It’s been a while since I wrote a Biblical Feminism post due to life and changes (mostly good things). I’ve been wanting to talk about the idea of submission for a while. It was one of the first topics I came up with when I was brainstorming my other biblical feminism posts (Click here and here to read them), but honestly, there was a part of me that wondered how could I talk about something that I really had little experience in. I always want my posts to be authentic, and most of the time that comes when I have had personal experiences related to the topic. I felt like until recently, that me talking about submission in the context of a relationship wasn’t really fair until I had truly experienced it. Now, don’t get me wrong, I submit to my father since he is an authority figure, and I submit to God. But in both of those cases, it is a father figure that I am submitting to. It is someone who I know at all times has my best intentions in mind, especially when it doesn’t seem like it.
Until recently, I hadn’t really had to venture or wrestle with the idea of submitting to someone who is my peer, who sometimes may be selfish, and who could break my heart. It is a scary thought to be that vulnerable with someone. It means compromising and sometimes completely changing my way of thinking.
In Ephesians 5:22-24, Paul instructs Christian wives to submit to their husbands in the same way that they submit to the Lord.
Sounds great, right?
In our day and age the word submit within the context of a marriage tends to be interpreted as the wife being a doormat and going with whatever the husband wants. That she no longer possess the ability to make her own decisions about things, and instead must do whatever he wants.
That is absolutely not what God intended for a Biblical marriage to look like.
Remember that God made us as equals, but not the same. That means that us women have different roles than the men, particularly in the church. God’s plan was to set the husband as the spiritual leader of the household, and this is not because He sees women as inferior at all. So in Ephesians 5 when the wives are told to submit, it means that we are to follow the leadership of our future husbands and husbands (for those who are married already). We are not to be doormats. In fact when God created Eve for Adam, it was so that he had a helper, a partner. When a Christian marriage is in harmony it is a beautiful thing. There is a gentle give and take that happens where there is respect and honor given to both people involved.
So while this sounds all great and all, how does it stack up when it is actually put to the test? Like how easy is it to actually submit and not just say that I want to?
It’s not always easy. It isn’t easy because sometimes it does involve having to put your own wants or feelings on things down so that you can submit. But the beautiful thing about it is that, a godly man will not take advantage of this. Instead, he will work alongside you to help nurture and grow your relationship with God. Because at the end of the day, that is his job as the spiritual leader.
Submission can become a beautiful thing, just like when we submit to God.
Let’s be clear, I’m not telling you to be a doormat, but I’m also not telling you to be stubborn. Be a women who is filled with strength and dignity. In honoring whatever man is the spiritual leader of your household (whether your father or your husband), you are honoring God. That is the most beautiful picture of submission possible. It is when we lay down our agendas and agree to do the hard things that God can have a chance to take ahold of our hearts and work great things for Him.