Based on Colossians 3:18-4:1
I still don’t know what I think about the whole love and submit thing. I kind of hate this topic. I hate how it’s direct and yet vague. There are no step by step lists to follow and check off. It’s all about the heart. I don’t like having to extrapolate it out – especially when it’s something I don’t like. I’m still wrestling with the connotations of submission. I have visions in my head of an intense physical struggle and finally tapping out before losing consciousness.
On the other hand, I really want to just shrug my shoulders and say this passage doesn’t apply to me as a single person who is also a little bit angry about that. I want to cast it off entirely as just for those blessed enough to have this extra illustration of the beautiful coexistence of the Trinity in their lives. And that it means nothing for us spurned and passed over souls. I don’t want to do the hard work of sorting through this and applying it to my life because I’m a little miffed that I’m not part of the in crowd that gets this extra insight.
But I know that’s not truth. I know that’s not God’s heart or will. Marriage is all around me. It has been modeled well by those closest to me. I have seen all facets and aspects of it. And life consists of the relationships we have with others. Our relationships, regardless of our marital status, shape who we are and how we interact with the world around us. We are all created equal because the Bible declares it – not because society does. And being single certainly does not exempt me from imaging Christ – especially through submission.
So the question becomes how do I image God well here in this place that I don’t really want to be? How do I settle into this role that I often find chafing? How do I glorify God by submitting to a yoke of authority over me that is not deserved? That’s the stuff that doesn’t change based on marital status nor familial gain or loss.
It starts and ends in the Gospel. It still goes back to the heart. God; three in one; holy and perfect; planning, accomplishing, and applying my salvation; outside of time; in inexplicable love and unimaginable grace.
I don’t have to be married to understand that I do not deserve unconditional, sacrificial love while no man deserves my submission.
But God does.
God has laid out the authority/submission structure throughout Scripture through both creation and redemption. Both vividly depict the ontological equality and perfect fulfilment of the dissimilar, yet, synonymous roles of the Godhead. And he created us worshiping. What he created in his own image has a heart and emotion and deep waters.
He created us in him image and assigns us each intrinsic value. He created us to bring him glory and to enjoy him forever. His image: His vast and wholly unknowable face, the depths of which we can barely begin to comprehend.
My heart is full when I look on His face and blessings. Why do I focus on my lack? Why do I long for what I don’t even know? And ultimately, when I throw my little pity parties and whine about my troubles, I forget what matters most.
This life isn’t actually about me. It’s not about my satisfaction. My purpose in life isn’t to find the easiest and fastest or even best way to happiness and contentment. It’s about glorifying God and enjoying him forever.
It’s about looking full at him and then, and only then, looking back down at my life. It’s about seeing others through the lens of grace that God first extended to me.
Christ is in all and through all. The substance is Christ. He is before all things and in him they all hold together. Set my mind on the things that are above. When I focus on anything else, I strip the sacrifice on the cross of its power; that’s the only true tragedy in my life. “He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.” (Col 1:13-14)
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