I want to share the beauty of submission. Womanly submission. An asset from the Bible which is so often ignored, rejected, ridiculed by the Christian women of today. In Christian circles, I have seen so many young women detest Paul’s godly command about women submitting in a marriage (Eph 5:22). They see it as oppressive, and depressive. They see it as unequal. After all, how dare a man assert authority over a woman! How dare he dominate and take the lead and show chivalrous behaviour and make decisions! How dare he!
Oh ladies. A simple reasoning to this is that somewhere, somehow, someone has severely warped what the Bible meant by “submission”. Submission is one of the most liberating places a woman can be. In fact, dare I say it is even beautiful.
Rewind completely. Subtract a marriage. Subtract a man. Just Christ, and an ordinary young woman. The Lord loves her. She loves Him in her imperfect way, yet her love is constantly being refined and shaped into His love. It is an ongoing process. It is my personal experience that when I die to self, pursue righteousness, submit myself unto the Lord so that He can willfully use me as the vessel I am called to be, I am completely, and wholeheartedly filled with unfathomable joy. It’s true. There is nothing as satisfying than being used by Him, sacrificing and slaying the flesh, and fighting for godly virtue. It is painful at times. It always is as long as we are in these mortal bodies. The flesh kicks up an awful storm as you put to death the deeds, thoughts, desires of unrighteousness. But oh. The joy. The peace. The glorification of God.
Are you understanding this? When we submit to God, desire Him to get the utmost glory, we are satisfied.
So it is with marriage. When a woman begins to submit to her husband, she finds the sweetest joy and fulfillment. Why? Because she is satisfying her divine purpose of being created. My dear sisters, I’m sorry (not really). But there is no two ways about this. We were created to be a help-meet. We were created to be a helper for our men (Gen 2:18). That is our purpose. Does this mean that that’s all we’re good for? Slaving away for men, having babies, and becoming a recluse? Absolutely not. If you look upon the Word of the Lord, you will see that there is so much more to becoming a godly woman. The Lord may also call you to be single, and thus, no man’s helper. The women who are generally called to be single do world impacting things for advancing the Kingdom of God.
However, I’m addressing the foundational reason why we were made. Yes. We were created equal. In the sense that we are not loved less by the Lord. We were both made in His image. But also no in the sense of our roles. We were never made to lead, to pursue, to fight. We are equally unequal. Beautifully so. Physically, spiritually, emotionally, mentally, sexually. We are wired so differently, yet we so wondrously complement. Women are the weaker vessels. We need protection, we are vulnerable. We carry offspring. We are not physically made to contend with the manly stuff in life. We must not deny that. We must embrace what the Lord has ordained.
Everything that God ever made was created for purpose, and that is to glorify God. Marriage is simply an allegory of Christ and His Bride—the Church (Eph 5:23-25). As I previously stated, when a Christian submits to Him, we are fulfilling, and obeying. So it is with women. We are the symbolic Bride. When we submit to our husbands, we are fulfilling the Word of God, serving our husbands, respecting his decisions, dying to self. The husband is to lead his wife and family, love his bride with Christlike love, and die to self. He represents the Lord in a way. And if your husband is a godly man who strives for sanctification, it will be two people, both dying to self, fulfilling their roles.
Is dying to self easy? Isn’t it a breeze even when our spouses also die to self? No. I never said that. Dying to self is never easy. Death never is. It’s usually painful and difficult. But love is not about conditionally or occasionally or selfish. Love is unconditional, and constant and selfless. It is constantly being refined, at least in the human sense.
Now, I know that women who are against submission love to spit out that it is also commanded that men are to love their wives. I do realise this, but it is not what I am addressing. The men can work that our amongst themselves, as can we work our commands amongst ourselves.
You do not become weak when you submit. Take a look at the classic Proverbs 31 woman. She was incredibly strong, and her husband deemed her blessed. He praises her for doing her calling as a woman.
It is that simple. Womanly submission is not oppressive or restrictive. God’s Word is the Truth that sets free. A woman who is pursuing what God appointed her to do is liberated. She is free to serve her husband, just as the Lord commanded right from the start. He is free to lead and love his wife (which is servanthood too), just as the Lord commanded.
I say that is indeed a beautiful thing in God’s Word.
I love to think of the gender roles in marriage as two halves to a circle. The man is one half by loving, protecting, and supporting his wife. While the wife is the other half by supporting, nurturing, and encouraging the husband. Such a beautiful picture God has created!!