Years ago, my husband, mother, sister and I (Tatiana Adurias), were attending a wedding reception. When the gathering was coming to a close, the groom’s mother, asked the guests to join her in prayer over the new couple. Eighteen years later, I clearly remember how infuriated we were during that prayer. Her prayer was offensive, demeaning, and weak. At least that’s how we felt at the time.
The offense in her prayer? An incessant plea for submission. In her prayer, the mother of the groom, had requested the new bride “submit to her husband”, at least 31 times. I counted.
Afterwards, we left the reception horrified. I was raised by a single mother, who was raised by a single mother. All the women in my life are forces to be reckoned with. Strong women. Women who submitted to no one. On the way home, I asked my husband how he felt about “submission”, and to my delight, he completely agreed with me. He too, was raised by a strong woman, and saw submission as a sign of weakness.
Why is submission such a bad word?
The world’s definition of submission, implies weakness. However the Bible calls us to submit on multiple occasions. We submit to government officials, and obey laws we sometimes disagree with. We follow speed limits, and understand their purpose is to keep us safe.
Christ was present at the time of creation and all things were created by Him (Colossians 1:16). Yet He submitted to the Father in heaven. Even the creator of all things, submitted.
Prodigal-living-in-the-world me, would have picked a fight with anyone quoting the words of Peter:
There’s another word society doesn’t like. Obey.
How Submission Saved my Marriage
Complete and total submission to the Lord as well as to my husband came 7 years later. One year later, my husband, came to the Lord.
Remember what Peter said?
Without a word. Without nagging, complaining and criticizing, my unbelieving husband gave his life Christ!
For years, I had prayed for my husband to change. I prayed for the Lord to change his heart, for the Lord to pour His Spirit on him. Yet all I had to do, was to get out of the way.
Friend, are you in the way? Are you hindering a blessing from the Most High?
Remember Jesus’ words in the garden:
Father, if it is Your will, take this cup away from Me; nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done.
What Submission Actually Is
The word submission, comes from the Greek word hupotassó, which is also used as a military term. It means to place or rank under, to subject. We’re not talking about a rank of importance here, but a hierarchy of accountability.
In the book of Ephesians, Paul writes:
Marriage is a picture of Christ and the church. Taking into account the full authority of the Bible, the church is to willingly submit, follow, heed, every command, so that we may be blameless. Therefore, as godly wives, submission to our husbands must be voluntary.
What Submission Is Not
We disagreed with that very memorable prayer because we misunderstood submission. We pictured that poor bride submitting to her new husband’s every whim.
Then, we imagined an abusive relationship. A dictatorship actually, where she would forfeit all of her dreams and desires. We imagined her checking her brains at the altar, and completely forgetting who she was. A life of being barefoot and pregnant, while her husband did as he pleased.
This is not the picture described in the passages mentioned above. Paul’s admonition begins with love. “husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church…”
Now, think of how Christ loves you. Broken, flawed, you. The you that has on more than one occasion turned your back from His relentless love. His fierce love.
The man, God gave you, is called to love you like that.
However, submission is not putting your husband’s will and authority above that of Christ.
A Challenge to Submit
In today’s society, submissive wifehood –Biblical Wifehood -is a thing of the past. The type of thing you see on 1950’s sitcoms. Today’s sitcoms, instead portray strong female roles (nothing wrong with that). However, husbands, and men in general are portrayed as either weak and idiotic, or womanizers. Gone are the days with strong male roles.
In it’s effort to empower women, the feminist movement has emasculated men. Submissive wives, are no longer the norm, or even the exception.
Friend, you are called to submit to the man God gave you.
Godly submission will revolutionize your marriage. My marriage is not perfect, and I don’t claim to agree with every decision my husband has made, or will make in the future. However, I will follow his lead. I will honor his position and respect his God given responsibility to lead.
I challenge you to godly submission, and prayer today. You will reap more blessings that you can imagine. Are you ready?
What a beautiful story of God’s faithfulness to us!
Tatiana Adurias blogs at The Musings of Mum. You will want to check her out there. She recommends Dancing with the One Your Love: Living Out Submission in the Real World as a good resource if you are struggling with Submission.
In September (2017) I invited 30 Women’s Ministry Leaders to share their Best Marriage Tips, Secrets, Encouragement along with some Free Resources to better Equip us all. Check out the articles on the Biblical Marriage – The Wifehood Page or get them in a Free e-Book Here!
Don’t forget to check out the Wives only Facebook Group! This amazing community is focused on Biblical Wifehood. They are is encouraging and equipping each other!
You might also enjoy the Christian Marriage Resource List – these are all things that have helped restore Hope & Joy in my Marriage.