** Greet Priscilla and Aquila my helpers in Christ Jesus ** Romans 16:3
I have been mulling over the idea of submission and wondering what examples we have in the Bible. Often we look to Sara as an example of a submissive wife. I would agree that she submitted to Abraham in their early years, even at risk to herself. Later, Abraham, submits to her regarding Hagar.
But I’m not sure that they came to a full understanding of mutual submission. (Ephesians 5:21)
Which is why I began to think more about Priscilla and Aquila.
Please correct me if I am wrong, but nowhere are Priscilla and Aquila mentioned in the New Testament as separated from each other. They are mentioned as “Priscilla and Aquila” or as Aquila, with his wife Priscilla.
Aquila has no fame of his own. Nor does Priscilla.
They seem to work in tandem. Side by side. Equals. Mutually respecting and valuing the other.
They worked together making sails. They traveled together. They taught the Scriptures and discipled together. They worshiped together. Theirs seem to be a relationship of continual conversation, respectful of each other’s perspectives, working towards understanding each other and valuing each others differences and strengths.
When I think of Ephesians 5, like we talked about in “How can I submit to my Husband”, I think that the goal is what Aquila and Priscilla had.
I don’t think that Priscilla just did everything her husband told her to. I think Aquila learned to appreciate what Priscilla had to offer and accepted her leadership when it was appropriate. He probably valued her skill at sail making, her discernment and dedication to her faith, her ability to teach and explain the principles of her beliefs in a way that complemented what he was teaching.
And I think Priscilla learned to take comfort and protection from her husband’s leadership, encouragement from his understanding of the things of God, and felt valued by his honoring of her own gifts and impact on other’s lives.
I think that submission isn’t being an enslaved servant to your spouse anymore than I believe that the Old Testament is just a book of rules and regulations. God goes much deeper than what we can see on the surface as young Christians.
Time and experience are the key to understanding the concepts of submission, grace, mercy, holiness…the deepest things of God. Wherever you are today, know that there is much more to learn. Always. It doesn’t matter how many times we have read the Bible or how many Studies we have attended. We can never out learn the Lord. If you feel muddled about submission or any other Christ-like concept, be patient. The Lord is still teaching us and we will never be finished until we go home to be with Him.