>I freely admit it. I struggle. The very word “obedience” is odious to me, and the word “submit” gets my panties in a wad. What do you mean submit? Modern Girl here does not likey that old-fashioned word. For the record, even though I am happily married to my first and only spouse, a homemaker, and a homeschooler it is all because of my CHOICE as a woman to do so. No outdated ideals here, unh uh. Nope, none at all.
I am a committed person. I am committed to Christ, to my husband, and to my children. To commit means to put in charge or to entrust. I am in charge of the home. I am committed to that, and sometimes burdened by that. Girl Friday? I started this blog because I was overwhelmed by the commitments that being in charge of the home made on me. Girl Friday also implies being second to someone. When I chose the title, I didn’t realize that a true Girl Friday leads a committed, submitted life for the glory and edification of someone else. Do I struggle because I have not submitted or because I refuse to be second?
What is submission anyway? Several online dictionaries define it as the act of submitting to the power of another. This definition is followed by a quote from early 20th century activist Simone Weil, “Oppression that cannot be overcome does not give rise to revolt but submission.” Yikes. No wonder the word makes the hair on the back of my neck stand up! Weil was committed. She walked, talked, and starved herself for her convictions in a time where her definition of submission was embodied by the Nazi regime. Is submission an outdated word for simple-minded, broken people? I see something else in a the second definition of submission: meekness. Okay, okay. Yet another term, another definition. What in the world, then, is meekness? Being meek means one is patient, mild, and easily imposed upon. A Girl Friday is a meek person.
Meekness is not a quality honored by today’s society. In those pesky online dictionaries meekness is exemplified by a dog “quivering and abject…abasing itself before its master” (Jean Rhys). Rhys apparently chaffed under patriarchal society, evidenced by her writings and life, and it is no wonder she equated meekness with weakness. How does a modern, Christian woman allow herself to live by such words as obedience, submission, and meekness? More easily than I could have ever imagined.
My eureka moment came when I was reading an assigned book for my latest class. In the book, Spiritual Leadership by Henry and Richard Blackaby, the authors describe the difference between being committed and being submitted: “There is a significant difference between a personal determination to try harder and a complete abandonment of one’s self to God’s purposes. The former rests on people and their commitment; the latter relies on God and his sufficiency.” Commitment is like a pledge. I can say the words and follow the motions, but I can also secretly rebel and derail. Submission is surrender. I can yield my entire self, all that I am and all that I can be, to the cause of Christ. That act will guide me in all the areas of my life. Truly surrendering, submitting, makes all the petty internal arguments moot. No longer me, me, me…just Him.