Submission – The “S” Word That Makes Every Woman Cringe

Friday, November 4th, I found myself in the Emergency Room with pregnancy complications. I was obviously fearful and in a bit of pain. To make matters worse, we happened to sit in the waiting room next to the most obnoxious and domineering man I have ever met. His wife (we’ll call her Liz) was there with pancreatitis. He called his sister on the phone to talk about Liz. After getting off the phone, Liz asked him who he was speaking with. The convo followed like this:

Rude Man: “I’ve told you to stay out of matters between me and my family. You don’t get to ask questions.”

Liz: “I’m sorry. I just wanted to know who it was.

“Rude Man: “Shutup right now and that’s an order.”

Liz: “But…”

Rude Man: “I told you to shutup! Hush right now. I am the man in this relationship and you have no right telling me what to do. You be quite right now and that’s an ORDER!”

Liz: “Well…”

Rude Man: “GET IT THROUGH YOUR HEAD. You don’t get to respond to me. You need to hush now and take my orders like a good wife. Don’t be disobedient and know your place.”

     I was furious at their interaction. Every part of me wanted to speak up for this woman, but I realized that as a woman myself it wasn’t likely he’d respond very well. Liz was called to her room and “Rude man” looked to me to start a conversation about how good the Lord is. Then, he provided techniques for how I can raise my son to be a Godly man like he is.

Shut the front door…

     Inside I was screaming at him, but the outer, non-confrontational side of me sat silently nodding my head while trying to show him I wasn’t interested in the conversation.

It lead me to ask this question:

     Where do men get the idea that Biblical relationships consist of a wife who can’t speak, takes orders willingly, and can be disrespected in any and every way?

     Unfortunately, this mentality is too common. It’s the reason many women fear the word “submission” and secretly wish God never would have written it in the Bible. We imagine this:

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We all cringe a bit when we’re told we should be submissive wives because our culture relates submission to slavery.

     This fear of submission sparked in me a search for what a truly Biblical submissive wife looks like. I began by diving into the word help meet.

     Genesis 2:18 says, ” It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a help meet for him…” At first glance, this sounds like an assistant to take care of the man’s every need. But after looking at the origin of the word “help” (or ezer in Hebrew) you find that it is translated to mean power and strength. It’s used to describe God’s role as Savior several times throughout the Bible. This definition is radically different to the idea of a submissive little mouse with no voice or power.

     So what was God’s intent in making women and why does He tell us we should submit to our husbands as their help meet?

I’m so glad you asked.

     The most interesting thing about the word “help meet” is the way it is written in Hebrew. It is the picture of a man, an eye, and a weapon. Many believe that this pictorial representation essentially says that the role of woman is to be the eye that looks over man to reveal the enemy’s plans in his life. In other words, she is the Revealer of the Enemy.

     Ladies, let me ask you this… How many times did you have a feeling that something was wrong with your family but you couldn’t put it into words? How many times did you later find out there was an issue and that God revealed it so you could pray or react appropriately? In those moments, you are essentially walking in your core purpose as a wife. You are revealing the enemy that tries to kill, steal and destroy your family. Essentially, the devil knows that if he can take down your man, you will become extremely vulnerable – because he is the head.

     Now that we understand our role as woman, where does submission fit into place? This is possibly the most difficult role of the wife – especially if she is married to the wrong man.

     The essence of submission comes down to one simple thing: TRUST. It is impossible to submit to a man if you don’t trust him. When you submit, you say, “As the head of our union, I believe that you are close enough to God to know what is best for us, and I trust that you hear His voice clearly, and will gladly follow.” That doesn’t eliminate your voice, because there will be moments when you can see the enemy’s plan more clearly than your husband. In those moments, it’s your DUTY to say something. Years ago, I met someone that I felt very uncomfortable with. I didn’t know why and couldn’t put it into words, but I told my husband what I was feeling and simply asked him to be careful. He trusted my judgment and avoided this individual. Later, we found that this person had a hidden agenda and was literally seeking to destroy our ministry.

     Call it woman’s intuition or whatever you like, but women have a natural ability to see danger and manipulation that men don’t always see. You’re in your man’s life to reveal the enemy’s plan so he cannot destroy your family. That doesn’t make you inferior to your husband, but extremely important to his wellbeing!

     If you’re currently married and submission is an issue, ask yourself why. Do you have control issues because of your past? Is your pride in the way of allowing you to submit? Pray that God would humble your heart and teach you to let go of control. Your husband’s strength as a leader may surprise you.

     Do you fear your husband isn’t able to make the right decisions for your family?  The Bible takes away your excuse. 1 Peter 3:1 says that a woman can win a man to Christ by her submission without saying a word. Show him love, patience, and a Godly lifestyle and you have a promise that His relationship with the Lord will follow.

     In my little family, I believe wholeheartedly in submitting to my husband. I do it proudly, as I know he is God-fearing and sometimes has a clarity and logic that I lack in strongly emotional situations. We’ve also decided that we will talk about everything, and if there is still a discrepancy with what decision we should make, I trust him to make the decision even when I don’t always agree. As the head of our home, he answers to God for the decisions we make, not me. The last thing I want to do is be an Eve who thinks she knows best and ends up putting both her and Adam in harms way.

My advice to singles who this sounds scary to:

“Don’t get married until you find a man that you trust to love you, to love God, and to have your best interests at heart. Understand that tying the knot isn’t always sunshines and rainbows. Sometimes it’s following your spouse’s plan even if you don’t completely agree.”

 

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