Submission has a lot to expose to the modern day’s woman’s campaign against submission. I’ve sat among many women who have shun submission but arrogance and ignorance and on the subject are putting women in a long running column of “independent” women. Ironically, their independence comes from solidarity from the truth of the Bible’s perception on submission. Let’s explore the Scripture with 3 key items to determine why submission is requested and whether it’s one-sided.
1. The Independent Woman’s arrogance
Ephesians 5:22 states “Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord.” According to Webster, submit or submission is the condition of being submissive, humble or complaint. Of all the words to describe submission being humbled stuck out to me. Humbling and submission used in a same context?
According to Scripture, submission allowed extraordinary things to happen. In fact, submission requires faith in another. For instance, Esther was submissive to the process of beautification in order to finally become the King’s wife. Mary had to be submissive to the message through an angel that God sent saying that she would give birth to a son named Jesus. Sarah had to submit to Abraham as her husband when he chose to follow God’s will and heed to God’s Word. Can you imagine if these women did not submit? When Lot’s wife did not submit she was turned to dust even though her husband warned what would happen. Job’s wife lack of submission drove her away from her husband in his time in need.
Being an independent woman shouldn’t place you against submission but push you towards it in a relationship. By understanding submission, your position as a woman and the right person to submit to makes the process efficient. The issue with many women is submitting too much in all the wrong places. What we fail to realize is that submission is in our daily lives. We submit to our superiors at work. We submit to our parents. We also submit to the law. When we chose to rebel against submission, there are consequences.
The “Independent” Woman is often misguided by advice from other torn women about submission. If we review Scripture and the authority that God has given women, submission is reserved for those you respect and reverence. When women think submission is about being a slave to your husband, consider Ephesians 5:25 as a starting point to our next part of the discussion…
2. Husbands must submit too!
Verses after: Ephesians 5:25 “Husbands, loves your wives, just as Christ loved the church” or how about Ephesians 5:28-33 “In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. After all, no one ever hated his own body, but he feeds and cares for it, just as Christ does the church- for we are members of his body. “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh… each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.”
Take into account where Paul says that even husbands should submit their wives. It iterates that submission is a two way street. Husbands cannot demand submission when they are not submissive. In fact, Paul explains how important a husband should be treating his wife. Love your wife as your own body, Paul says. Love your wife as Christ loved the church, Paul says.
When Paul wrote this letter concerning the relationship of a man with his wife, none of the information provided alluded that he was saying what we believe as “submission” which is the belief that our husbands totally control us. From reading above, husbands as well as wives earn submission.
3. Relationships that survive embrace…
Submission! Let’s imagine if submission wasn’t in the world. What if submission wasn’t present in marriage? Would you be married? Would Christ have died? Would there still be segregation if MLK Jr. didn’t submit to his purpose in life? Ephesians 5:21 says “Submit to one another out of reverence to Christ.” I love this verse in Chapter 5 more than all the others. Throughout the Chapter, Paul is reiterating the importance of submission being not only a two way street but also a connection to the God we serve. When we chose to follow Christ, we believe His grace is sufficient for us. In fact, we continue to believe via wedding vows that God has sent this person for us until death does us part. By serving God, we also serve our partners. Submission, in the end, is all about L-O-V-E not dominance and power. And Paul said it the best way in Ephesians 5:29, “After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church for we are members of His body.” Some people like “Doing things 50/50” & some call it “sharing the responsibility” but someone has to give up something to give to another. We generate a compromise from this and in turn find peace in respecting the decision to submit to it. YOU ARE STILL SUBMITTING. Submission is love, and it should be embraced not despised. If you are having a problem with submission, maybe you’re with the wrong person…
4. How does submission apply if I’m dating?
IT DOESN’T! Submission in its totality is reserved for marriage. However, we do practice forms of submission when we are dating. We allow our partner to lead in some instances or relinquish control in other situations. You may recall on occasion allowing the expertise of your partner being a faithful decision without feeling like you needed to be in control of it. It’s called trusting. It’s a type of submission. However, we need to be mindful that we are still individuals until we become one through marriage. It is when we allow submission and oneness to invade our dating relationships that submission becomes a disgusting term to bare. Yet, it’s due to the inability to make a distinction that makes the ultimate submission capable because it’s often given away too soon. Singles should find refuge in this Ephesians 5:15-20 “Be very careful, then, how you live-not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is. Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.”