Does Submission Equal Silence?

Yesterday I hit you with some heavy truth about submission. I know that truth can be a particularly hard pill to swallow. Submission, especially to our parents, can be really, really tough. I get that. But I trust that God knows what He's doing when He urges us to submit to and honor our parents. Satan seems to recognize this same truth. He knows that God's parameters in the areas of submission and authority are for our own protection. As a result, he has plenty of lies to tell about this specific issue. Yesterday, we tackled the lie "I only need to submit when I agree with my authority." That's a biggie! It is so important for you to recognize that you are called to submit to your parents even when you don't agree with their decisions. But does submission equal silence? That leads me to a second lie often told about submission—"I can't express my thoughts or opinions to my authority." Let's read what Nancy and Dannah say about this one in Lies Young Women Believe.

Submitting doesn't mean you can't think. In some instances you can even express your different ideas if you do it with a humble, respectful attitude. That doesn't give you the freedom to raise your voice, stomp around, or disobey if your authority does not change their mind (Lies Young Women Believe, 113).

Being submissive to your parents doesn't mean that you become a mindless robot. It doesn't mean that you loose your voice. It doesn't mean that you never have the right to express another opinion. We can find plenty of examples of this fact in the Bible. Daniel politely asked the chief official for permission to change his diet in order to follow Jewish law in Daniel 1:8. His request was granted. Esther approached the king with respect and humility when she petitioned the king to spare the Jews (Esther 7:3–4). As a result, her people were spared. Paul disagreed with the leaders of the church council at Jerusalem in Acts 15. He didn't ignore or conceal his frustration with them but approached them with respect. As a result, they changed their position. These are great models to follow as you consider your relationship with your parents. When you disagree with them, it's okay to speak up. But always approach them politely and with respect and humility. And in situations where their minds are unchanged, submit to your parents out of reverence for Christ (Ephesians 5:21).

About the Author

Erin Davis

Erin Davis is married to her high school sweetheart, Jason, and together they parent four energetic boys on their small farm in the midwest. She is the author of more than a dozen books and Bible studies, the content manager for Revive Our Hearts, and a host of the Grounded videocast. You can hear her teach on The Deep Well with Erin Davis podcast.