Beautiful Submission


At the age of eighteen I joined the US Army and entered basic training. We arrived at Fort Dix each of us so very differently dressed and with different lengths of hair. Some were loud, some quiet. There were slobs, neat freaks and everything in between. We piled off the bus looking like a bag of civilian laundry dumped in the middle of a military museum.

Eight weeks later those young men look like a unit marching with precision, it is masculine beauty to see a unified force.

Hupotasso is the Greek word translated as submission and was a military term though not always used in that context. It simply means to order under.

Though obedience is important for submission, it is insufficient. Trust is a needed ingredient and it is that combination of trust and obedience that makes it beautiful. It is the trust and obey that that brings unity. When I started basic training the company that I was assigned to had a temporary drill sergeant. though we didn’t know that at the time, and we had the reputation of being the worst company in the battalion. Moral was low and there was lots of in fighting so it was a struggle to work together. Then our drill sergeant returned from training that he had been attending and began to set things in order. He was a tall, quiet Jamaican man that didn’t get up in your face like some of the others,  instead he pushed as as a group. He encouraged us to help each other succeed. We were encouraged to push ourselves and he taught us and made us sing as we marched. In time moral improved, we pushed ourselves and each other and in the end he and we, had the unity that makes a great team. We trusted him and were quick to obey. With trust, respect becomes more natural and so he was the most respected drill sergeant in the battalion and certainly the one I respected the most.

Now on to marriage. Submission has become a dirty word and to me that is sad. Respectful submission has the power to bring unity. It can melt a cold heart, encourage responsibility and invoke empathy. I Peter: 1 In the same way, you wives, be submissive to your own husbands so that even if any of them are disobedient to the word, they may be won without a word by the behavior of their wives, 2 as they observe your chaste and respectful behavior. I have used this principal to survive egotistical authorities in the army and in the civilian workplace and with men and women I did not trust. I put my trust in God and prayed for them, so all the ingredients were in place to work towards unity. Don’t get me wrong it is not a magical formula, there have been times when I was asked to go against God’s commands and I had to make a respectful appeal and even that did not always work out and I had to except the consequences.

The end goal of love, respect and submission as taught about in Ephesians 5 is a one flesh unity that is a beautiful thing to all who witness it. When a couple dances together of one heart and mind each playing their part it is truly a beautiful thing. I really love the trapeze duos  as a picture of this dynamic.


Author: old-fashioned-man

I am a follower of Jesus Christ who has been married since 1989. We had four boys then adopted siblings, a boy and girl from foster care in 2008 when my daughter was seven and my son was eight. We reside in the beautiful state of Colorado.

2 thoughts on “Beautiful Submission”

  1. Another great piece of writing. I fully agree.
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