Monday, March 3, 2014

Submission - NOT Oppression

Thanks to Candace Cameron Bure (you remember... DJ Tanner from Full House?) and her new book "Balancing It All" there has been a lot of buzz recently about the concept of the "submissive wife".  And I mean a LOT.  I haven't read the book, but it seems as if every week - maybe every day - there is some new blog post coming out either in support of or offended by the idea of women following the idea of Biblical submission.

"Balancing it All" by Candace Cameron Bure

Let me tell you in all honesty - as a Christian woman, the concept of being a submissive wife as instructed by the Bible is something I have struggled with. A part of me would instinctively rear up and go on the defensive at the word submission. It was a constant spiritual rebellion.

But why?

I have come to believe that the problem might be that the word submission is somehow equated with the word oppression.  But they are not the same thing.

To submit is a choice.  It is accepting the will or authority of another.  To be oppressed is to be controlled by another - usually by cruel or harsh treatment.

Can someone be forced into submission through oppression?  Sure.  But that isn't Biblical submission.  That isn't what the Word means when it tells wives to submit to their husbands in Ephesians 5:22.  We can know this because only three verses later, Ephesians 5:25 tells husbands to love their wives. Not dominate their wives. Not control them.  LOVE them!



When you feel loved, cherished, honored, respected, and valued - when you trust someone - it makes the idea of submission easier. You know it is safe to let down your guards, to relax, and to release some of that control over to someone else.

There is a lot of misunderstanding about what Biblical submission is and is not. For example: 

*  Biblical submission does NOT mean being a doormat.  It doesn't give permission for being bullied, belittled, or abused.

 *  It doesn't mean the wife doesn't have her own ideas, views and opinions; or that she isn't allowed to voice them.

*  It doesn't mean the only words coming out of her mouth are "yes, dear".  It's not having to keep your mouth shut or turn a blind eye if something is clearly heading in the wrong direction or morally wrong.

*  It doesn't mean her ideas and opinions aren't given equal weight and consideration when decisions are being made.

*  It doesn't mean she doesn't contribute just as much to the relationship and the family as her husband.  Whether she stays home to focus on raising the children, or works outside the home. She is a valued and respected partner in the relationship.

*  It certainly doesn't mean the wife should be a slave to the husband. She isn't expected to wait on him hand and foot.  She chooses to serve him in love. And he does the same for her!

*  It doesn't mean she is less important or valued in the relationship in any way.

*  It means that in her home, she trusts her husband to love her, to value her as a partner and an equal, to have the best interest of their family as his goal, and to guide the family where they need to go. And because of that trust and security, she feels comfortable handing the role of leadership over to him.

Every member of a team is important and have a position to play if the team is going to win, but they aren't all the team captain - or the coach.  Every worker in a company is important to making that company run smoothly and be successful; but they aren't all the CEO. Every person in this country is valuable - but we aren't all president.  When we ride on a bus, boat, or plane - we aren't any less important as people than the driver, captain, or pilot - but we chose to let them take the wheel in order to get all of us where we want to go.

Such as it is for the wife choosing Biblical submission. She has submitted to her husband taking on the role of team captain, the CEO, the pilot - the leader of their family.

Does believing all this mean I have given myself over completely to the concept of Biblical submission?  Of course!!  Uh... well...  the truth is, I still struggle with it.  I want to get my own way some most pretty much all of the time.  I still feel that same old cringe and that urge to cry out "you're not the boss of me!" still bubbles up deep inside many times at the word "submission".

But I am learning, and have a better understanding of what it means. Which gives me a new, more positive perspective on being a submissive wife.  And I keep praying to just be the wife The Man of the House deserves. 

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13 comments:

  1. So beautifully written. It is one of the most misunderstood areas in the bible. I think the media has a lot to do with the negative connotations around submission. I appreciate your candor about a touchy subject.
    http://www.robincharmagne.com/blog

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    1. Thank you Robin. In all honesty, I was terribly nervous about hitting 'Publish' on this post knowing what a touchy subject it can be.

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  2. Found you on mingle Monday on Life of Meg! This post is beautifully written

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    1. Thank you so much Jessica! I appreciate you for stopping by and the sweet comment.

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  3. This is a very good post - I appreciate your writing this...and sharing it. Thank you. Gentle Joy

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    1. Thank you for reading! And for the kind comment. Have a lovely weekend!

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  4. I just wanted to echo the other ladies here: nicely written. :)

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  5. Thank you for sharing your beautiful thoughts on submission with us here at "Tell Me a Story." The Bible tells us to submit to authority and leaders, and it also tells us in the verse prior to wives submitting to submit to one another. There should be a man willing (on occasion) to submit humbly to his wife. I say that tongue in cheek because I am a very submissive wife. If a husband would be willing to listen to his wife, much trouble could be avoided. A Godly and Holy Spirit filled wife will be a help to her husband and not just making a lot of noise.

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    1. Thank you so much for reading this and sharing your thoughts! You are appreciated. Have a wonderful weekend!

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  6. Great wisdom here. I believe that submission is the design God has for marriage but I think the points you have made here are important to remember. Thanks for sharing at Essential Fridays.
    Blessings
    Mel from Essential Thing Devotions

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    1. Thank you Mel! I also believe submission is God's design. I think it has gotten such a bad rap because of the great misunderstandings about what it really is and isn't. I appreciate you reading and sharing your thoughts.

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  7. Beautifully said.

    Thanks for linking up with Woman to Woman's Word Filled Wednesday! God bless!

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    1. Thank you Jenifer! Have a lovely weekend.

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