This is a second piece, in what I can only assume is going to be an ongoing topic, on my blog. The first post I did about this was Husbands Love Your Wives (not just a little) and speaks about the Ephesians passage. I’ve updated this with the third post To submit…or not to Submit. When I started blogging I didn’t know what I was going to write about, or how often. I just do it as it comes and it seems that this topic comes up often in my life and those around me. From Facebook posts to Michelle Bachmann, it seems too many people don’t get it. So, since you’re here and reading, let’s get going.
I kid with the title, kinda, but it was meant to be funny. I in no way think or believe God commanded us as wives to submit, no matter what. So, don’t start with me on the non-Christian husband, the one who doesn’t respect you, the one who doesn’t treat you right and argue that you don’t have to submit because he doesn’t act right. I’ll cover my thoughts on that (and you probably won’t like them) at the end of this post.
The main reason I love talking about this subject is to testify to how well a home works when it’s run the proper way. The proper way being when you have a man that looks to God for his leadership, a wife that looks to her husband for leadership and children who know they have parents that love and care for them, and more importantly that love and respect each other. Yes, this can be achieved sometimes outside of a Christian home, but more often than not, it’s neglected and unattainable in that forum. I have plenty of friends that don’t get how “submitting” is in their best interest, or that can’t imaging allowing their husband to call the shots. To that I ask – if you don’t think he’s smart enough or a good enough leader to call the shots why did you marry him? Seems like a huge lack of good judgement on your part. I’ve said it before, D has proven more than once before we married that he was quite capable of making good, correct, sensible decisions, and that his ideas were worthy of me agreeing to submit and hand him the last say/control in our relationship. Ultimately God is the one calling the shots in our marriage, but since there are 3 of us in this boat, there’s got to be a chain of command.
There is more than the Ephesians passage to support the order of the Christian household. I’m not going to cover the husbands role in full again, because I want to really get into the command the wives receive in these passages. We see in the following verses that it’s not just one passage, for this post I’ve pulled four that I will discuss and reference all from my favorite translation the King James Version (KJV). I am going to discuss just the verses with the submit reference, but encourage you to read the rest of the passages because they speak volumes as to WHY you should have a submissive heart/attitude.
Here’s the first one we’ve all heard:
Ephesians 5:22 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. 23For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. 24Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.
33Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband.
A second to help remind you:
Colossians 3:18 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as it is fit in the Lord. 19Husbands, love your wives, and be not bitter against them. 20Children, obey your parents in all things: for this is well pleasing unto the Lord. 21Fathers, provoke not your children to anger, lest they be discouraged.
Didn’t like those two? Let’s try another approach:
Titus 2:3 The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things; 4That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, 5To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.
Really? It’s not a suggestion, it’s a direction, stop questioning it already.
1 Peter 3:1 In the same way, you wives, be submissive to your own husbands so that even if any of them are disobedient to the word, they may be won without a word by the behavior of their wives, 2as they observe your chaste and respectful behavior. 3Your adornment must not be merely external—braiding the hair, and wearing gold jewelry, or putting on dresses; 4but let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God. 5For in this way in former times the holy women also, who hoped in God, used to adorn themselves, being submissive to their own husbands; 6just as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord, and you have become her children if you do what is right without being frightened by any fear.
I really don’t know what to say if you don’t like that. It’s quite clear how we as wives are supposed to act and interact with our husbands, but, let’s look and discuss.
As Christian women we have no issues submitting to the Lord (Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord). I believe we can all agree to that. He loves us, listens to our prayers, answers them, chooses not to sometimes, has mercy, shows us He cares and ultimately we feel His presence in our daily lives, what’s not to like here? We trust in Him. After years of bad relationships, starting a career, living life, waiting for the “right one” and countless other reasons we should now thank God that we have a good Christian man. I know in my own life God has more than earned the respect and love we are to give Him. He brought this man to you, He’s given you a partner to be here with you so you can FEEL that love, comfort, caring, burden sharing, leadership, and enjoy life with someone. Not at all that God feels or thinks He alone isn’t enough, but He knows what we as women need, a partner, a leader, a lover, someone to tend to us and make us happy, God wants us to be HAPPY! How much is it to ask that you respect, listen to, confer with and submit yourself (head, heart and body) to that man that He chose for you? Not much I say.
Maybe we should clear up what submission/submitting means.
Submit: verb (used with or without object)
1.to give over or yield to the power or authority of another (often used reflexively).
2.to subject to some kind of treatment or influence.
3.to yield oneself to the power or authority of another: to submit to a conqueror.
4.to allow oneself to be subjected to some kind of treatment: to submit to chemotherapy.
5.to defer to another’s judgment, opinion, decision, etc.: I submit to your superior judgment.
Submission is not once described as mindless following, doing whatever you’re told, having no say, having no voice. None of the definitions even remotely sound like most of the arguments I’ve heard against submission. It’s simply what we as humans have wrongly come to interpret this one word to mean. In God’s plan, submission is simply about giving yourself, as a willing partner to the man He chose to place above you in the chain of command of your home. Just as there are bosses and employees, too many cooks in the kitchen, too many chiefs and not enough Indians – there has to be order. If you’re trying to call the shots and your husband is trying to do his God assigned duty and call the shots, things aren’t going to be cohesive.
So far there has only been once that I felt strongly that D was acting against how he should or acting in an unloving way. I won’t get into
incriminating myself specifics, but I may have played a part in his reaction…or not. Truthfully, it was a mixture of me feeling that he was not holding up his end of the bargain and him feeling that I was undermining/disrespecting him in my reaction to that. We were both wrong, and still he would argue that I was the cause, and I would point out that he “did” the deed in question for me to react inappropriately. Which brings me to my point here, if he decides to act in an unloving way that doesn’t afford me the right to do the same and throw God’s plan out the window. The opposite is true. I am not free to tell him off, or take over, jump ahead in line, or treat him any differently than God has told me to just because he has forgotten his duty to me. I CAN speak lovingly and inform him that I disagree with how he is treating me, or how he is talking, and that I believe he is going against the plan.
Barnes states this on the matter:
(4) if she is constrained, however, to differ from him, it should be with mildness and gentleness. There should be no reproach, and no contention. She should simply state her reasons, and leave the event to God.
In other words, if I disagree with D (because he is being mean, or rude, or not leading in a Godly manner), I have a backup plan. God. Since D has someone to answer to also, if I disagree or don’t like something I am more than free to pray and ask God for His guidance. I don’t know how much more absolute you can get when looking for the correct answer. The bottom line is that if D isn’t cutting it for me, he better hope he’s acting right because he answers to someone way more powerful than he or I am in our relationship. I do have backup! There are clear limits and rules over the husband and a huge responsibility on him to lead with my best interest at heart. If he doesn’t, he’s going to have some ‘splaining to do.
In the beginning I said I would address the women who question the absoluteness of the plan. I do not condone or think anyone should stay with an abusive man, or with a man who does not wish to live in alignment with God or the Bible. I think there is always a limit to what one should put up with in any relationship, friendship, family dynamic etc. You allow people to treat you bad…or you don’t. If it’s not changing, and if someone is not trying or does not wish to learn how to be in a relationship/marriage the right way, then I believe it’s time to seriously re-evaluate whether you need to be there or not. However, if you choose to stay there, then yes, you should still act in submission – see the following verse (again).
1 Peter 3:1 In the same way, you wives, be submissive to your own husbands so that even if any of them are disobedient to the word, they may be won without a word by the behavior of their wives, 2as they observe your chaste and respectful behavior.
All Christian women know, and even non-Christian women can see clearly that men, tall-short-big-little-loving-happy-unloving-sad-Christian-working-non-Christian-unemployed men, all beam with pride when they know they have earned the approval and have pleased a woman. Do you want your man to do something more than once…thank him and praise him the first time he does it. The look on a man’s face when a woman is proud of him, when she supports him, when she looks to him, listens to him, asks him his opinion, listens to his words, praises his decisions, loves him, respects him, wants him to be a good man, and brags to those around her about how wonderful a provider and partner he is…that look, that pride he feels, is no mistake in God’s plan. A man that feels the love and respect of his wife can and will do anything to make her happy, to keep seeing that reaction and feeling that emotion. There is no quicker way to defeat a man than to let him know you are disappointed in him or that you don’t think he is worthy of your respect and worthy to lead you or your family. If you are looking for the queen treatment there is also no better way to get loved and protected, and to be lifted up as wives should be according to God’s plan, than by submitting to your husband.
I’ll leave you with another wife’s interpretation of what submission means in her marriage. I think she is dead on also.
I am in full agreement with Barnes and his interpretation on the Ephesians passage. I may continue with more on his notes, but I think we’ve learned enough for today…get to submittin’!
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