The “S” Word

submission coupleRecently, I was invited to appear as a guest on the Healing Hearts radio show. The host, Jason Miller, interviewed me to discuss the true meaning behind the term submission. Yes, I attacked the “S” word on the radio! Prior to going on air, I found myself in several conversations with women about the “S” word. What I found, from those conversations, is that most women cringe at the thought of being submissive to a man. I remember a time I too would cringe at that thought.

In these conversations, I found myself giving them a different outlook on the term. Many of these women are single and desire marriage one day. What disturbs me the most, are the women who are married, but have a problem with submitting to their husbands. So let’s dive into the issues behind the “S” word:

1. We first need to understand what submission is not. To be a submissive wife, that does not mean that you lose who you are as a woman. It is not meant for you to be treated like a doormat. Submission is not you “bowing down” to your man. You can still have a voice in your marriage, and be a submissive wife.

2. Submission is spiritual. I am a firm believer that you cannot submit to a man, if you have not submitted to God. You would run the risk of submitting to the wrong man by not being able to submit yourself to the will of God. Now I know the argument here is: What about those who are not submitted under the will of God and have beautiful healthy marriages? I’m not saying that this could not happen, but I feel that it is rare. And how do we really know that is true?  A lot of times we see things from the outside looking in. We think others marriages are healthy and perfect, but they could be miserable.

I believe that the risks are much higher when you are marrying someone, and you are not submitted under His will. If it goes against scripture, then it’s out of order.

Take a look at these two versions of scripture regarding submission”

                Ephesians 5:22-28, (New International Version): “Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself.

submissive ephesians 5 image

Ephesians 5:22-28, (The Message): Wives, understand and support your husbands in ways that show your support for Christ. The husband provides leadership to his wife the way Christ does to his church, not by domineering but by cherishing. So just as the church submits to Christ as he exercises such leadership, wives should likewise submit to their husbands. Husbands, go all out in love for your wives, exactly as Christ did for the church – a love marked by giving, not getting. Christ’s love makes the church whole. His words evoke her beauty. Everything he does and says is designed to bring the best out of her, dressing her in dazzling white silk, radiant with holiness. And that is how husbands ought to love their wives. They’re really doing themselves a favor – since they’re already “one” in marriage.

Look at the way Christ loves the church. We are part of the body of Christ who makes up the church. If we submit to God, we will have no problem with submission to our husbands. Christ is the head of man, the head of Christ is God, and the head of woman is man (paraphrased from 1 Corinthians 11:3). There are things that the husband should do according to Ephesians, but we get stuck on the part that says “wives, submit to your husbands”, and run with that. Man has the greater action of submission than woman. He has to submit unto Christ and love his wife as Christ loved the church. Y’all Jesus died for the church. You want a man that would love you so much that he will die for you. Go back to the scriptures outlined, and look at how Christ loved the church. Those are just a few examples of his love for the church.

If a man loved you the same way Christ loved the church, you wouldn’t have no problem submitting to him. However, in order to see that quality in a man, you have to know what it’s like to submit yourself to God, and experience the way He truly loves you!

3. Submission is an understanding and it’s a mutual commitment.  You both have to understand what submission truly is. Again, there are things outlined for the husband in scripture as to how he should treat his wife. It requires for you both to be committed. It’s a choice that you both make. Husbands will choose to love their wives as Christ loves the church. Wives will choose to submit to their husbands.

We choose to submit in so many areas of our lives:

We have an understanding and make a commitment on our jobs. Therefore, we submit to our employers.

We submit to traffic laws.

We submit to our state and government laws.

We submit to the pilot and flight attendants on a plane.

We submit to our teachers and professors.

But when it comes to submitting to our husbands, we take an issue to that. It is a choice and understanding we have to make.

4. Submission is about trust. If you can submit to God, who is unseen, that shows your trust for Him. You are trusting a man, a spiritual being, that you cannot see to direct your paths, order your steps, and lead you. If you can do that to something that is unseen, again you should not have a problem doing that to a man you see every day. It’s about trust. But, if you don’t trust men, then you will not submit to one. You will then need to seek God to help you in your area of trust. I challenge you to evaluate if you fully trust God. The way you relate to people is a direct reflection on the way you relate to God. Do you trust?

 submission happy marriage

Let’s kick this ugly stereotype about submission. Society has made this term so negative that women cringe at the thought of it. They are fearful of it. Men abuse it. And God intended for it to be beautiful, to bring about oneness and order in marriage. So my question to you is this: You want to get married, but are you ready to submit?


**images courtesy of Google images**

4 thoughts on “The “S” Word

  1. cocostilletto says:

    I believe from my experiences talking to other women that when a woman hears the word “submit” they cringe from uncomfortable stories they heard or seen in the media, what they have seen, experienced or heard negatively how a man has abused it and used it as a discipline agiant a dependent woman. When a independent woman sees that type of negative energy used in light of being submissive to a man. We immediately decide “that won’t be me. I make my own money, pay my own bills and will stop a man in his tracks he come at me like that thinking I’m suppose to submit”….. I believe starting with my generation the “S” word has been quarantined. Meaning as long as the word isn’t said it doesn’t sound like “you trying to control me” (ha!) I laugh at this cause I use to be that woman. But the truth is neither one of us (me and men) knew what was meant when the word “submissive” was being used.

    The reality check is understanding that the “S” word isn’t a word one should use during an arguement or to prove a point. It is a honest language that makes the formula God set for a marriage between a man and a woman to work.

    So agree with this post. That word can be a beautiful thing when trust, respect and true love between man, woman and God are collectively are in order. Then the word “submissive” isn’t a word to cringe at any more it’s an “Honest mutual action” and the “S” word is still quarantined but the meaning is apart of how and where the marriage successfully goes.

    Thanks for this topic 🙂


  2. Nikki says:

    Good, Haze I’m glad you did this blog because often times people do cringe at that word but thats because they only went off the first sentence that they may have heard or even read. But the problem is they didn’t keep reading to know that you do no submit to any and every man you encounter. You must first seek God’s discernment before you make any vows, to be certain that this relationship period is one that resembles the love God has for you, meaning is this the man/woman God has manifested for me. Then yes you will need to be sure that he first loves you the way God loves you that means he protects you, provides for you, seeks out only what is best for you, and will never allow anyone or anything to break the bond/relationship you share. Then yes it is your requirement to submit unto your husbands and i think like you stated if he is loving you right, i don’t believe submitting is an issue. As for being independent, while that is great, unfortunately or maybe fortunately most of us woman are very independent because we have to so the thought of submitting is hard for a single woman especially because we think there isn’t anything that a man can do for us that we can’t do for ourselves. But when you love God even as a single woman you know how untrue that is as one of his first commands was to be fruitful and multiply and without a mans sperm (for lack of better words) and a womans fertile egg i’m not sure how that is possible. It is my belief as a single woman that God didn’t make any mistakes when this book was written therefore if he said it than that settles it, the problem is that we try to make his words fit our lives and what works for us. But when reading Ephesians i think it is very clear that this isn’t a debate or something we should be afraid of or cringe after instead i think that we should cringe or be afraid of submitting to men who don’t love God and therefore can’t love us the way God loves us. Or maybe the issue is that we have a broken relationship with God and haven’t even learned to submit to God ourselves or even trust him because instead we have been submitting to the things of this world and our ability to gain the “riches” of this world by ourselves (so we think) and our worldly success. I’m not married but my parents have been married for over 30 years and I have watched my mother submit to her husband while never losing herself or values because that is not what submitting is about. I also had my grandparents as a perfect image as my grandmother was a very committed christian lol and she submitted to her husband until he passed away but more importantly i watched her study her word day in and day out. She kept her television on a gospel network and went to church everyday, paying her tithes regularly, now my grandpa died when i was 6yrs old but what my grandma was displaying is that she made a vow to her husband and God and when her earthly husband died she submitted her entire being to her heavenly father. Now that is enough for me to shout about and look forward to as i continue my journey of being in love with God and preparing to submit to the earthly husband he is edifying just for me. Needless to say my grandma is 92 years old and is in GREAT health and always has been however she is suffering from dementia but when you talk to her or even just sit with her all you hear, is her singing her praise songs to God..Hallelujah!, that just gave me chills. Her submitting herself to God and even when she can’t call on her earthly family she still has sense enough to call on her heavenly father.. her submission to God has caused him to keep her in peace all the days of her life as he promised.. MY GOD…alright Haze i didn’t intend to write this long but man God has been good to me and i’m learning that my decision to submit to him was the BEST choice i EVER made.
    Love you and i really Thank you for this post…you know what i’m dealing with and today i needed to read this to remind myself that submitting has so many rewards we just have to stop looking for selfish or earthly rewards and instead hope and look forward to the greatest reward there is…”eternal life” and that forever love of God!
    Your Bestie

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