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I’m reading ‘Celebration of Discipline’ still (hence the radio silence here for a while!), and this week have got to the discipline of submission.

Richard Foster ends every chapter with scripture readings that illustrate the discipline in practice. I thought these two illustrated well the twin dangers we face when thinking about submission: the tendency to legalism and the tendency to fear.

‘Submission’ isn’t a popular concept these days, not least because it has so often been abused by people demanding submission from others, rather than remembering that the idea is that we pursue mutual submission. Fear of abuse is a powerful motivator – or demotivator – that can hold us back from obedience to God’s command.

On the other extreme, though, is legalism – striving so hard to obey the letter of the command that we forget it was given to bring us freedom and joy (and, for women, according to 1 Peter, beauty!).

We are not called to submission in order to keep us downtrodden, but in order that we would find our joy in Christ, and so that we can release each other into all God has for them.