If you are a Christian woman, you are very familiar with this word. You may have chosen to ignore it, you may refuse to do it, or you may struggle with it every day of your life. I am referring to the word submission. This is one of the hardest words for Christian women to come to terms with…or is it just me?
I do not even feel qualified to write about this. This is a constant struggle for me. But I guess if I only wrote about the things in life I have perfected, I would never write anything!
Whether we like it or not, the concept of a wife submitting to her husband is biblical (Ephesians 5 and Colossians 3). If you are a woman with leadership skills and a strong personality this directive is especially challenging.
Many of us are women who naturally take charge. We don’t mean to portray anything negative or unkind. Lots of times we don’t even realize we are taking control from our husbands. We are often so busy organizing and controlling our children that we just start trying to do the same with our husbands.
In our home, this leads to some fireworks! Thankfully, my husband isn’t going to tolerate me taking over his role as leader and so we have had to deal with this word on a frequent basis. I have truly had to give some contemplation to this word and what it means for me and my role in my marriage.
The other day while I was reading Galatians 3:28, which is the verse about how we are all one in Christ Jesus, my eyes slid down to the MacArthur notes at the bottom. And something caught my eye. It was about submission:
Nor is this spiritual equality incompatible with the God-ordained roles of headship and submission in the church, society, and at home. Jesus Christ, though fully equal with the Father, assumed a submissive role during his incarnation.
I don’t know why, but I had never thought of that before. And I realized that Jesus is our perfect model for submission. On the night before his crucifixion, when He prayed “Not My will, but Yours, be done,” He was submitting to the Father, someone who was His equal.
I think perhaps that is where I get messed up. In our culture, submission means inferiority. The lesser person submits to the powerful, greater person. But when the Bible talks about submission it is never about the issue of inferiority. It is hard for us to work through that, isn’t it? Submission feels like inferiority. But if we are practicing biblical submission and our husbands are practicing biblical love, then we are experiencing God’s perfect design for marriage. And it is good.
On this day, we all find ourselves in different places. You may be like me and have lots of fireworks in your home as you work through this issue. You may have this down because you are naturally a follower. You may be struggling because you have a husband who refuses to lead. Or you may have a husband who is unloving and unkind in his leadership. But, somehow or other, we Christian women all need to deal with this word. What a comfort to see Jesus’ example of this as He went to the cross to die for us.
May we be women who never give up trying to grow in this area of our lives, no matter how our husbands choose to play their role as leader. And by growing, may we set a good example for our daughters and the young girls who are watching us.