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Have you ever watched mixed martial arts? It is a violent, hand-to-hand combat. It involves punches, kicks and grappling moves. Some of the moves are designed to force an opponent to surrender the fight out of fear of injury or pain. These moves include twisted fingers, arm locks and choke holds. The moves can cause injury, and some, if held too long, may cause death.
Why do I mention mixed martial arts? Because this is the way most of us approach the concept of submission. We don’t like the idea of submission! We equate it with being forced to surrender the fight. So, we don’t like bible verses like Ephesians 5:21 which says, “Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.” (NIV)
We need a different mental picture because submission is the voluntary alignment of our will with another. It’s like the football huddle. The coach sends in the play and everyone lines up to execute it. That is the picture of submission. Eleven team members line up to execute the decision another has called.
As Christians, we should not view relationships like a mixed martial arts bout where the last thing we want to do is tap out in surrender. No, we are members of the same team. And sometimes, we need to line up to run the play another has called. This is the way we honor Jesus.
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Bumper music “Landing Place” performed by Mark July, used under license from Shutterstock.