What is it about the word submission that makes us want to see red? We hear it and automatically think subservient. Sub means lower than or below ad we don't wat to be below anyone. We want to come out on top, to be the boss, to have the last word. Well, here's a thought. When I married Peter I wan't told to leave my brains at the altar. God did not create me to be my husband's slave. Eve came from Adams's side not his toenails.
I don't always have a clear picture of what submission is, but I have a good idea of what it is not. Submission isn't giving up my rights to express my own thoughts, ideas, and opinions. I'm not a Stepford wife. I am my own person uniquely created by God and chosen by my husband. Our opinions often differ. If he doesn't try pull me away from God I can relinquish my right to be right.
When Peter sees chicken thawing and makes the comment that he's craving burgers, what do I gain by digging in my heels and insisting on cooking the chicken anyway? He eats a meal he didn't want and I cook a a meal that's not appreciated. No one wins. There's disharmony. It's so much easier to thaw a pound of hamburger and make fries instead of mashed potatoes. I can submit to his food preferences. I can record the movie I want to watch on the Hallmark Channel while he watches World War 2 unfold on the History Channel. I can leave fabric softener out when I wash his clothes because he doesn't want to wear flannel shirts that smell like flowers. I can honor his requests to spend less and save more. I can listen to him explain why his candidate is best. The beauty is I don't have to vote for his candidate. Submission does not mean that only my husband's ideas matter.
Paul got it right in Roman's 12:18 " If it is possible-as much as it depends on you- live at peace with everyone" Peace follows submission, and our peaceful hearts just might be what attracts the people we love to the God we love.
Love, as always, Renée
Now on to this week's lesson
Read 1 Peter 3:8-22
Memory verse 3:15 "But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect"
1. Right off Peter tells us to be like-minded. How does our agreement on non-disputable matters grow us and grow our church?
2. How do the last two lessons on submission help you when the Bible isn't so black and white?
3. The last warnings in verse 8 address our attitudes. Where do you need to be more loving, compassionate and/or humble?
4. Verse 9 tells us not to repay insult for insult. Give an example of a time when you've seen someone's witness ruined by a quick retort or cutting remark?
5. What blessing might we expect when sweetness pours out of our mouths rather than bitterness?
6. I'm stealing God's question here. "Who is going to harm you if you are eager to do good?"
7. Have you or someone you know ever suffered for doing good? Describe that experience
8. Verse 21 seems to suggest that we are saved through baptism. How can you corrrect wrong thinking that might arise after reading this verse?
For personal growth: Our memory verse tells us to always be prepared to give an answer to anyone who asks why we have hope. Do you feel prepared to defend your faith? When was the last time you shared your testimony? If the pastor asked you on Sunday morning to tell your story could you do so? Who in your life could benefit the most if they heard who you were before Christ and who you are now? How could you explain to them that Jesus made the difference? Is there enough of a difference for others to notice or does your holiness only shine on Sunday mornings?
For the good of the group: How have you felt the Lord's eyes and ears on you this past week?