The Christian Wife's Submission
I recently commented to a blog post by my new blogger-friend regarding, as she worded it, "subjugation of women in the Bible". And so to make things clearer, I decided to create this post to help women, and men, understand clearly what the Bible is talking about when it comes to 'submission'.
Me and my husband, Jojo, who is the head of our family.
Let's look at this Bible scripture about 'submission'. Ephesians 5:21-31 "...submitting to one another in the fear of God. Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. for the husband is the head of the wife, as also Christ is the head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body. Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word...So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the church. For we are members of His body, of His flesh and of His bones. 'For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh'".
In general, when people speak of submission, many often incline to think that it is timidity, subservience, degradation, a sign of weakness. Well, let me make it more simple. As children, we submit to our parents, to our teachers and to elders. As adults, we submit to our bosses and to the police and other government authorities. What's so hard about women submitting to their own husbands?
One good definition of 'submission' that I found is in the web page of reason4living.com titled "Submission of Christian Wives to their Husbands". "Submission", they say, "is an act of will--the result of a choice that a person makes and cannot be enforced upon. It is a gift of a person to choose to give to another". In other words, submission is given and not taken. It is the choice of the giver to submit or not. In the Scripture above, Christians ought to submit to one another which simply means that we need to put others above ourselves; this is called selfless love which Jesus, Himself, became the great example. As we surrender to Christ, we must also surrender to one another--"A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another as I have loved you...By this you will know that you are My disciples..." (John 13:34-35). Submission should always be motivated by love, and respect.
The Christian wife's submission to her own husband doesn't mean that she is to stoop down and not speak any more. No. It means that she is to be his helper and the one who encourages him and steers him to be the spiritual leader of the family leading her and their children to God. She makes a choice not to resist her husband's will even if she thinks he is not right. But it doesn't mean she cannot voice out her opinion or she cannot disagree with him. Truly, only a strong person can be submissive because he/she rules her choices rather than the pride that is in her flesh.
But going back to our Scripture, there are only two verses there that mentions the wife's responsibility. The rest is for the husband who must love his own wife (not another) just like Jesus loves His church. He needs to care for her and cherish her as they are now one flesh. He has the greater responsibility to keep his family together as its head. Hmm... I'm thankful that we are now Christians.