Summary: In Colossians 3, the Apostle Paul explains: 1) How should a Mother Act? (Colossians 3:18a) 2) To Whom should a Mother Act this Way? (Colossians 3:18b) 3) Why should a Mother Act this Way? (Colossians 3:18c)

Emily Letts wrote this week: "I am grateful that I can share my story and inspire other women to stop the guilt,". Her decision was to abort her child and post a video of it for the world.

What stuck so many people was her smiles and giggles during the so called "procedure" of abortion. People questioned how she could overcome that natural impulse that a mother has in protecting her child to be glee on killing her child. In a drive for autonomy and independence, there are so many voices that tell women to just make choices for themselves: "think of yourself first, regardless of anything else". If there is one concept that would be completely antithetical to this common drive for complete independence, it is submission.

Most people recoil to the concept of submission because they do not comprehend it, but misunderstand the basic purpose, misunderstand the procedure, and misunderstand the true picture of what it represents. Submission done for a godly purpose, the right way for the right reason, shows the true nature of godly love. It best aids in the total wellbeing of all parties involved and uniquely pictures the type of love that God shows us and the type of love that the members of the Godhead have for each other. It is a theological lesson and a supernatural force for change that can revolutionize our individual, familial, communal and societal lives.

In showing how submission can be a godly force for revolutionary love, in Colossians 3, the Apostle Paul explains:

1) How should a Mother Act? (Colossians 3:18a) 2) To Whom should a Mother Act this Way? (Colossians 3:18b) 3) Why should a Mother Act this Way? (Colossians 3:18c)

1) How should a Mother Act? (Colossians 3:18a)

Colossians 3:18a [18]Wives, submit (to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord). (ESV)

Wives Submit/Be subject to is from hupotassô, it has the concept of putting oneself under (hupo) authority, not by compulsion, but willingly. The term is used in Luke 2:51 to refer to Jesus’ subjection to His parents. The wife’s submission is never to be forced on her by a demanding husband; it is the deference that a loving wife, conscious that her home (just as any other institution) must have a head (Vaughan, C. (1981). Colossians. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Ephesians through Philemon (Vol. 11, p. 218). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.)

It is striking how often submission appears in the New Testament to describe how all Christians are to live. ‘Ordering our lives under’ another is a characteristic, it would seem, of the Christian life. We are to order our lives under God (Heb. 12:9; James. 4:7); under his law (it would seem from Rom. 8:7); under Christ (Eph. 5:24); under the governing authorities (Rom. 13:1, 5; Titus 3:1; 1 Pet. 2:13); under ministers of the gospel (1 Cor. 16:16); (servants) are to put themselves under their (overseers) (Titus 2:9; 1 Pet. 2:18); young men under older men (1 Pet. 5:5); children under parents (Luke 2:51); and wives to your husbands (Eph. 5:22; Titus 2:5; 1 Pet. 3:1, 5 and of course Col. 3:18).( Douglas J. Moo, The Letters to the Colossians and to Philemon (Nottingham: Apollos, 2008), pp. 299–300.)

Indeed there is the exhortation to all believers in Ephesians 5:21, which we will soon look at, to ‘submit to one another out of reverence for Christ’. On this basis, someone has reasonably argued that the New Testament teaches a ‘subordinationist ethic’.( R.C. Lucas, Fullness and Freedom: The message of Colossians and Philemon (Leicester: Inter-Varsity Press, 1980), p. 158. )

This is the way in which the new humanity is constituted. It is the way in which the disintegration of human society is to be redeemed: not by individual liberation from restraints and obligations to others, but by each one gladly placing himself or herself under the ones God has placed ‘over’ us (Woodhouse, J. (2011). Colossians and Philemon: So Walk in Him (p. 220). Ross-shire, Great Britain: Christian Focus.).

In both 1 Corinthians 15:27–28 and Ephesians 1:22, the verb looks to the time when all things in the universe are made subject to Christ and God in eternal glory. “subjection” means “subordination,” not “subjugation” (Dunn, J. D. G. (1996). The Epistles to the Colossians and to Philemon: a commentary on the Greek text (p. 247). Grand Rapids, MI; Carlisle: William B. Eerdmans Publishing; Paternoster Press.

Please turn to 1 Timothy 2 (p.991)

How directly does this submission relate to motherhood? How is giving birth a picture of this submission? What follows from a woman giving birth to a child that leads to a greater revelation of salvation itself?

Beginning first in the context of a local Church, Paul applies the principle of submission to motherhood:

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