Discipline, consequences, submission, and authority have become negative words in today’s culture. If you lower yourself to be submissive to someone, you are weak according to culture. Parents no longer are authority figures in popular cultures, so discipline and consequences are becoming obsolete. In the classroom, I notice that my high school students determine what they are going to do, and the parents are laughed at if they try to give instructions. Students have no reason to listen to me as a teacher because we are very limited on what consequences we can give.
Is it true that these words are becoming something of the past? Most importantly, have the actions become passé, no longer to be a part of our lives?
Popular Culture vs. Biblical Teaching
Scripture: Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything. (Eph. 5:21-24)
Culture: Wait a minute! If I were to take these scriptures out on the street and ask people’s thoughts, I would get some angry women responding! I think I just thought of my first video blog!
Look at any TV show or movie that’s out today. Look at the beautiful, pulled together, completely controlling wife married to the doofy guy who is at her every beck and call. The kids know she runs the household, and the dad does whatever she says. Dad has zero respect from anyone in the house. My husband and I were watching one of our favorite shows just last night. The dad was explaining to the son that a boss is to be respected, and when he walks into the room, the employees should stand up and greet him. Just as he finished that sentence, the wife walked into the room. He (dad) immediately stood up, head lowered, and greeted her. This is exactly what popular culture tells us our married lives should be, which is trickling into dating life as well. Have you seen this in your own dating life? It’s not biblical, and a marriage built on this type of thinking is one that usually doesn’t survive. This is why many men have affairs or throw themselves into their work where they are respected.
Submission is not a bad word, and it doesn’t show weakness. In my own personal life, I’ve found that it takes so much more strength to be submissive than controlling. It also does NOT make one a door mat. Continue reading that chapter in Ephesians, and you’ll see it’s not solely about the wife submitting to the husband.
Scripture: Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. (Eph. 6:1)
Culture: Kids make the rules, and the adults have no choice but to follow. Look at pretty much any TV show that’s been popular in the past few years. You’ve got siblings who live in a hotel and tell their mom what they’re going to do on the weekend. She tries to tell them what to do, but they don’t listen, and we laugh at it. Even cartoons follow suit. There’s one cartoon, in particular, that has two kids and never once is a parent to be seen. Why? Because the parents are insignificant; they aren’t necessary.
I had a student just last week whose mom wanted him to spend the weekend with her and his sister in another state. His response to her, “that messes up my plans, so I’m not going.” She pleaded with him for a while (which a parent should never do, in my opinion, because she is the authority and should be the one in control), and then she finally gave up when he laughed in her face saying he has better things to do.
Today’s verse of the day on Bible Gateway says, “Listen to advice and accept discipline, and at the end you will be counted among the wise.” (Prov 19:20). This scripture is what sparked my post this morning.
No, we don’t like discipline or consequences. None of us do. We are all sinners and rebel at times (some of us more often than others, but that’s okay). God has given us people to discipline us during the rebellious times. Those of us who accept discipline will find that life is so much easier to live. Those consequences our parents have given us are far easier than the ones life gives us.
Think about the authority figures in your life: parents, teachers, police officers, youth leaders, pastors. I understand how you sometimes feel that your way is better, but try to go the rest of this month submitting to those figures even when you know they aren’t always right (no one can be right all the time). Feel free to go quietly to your authority figure with a suggestion of a different way of doing something, and follow his final direction whether it’s what you suggested or not. You’ll be amazed at the blessings you find. I know it’s hard. I’ve always struggled with authority, and it’s something I continue to work on, although I’m finding it easier with each passing day.
If you’re dating someone and find yourself controlling the relationship, take a step back and breathe. It won’t take long for him to realize he’s not happy. If you know he’s who God created for you, then don’t you want to treat him with respect and kindness?
Submitting is not archaic. It’s still alive and kicking, and I’ve learned that my family life thrives on submission in every aspect. We are all submissive to someone in our family, and although we aren’t perfect and do rebel many times, we find a peace that passes all understanding when we follow scripture and submit rather than follow culture and rebel.
- Submission works, even for strong women (knoxnews.com)