Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Submission...The Enemy of Women Everywhere

I just realized that in all my posts about marriage I have not discussed the oh so lovely topic of submission, so let's get talking!

Submission is something that I believe every woman struggles with during their marriage. It is very difficult to do and is often thrown out as an outdated practice, but I believe that it is still something that is required of every married woman. But did you know that submission was not God's original design for women? If you go back to the very beginning and look at the surroundings of Eve's creation, she was never designed to be submissive to Adam, she was designed to help him and rule beside him. It wasn't until after her and Adam sinned that submission entered the picture. Look at Genesis 3:16, God is telling Eve what the consequences are for her having eaten the fruit from the tree. It says "Then he said to the woman, "I will sharpen the pain of your pregnancy, and in pain you will give birth. And you will desire to control your husband, but he will rule over you."

Right at the beginning of the bible we girls are warned that submission won't be easy, and the reason for that is because we aren't designed for it. It's a part of the curse of sin. But we have to remember that even though it wasn't part of the original design, after the sin in the garden of Eden it became the design. The bible is very clear about the fact that we girls are to submit to our husbands. The bible talks about it in many verses so let's look at some of them.

Colossians 3:18 " Wives, submit to your husbands, as is fitting for those who belong to the Lord.

Ephesians 5:22-24 "For wives, this means submit to your husbands as to the Lord. For a husband is the head of his wife as Christ is the head of the church. He is the Savior of his body, the church. As the church submits to Christ, so you wives should submit to your husbands in everything.

Titus 2:4-5 "These older women must train the younger women to love their husbands and their children, to live wisely and be pure, to work in their homes, to do good, and to be submissive to their husbands.

I Peter 3:1 "In the same way, you wives must accept the authority of your husbands. Then, even if some refuse to obey the Good News, your godly lives will speak to them without any words. They will be won over"

So it's very clear from these verses that submission is something that is required of us girls, however the definition of submission is often where people can get confused. So again, let's look at what the bible says submission is. The definition of submission found in the concordance is "to submit to one's control, to yield to one's admonition or advice, to obey, be subject". Now, as unpleasant as that may sound look at it a different way for just a minute with me. That same definition is used when talking about several other kinds of submission in the bible.

Romans 13:1 says "Everyone must submit to governing authorities. For all authority comes from God, and those in positions of authority have been placed there by God." That "submit" has the same definition in the concordance.

Ephesians 1:22 says "God has put all things under the authority of Christ and has made him head over all things for the benefit of the church." and that has the same definition as well.

We're to submit to our husbands the same way we submit to Christ. Also, Hebrews 5:7 says "During the days of Jesus’ life on earth, he offered up prayers and petitions with fervent cries and tears to the one who could save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission." So you can see here that Christ himself showed this same kind of submission to God the Father when He lived on earth.

Submission is not some scary, awful thing! When it is done according to the bible it is actually a beautiful demonstration of the relationship we have with Christ. Now I understand that as with everything in this world, the issue of submission absolutely can be abused and I want you to understand that I am not talking about women being doormats! I fully believe that each and every woman is an equal partner in their marriage and should voice their thoughts and opinions freely, and men should listen to them and take what they say to heart. You and your husbands are a team and should do everything you can to live in agreement. I believe that this submission is referring to areas of disagreement in your family. If you and your husband are on completely opposite ends of an issue this is where I think submission falls in and the wife should submit to her husbands authority and decisions, because let's not forget that he is ultimately the one who will stand before God and answer for how he leads your family.

This is not an easy thing to do at all! Remember, you weren't designed to submit. It does not come natural to you and that's ok. You're not a horrible person if and when you fail in this area. But you have to remember that as un-natural as submission feels, as christians we are not to walk in the natural, we are to walk in the super-natural! I believe that when you submit to your husband even if you don't agree God can bless you in that. I heard it said once that God can jump over a goofy husband to bless a submissive wife and I believe that to be true. When you submit to your husband understand that you are actually obeying and submitting to Christ and that's what each and every christian should strive for.

Next Monday my husband will be writing a guest post on the role husbands play, because in all reality, it's not enough for wives to just be submissive without men also knowing what it means to lead the family.

13 comments:

Mar'ah said...

This post goes along well with a book I am reading right now, "Women's Wisdom, The Garden of Peace for Women," by Rabbi Shalom Arush. I think you might really enjoy it and there is one for men too...my husband is reading that one and is in a men's book club to discuss it. :)

Shalom!

Jenn said...

Hi Jamie! I think you put this all very well. I particularly struggled with the issue of submission two summers ago when we were debating moving into a new home. We have a three-bedroom and were pregnant with our daughter, and we thought a four-bedroom would give us more space.

Well, we found what we thought was the perfect house, but the price was too high. My husband was willing to pay a certain amount for it, but not a penny more for fear of putting our family in financial jeopardy. It literally came down to a matter of about %5000. I thought he should be willing to pay the extra $5000 for a home that would accommodate our growing family. He just said that he was comfortable with a certain number, and he just couldn't in good conscience go above that.

We argued, and I had a choice to make. I knew I could probably bully my husband into buying the home if I tried hard enough... but there would have been major consequences in our marriage if I had done that. We were at a stalemate--each of us felt as passionate as the other about our position.

Eventually I decided to do the Godly thing and submit to my husband. After all, it's not like he was being mean--he was trying to protect our family by not spending wastefully. I prayed about it and decided to let the matter go go...completely. That meant no resentment, no lingering anger, just submission with trust, love, and a happy heart. And that's what I did, and I'm happy to say that we are making do just fine in our original home--we were even able to refinish our basement to give us some more space.

And my relationship with my husband is rock solid. Thank you for drawing attention to this issue. I think a lot of times women get offended at the idea of submission, but God designed it so that SOMEONE had to be the head of the household, and God picked Man. That doesn't mean we have to submit to every little whim...we are entitled to our passions and our individuality and all our God-given talents. But when push comes to shove and there's a major family decision to be made, I believe that we should have our say, but that ultimately it is our husbands who bear the responsibility of leading the family, and it's our job to be supportive of them, even if we don't agree, or if we are angry.

Anyway, I am a new follower from the weekend hop--congratulations on being the star blog! I hope you will stop by my little home on the web... I write a humor blog about motherhood at Misadventures in Motherhood. It's usually good for a laugh, and sometimes even a snort or two!

Hope you can drop in, and it's great to meet you!

Blessings, Jenn
www.misadventuresinmotherhood.com

April's Homemaking said...

Really wonderful post, I love the way you described this topic. I am praying and working on growing as a more submissive wife my self, and reading this helped me gain more understanding. Thank you for sharing this! ~April

Jamie said...

Thank you all for stopping by and for your comments!

Mar'ah~ I will have to look into that book, I hadn't heard of it before so thank you for the suggestion. :o)

Jenn~ Thanks for sharing your story. Submission can be such a hard issue, especially for stubborn people like me! But as you said, when push comes to shove it's one thing God has called us to do which means He will give us the ability to do it. I'm so glad you and your husband we're able to work through the situation and keep peace in your marriage. :o)

April~ I'm so glad you enjoyed the post! This was a topic that took so much time for me to get through my thick head, and something that can still be a challenge in each new situation. Thankfully God doesn't give up on us and keeps working and teaching us all the time. :o)

Amy said...

I love the way you approach this issue. I think submission has gotten a bad name out in the world, and when I see what happens in abusive situations, I can understand. However, in a biblical marriage, I've learned over time that it really can be a beautiful mirror of Christ's love for the church as you say. I was just recently re-reading Let Me Be a Woman and Elisabeth Elliot also explains the concept beautifully.

Found you via Homemaker By Choice's blog hop!

Erika said...

That is very well put. Thank you for addressing this usually-avoided topic! I enjoyed reading this!

Anonymous said...

Hate this subject! Because I'm so bad at it. I'll do really well for certain lengths of time and then I just can't hold it in any more and have to put up a fight. Wish I were better at it but thank you for your thoughts on the subject.

Dana said...

I would have to disagree on one point. We were designed to submit. the Helper that God created us to be is huppotasso and that means someone who is ranked (think military) under someone else. Christ submitted to God the Father in the same manner. Part of the curse is that we would desire to rule over our husbands. This is where the struggle starts. In the garden, Eve submitted to Adam naturally, without sin. It was a beautiful dance and not a struggle.

Lisa Grace said...

I enjoyed your post and will be interested in reading your husband's next. I will say that I found FREEDOM in submission; when I am walking where God intends, there is blessing and liberty!

Caitlin said...

Great post! This is something that women don't talk about enough, I think.

Helen said...

Thank you for not being afraid to write about submission! I'm so glad to have found this - found you through Time-Warp Wife Titus 2SDays. You're right - we gotta walk in the super natural!

Jamie said...

Thank you all for visiting and i'm so please that you enjoyed this post. It can be a difficult topic to discuss because it's such a hard thing to live out. But thankfully God gives us grace each day to wake up and walk in the supernatural. I love remembering that I can do all things through Christ, even submit to my husband! :o)

Also I wanted to mention that my husband's post is already up, you can find it here ( http://joinmeforcoffee.blogspot.com/2011/09/guest-post-hoh.html ). I think he did a fantastic job and I hope you all enjoy it.

~Jamie

Angie said...

@Dana

The "helper suitable" or "helpmeet"(English translations)that women were created to be is not hupotasso (Gk.-v., N.T.) but is ezer kenegdo (Heb. Ge.).

Ezer means lifesaver or a strong help and is used most often of God himself and then second of nations in a military context as God being an ally to man and nations and nations being allies to other nations. It's not uniquely feminine as men and places were and still are named "Ezer" i.e. Eli-ezer, Abi-ezer, Eben-ezer, etc.

Kenegdo means "as in front of" or "facing" or "corresponding to".

As an ezer kenegdo, woman is a strong help, strong ally that corresponds to the man. Woman is not a supporting role; she is a co-image bearer. Together, male and female were created a blessed alliance--co-vice regents of God's creation. Male and female together were given responsibility to rule and subdue.

See Half the Church: Recapturing God's Global Vision for Women by Carolyn Custis James for a more detailed undertaking.

In light of the redemptive narrative of the gospel, the ideal for believing members of the blessed alliance is to be motivated and empowered by the Spirit of God to triumph over the temptation to yield to the lust of the eye, the pride of life, and the lust of the flesh as Jesus modeled for us in his triumph over temptation.