I need to be straight with you: I don’t really want to talk about marital submission here on this blog.
Not because I don’t fully believe in it, because I do. Not because I’m scared of people not liking me, because I’m not (well, I used to be but I’ve worked through this and I’m not so much anymore.) And not because I’m brainwashed because this is backed-up by scripture, people.
But truthfully? I don’t want to talk about it because submission has been made into one of the ugliest words in the English language.
However, in it’s true meaning, submission is a beautiful thing – but it’s been convoluted by the world to mean something far from beautiful.
As we talked about last week, submission is not being a doormat. It is not a dismissal of your own thoughts and opinions and it doesn’t mean we yield to intimidation and abuse disguised as submission. Yet many who throw stones at the idea of submission have been deceived into believing it is.
The truth is . . . submission actually gives women a tremendous amount of power. I realize this is not why we submit to our husbands, but it’s most certainly a byproduct of a marriage doing submission the way it’s supposed to be done.
Remember the movie “My Big Fat Greek Wedding?” Here’s one of my favorite scenes:
Notice how the wife didn’t jump in and get into a big squabble in front of their daughter? Notice how she spoke to him later (alone) about the issue at hand? Notice how she’s the neck? She has a tremendous amount of influence over her husband because he loves her like Christ loves the church. And he loves her like Christ loves the church because she submits to him the way the church submits to Christ.
If Jesus were to walk in to your house tonight, would you welcome him as special, revered guest or would you act like he was just any other person walking through your front door?
I find it hard to believe any of us would say “Oh, hey, Jesus…Hey, would you do me a favor and grab the roast out of the oven?”
As a church, we would never assume we were on equal footing a Jesus.
Yet far too often in my marriage, I find myself stepping-in – which discourages my husband from stepping up.
As Karen points out on page 57, “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other” (Matthew 6:24)
When we expect to “wear the pants” and emasculate our husbands by insisting on leading the family, both husbands and wives are serving two masters: the wives are serving God (or so they think) and the lies of the world while the husband is serving God (or so they think) and their wives.
And did you notice what happens when two masters are served? We will be devoted to one and despise the other.
Have you ever met men who seems to despise their wives because they’re controlling? Always cutting him off in conversations? Forever insisting on her own way without thinking for a minute about his own desires? I certainly have and it usually doesn’t end well.
I highlighted several passages from chapters four through seven, so we are doing to do discussion a little differently today . . . I will share some of the “a-ha” moments that struck me below. In the comments below, choose one and share your thoughts.
1. “We emasculate our husbands by mothering them and then complain they aren’t stepping up to the plate” (p. 61)
2. “Even the lowliest man has a God-given need to lead his family and when he can’t – or won’t – he isn’t fulfilling the purpose for which he was created. He will likely become depressed, withdrawn, or angry and turn to other things or people to fill that need and purpose. It’s not what he really wants but he doesn’t know how to lead in a way that his wife will follow. And his wife doesn’t know how to follow a man who isn’t leading in a godly way” (p. 62)
3. “You stop being dominant when you start creating opportunities for him to lead” (p. 63)
4. “Active submission is not about being a doormat; it’s about being a firm and supporting foundation. In a strange way, it reveals your real power and wisdom: the power to give or take away your husband’s leadership by your willingness to follow him and the wisdom to let him experience God – on God’s timetable, not yours” (p.65)
We will read chapters eight and nine this week, friends!