Submission in the church is a hard topic to cover. It’s so unnatural to me. I am way more of a leader and a lover of control. When I think about submission, it actually makes me feel icky inside. I picture myself hanging motionless like a puppet on a string. My wants and desires don’t matter and my body isn’t my own.
But although the idea of submission is hard, I have to trust that God knows what He’s talking about when he tells wives to submit to their husbands. So instead of completely resisting and thinking I know best, I decided to dive straight into the heart of God.
Here’s what I know about God…
He created the union of marriage and loves it.
He loves all of His children.
His love for men and women is equal, so any commands concerning marriage would have to be of mutual benefit.
God is all-knowing and can be trusted.
Because of those truths above, I can confidently say the following things:
God isn’t asking me to submit to ALL men; he’s asking me to submit to my husband. This helped me better understand submission wasn’t all females submitting to all males. I’m not about that. It doesn’t take away my voice or disregard my feelings in the world. Submission simply encourages me to be humble in my relationship with my spouse.
Submission is only commanded when it’s done in faith. For example, if your spouse is not a believer, you cannot trust that submitting to Him is the right thing to do because He isn’t submitting himself to the Lord. When our spouse submits to the Lord and we submit to him, then we are also submitting to God. That’s the recipe for a healthy, thriving marriage.
Submission is something that is given out of love, not something that should be expected. Just like God gives His children a choice to submit, we have the choice as well! And I don’t always choose it because it’s hard. If it was easy, I think more marriages would last. It’s okay that it’s hard. But just because submission is hard and unnatural, it doesn’t mean I should give up on its pursuit.
The first few years of marriage, my husband and I struggled. And I fought tooth and nail to be sure I was never pushed around or in an unwanted posture of submission. But the thing was, my husband never tried to steal my voice or put me in an uncomfortable position of submission. He just loved me. Once I realized that, took a step back, and let him lead from a place of love, I noticed he asked for my opinion and respected my humble approach much more than my abrasive one. Our marriage has become so much stronger and God-honoring since we both spent time following God’s direction of marriage. So whether I like it or not, I’ve come to the conclusion that God did know what He was talking about.
Imagine that? 🙂
Do you struggle with the idea of submission? Tell us your view of submission in the comments!