Thursday, September 8, 2011

my thoughts: joyful submission

warning: this post should probably be 2 parts, so feel free to take a break while reading. I won't be offended
The discussion about submission has been going on a lot lately; particularly since Michele Bachman was asked about submitting to her husband in the last GOP debate.

The problem with this discussion, however, is that most secular commentators have it all wrong.

Enter: Elizabeth Dias from Time Magazine. She recently wrote this piece where she expresses her (very strong) view on submission; mostly how she disagrees with it entirely.

There are so many things wrong with this author's view of biblical submission. She writes: "The Bible gives far more examples of women standing as equals to men in power instead of merely respecting them from the sidelines." This is Dias trying to disprove one portion of the Bible using other portions of the Bible. First of all, it doesn't work. Second of all, she doesn't even have an argument here. (I believe they call this a strawman?)

Ephesians says, " the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands..." Did you catch that? Paul is speaking of husbands and wives, not men and women. He is not saying, "women, submit to men." He is saying, "wife, submit to your husband" and your's alone.

The thing is, women are equal to men. We are just as valuable, loved, and God-designed. We glorify the Lord just as much as men do. We are called to His purpose just as much as men are. The examples that Dias offers: Rahab, Esther, Mary, are all perfect examples of this.

The difference is that we have different roles and are called to different purposes. And who decided that different means less important? But I digress. What I really want to discuss is joyful submission, not gender roles. (perhaps that can be a separate post?)

Joyful submission. First we need to debunk the myth that submission is a bad word; that it's a terrible thing and that women who subscribe to such a lifestyle are oppressed. Consider this: Jesus submits to the Father. He says so himself in John 6:38 and 7:16. And according to John 16:12-15, the Holy Spirit submits to Jesus.

So let me ask: if Jesus and the Holy Spirit both submit, then how can it be terrible and oppressive? Wouldn't it then be holy and wonderful?

My husband and I have been married for 7 years. We are by no means experts. Clearly we still have a lot to learn. But one thing I know from experience is that biblical, joyful submission is an awesome thing. God knew what He was talking about people!

For instance:

In March of 2006 we were living in Las Vegas. Ben had separated from the Marine Corps. I was so happy to have him home and done with the military. But, I was going to school full time and working a job that had me in the office at 4 am everyday (gag). He was attending the police academy and hating it. I was miserable; he was miserable.

We had been living with my mother-in-law and decided that since Ben finally had a reliable full-time job (he had basically been searching for almost a year before this point), we should start looking for a rental. My mom and I went out with a realtor to look at a few. And I found one that I absolutely loved.

Oh, did I mention yet how much I hate Las Vegas? But back to the story:

We had looked at 2 condos in the same complex. The one I loved, and another that was not so wonderful. Ben had to take our application to the property management company while I was working. When he realized that our realtor had mixed up the condos and that the one I wanted had already been rented, I was more than upset! Basically, it was the straw that broke the camel's back. I was done with Vegas and ready for something new...

Or old. Ben had jokingly been asking if he could return to the Marine Corps. I always shrugged it off. He'd eventually get over it and move on with life. The last thing I wanted to do was give my husband back to the military. They always took him away from me. I hated military life. I didn't want any part of it again!

But, I decided to trust my husband. I decided to submit to his decision. He was put in charge of our family and I needed to trust that he would lead us in the right direction. Not because I wanted to, but because God told me to.

The next day, we went to the recruiting office and he signed a contract for 4 more years. The best 4 years of our lives.

I could never ever ever have known what God had in store for us. Yes there was a lot of heartache. But the good outweighed the bad. Incredible friendships were established. Amazing memories were made. Spiritual growth occurred. And guess what, I fell in love with military life (crazy, I know).

So in the end, we may not always agree with our husband's decisions. We may not know why in the world they come to the conclusions they do. But God still tells us to trust Him by trusting them; by allowing them to lead. I would encourage you to give it a try if you haven't already. And then let me know how God used your obedience.

*Linking up with Casey


  1. This is so good. I love every part of it. Like you said, we might not always agree with them, but God tells us to trust our husbands... and usually, in my case, it always works out better in the end ;)
    P.S. We lived with my mother-in-law for 363 days last year............

  2. Great post, lady. Submission is such a loaded and misunderstood concept.
    But, no matter how difficult it can be, it is such a gift!

  3. WONDERFUL!!! I really enjoyed reading this.

  4. aw this is great ... and amazing that you're putting your trust in your husband ... and thanks for his service to our country!

  5. I so love this story. I love how it turned out in the end.

  6. love this...and ps. I've been living with my mil for almost 2 1/2 years...