Janet Aucoin November 5, 2021

Submission. Why do we shudder when we hear that word? Perhaps we equate it with being a doormat, being taken advantage of, or told we have no voice or value. But true biblical submission is not about value: It's about order. In this episode, Janet and Alexandra will discuss some common misunderstandings of submission and look to Jesus's example to reshape our understanding, as we seek to let Scripture, not culture, dictate how we act and think about submission.

Main Passage: Ephesians 5

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The State of Complementarianism - Albert Mohler


The Beautiful Faith of Fearless Submission - John Piper

Janet: I don't just need to feel better. I need the truth. And ultimately that will make me better.
Alexandra: I just want to make it as totally simple and no brainer as possible for ladies to see that
the Bible is really applicable to their everyday life.
Jocelyn: When they understand theology, the application flows out of it quickly with joy.
Janet: It is a journey, but even the journey itself is joyful when I'm doing it, holding the hand of
my savior and trusting him all along the way. This is the joyful journey podcast, a podcast to
inspire and equip women to passionately pursue beautiful biblical truth on their journey as
women of God. When you choose truth, you're choosing joy. Typically, I’ll be joined by either
Jocelyn or Alexandra, but for our first full episode listen as all three of us discuss the topic of
Janet: Welcome back. This is Janet back again with Alexandra.
Alexandra: Hi, Janet.
Janet: Hello to get us started. I have a question for you, Alexandra.
Alexandra: Tell me.
Janet: If I were to ask you to describe what is unique about biblical womanhood. Like what
differentiates us from biblical men? What word would come to your mind?
Alexandra: Honestly, I think the first word would be relational.

Janet: Interesting,
Alexandra: But that's not really the topic that we're discussing today.
Janet: But true.
Alexandra: So I'm going to say submission.
Janet: No way, no way. Crazy. I think for many of us, when we think about biblical manhood and
womanhood, we think women have to submit . And we think that's how we're different from
men. And then we don't like it. But I'm going to suggest actually Alexandra is far more correct
theologically. I would think that I would suggest the word is really,E-Z-E-R an EZER, that's how
God describes us from the beginning, that's different from men. But that's a different episode. For
today, I want us to be thinking about,
Alexandra: Well, should we at least give our audience a clue on what ezer means? So they're not
looking it up on Google.
Janet: You're so nice. So I was going to let them wonder for like the whole rest of the hour.
Alexandra: Just give them one word. It means a ...
Janet: Helper. Yes.
Alexandra: Tune in later for more.
Janet: So you'll have to come back. But for today, when we think about submission, I think it's
important to realize everybody submits. And we should. And actually the prime examples of
submission in scripture are not primarily women. So we're going to study one of those in depth
in a few minutes. Submission is a good thing. I remember a friend of mine, he was teaching a
session and I totally understand, he titled it submission isn't just a woman's problem. And I
understand he was being funny and saying, submission is something we all need to deal with.
But, and I know he would agree with me, it's not even a problem.
Alexandra: It's not, no.
Janet: It's a problem for sinful hearts who don't want to ever be under any authority.
Alexandra: Yeah. Prideful hearts. .
Janet: So, yeah. So because of that, we say it that way, but the reality is, it's not a problem. It's a
good design from God. So then it begs the question. Why do we all relate to the fact that he
would title it, it's not just a woman's problem? Why do we relate to that? Why don't we want to
do it? Any ideas?

Alexandra: Well, I feel like I know for me, I love being in control. Like I love that feeling, I
should say.
Janet: You and everybody else.
Alexandra: Yeah. I love that feeling that I'm in control. It's never true,
Janet: Yep. Absolutely.
Alexandra: But I find myself constantly grasping at that. And, I think submission-- for someone
that may relate to that-- submission can be really hard because you are releasing that, and
allowing someone else to make a decision.
Janet: Excellent. I completely agree. We want to be in control. We don't want to be under
somebody else's. We want our way. And can we just be honest? And we, this is me too. We're
pretty confident that our way is the best. So if only everybody would do it our way, life would be
a lot better.
Alexandra: True.
Janet: So then submission means what if they don't do it the right way? What if it's not best? I
think sometimes, in addition to what we've just basically said is our own pride, and
self-centeredness. We have wrong ideas about what submission is.
Alexandra: So true.
Janet: So sometimes what we're battling is not even what God's called us to, which we need to
think through. And we may have seen unbiblical examples growing up, where people use, "you
need to submit" in ways that are ungodly.
Alexandra: Yeah.
Janet: So this can be a difficult concept, but it's an important one. It's a good design from God.
And so we're going to study it.
Alexandra: And I mean, the title of our podcast is Joyful Journey. It really is key to the path to
joy. When we have hearts that are submissive. That is so important to lead a joyful life.
Janet: Yes. Yes. And I think it will encourage people to learn more about what it is, and our
perfect example of it. I'm going to quote John Piper just to get us started here. And you may have
heard him say this. I remember being at the true woman conference in 2008 where he said this.
And it was just really helpful. But his comment was wimpy theology makes wimpy women and I
hate wimpy women.

Alexandra: That's probably one of my favorite quotes of all time.
Janet: And I love that. I love that. And it's so it's appropriate in this context, we need to dig in
and we need to understand what God really had to say. So the first thing is understanding the
purpose for which we were saved. We're going to come back to that a lot in a lot of our podcasts,
we go back to that. Because if we're going to have true joy, we have to start with, am I living for
the purpose that God's given me? Romans 8: 28, many of us know. All things work together for
good, for those who love God and have been called according to his purpose, Romans 8: 29,
though, then tells me that purpose. For those he foreknew, he predestined that they would be
conformed to the image of his son.
Alexandra: I feel like so many people disconnect those two verses, you know what I mean? Yes.
And it's yeah. Keeping verse 29 in with that is just really key to understanding verse 28.
Janet: Yes. So we know that all things work together for good, including submission to help me
look more like Jesus. And it says it was predestined. That was the plan from the beginning of
time would be that we would be conformed to look like Jesus. So that means in Jesus, I'm going
to see the original and intended shape of my life. When I think about being conformed, I think
about even like taking Play-Doh and putting it in the mold.
Alexandra: Yeah.
Janet: And everything that comes off is the part that doesn't look like Jesus. So it's hard, but I'm
getting conformed into that mold. So if I want to know the mold that my life was supposed to
look like. I see it in Christ. So I'm going to suggest before we say, what is submission? Why
should we do it? Let's look at it in the life of Christ, if that's who I'm supposed to be like.
Alexandra: Definitely.
Janet: So let's do that first and then we'll take those principles and apply them to us. So first
remembering that this subject applies to everyone, man, or woman, married or single. We are
going to end up in the marriage passage, because there are just some very practical and clear
teaching there about submission. And marriage is supposed to be the relationship that's the best
setting to show that beautiful design. But, it applies to everybody and it's good. So what I'm
going to do, in our show notes, I'm going to list all of these passages. But just because I think
there is power in seeing these excerpts together, I'm just going to read excerpts from several
passages and I just want them to wash over you. Think about who Jesus is as I read these
excerpts. He is the word, the governing power behind all things, God, creator of all, life, light,
the one and only. He's full of grace and truth. He's equal with God. God's son. He's the perfect
image of God. The creator. Everything was created for him. And he holds all things together.
He's the head of the church. He's Supreme. He's fully God. He's head over every power and

authority. So much more we could say, but just to start us, that's who he is. I mean, when you just
hear that, Alexandra, what does that do for you? I
(John 1:1-4, 14 & 18, John 5:16-18, Colossians 1:15-20, 2:9-10)
Alexandra: I mean, It's hard to question somebody when those are their qualities.
Janet: Yeah.
Alexandra: It's hard to question that they may not know the right path; that they may not know
what they're talking about when they command me to do something.
Janet: Yes. And I just think that kind of authority, if you thought about that on a human level, I
think what we're about to say next is not what we would say for how they would display it. So if
someone has all power, all authority, and now let me share with you what he was known for. And
let me just read these excerpts. It says he was a servant, came to give his life. He humbly
approached God with his requests and then submitted to God's authority three times as he faced
in the garden of Gethsemane. He was obedient to sinful parents. He came to do God's will, not
his own. Because he loved the Father, he did exactly what the Father wanted him to do. He
glorified God. He completed the work God gave him to do. Recognized God's authority. He
became poor. He set aside his glory. He relinquished the glory that he had with God. He didn't
grasp it. He became a servant. He became a man. He became a baby. He was obedient to God.
He didn't retaliate under ungodly authority. He entrusted himself to him who judges justly.
That's crazy to me. I can't say to you, I always do the will of my father. And there was one who
walked the earth that had the right to do his own will. And he didn't.
(Matthew 20:25-28, Matthew 26:39, Luke 2:51, John 6:38, John 14:31, John 17:1-5, 2
Corinthians 8:9, Philippians 2:1-11, 1 Peter 2:23)
Alexandra: Yeah.
Janet: That blows my mind. His life basically communicated, what you want, Father, is more
important than what I want. What you need, the rest of us, is more important.
Alexandra: What God wanted was painful.
Janet: To crush his son.
Alexandra: It's not even saying like, I want what you want because it's most pleasing. I mean, it
was pleasing to him because she valued that highest.
Janet: Right. But it wasn't pleasant..
Alexandra: Yes.

Janet: Yes, absolutely. He is saying, I will submit for your benefit, humanity, and for the glory of
God. That's amazing for someone to have-- I always contrast it in my mind with Pharaoh in the
Bible. Pharaoh, who believed he was God. He says he was a son of God. And what did he do
with that power? You all do all the work. I will sit here. And now we have the one who actually
is in control of everything, has all power, and says I came to serve.
Alexandra: I'll be the slave.
Janet: How crazy is that?
Alexandra: Yeah.
Janet: How crazy. So think about that. What do you think he needed to know about his father that
would give him the desire to be completely submissive to him?
Alexandra: I mean, Psalm 119: 68 says-- he's speaking to God, he says you are good and you do
only good.
Janet: And I know that's one of your favorite verses.
Alexandra: It is. It's my, yeah, it's my life theme verse. And, Jesus, you know, Jesus believed that
a hundred percent.
Janet: Yes.
Alexandra: And that's why, I mean, you would have to believe God's goodness perfectly to trust
him that deeply.
Janet: All the way to the cross.
Alexandra: All the way to the cross. Yes. And I will say he, I believe that Jesus had a wonderful
fear of the Lord appropriate, even though he was his father, he had a very
Janet: Yes.
Alexandra: He had fear of the Lord.
Janet: Yes. The biblical fear of the Lord. Absolutely. Yes. So think about what he knew, because
I'm going to suggest to you, we know it too. Not about our human authorities. But about the
authority over all of our authorities. He trusted him completely. He knew that whatever God
asked was always right and good, like you've said. He knew that his God was not only good, he
was in complete control of the outcome. What good would it be to have a God who's loving, but
not in control. He knew. He loved his father dearly. He knew it would be best. He knew his father
never made a mistake. So there was nothing to fear, except his father. There was no other

circumstance to fear. That's amazing to me. So I would suggest to you, what's going to help us be
able to submit even to our imperfect authority, is when I know I trust my perfect authority, who's
over all of it.
Alexandra: Absolutely.
Janet: So what is submission? We've seen it now in the life of Christ. Well, it's actually a military
term. Some of you have heard this, but it means to place in proper order, or to be ranked under. I
mean, if you just think about that, if our military needs to function, what chaos, if everybody
thinks they're the general.
Alexandra: Yeah.
Janet: Or we have to have a vote, and until I believe it's the right move, I'm not going to do that.
That's a nightmare.
Alexandra: Yeah.
Janet: So there's a lot of submission in the military, and being ranked according to their function
and order. And I'm going to suggest that the people in the military are not thinking they're better
than me, therefore, I need to do that. Or I'm better than you, therefore you must obey me. It's
function and order. And what I love about it is, especially in war time, they're on mission.
Alexandra: Yeah.
Janet: They're thinking about something far bigger than. Who are you to tell me what to do?
Alexandra: Yeah.
Janet: They're thinking about something way beyond themselves. So we need to be thinking,
well, how would that help us? Cause we're not in a physical battle, most of us. Well, what does it
mean? What's our mission. I don't know, maybe just to represent the God of the universe and
impact the world for him.
Alexandra: No big deal.
Janet: Yeah. Whatever. So do I understand? Am I on mission? Doing something far bigger than,
how come they get to tell me? Really? It also, if I'm going to be submissive, I'm going to
remember, whatever position God has given me, it's good, because I trust him.
Alexandra: Yeah. I really appreciate-- I mean, what you're basically saying is that submission is
not about value.
Janet: Yes.

Alexandra: It's just, you're saying it's about order. And we can look at the Godhead and see, you
know, Jesus, he was not inferior. He was equal to the father.
Janet: Yes.
Alexandra: He was not inferior, but he submitted himself to the father. And I think so often that
submission seems undignified. Yes, but the Trinity proves that's not true. Jesus was not
undignified when he submitted to the father. And I think when we learn to submit cheerfully, to
whatever authority we have in our lives, we get to learn the humility of Christ in that way. You
know what I mean?
Janet: I love that. And that's exactly why I wanted to start with seeing it in the life of Christ.
Because you're exactly right. How can I say it has to do with value when Christ's life was
characterized by constant submission?
Alexandra: Yeah.
Janet: How can I say that? I can't say that.
Alexandra: Yeah.
Janet: Yes. So then I can learn to cheerfully and joyfully submit. Because I know the same thing
Jesus knows about my ultimate authority.
Alexandra: Yeah.
Janet: And then in the process of that, I'm getting conformed to the image of Christ.
Alexandra: Exactly. Yeah.
Janet: I love it. I love it. So if you were going to think about what are some relationships or roles
that you can think of where submission does occur in our lives?
Alexandra: Yeah, I think. If you're on, like my son is my two older sons are about to start soccer.
So we're really grilling this idea of submission. And my oldest is about to start school. So I think
of students in a classroom, like soccer players or athletes with their coaches. I mean, we have to
submit to our authorities like the governing authorities.
Janet: Yep.
Alexandra: Work. And I mean, definitely both of our husbands are pastors. So, you know, like
God does call the sheep of the church to submit to their shepherds and how they lead them. So.
Janet: Excellent. So it's, in everyone's life.

Alexandra: Absolutely.
Janet: Everyone has someone that they're submitting to.
Alexandra: Yep.
Janet: There is not the person and should not be the person outside, even any earthly authority.
And certainly everybody's under God's. So, marriage? Yes, there is submission in marriage, but
that's one of many areas and I'm not trying to say that doesn't matter. But it is-- everybody needs
to learn this concept. So, but before I start talking about submission, I'm just going to stop, give
this caveat, and I'm not going to keep repeating it, but I just think we need to say it given the
culture, especially that we're in now. There are women who are in abusive situations right now.
And some of them are being told they need to submit. We are not talking about abuse in this
Alexandra: No.
Janet: We know that there are men who are going to use their position of authority in an abusive
manner. And then they're going to tell their wives and God tells you to submit. That is wicked.
Alexandra: It is so wicked.
Janet: And if you're in a situation like that, or if you're not sure, talk to your pastor. Get help. Get
input. Your pastors are there to shepherd you and they cannot shepherd you if they don't know
what's going on.
Alexandra: Yeah.
Janet: And I need to say this. Sadly, have talked to women who have been told by their husbands,
you may not talk to your pastor. And if you submit to me as your husband, I am telling you that
you may not talk to your pastor. I am so grateful. At least our pastors have been very, very clear.
No one has the authority to tell you that you can't talk to your pastor. No one. So, if you've been
told that, it is not a lack of submission to talk to your pastor about your concerns. Please seek
help. So there are gross perversions of all good, beautiful truths, cause Satan loves to pervert
what is beautiful. But let's not let those perversions keep us from seeing the beauty of the design.
So today we're going to talk about the beautiful design of submission, not the warped perversions
of it. And we've already seen it in the life of Christ, who is our model.So what are some
principles that we can learn from that? We are going to go to Ephesians five because there are
some great principles that apply even beyond marriage that are more broadly about submission.
But here's what I don't want to do. You know, if I wrote a letter to you, Alexandra, and you went
to page eight of the letter and just read.
Alexandra: That's a long letter.

Janet: Yeah, no, it was, Hey, I have a lot to tell you right now. And you started in page eight. I
would consider that a disservice. Because pages one to seven are the reason I wrote page eight.
Alexandra: Yeah.
Janet: So what we're going to do is just take a flyover of the book of Ephesians. If we're going to
talk about Ephesians five, let's talk about the context. So I don't have time. We're not going to do
a whole session on that, but we can at least do a fly over. Frequently, when Paul wrote letters, he
divided them into sections. He would talk about beautiful truths and doctrines about God, and a
variety of things that were related. And then he would have a section on practical living in light
of that doctrine. So the theology behind Ephesians five should make a difference. Frequently you
can find, if you're trying to figure out where is he in the letter, Paul, a lot of times actually says,
therefore, and there's your cue. Therefore, or so, and then he's going to go into saying, how
should, what I've just said impact you. So he does that very clearly in Ephesians. Ephesians one
to three is about doctrine. What is true. And then Ephesians 4: 1 starts with therefore, and then he
applies it.
Alexandra: So if we have someone listening who is maybe new to the faith or doesn't understand
even like what doctrine is essentially, what you're saying is. You know, chapters one through
three is really laying a base of who you are in Christ. And then chapters four, five, and six are
why you should live-- how your life should be impacted by who you are in Christ.
Janet: That's exactly right. So it would be a mistake to start in chapter five, which is the, how do
I live it, without understanding the why.
Alexandra: Absolutely.
Janet: Yes.
Alexandra: That's like breeding grounds for legalism.
Janet: Yes. And bitterness and all kinds of stuff, because we take things out of context. So I won't
go through all of it. I would encourage you to study this book. I've studied this book more than
once, and I love it every time. Ephesians one, Paul begins by recounting to the believers in the
church there at Ephesus, the spiritual blessings they have because of Christ. I'm just going to
read some of the words he says. You are chosen. You are predestined. You're adopted. You're
forgiven. You're redeemed. You're lavished with love. You've received the down payment of the
Holy Spirit within you. You have a guaranteed inheritance, and he goes on. So Ephesians one is,
be amazed at what God has given you. Chapter two is what a friend of mine called extreme
spiritual makeover chapter, because the beginning of it is the before picture. In case we're
thinking from Ephesians one, look what God's given me. And you know what? I'm kind of good.
I kind of deserve all of this. He says, and let me remind you of who you were when God gave

you all of that. You're dead. At that point. How do you even say, at least I had potential. I was
dead. You're living for self. You're objects of wrath. You're separated from Christ. You are
without hope. And you're without God. And then we get to verse four and he says, but God.
Incredible. Every time you see those words, circle them, highlight and underline them something
awesome is about to happen. And then he says this: now, you're alive in Christ. You're saved by
grace. You're seated in the heavenly realms. You're created to do good works. He says, you were
far from God. Now you've been brought near. You were in hostility against God. Now you're at
peace with God and one another. You were aliens, but now you're fellow citizens of heaven.
Amazing. Chapter three, he does a bit of a parenthesis about his own ministry. And then he ends
it with a prayer for the Ephesians. I love this. That they would be rooted and established in love
and that they would understand how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ. Then
we get to chapter four and he says, therefore, how should I live? So Alexander, can you read
chapter four verses one to six for us?
Alexandra: Absolutely. As a prisoner for the Lord, then I urge you to live a life worthy of the
calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle. Be patient bearing with one another
in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the spirit through the bond of peace. There is one
body and one Spirit. Just as you were called to one hope when you were called. One Lord, one
faith, one baptism, one God, and father of all who is overall and through all and in all.
Janet: I love the primacy of unity there. But I think it's important at the very beginning he says,
live a life worthy. Their worthiness obviously had nothing to do with their deliverance.
Remember they were dead. But as a result of his saving grace, when they should be saying, when
they get to the end of chapter three, they should be saying, I don't even know how to say, thank
you. This is amazing. What can I do? And he says, walk worthy of the calling I've already given
Alexandra: Yeah, follow me.
Janet: Yes. And they should be going, okay, what do you want, what do you want? Anything. I
would do anything for you. And of all the things he tells them initially, he says, just be humble
and love each other.
Alexandra: That's amazing.
Janet: Of all the things he could command. He says, be humble and love each other. Why?
Because if we're going to be conformed to the image of Christ, we need to live out his values and
those are his values. You've been loved like this. Now I just want you to love others more than
yourself. That's what I'm asking. And we can't even do that. But he goes on for the rest of four,
five, and six and tells them how to do this. How do you stop living in your old sinful ways? And
how do you start living in new and godly ways? Because your mind has been renewed and you're
now children of God and have been blessed like this. Into chapter five, he's still teaching them

about living in new and godly ways. And in verse 18, he tells them that they're now to live a life
controlled by the Holy Spirit. Then he explains what that should look like. And I love that in
verses 18 to 21. We see that living a life controlled by the Holy Spirit is a life characterized by
submission. Do you have that? Can you read verses chapter five verses 18 to 2 21?
Alexandra: Absolutely. And do not get drunk with wine. For that is debauchery, but be filled
with the spirit, addressing one another in Psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and
making melody to the Lord with your heart, giving thanks, always and for everything to God, the
father, in the name of our Lord, Jesus Christ, submitting to one another out of reverence for
Janet: I love that. So a life controlled by the Holy Spirit is characterized by submission,
submitting to one another out of reverence or worship or fear, or awe, or love for Christ. And
let's just explain what that means. We've just said that the word is a military term. So it really
can't mean here that everybody submits to everybody.
Alexandra: Right.
Janet: That's chaos.
Alexandra: Right.
Janet: I can't submit to you while you're submitting to me.
Alexandra: Yeah.
Janet: The general does not submit to the enlisted soldier while the soldier is submitting to the
general. That doesn't really even make sense. But in all of our different roles, we're submitting to
each other.
Alexandra: Yeah. Yeah.
Janet: And we do it out of reverence for Christ. I love that.
Alexandra: Yeah. Okay. So I want to just stop for a second because I have heard verse 21, I have
heard women say in marriage, we're called to mutual submission because that's what the verse
says. It says right before we go into, and I know we're going to get into that right before you read
that verse about wives submitting to your husband, you read this first and 21 that says
Janet: Submit to each other.
Alexandra: submit to one another. So before you're going into that, I just want to say, if there's
someone out there that thinks that this verse 21 is an umbrella for verse 22, that's false.

Janet: Right.
Alexandra: Verse 21 is an umbrella
Janet: for all the rest of the chapter.
Alexandra: Verses 22 through 6: 9.
Janet: Yes.
Alexandra: And so I just want to make sure we are being so clear that this mutual submission
Janet: is not a biblical term.
Alexandra: It's heretical.
Janet: If I'm going to go there, then I have to say, because here's what we have wives submit to
your husbands, children, submit to your parents. I guess if mutual submission, I got to submit to
my kids too.
Alexandra: Employees submit to your bosses too.
Janet: And bosses submit to your employees. So if I'm going to go there, I got to go there.
Alexandra: Yeah.
Janet: And it doesn't even make sense.
Alexandra: It doesn't at all.
Janet: But I understand, number one, it can be confusing, if you haven't studied it and you just go
one verse to the next and say that. I understand that. I also know that we struggle to be
submissive sometimes because we're scared. And then this gives us a way to say, okay, but you
have to do it too, as a way to deal with my fear. And we're going to talk about that in a little bit,
but you're absolutely right. So to think about in these various relationships, I love how they all
end in their phrase, wives, submit to your husband just as they submit to the Lord. Husbands
submit to Christ, just like Christ loves the church. Children submit to your parents just like you
would obey Christ. Slaves, submit to your masters, just as they would obey Christ. Employers
treat your employees well, because you need to submit to Christ, your master. And I love that.So
then we should be saying. Why should we reverence Christ? And I would say go back to
chapters one to three. That's why we do one to three first. We read one to three and say, okay, out
of reverence for Christ, I will live the way he lived and submit to the authorities that he's given

Alexandra: And it also takes, it makes it easier to submit when I am putting that in, because it's--
I'm truly, when I'm submitting to my husband, I'm really submitting to Christ.
Janet: Yes.
Alexandra: That's where it puts the end game. You know, the finish line way further out. And it
makes it easier because all the people that we submit to, they're all imperfect.
Janet: Right.
Alexandra: But the one who calls me to submit to my husband is perfect.
Janet: Yes.
Alexandra: And he's powerful enough to take that imperfect. Even if my husband is calling me
maybe not to sin, but to something that I maybe wouldn't have done.
Janet: I don't think it's best.
Alexandra: Yeah. If I wouldn't do that, if I were in your-- which
Janet: I know. It's what we do.
Alexandra: We can talk about that. I'm able to trust God more knowing that this is really more
than just submitting to my husband. I was submitting to Christ in this or to my boss. I'm really
submitting to Christ when I submit to my boss.
Janet: Yeah. Every relationship on earth hinges on our relationship to Christ. Every one of them.
We behave in our relationships here because of our relationship to Christ. Our relationship to
Christ is supposed to affect how we live with each other. And that's why we asked in the
beginning, what did he know about his father to allow them to do it? Well, you know, the same
thing. You have the same father. And he knew-- Paul knew was going to be really important for
the believers, at Ephesus to understand that. And that's why I'm taking so much time to remind us
of our relationship to Christ and everything he's done for us because those truths should impact
my relationships now, whether it's a husband, a boss, a teacher, a governing authority, whatever it
is, it affects how I respond to that authority, because I'm impacted by my relationship with
Alexandra: Yeah. You know, this reminds me of a quote by Wayne Grudem it says, we can say
then that our relationship of authority and submission between equals with mutual giving of
honor, is the most fundamental and most glorious interpersonal relationship in the universe. Such
a relationship allows interpersonal differences without better or worse, without more important,
less important. Which we're about to talk about the marriage relationships. This is getting into

that. But when we begin to dislike the very idea of authority, and submission. So not distortions
and abuses, but the very idea, we are tampering with something very deep. We are beginning to
dislike God himself. So as we're talking about, this is all connected to Christ.
Janet: Yes.
Alexandra: It's very important. If the Holy Spirit is revealing in us, that we do not have a
submissive attitude towards an authority figure in our life, this goes so much deeper than just, I
don't like submitting to you.
Janet: Right.
Alexandra: It goes so much deeper.
Janet: Excellent. So with that context, let me just read, Ephesians 5: 22 to 24. Then we can start
tearing this apart a little bit. Wives, submit to your husbands. Again, as 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 all wives should submit to their husbands in
everything. So why do I submit again? I remember all the spiritual blessings. I remember that
now I'm united with God through Christ. I've been sealed by his Spirit and now I want to imitate
the way Christ lived. And this is how he lived. So one of the things I want to mention here,
submitting to authority, according to the scriptures, and you see it right here, it's a choice we
make. Whoever's under authority is the one that makes the choice. And God's given different
authority structures, different degrees of enforcement. A police officer can give you a ticket if
you choose not to stay under the authority of the road. A boss can fire you if you don't stay under
his authority. But it's very interesting, husbands and pastors are not given enforcement of their
authority. And nowhere in scripture, do you see: husbands, get your wife to submit. It's just not
there. And I love it. Jonathan Lehman. I'll have, a link to his article in the show notes, but he puts
it this way and I love this quote. God gives the state an enforcement mechanism. He calls it the
sword. He gives parents of young children an enforcement mechanism, the rod. He also gives the
whole congregation such a mechanism. The keys, it says in the scripture, husbands and pastors
possess true authority because Jesus will hold wives and church members accountable on the last
day. But husbands and pastors possess no such moral right from God or authority to enforce their
decisions. This dramatically shapes the nature of the complimentarian authority and protects
against abuse. Husbands must live with their wives in an understanding way. Pastors must preach
with great patience. In both cases, they must love be gentle. Woo. They lead by teaching and
example. But they must also be the best listeners and understand-erers. The goal is never to force
decisions. Forced decisions by wives or church members are worth little. Rather the goal in both
cases is to elicit decisions made from love and even attraction. The husband's loving care should
prove attractive to his wife. An elder's holiness should be appealing to a member.

Alexandra: You know, who I think of when I'm hearing, you know, pastors much preach with
patience, your husband does such a good job of that.
Janet: Aww.
Alexandra: He does, he's very gentle, but he has just such good truth. yeah, that made me think
of Pastor Brent,
Janet: Kevin D. Young says this, the woman is told to submit herself under her husband. It is a
submission freely given never forcibly taken.
Alexandra: So, Janet, I want to just point out and just connect in case someone's missing it,
someone may be saying, submit myself, like you see that right here in verse 22, in case
someone's missing that, it says wives submit.
Janet: Yes.
Alexandra: So this is, yeah, this really is a responsibility that we have, to submit ourselves. One
thing that I think of with submission is that to me, it means that you are capable of leading, but
you're choosing not too.
Janet: And isn't that exactly what Jesus was.
Alexandra: Yes. Oh my gosh. Yes.
Janet: Very capable of leading and chose to follow.
Alexandra: Yes. He's allowing someone else to lead.
Janet: Yup.
Alexandra: And that's true of wives, employees, you know, you're capable of leading, but you're
choosing out of humility. we need to mimic the humility of Christ in this. We're allowing
someone else to lead. So I really appreciate this, what you're teaching right now, but I think we
need to see it. It is a command from scripture.
Janet: That's right.
Alexandra: Submit yourself.
Janet: And I get to choose whether I'm going to obey God. But others don't make that choice for
me. Submission is a way of life. It wasn't like Christ did his own thing and occasionally
submitted. It was a way of life. When I'm under someone else's authority, that's just how I
function. And again, for the bigger purpose. It's not just something I do when I have to, because I

see that it's a beautiful design. John 6: 38. He says, I have come down from heaven. Jesus
speaking. Not to do my own will, but the will of him who sent me. Not when God says I have to
do something, or the father says, then I do it. That was his whole purpose was to do the will of
his father. it's a way of life. And it reveals our view of God. When I'm unwilling to biblically
submit. And we will talk about what is not biblical submission in a minute. But when I'm
unwilling to biblically submit, I'm saying, God, you kinda messed up. You made a mistake. God
can't handle this situation. I got to take it into my own hands. I am not going to be like Jesus,
who entrusted himself to him who judges justly. I'm going to say, I can't trust you. My God is
very small. And I fear. So my view of God needs help. And don't, we all need help in our view of
God. Biblical submission is not just willing. It's you mentioned this earlier, Alexandra, it's
Alexandra: Joyful. Yeah.
Janet: Because it's God's plan. And the God who was willing to have his son murdered so I could
be with him forever, and the son who was willing to be murdered so that I could be with him
forever, any plan he has for me is a good one, and I can be joyful. Which means I'm not going to
talk about my authorities in negative ways. I'm not going to make fun of them. I'm not going to
share their faults to others. If there's a problem, I'm going to go to my authority, but I'm not going
to go to everybody else. And I'm not going to listen to other people when they're gossiping about
their boss, their pastor, the government. Don't, we all need to hear that right now. We're not going
to be talking that way. And you know, what that means is we're going to be a joy to lead.
Alexandra: That's easier said than done, you know.
Janet: That's supernatural.
Alexandra: I just feel like murmuring is so common.
Janet: Yes.
Alexandra: And I don't say that to be like critical of other people, but I'm just saying as someone
whose husband is a pastor, murmuring is just so common.
Janet: And it starts with me murmuring about the fact that I have to hear murmuring, you know,
like we'll murmur about anything. We do. So it's true. It's true. And think about, there are times
when you've been the authority. Because we're not saying, women submit to all men. We're
saying yes, wives submit to your husbands. I have no desire to try to act like it doesn't say that.
We all submit. And I'm going to say for probably 99% of us were also authorities in some way.
Alexandra: Yeah.

Janet: And there are people that need to submit to us whether that's at work, whether it's my
children, whether it's a volunteer leadership role, I'm in charge of an event. Would I want
someone like me under my authority? Or am I the one who's always pushing back on the
authority? I have a better way. And rolling my eyes. Am I enjoy to lead? Would I want me under
me? And I think that's good for us to think about. How am I with those in authority over me?
Being a leader is a heavy weight.
Alexandra: And I think asking yourself the question or evaluating, am I consumed with this
thought of, if I were in that position, I would do it this way?
Janet: Yes.
Alexandra: If that is something that you think about frequently, then that is, I feel like a little
warning sign that you may not have a heart of submission.
Janet: Yes. And then there are times when, you know, I used to, my boss would say, you know,
he paid me for my brain, so I share, I don't just watch him doing something I don't think is best
and not go, well, okay. I share. And then he still decides, but I want him to know everything I
Alexandra: Yeah.
Janet: Because I want him to do well.
Alexandra: Yeah.
Janet: With any of my authorities, do I lighten their load or do I weigh them down? But I do
think we need to talk about what comes up every time, understandably. Some call it the
exception clause. I'm not going to call it the exception clause. Cause it makes it sound like you're
supposed to submit, but here's an exception when you don't have to. I'm going to say this
wouldn't have even been true submission.
Alexandra: Gotcha.
Janet: So can you read Acts five verses 27 to 29? This is a passage where the apostles are told
that they are to stop preaching. And this is how they respond. Acts five verses 27 to 29.
Alexandra: And when they had brought them, they set them before the council and the high
priest questioned them, saying, we strictly charged you not to teach in this name yet here you
have filled Jerusalem with your teaching and you intend to bring this man's blood upon us. But
Peter and the apostles answered, we must obey God rather than men.

Janet: And we like to use that verse. And, there is truth in that verse. I would suggest, not in the
way we like to use it. We like to use it to find a way out of submitting. And the reality is when
you need this verse, you've already said your life's about to get harder. So this is not a way to
make your life easier. If you notice what happened to them next, they got beat up.
Alexandra: Yeah.
Janet: So choosing to obey God, rather than man was not an easy way out. But when authority is
asking me to do something outside of God's word, that's not submission. All God given authority
has limits. God's authority does not have limits, but all God given authority has limits. And when
someone either doesn't have authority over you or is acting outside of the authority they've been
given, you don't have an obligation to follow. That's not lack of submission. That's just following
the Bible. I mentioned earlier that submission is expected in everything over which this person
has legitimate authority. So let me just give you an example that helps me. I am called to submit
to police officers. They're an authority over me. If I'm speeding and a police officer pulls me
over, I need to do that. I don't just keep going cause I'm not in the mood to pull over. When he
tells me to pull over, I need to. I need to submit to that. And if he gives me a ticket, I need to pay
it. But what if he then says, and because I'm an authority over you, Janet, I'm going to tell you
what you better make for dinner tonight. Well, that's ridiculous. He doesn't have authority over
that. So I don't need to say to him. I'm going to choose to be unsubmissive right now. I don't
need to submit to him telling me what to do outside of his level of authority. I remember when
we had our first child, I guess let me back up and say, my husband is not known as an angry man.
He's very even tempered. When we have arguments they're very, very quiet, because that's just
how we are. We're not any less sinful than other people. He's just not an explosive person. He
does not have a problem with anger. And I'm going to say that because this wasn't about him. But
here's what happened. Suddenly I have this little baby and this incredibly strong maternal desire
to protect this little boy. Here's what I learned about my heart at that moment. Until he was born,
I used to say even if someone was going to hurt me, I don't know if I could kill somebody. Like
that's a big deal. Well, I'm still not convinced I'm capable of it. I get that. I'm not suggesting
that-- I am capable. But when I looked at my little boy, I thought if someone tried to hurt him,
oh, I could kill. I now know I can. I don't know if I'd be effective, but I know that mentally I
could kill. Now, my mind starts to going, and I'm not the one in control of my son because I'm
under Brent's authority. What if Brent got like sinfully angry, goes into the room and then tells
me to get out, what do I do? I have to obey my husband. He's not asking me to sin in that
moment. It's not sin to walk out of the room, but he's going to hurt my son. And here's what I'm
toying with in my mind. I'm tempted to say that I don't trust God enough, and that I would not be
submissive. I gotta figure this out. So I went to my husband cause that's who I talk to about
everything. Poor guy. He's probably like what in the world do you think I am? And he's not like
that at all, but there's just this fear. And so I said to him, what would I do? What am I supposed
to do? What is the God honoring thing to do? If you go in there to beat our son and you tell me to
get out of the room? And I loved his answer cause it's really helped me in so many venues. He
just said, the minute I'm going in there to hurt our son, I'm already acting outside the authority
God gave me. God did not give me authority to hurt our son. The minute I'm acting that way, you
have no obligation to submit to me, but you do have a responsibility to protect your son. So your
job would be to get between us. But understand if I'm that sinfully angry, I'll probably hurt you.
So getting between us means you may get hurt, but you have that responsibility.
Alexandra: Yeah. Yeah.
Janet: That's so true.
Alexandra: Yeah.
Janet: And it was so helpful to go, that's true with all authority. Even if it means I get hurt, my
job is to protect my son. Now my husband's never, ever, ever, ever, ever done that. But to
recognize I don't have to be afraid. God did not call me to follow wickedness. So the minute your
authority is acting outside of their God-given authority. It is not your responsibility to submit to
that. Which helps with abuse situations.
Alexandra: Yeah.
Janet: So all authority has limits. So I have to be thinking, are they acting within their limits? Not
I'm under my choir director, but I hate this song. They're within their authority to tell you this is
the song we're singing. Get happy about it and learn the part. But my choir director doesn't have
the right to tell me what my relationship with my husband should look like and what we sing at
Alexandra: Yeah.
Janet: No. So first, are they acting within the authority they've been given? And if they have
been, if they are acting that way, I need to follow it.
Alexandra: That's so practical. The way you apply that. Yeah.
Janet: That was so helpful to me to go. Okay. So my desire needs to be that I want to follow all
legitimate authority. That's my submissive heart. Not that I follow anybody anywhere. But I
want to follow all legitimate authority and I'm grieved when I can't. So when I can't follow, it's
not a get out of jail free card. When I can't follow, I do that sadly. And I do that prayerfully. And
it's not the easy way out. Because they were nearly stoned to death when they chose to obey God
rather than man. So, obeying God rather than man is true. And I will never have to choose
between a legitimate person's authority, using it legitimately, and obeying God. I don't ever have
to choose.

Alexandra: So. Okay. So I feel like we've talked about the two ditches. But let's just make it
plain, what the two ditches are. One ditch is I'm not submissive to God because
Janet: Nobody tells me what to do.
Alexandra: Right. What's the other ditch, that this is what you just explained. Can you
summarize what the other ditch would be?
Janet: The other ditch would be, anyone that has any authority in any way can tell me what to do
at any time and I must do it.
Alexandra: Yeah.
Janet: And it's just not true. We have to think. And we know it on a practical level. If any police
officer told you what to make for dinner, you wouldn't do it. You would go, who are you? So
that's why I use that one cause we're like, oh, obviously. So it's the same thing. When any
authority is acting outside their authority, God never gave any husband the right to abuse their
wife or their children. They're already outside their authority. So you do not submit to that.
Alexandra: So, but I think the way for us to be understanding on how this applies to my
particular circumstances is we have to be growing in wisdom from God's word. Or else I will
never know how this is applying to my life.
Janet: Right? Sometimes when we're in one of those situations, we are confused. And know that's
the beauty of the body.
Alexandra: Body of Christ.
Janet: Yes. We call each other. We talk to our pastor and say, so my boss is asking me to do this.
Is this just that I don't like doing it? I feel like it's unethical, like is my boss. So, so I might need
help. Because sin complicates things.
Alexandra: It does.
Janet: You would think it'd be obvious. And sometimes it just isn't. And so I don't want to
minimize that. Like, gosh, you can't figure it out? What's your deal? No. Sin complicates things.
Let's talk to each other.
Alexandra: Yeah.
Janet: But my heart should be, I love the design. And I want to show the glory of God and how
I'm like Jesus by joyfully submitting to all legitimate authority in whatever ways I can. And then
when I can't, I do that sadly, but I do it. so our delight and our obedience shows that I love God.
That's how Christ showed he loved his father. And I get to show that same privilege. And as a

result, I'm going to be more like Christ. This kind of obedience and submission yields, true
beauty and, consistent with the name of our podcast, this kind of submission really does bring
joy. This podcast is all about connecting truth to joy. Oh, and we just pray that you would
experience more and more of that as you take God at his word, even in this area, because while
my flesh may buck against it, it is good. And it is beautiful.
Alexandra: Can I share a quote, Janet?
Janet: Absolutely.
Alexandra: I love that you're saying like our obedience to God yields true beauty. This reminds
me of a quote by Jay Adams. He says freedom and God's world never comes apart from
structure. So the reason why this reminds me the beauty part is that that's how I view, like, I think
all women who buck against submission, the call to submit, like when we do buck against that,
it's we want to be, I think a part of us wants to be free.
Janet: Yes. Yes.
Alexandra: So that's, that's what I'm getting at here. Okay. So freedom in God's world never
comes apart from structure. When one is free to live, as God intended, he is truly free, indeed.
We hear much about women's liberation today. So think of like the feminist movement and
beyond. Okay. I want you to be liberated. Here's the path of genuine liberation for a woman.
Submission. Submission allows her to run on the track. It allows her to make beautiful music in
her home. When you do what God intended a woman to do, when you are what God intended a
woman to be, that is when you will be most free. I just thought that was wonderful.
Janet: I love that. I love that. I know there are people struggling as they hear all of that. Go back
and think through that was what Christ was characterized by. And he did it because he trusted his
father and we trust our heavenly father. And when we're put in positions where we can't submit,
that should cause us grief. I do pray that this will be an encouragement to you. We'll link all
those verses about Christ in the show notes. Thanks for joining us. And I do hope you come back
for our next episode.

Janet Aucoin


Janet is the Director of Women's Ministry at Faith Church (Lafayette, IN); Host of the Joyful Journey Podcast (helping women learn that when you choose truth you choose joy); ACBC certified; teacher in Faith Community Institute; Coordinator of FBS seminary wives fellowship, retreat and conference speaker; B.S. Human Resources, University of South Florida.