It’s Not a Dirty Word

IMG_7590Submission. A dirty word in some women’s vocabulary. It brings to mind kowtowing or subservience. Maybe you think about other cultures where women are required to keep their faces covered or walk ten paces behind their husbands. How can we be expected to exhibit a gentle and quiet spirit in our culture today?

Dare I say I disagree?

Eighteen years ago, I certainly wouldn’t have been the poster child for submissive wives. In fact, I’m ashamed to say that my sisters and I snickered quite a bit when my brother and sister-in-law married and asked me to read Ephesians 5:22-23 at the ceremony—Wives, follow the lead of your husbands as you follow the Lord. The husband is the head of the wife, just as Christ is the head of the church…It took an act of God to keep a straight face.

Fast forward several years. I not only take this scripture to heart, I meditate on it every time I’m tempted to try and get my way in a decision in which my husband and I may not see eye to eye. It’s not because I’m a Christian, although I do believe we, as Christians, should abide by God’s word. It’s because I’ve learned the hard way that there is no harmony when I try and usurp my husband’s position—a position he has a God-given right to.

I’m sure many of you will cringe with this statement, but I believe women want strong leadership. And if that leadership is godly, so much the better. I didn’t have this in my first marriage, and my strong-willed self stepped up and took charge. Even then, not knowing any different, I didn’t want it that way. On some level, I think I really just wanted to be taken care of and protected. Sounds so…passive, but it’s true.

There are so many scriptures, especially in Proverbs, that talks about a contentious woman. Proverbs 21:19 Better to dwell in the wilderness than with a contentious and angry woman. Proverbs 25:24 It is better to dwell in a corner of a housetop than in a house shared with a contentious woman. And my favorite, Proverbs 27:15 A continual dripping on a very rainy day and a contentious woman are alike.

Now, if I don’t agree with a decision my husband makes, I take it to God. My prayer is change my heart or change his mind. And God has been faithful every time. It doesn’t matter if it’s the big stuff—like choosing a church or even buying a vehicle—or the little stuff. There are times when I have to wait for an answer. And wait. And wait. But it’s taught me to be patient and trust.

6 thoughts on “It’s Not a Dirty Word

  1. I agree with you. The best marriages are ones where the wife respects her husband enough to abide by his decisions. It doesn’t mean we can’t play a role in helping make those choices, but eventually someone has to lead the way with final decision making and that should be the husband, according to God, who built us as women to love this about our men, their ability to make wise family choices and ‘care’ for us in this loving way.

  2. I have always been submissive in my marriage. I let him know my opinion, but after he considered my side, I went with his. In the early years I submitted because I had gone from my parents oversight to his. But when my husband was put on very intense pain medicine several years ago, he did not participate much in the family for several months. His mind was not right and he slept most of the time. Our children were school age and teen age. Suddenly I needed to step up and make the decisions for our family. It was a scary time for me. I was overwhelmed. I was not always right. Now he is still on those same medicines, but his body has acclimated. I really appreciate that he is back in control. The difference is now, if he is gone before me, I feel I can take care of myself with Gods help.

    • I think a truly harmonious Biblical marriage is one where wives respect their husbands, yet husbands look to them for influence. When the husband isn’t following God, I would imagine it’s more difficult for a wife to trust in his decisions. A godly man has to answer to God–and ungodly man answers only to himself.

  3. Great post Jennifer! The feminist culture did me no favors in my first marriage. Seriously, I still can’t believe I fell for thinking some of the thinking I thought. God is a God of order. And, now, I appreciate being under my husband when it comes to who God holds accountable first! Better him than me! haha

    I am going to go right now and share it with as many gals as I can. Miss you friend. xo

    • You’re such a blessing, Joanne. Like you, I certainly didn’t get it in my first marriage. More marriages would thrive if women could understand this biblical concept. Thanks for sharing me. Miss you so much!

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