I am going to say a dirty word.
I am going to say it very loudly.
I am going to say it, and it is going to make some of you cringe away in terror.
As you cringe you will click away as fast as you can, muttering under your breath about self righteousness, legalism, and culture.
Are you ready?
Ack! Oh no! She did it! She really said it, typed it, right there for all of the world to see!!!!! What, is she NUTS?
This is a topic that has been beaten to death. It really has. If you believe you are already submissive, then no matter what I say (almost), you’ll be nodding along. If you think submission is for the birds, a cultural concept that was only for the Greeks and the Jews, then no matter what I say, you’ll be shaking your head “No.”
I want to talk about submission. I want to get honest about submission. Let’s be real, OK?
Most people that talk about submission talk about Ephesians 5:21 – 33. So let’s go there. Go ahead. Go get your bible. Turn to it. Ephesians. It’s in the New Testament. Closer to the back of the book. Got it? Good. Now read it aloud to yourself. If you are one of those “submission is for the birds” people, well then, you stopped at verse 22 and went no further. I challenge you to read further, please.
As we read Ephesians 5:21 – 33, we see that the wife is supposed to submit to her husband as she does to God. And the husband is supposed to love his wife as Christ loved the Church. Pretty simple, right? Wife = submit, Hubby = love. But it really isn’t that simple. It really isn’t. Whenever I mention to someone (usually in a bible study) that a wife is to submit to her husband, their response is “Not a doormat!” No. I am NOT a doormat. Anyone who has seen me with Papi for more than an hour realizes I’m not a doormat….but they just can’t get the stereotype out of their mind.
When I read that, I see a subtle balance….like a teeter totter. Come back with me…all the way back….join the time machine….come back to the land of bell bottom jeans and disco….journey back with me to 1970 something. (teehee) My most traumatic incident ever on a teeter totter. That wonderful toy of playgrounds everywhere. Mom and Dad had somehow scraped up enough money to send me and the Little Bro to Christian Summer Camp. This would not have been a problem at all for the social butterfly Little Bro, for me it was slightly traumatic, and I wouldn’t let him go anywhere without me! So the first, maybe the second, day, we were on the playground of the Camp….all alone. And we decided to get on the teeter totter – even though he was several pounds lighter than me. So we got on, and delicately were balancing, up and down. Then we tried to make it even. (Have you ever done that – it’s not easy when you don’t weigh the same!) We had actually done it somehow. We made it even. I was further out, closer to the end of the thing, and he was inside (I think, it was a LONG time ago). And then he, in all of his tiny Little Bro wisdom, got bored. He wanted to get off, and before telling me he was getting off, he JUMPED! Down I went, with my knee tucked conveniently under me. Enter an ambulance, a sprained knee, and a trip (early and with my head hanging in shame) home.
Submission is like that. It is supposed to be a mutual submission. We women “obey” like we obey God (with joy), and those handsome hubby’s love us so much they would literally lay down their lives for us, in every way shape or form. We should be fighting over who gets control….and we should always want it to be the other person!!!!! We should always be the person on the lower end of the teeter totter….fighting to stay there, as they are fighting to push us up!!! And it stays even. And no one gets hurt. But too many times we see that teeter totter with one party always up, and the other down. And sometimes someone just jumps completely off – no warning – and we get seriously hurt.
That’s my view of marital submission. Pretty radical, huh? If you stuck around, are you still thinking doormat? No? Yes??? Let me know!
Keeping on the same topic, hopefully this doesn’t go too long, I wanted to talk about heart submission versus head submission.
For the longest time, I lived as a submissive wife. Told everyone I was a submissive wife. Had no problem sharing my views on submissiveness. And they were pretty much the view I shared above. And then I read a book called “Created to be His Help Meet”.
****NB: Yes, I know of all of the Pearl issues. Seriously. I bought the book partially because I wanted to see if they were really as bad as everyone says they were. No, I don’t think that if your hubby is beating you it is your fault.*****
So, I read the book, and wow! I was convicted. See – all these years of being submissive, I was HEAD SUBMISSIVE. I was submissive to Papi, told everyone I was submissive, did all the things I was supposed to do as a submissive wife. But……… I wasn’t HEART SUBMISSIVE. Everything was fine if Papi was doing it my way, my timing. In essence, everything was fine if he was laying down his life for ME. But man, oh man…if he told me “No” on anything I thought was best….Honey, Look out!!!!! I would Nag. And then I realized that wasn’t getting me anywhere. So I conquered the nagging habit. And then I would get angry. And I would get depressed. That’s the major things. The life changing decisions. If I didn’t get my way, he paid! On the little things, the day to day things. If he disagreed with me, well I would just go do what I wanted while he wasn’t home. And I would vent…to everyone….about what a lousy husband HE was.
It wasn’t him. It was me. I thought I was being submissive, because I was doing what he said. But he had to drag me kicking and screaming everywhere I didn’t want to go. I wasn’t submissive in my heart and soul. I wanted him to love me and lay down his life for me…..but I certainly didn’t want to do what he wanted (unless he happened to agree with me).
Let me give you an example of the “little things”. Papi doesn’t like trees. No. Let me clarify. Papi doesn’t want trees on our property. He doesn’t want to clean up leaves. He doesn’t want to try and mow around them and weed eat around them. He wants the kids to have a clear, clean space to play any sport they want on the side yard, and he thinks trees would get in the way. He, like many, has seen trees take out roofs and destroy the base of houses. He made that perfectly clear when I asked if I could plant a tree.
Here comes the not being submissive part. He told me “No.” Straight up. No equivocation. And I went around him. I decided that my desire to have tropical fruit trees was more important than his desire NOT to have them. I made a plan. Got a library book and literally drew out the yard and what trees I wanted where. I almost bought them. Until one of the kids let it slip that we were going to go buy some sea grape trees. Enter firestorm.
I’m here. I escaped the wrath of Papi (just kidding). But that is EXACTLY what I mean about not being heart submissive. And I’m still struggling with it. Habits formed over 15 years of marriage don’t go away in 4 months, I tell you. But I’m trying. Because I want to please my God. And I want to love my Papi like I love and please my God.
If you want to watch a really good sermon on Submission and Biblical Headship, I recommend Voddie Baucham. He is an amazing preacher, and can say it so much better than I can! Here is a good place to start Love and Marriage .
If you want to purchase the book Created to Be His Help Meet , you can purchase it here ….I do recommend reading this book with eyes wide open. I don’t agree with EVERYTHING she says.
Be blessed. Please. Like. Comment. Share. 🙂 I want to hear others views on this!!!!!!