Recently, 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.
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?
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**