

    Good thoughts. I hate that word, too. One thing I’ve learned as I’ve fumbled and bumbled through 26+ years of marriage is that there is a certain protectiveness to be found under that umbrella of submission. It ain’t all bad. As a wife, I’ve been stiff-necked and stubborn at times, and “working with” at others. God’s design and beauty is that HOPEFULLY, with PRAYER and a little luck (I know, no such thing), the man you’ll “submit” to will be “submitting to one another” and to Christ, and will lay down his life for your good. But step carefully into those married waters; they can be muddy and murky and downright dangerous when diving into shallow waters. Look for deep waters, and settle for nothing less. 

    Reply
    • Anonymous

       Leslie, thanks for your comment.  I’m not sure if marriage is for me, but I definitely want a guy who will submit to me as I submit to him, especially under “the art of working with.” Honestly, that idea is so beautiful to me.  BTW, are you related to Crystal?

      Reply
  2. Laura Boggess

    It’s funny, I can often be averse to that word too. But…when I put on the servant heart–this is when my life takes on more meaning. Working with…working for…serving really liberates. Lovely thoughts, Amy, thank you.

    Reply
    • Anonymous

       Thank you so much for your comment, Laura.  I really agree with you.  I think a lot of us women feel uncomfortable with the word.  I love that L.L. is a woman and she understands this.  🙂

      Reply
  3. Llbarkat

    I think this word has been terribly misrepresented, even abused. The God I know isn’t like this. The God I know wants to dance. And yes, sometimes a dance can be painful, but it’s still a dance, and it takes two.

    I love your post. You say it well.

    Reply
    • Anonymous

      L.L., wow, I feel incredibly humbled that you like my post, thank you.  I think this chapter was the most life-changing for me, and it’s definitely NOT the topic I would have picked (Dan assigned me this chapter, but I’m glad he did.)  What you just said–about dancing–is such a beautiful word picture.  For some reason, I keep thinking of the song “Dance Me to the End of Love” by The Civil Wars, which is a painful last dance.  Whenever I hear that song, I think of how God “dances” us to the end of love and back again.

      Reply

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[god in the yard] with: submission

by Amy Sondova time to read: 2 min
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