Submission is both an unpopular word and concept. No one really likes it, and many fear it.
In fact, in certain strains of American feminism it is as close to a dirty word as one can get. Much of this feminist unpopularity comes from a terrible misunderstanding of a verse where Paul commands wives to submit to their husbands (Ephesians 5:22). Because they are predisposed to see men as monsters who lord themselves over women by mere virtue of their male gender, feminists believe submission curtails female freedom and well being. This rejection of submission is not limited to gender specific arguments. The same difficulty that feminists have is the same difficulty that everyone has. It is a fear that whoever or whatever one submits oneself to will be unfairly controlling, and ultimately harmful. It is a fear of giving up control.
But while everyone hates the idea of submission, everyone also recognizes that it is necessary. Submission is simply to yield control to a superior force, or to the will or influence of another. We yield to both traffic, and traffic lights. We yield to our bosses. We yield to the laws that govern us. We instinctively know that a world in which no one yielded would be a world in which no one would want to live. Ironically, we also frequently yield to those things that control us in ways that are tragically harmful. For instance, we yield to ourselves in our sins. We yield to bitterness, unforgiveness, alcoholism, pornography, lust, hate, lies we wish to believe, and laziness – to name only a few.
This hatred of submission is what prevents non-believers from becoming believers. And it is what prevents people who follow Christ from becoming more Christlike. It prevents them both for the same reasons. Unbelievers don’t want to give up their sinful states. Believers don’t either. Lack of submission is a lack of faith. For feminist wives, it is a lack of faith that husbands will be good. For unbelievers, it is a lack of faith that God will give them something better than their sin. For believers, it is a lack of faith that God is trustworthy.
But if we don’t submit to God’s way, then we can’t live in peace. Just like if we don’t submit to our communities laws, then we can’t expect to live with a true peace of mind in our communities.