God wants His children to live in a different way than the world. One of the most obvious ways that our pattern of life differs from the world is in the remarkable capacity we have to put others first. Rather than simply living a life that aims at getting our own way, we walk in wisdom by “submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ.” Submitting to someone means that you recognize the claims that he or she has on your life. You are not simply your own man or woman; free to do whatever seems most convenient to you. Because we revere Jesus, the One who owns us by virtue of His precious blood, we sincerely desire to honor Him by the way that we serve one another. This truth simply can’t be overemphasized: our freedom in Christ is intended to help us serve one another not use one another. If we bring a “using” mindset to Paul’s instructions on the specific relationships of husband and wife, parent and child, and master and servant then we will invariably fail to either understand or apply them in a way that pleases the Lord. It is vitally important for us to acknowledge that our sinful nature wants us to use whatever we can in order to get our own way. To our sinful nature this looks like freedom, but in our spirit we know that true freedom is finding that we are able to put the needs of others first. That is when we are the most like Jesus. Father, help me to see how I am tempted to approach my relationships as a way to use others rather than as a way to serve You. Help me to experience the freedom that comes from submitting.