There are many words in the English language that have been distorted from their original meaning over the years. Did you know that the Noah Webster’s orginal dictionary was based on the Bible? Context is EVERYthing! If he could only see what the dictionary bearing his name has now become in comparison to the one drafted in 1828, what would he think?!
There is one word, however, that REALLY hits home with women in particular…
Oh the power that these 10 letters wields is amazing! Men and women have misunderstood it and abused it so often that we flinch when we hear it.
Submission has become a term associated with domination. A wife who “submits” to her husband is considered to have a weak, and even pathetic, character. A husband who calls for his wife to submit to him is considered a tyrant looking to suppress and control.
Our culture has fallen so far from what submission truly means and what it should look like!! And there was a time, not too long ago, I would have agreed with that cultural view. I may not have voiced it with such strong imagery, but, in my heart, that is exactly how I felt. And I gaurantee that I am not alone among women who struggle with this concept. With submission – context is EVERYthing!
It was just a mere 6 months ago that the Lord revealed this truth to me…
Submission is truly SWEET if you look at it from the biblical context in which God created it and use it the way God intended it.
I grew up Catholic and every now then, Ephesians 5 would come through the weekly reading rotation at mass. The priest might talk about it, being ever so careful to tiptoe around what the text was actually saying. However, more often, he ignored it all together and focused on the other readings from that Sunday morning. If my dad joked about it, my mother, 2 sisters and I all just rolled our eyes.
If the only words you focus on are “wives, submit to your husbands” and “the husband is the head of the wife” then you are ignoring 90% of the passage and IGNORING THE CONTEXT. (Unfortunately, that is all too common in media today. We often accept a sentence in bold capital letters, thrown out into the world without context. Then, the author of those words can then be ravaged by the wolves.) But, as a Christian woman, I canNOT do that with this text!
As a wife, I am CALLED to submit to my husband as unto the Lord. My husband is CALLED to love me the way Chist loved the church.”
If you do not know Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior, those words have absolutely NO weight whatsoever, and I get that. STAY WITH ME.
First, let me address my husband’s calling…
Husbands, LOVE YOUR WIVES as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her…husbands should LOVE THEIR WIVES as their own bodies. For no one ever hated their own flesh, but nourishes it and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church.
Does that sound like a call to dominate? Abuse? Suppress? Harm physically or emotionally? NO! God never gave husbands the right to do any of these things even on the shallowest level. Selfish, evil, sinful men have done, and continue to do that, all on their own. Christian men have been guilty as well because they are human. They are not off the hook because they claim to know Jesus. In fact, it is even MORE pressing that they repent from that behavior and change. They are damaging their own witness both to their wives and to the world who is watching!
Now, let me address my calling as a wife…
WIVES, SUBMIT TO YOUR OWN HUSBANDS as to the Lord…the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church…its Savior.
First of all, I am called to submit to MY husband, NOT all men in general. That is important. God does not give men an overarching power to rule or dominate women. Women are not “second class” in the Bible.
Secondly, as a Christian, I am called to submit “to the Lord” because that is what being a Christian IS – giving your life completely over to Him and living for His glory! ALL Christians are called to be SUBMISSIVE to the Lord, including husbands. Submitting to our husbands is just one of the ways wives do submit to the Lord. THIS WAS A REVELATION FOR ME!!
I thought submission was simply doing what my husband wanted and not arguing about it. I would argue that Joel thought that way also. So ultimately, if we disagreed, he had final say. I was supposed to just shut my mouth and go with it. That’s not submission, that is obedience. There IS a difference…you can guess how well THAT went over in my marriage!
So what’s the difference between obedience and submission?
Obedience is forcing a behavior that is merely performed in actions.
Submission is the willingness of a behavior that is, not only performed in action, but also supported in heart.
Understanding the difference is KEY to being able to live out this calling, which is not always easy. Not surprisingly, I do NOT do this perfectly all the time!! But, since understanding this, I have made a lot of progress and have done this better in the past 6 months. Not surprisingly, it has also been the sweetest 6 months in the past 9 years of my marriage.
If you liked this post or it help you in some way, please share it! There are other women out there who need to read it too!
While I am not opposed to different views and opinions, I do insist that all comments are respectful to myself and other readers. I reserve the right to delete any comments on a post that I deem disrespectful. Thanks for your cooperation!