Monday, August 25, 2008
Submission in a Whole New Way
I was reading a book by Christopher West entitled "Good News About Sex and Marriage" and came across his definition of being submissive in the [in]famous Ephesians chapter 5. It just about blew me away. West says that really one should look at the word "submissive" by breaking it down into "sub" and "mission", which would really mean that a wife should be underneath the mission of her husband, whose mission is to love her as Christ loves the church and to give his life for her and lead her to sanctity. West basically asks, after looking at it this way, what woman would not want to be underneath the mission of her husband if her husband loved her as Christ loves the church and if he is willing to give his life for her? Even in our society that isn't interested in putting God into relationships, don't we find a man willing to die for his beloved romantic and a sign of true love? (The song "Everthing I Do" by Brian Adams comes to mind.)
But since marriage as the Grundsakrament (primordial sacrament) has been on my mind recently, this explanation hit me in a different way. If all of us are called primarily to be the spiritual bride of Christ (as members of the Church), then aren't we all called to be submissive to the mission of Christ our Spouse? So, doesn't this mean that the first thing we all have to do in our relationship with Christ is let Him love us, let Him give His life for us, and let Him sanctify us?
It seems to me that the foundamental thing we have to do is simply open our hearts and receive. Then, and only then, are we called to give back to God by giving thanks and by loving others from the love we have received.
Open up the doors (Oh gates, lift high your heads! Grow higher ancient doors. Let him enter the King of Glory) ... and do not be afraid. Open wide the doors of your heart to Christ... and let Him love you!