Today is Marriage Monday at The Pastor’s Wife Speaks, and we’re talking about a word that can strike terror in the heart of an otherwise stable, healthy woman. It’s a word that’s been used against women by those who would manipulate God’s word for selfish reasons.
What is it?
There’s a negative perception in the world, and very often in church, that “submissive wife” and “marital slave” are synonymous terms. That’s incorrect!
Submission is never forced, nor coerced, nor demanded. By its very definition, submission must be voluntarily offered or it isn’t submission anymore. Submission that’s manipulated or forced is correctly called TYRANNY, and it has nothing to do with the God-ordained covenant of marriage. In other words, when someone says “you have to submit to me,” red flags should go up in your spirit, because something is already out of order.
The word submission literally means to come under the mission of someone or something. From a military standpoint, a soldier comes under the mission of his or her commanding officer. An employee comes under the mission of his or her employer. In marriage, it means a wife sets herself under her husband’s mission in life and sets herself in position to help him carry it out. It’s not a loss of value or worth or power. In fact, submission is place of supernatural safety and protection. (If this concept is new to you, or if you’ve been the victim of abuse by authority, I highly recommend John Bevere’s book Under Cover.)
|Scripture art via the160acrewoods.com, click here for MORE!|
What IS your husband’s mission? Do you know? Has he delegated aspects of that mission/assignment/vision to you? Have you assumed things he hasn’t required of you? If you can’t answer these questions, ask your husband. Tell him you want to be a better help-meet to him, and in order to do that, you need some direction. Encourage him to communicate his mission/vision/assignment for your family and finances, for your church and ministry.
Another definition for submission — in a very practical, walking through your day-to-day life kind of way — is a respectful response. NOTE: Submission and agreement are NOT the same thing. Just because you disagree on a subject or a course of action does not make you a submission failure! It also doesn’t mean you’re expected to keep all your opinions, ideas, and suggestions to yourself. It does mean your communication, whether it’s in disagreement or in submitting an idea, should be done respectfully, without emotional or mental manipulation. Using tears to get your way, or withholding physical affection is NOT submissive behavior.
And one more way to view Christian submission: You are, as a daughter of God, first and foremost submitted to HIM. Your husband falls below God on the hierarchy of authority. Therefore, when your DH is doing something dumb (Of course, OUR husbands never do anything dumb, right?) you turn to your heavenly Father, and ask God to have a chat with the man you’ve been assigned to as a life partner. God is better equipped to deal with His boys than we are. Seriously.
Are you submitted? Working on it? Don’t be afraid. The position of submission is a position of power.