Why Should I Yield in This?

What makes it hard to yield to others? While I’m working on another project I’m bringing back what I wrote on my struggle to submit to Larry when he asked me to stay home from something I’d helped to plan.

A photo by Joshua Hibbert. unsplash.com/photos/Pn6iimgM-woPhoto by: Joshua Hibbert

Larry’s request wasn’t arbitrary. He was trying to protect me. I’d been sick the week before and by evening I felt like a vampire had sucked the life out of me. Despite his good intentions, I wrestled before yielding.

I had recently listened to John Milton describe Eve’s naïveté in Paradise Lost. Milton presents Eve as a captivating beauty who needed safeguarding. He depicts Adam warning Eve as she sets out to explore. Eve thinks Adam is unnecessarily cautious and dismisses his warnings. Milton’s Eve seemed more like a young child than an adult woman—a bit insulting to modern day women—but then she fell for the serpent’s lies.

I thought about Larry’s request. “Please stay home. You’re going out of town next week. I saw two people today who got sick with something worse soon after their original illness.” Perhaps he could see something I couldn’t. I consented.

The Bible says, “Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ,” (Ephes. 5:21 NIV). So why do we resist submitting to each other? When Larry first asked me, I had two opposite reactions. One side of me felt insulted. The other side felt protected.

I resisted because—

My flesh said:

  • I’ll look weak
  • I’ll disappoint others
  • I’m not a child
  • I can make my own decisions.

But my spirit said:

  • Larry isn’t trying to control you.
  • Let him protect you.
  • His thoughts are wise.

6185791389_aea9f7047e2-225x300-1Submit means: to yield to one’s admonition or advice. So how do we know who yields to whom?

A young friend was living overseas when his premature baby was born. Far away from family he assured everyone they were fine and it would be better for everyone to come after the baby left the hospital. His mother-in-law said, “You are far from fine. I’m coming!”

Afterwards he admitted, “We hadn’t realized how much we were struggling until she eased the load. We’re so glad she came.”

Some questions to consider:


  • Is this person in a position of authority?
  • Are their intentions in line with God’s interests? (Are they seeking the higher good and not trying to manipulate or control for their own purposes?)
  • Could they see and know things I’m missing?
Wisdom from above is...willing to yield to others ~James 3:17 Share on X

Proper yielding demonstrates wisdom (James 3:17). Sometimes others can read our needs better than we can. Like a yield sign, their input warns and protects. Other times they may need our counsel—hence the need to “submit to one another.”

Question: What helps you yield to others?

Click here to comment.

Blessing,

Debbie Wilson

Debbie W. Wilson

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35 Comments

35 Comments

  1. Keita Ikeda

    Be sure to tell this to Joshua and Caleb when you see them in heaven. BTW, Jesus never guaranteed his disciples safety. Rather, He guaranteed suffering for His sake, so why do overprotective person in authority who actually don’t see things as the Father does is quick to judge others, and the circumstances as dangerous and not to be involved? Jesus never intended to sanctify the flesh. If anything, we have freedom because Jesus has already guaranteed us safety in heaven. What further assurances do you need in this world? A fat bank account? A big house? So you say this world is dangerous and we must be careful. Right. We all knew that. And if Christians think they need to live a life of safety, then they might as well admit that Christ’s work to secure them eternal salvation was just not enough, because they still have to contend with risks here on earth. Rather, if the parable of the talents is of any significance to the Christian, we know that not taking risks for the sake of extending the kingdom is the worst place to be, relative to The Lord.

    • Debbie

      Dear Keita, I’m not sure what you heard when you read this. The Scripture says “submit to one another.” It is a sign of being filled with the Spirit (Ephes. 5:18-23). Being willing to yield is also a trait of godly wisdom versus the wisdom that is worldly or demonic (James 3:13-18). This post explores (in less than 500 words) why it is sometimes difficult to submit. And in life, how do we know when we should yield, like the young man with the new baby, and when do we press on, like the mother-in-law who knew her daughter and son-in-law weren’t fine. There are numerous examples in the Bible where God blessed those you didn’t yield. Daniel refused to submit to the king’s command even though it meant the lion’s den. The key to me is “being ranked under God.” If those over me have fallen out of rank and are hindering God’s clear will for me, then like Jesus and the disciples I must obey God rather than people. But, in general, where the Bible teaches submission, it is to bring order and protection. Those in authority are put there by God to serve God (Romans 14). Family and church leaders are to shepherd those under their care and protection. Blessings.

  2. Keita Ikeda

    Ps – not saying we ought not to submit, ever. I’m just saying there are times when submission results in disobedience to The Lord.

  3. Ann Musico

    Deb I have been known to struggle with this issue and still sometimes do – and usually when it is my husband sharing his thoughts or request of me. And most always, he is right and sees what I don’t. I know it’s why God put us together – he has what I don’t have and vice versa. We complement each other. I also relate to the story about the new parents. I had an ectopic pregnancy between my oldest and younger sons and when I was released from the hospital, caring for my son Christopher when my husband went back to work was going to be a challenge. I never had to ask – his parents drove 800 miles and came and stayed with us for 3 weeks until I was strong enough. Had she asked I wouldn’t have wanted to “bother” them – but she didn’t ask, she just told me they were coming. God bless her for that. That was a big lesson to me in submitting and listening for when God will tell me to just step in and do what I see needs doing.

    • Debbie

      Ann, I was moved by your account of your in-laws stepping in, and I totally identify with your relationship with your husband. Often Larry is able to see things I miss and I am so glad when I listened. And he has also listened to my perspective and changed his direction. We really do need each other.

  4. Meg Gemelli

    This is so well-written Debbie! I missed a meeting that was really important a couple of weeks ago…not like me, but my family needed me home that night. Sometimes submitting feels like death because it is – me dying to the flesh over and over again. I’m glad we’re neighbors today, because this is wisdom delivered! Thank you.

    • Debbie Wilson

      Meg, you’re right. It is dying to our flesh. Good for you for recognizing that. Thanks so much for visiting.

  5. Mrs Thomas

    Debbie,

    This article is right on, submitting and yielding to my husband has been the biggest challenge for me and I have come a long way. Professionally, I have been a manager of people for over 10 years, leading , guiding and managing from every standpoint. Yet now married I have to immediately take that hat off and yield to my husband. So humbling for me that I have to daily surrender the control, hush and let my husband lead. My role as wife is to be his cheerleader and not the coach. He is very wise and my weaknesses are his strengths and vice versa. Marriage is truly sanctifying and fruitful work.

    God Bless you!

    • Debbie Wilson

      Thank you, Mrs. Thomas. Yes, “Marriage is truly sanctifying and fruitful work.” All relationships are to some degree, but the closer they are the more this is true. Blessings!

  6. Pam

    So true…been there and done that with my husband! Thanks for this as a reminder that is always a good thing for me with solid truth!

    • Debbie Wilson

      Thanks, Pam. Always enjoy hearing from you!

  7. Donna Reidland

    Debbie, we all struggle with wanting to be in control of everything, especially our own lives, don’t we? I always think of a Mary Engelbreit poster I saw years ago that had a little girl with an over-sized cape and crown and said “Queen of Everything!”

    But, submission is a big part of life, at least it’s a part of life lived wisely. I submit (not always because I want to LOL), but in the end, because God has asked me to … in my relationship with my husband and others.

    I try to remember that the Holy Spirit always points to Jesus and Jesus willingly submitted to the Father (“not my will, but Yours” “I do nothing unless my Father tells me”). We don’t think any less of Him because of it.

    Thanks for talking about an important subject and one that’s not always easy to bring up.

    Blessings,
    Donna

    • Debbie Wilson

      Donna, you share real wisdom. Yes, we want to be queen of everything! I love how you reminded us of Jesus’ example. He being equal with the Father willingly submitted to Him. We can do the same out of reverence for Him.
      Blessings!

  8. Jacqueline Wallace

    Ouch and Amen! Sometimes the hammer hitting the nail on the head hurts! But you are so right. Submission is not easy but called for, as you pointed out from Scripture. Thank you for this excellent post.

    • Debbie Wilson

      Thank you, Jacque. Always great to hear from you, my friend.

  9. Brittany

    What a wonderful husband!

    • Debbie Wilson

      Yes he is, Brittany!

  10. Mary Geisen

    Great question, Debbie! My first thought is that I can handle things on my own. It is my default response all the time. My second thought after you explained it gives me a reason to pause and consider how the other person is asking me out of love and because they see something that my stubborn brain cannot see. I love your words and am blessed that I am your neighbor at Messy Marriage today. Praying you have a blessed week.

    • Debbie Wilson

      Thank you, Mary. May the Lord grant you a wonderful week too!

  11. Beth

    I don’t know what it is about my husband, but I have trouble yielding to him more than anyone else, Debbie. So I can really relate to your story and words here. Yes, yielding is wise and when I don’t do it, I think it says more about me than about the person I think is being overly cautious. Thanks for this reminder, my friend!

    • Debbie Wilson

      Beth, I get it. Need I say more. 🙂 Thanks for being so real.

  12. Amy Nowak

    A few years back I was painting my living room and realized too late that I had nothing planned for dinner. I jumped in the car to get something when a friend saw me and said, “You should clean up first. What if someone sees you?” I did not yield to that request.

    • Debbie Wilson

      Amy, you are so funny! I wouldn’t have either! In fact I would have called Larry and asked him to pick something up, and he would have yielded!

  13. KellyRBaker

    Some people see the word “submit” and run like the wind, but it’s healthy with proper balance. I thought you brought out the balance in your post. Great wisdom!

    • Debbie Wilson

      Thank you, Kelly!

  14. Kaylin Zimmerman

    There are so many times I see situations that have gone downhill because nobody wanted to yield their position. It grieves me how much damage can be caused when we don’t follow God’s command- submit to one another. Thank you for sharing.

    • Debbie Wilson

      Kaylin, we shoot ourselves when that happens. Thanks for commenting.

  15. Kelly Basham

    Great post Debbie. I’ve had to learn to stake a step back and pray about it so my flesh doesn’t get the best of me. I can be a bit of a control freak sometimes so its hard for me to submit and accept help or advise. Seeking Gods wisdom always helps.

    • Debbie Wilson

      Kelly, I don’t think it is natural for many of us—if any. I love how the book of James makes it clear that God’s wisdom looks very different from the world’s wisdom.

  16. Lori

    Debbie, this is so encouraging! I’m thankful the Lord gave me a husband to protect me by seeing things I may not. It may not always be easy to yield to what he says, but I know when I do, I’m obeying the Lord. Thank you for sharing with Thankful Thursdays.

    • Debbie Wilson

      Lori, we are blessed to have protective husbands. God bless.

  17. Jennifer Clarke

    This is sound counsel on a tough and often misunderstood topic. Thanks so much for sharing it with us at A Divine Encounter! I’m honored to feature your post at A Divine Encounter on Friday. 🙂

    • Debbie Wilson

      Oh Jennifer, thanks so much! Blessings to you.

  18. Debbie

    Thank you, this was clearly what I needed to read today, I have trouble with submitting and this changes how I perceive it and soothes my stubborn nature thanks

    • Debbie Wilson

      Thank you, Debbie!

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