|"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.
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
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.